Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Session Beer: Cain's Dark Mild

This is the first in a series of posts on various session beers that I intend to spotlight.  What's a session beer? See below!

When traditional musicians get together to play Irish, Scottish or other Celtic music it is called a session.  Coincidentally(?), session is also a word used to describe a beer that is low in alcohol, flavorful, balanced and highly drinkable.   It should come as no surprise then that many of the best session beers come from the British Isles.  One such beer is Cain's Dark Mild from Robert Cain brewery in Liverpool - a dark pouring, malty, slightly sweet, lightly hopped, relatively flat mild ale with a roast flavor.

Cain's Dark Mild
I was first introduced to Cain's Dark Mild at Rosie Connolly's, an Irish pub in downtown Richmond, VA where, fortuitously, players of Irish trad gather the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month for a jam session.  The dark mild is an English style low-gravity ale that uses darker roasted malts and limited hops.  Notes of chocolate, caramel, nuts and toasted tones are usually present.  The color is dark brown to black.  At 3.2% ABV, with its dark color, malt forward taste and low IBU's, Cain's Dark Mild is the quintessential example of this style and may just be the perfect session beer...ideal for sipping on as you summon those jigs, reels and hornpipes.

Cain's is fast becoming my beer of choice when attending the Rosie's jam.  And just this Saturday I noticed that my local Ashland beer and wine store - The Caboose - has started carrying it in six-pack form.  That was the first time I had ever seen it in a store, so I picked up a six-pack and am glad to report that I enjoyed it just as much out of the can as on tap!  With its slightly sweet taste and low-alcohol content, Cain's provides fermented satisfaction without the wallop.

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