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Canned dark mild to the rescue

Either we’re very harsh critics of our own homebrew or, after years of practice, we’re still crap at it. Whichever is true, we found ourselves this week with a polypin of what seemed to us very dry, very Cascade-flavoured, under-conditioned pale ale, which we didn’t much want to drink.

Then, in the supermarket, a sudden impulse saw us chuck four cans of Thwaites Dark Mild (£2.98) into our basket.

Tasted on its own, this was nothing special — watery, sweet with a little sickly caramel. As a mixer for half-and-half, however, it not only hit the spot, but transformed our pale ale into something magnificent. There was chemistry. The two beers complemented each other perfectly and produced something very like a good cask-conditioned stronger mild. Not a compromise but a real pleasure to drink.

Our conclusion: it’s worth keeping something like this tucked away in the larder. You never know when it might help you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

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