Well, it’s been a long time coming we but we are delighted that our Bouchart mild is making a comeback.

To be fair I’m not entirely sure why it has been away so long, but for those of you who know the history of this particular brew you will know it has always been a bit of a reluctant character.

Indeed, as a beer it may never as happened, as our Bouchart Dark Mild was originally a reluctant creation, but how glad we are that it was.

So, a brief tale of this brew – which all starts a few years back at the Trafford Arms’s Valentine’s Beer Festival. Chris, who was the landlord at the time, called us to ask about us producing a mild for his festival which he would sell and donate the proceeds to charity.

Now, the Traff is a great pub where Moon Gazer had a great following and – as we were then a new brewer – every opportunity which comes along like this fills you with pride and enthusiasm. So, with no hesitation I was quick to say to Chris: “No probs, would love to, how many casks do you want?”

The reply however, was not what I expected. “Oh, just the one.” he chirpily said.

Suddenly I thought – what the heck am I going to do with the other 35+ casks I will have left over?

But I was committed to Chris and was quick on the recipe development.

I came up with a cunning plan, devise the recipe and speak to Scott, a friend and fellow brewer at Quartz Brewery who has a smaller brewery than ours but I knew produced tip-top beers and would be up for a collaboration brew.
I would brew the beer, which we then simply called Dark Mild at his place and we would both sell half the brew to our respective customers – leaving me with just 9 casks of beer to sell. Phew problem, solved – Chris at the Traff happy – charity happy, and we’re happy.

As it turned out I needn’t have worried.

Within a week of the Trafford selling the Dark Mild at the festival the other 9 casks had been bought by local pubs, and more than that, we had already brewed a full brew at Moon Gazer as we had orders for another 40 casks.

Ever since that day we have had Dark Mild permanently available from the brewery until the lockdown that was – and for some reason we have struggled to find a way of squeezing it into the brewplan.

So, about the Bouchart.

Unusually for a mild it is quite strong – weighing in at 4.9% abv.

Naturally, as you would expect from Team Moon Gazer the base malt is Norfolk Maris Otter, while the dark colour comes from additions of chocolate malt, Crystal 240 and a touch of wheat for mouthfeel and head retention.

The malts are the starring flavours, with a nicely balanced sweetness as well, but there are a low level of hops to provide bitterness and flavour too. We add some British hops; Pilgrim and Progress and just the merest whiff of Cascade. Mind you we were slow on the uptake and missed any references to John Bunyan.

So, a reluctant brew it may have been, but it is one which we are immensely proud of and just so glad that it is back in cask this summer

It will also be back in bottle soon….