IT’S BEEN feeling like summer recently – so let’s look ahead to May, which heralds both Mild Month and Cider and Perry Month!

The Keighley and Craven branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is supporting these national CAMRA annual initiatives.

Mild ale is a low-gravity beer with a predominantly malty palate that originated in Britain in the 17th century or earlier.

Modern mild ales are mainly dark coloured with an ABV of three per cent to 3.6 per cent, although there are lighter-hued examples as well as stronger examples up to six per cent ABV. In more recent times ‘mild’ has been interpreted as denoting ‘mildly hopped’.

Once sold in every pub, mild experienced a sharp decline in popularity after the 1960s and was in danger of completely disappearing. However, in recent years the explosion of microbreweries has led to a modest renaissance and an increasing number of milds are now being brewed.

Yorkshire breweries can boast more than 30 milds, more than any other region!

The Globe Inn in Keighley offers a mild ale - not scarce in the Keighley area, but nationally a rare treasure.

Timothy Taylor Golden Best, often dubbed the “town‘s beer”, has been a great favourite in Keighley pubs for refreshing the hard worker at the end of the day; deliciously light on the palate, but ultimately refreshing.

Referred to as a Pennine Light Mild, there were many such brewed on both sides in Lancashire and Yorkshire, but they‘ve dwindled down to just this one being brewed on a substantial basis.

Unlike real ale production, which can happen at any time of the year, real cider and perry can only be made when the fruit is ripe and is tied to a natural cycle of the apple and pear trees found in orchards around the country.

October is a very active time for cider makers, when production is in full flow. May on the other hand is when the orchards bloom and begin producing the fruit which will be harvested in October. It is also when cider and perry produced in the previous year reaches maturity and can start being enjoyed.

Pubs in the area selling real cider include the Boltmakers Arms, Brown Cow, Globe Inn and Livery Rooms in Keighley, the Bay Horse in Oxenhope and the Kings Arms in Silsden.

Skipton Beer Festival, which runs from May 28 to 30, will have a mild trail and a good selection of ciders and perries.

CAMRA would welcome news about what local pubs are doing to mark the events.

The Keighley and Craven CAMRA website is at Have you missed any previous Down The Pub articles? 50 visit our website, clicking on What’s On then Food & Drink.