They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Bartrams Marld

Originally published in BEER May 2006. Also featured in BEER August 2008 as part of a piece about beers for summer outdoor drinking.

For more milds see previous post.

ABV: 3.4 per cent
Origin: Rougham, Suffolk, England
Buy from: Specialists, local farmers’ markets


I first encountered Marc Bartram’s beers a couple of years back in the now-sadly-closed Pitfield Beer Shop. I picked up a couple because they looked interesting and another customer commented spontaneously: “Really good beers, those”. He wasn’t wrong.

Originally launched at Thurston Granary, just east of Bury St Edmunds, in 1999, the brewery struggled to find suitable premises for a while but since last year has been achieving excellent results at its new home on a nearby former airfield, on the other side of the A14.

The Captain Bill Bartram of the bottle labels is actually the alter ego of Marc himself. There was a real Captain Bill, though no relation, who brewed at Tonbridge, Kent, at the turn of the last century. As well as their distinctive design, the labels have the added attraction of being especially informative about the beers within.

Thus we learn that Marld contains and amber malt, roasted barley, Galena and Goldings hops. Relishing the stereotype, the label portays a cloth-capped working man standing in the shadow of a giant Soviet Realist spanner.

The beer pours a deep ruby brown with a good thick fawn head. There’s a very distinctive sharp and nettly aroma of roast, geranium and blackberry, slightly sweaty and rather alluring.

A roasty, ash-dry palate is softened by fruity blackberry, elderflower and salad notes, and the texture somehow contrives to mix a lively carbonation with a soft creaminess.

Big dry plain chocolate develops far back and comes to the fore in the finish, which is also coffeeish and chewy with slightly resiny hops, and very long lasting.

Another roasty mild, but done with great panache, adding lots of subtle and unusual tastes and a superb balance to achieve astonishingly full flavours for such a low gravity, with a robustness that works very well in the bottle. If you can’t get to the pub during May, lay in a case of this and you’ll still have a very happy mild month. 

Read more about this beer at

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