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


R W Randall Cynful Guernsey Mild

Originally published in What’s Brewing May 2005.

This beer has since been discontinued.

Origin: St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
ABV: 3.5 per cent
Buy from supermarkets 

R W Cynful

It’s been an interesting year for bottled milds. Not only have more real milds appeared in bottle, but an excellent new example, craft brewed though sadly filtered and pasteurised, has found itself nationally distributed by a major supermarket chain.

That mild is Cynful, from sunny Guernsey, far from mild’s Black Country heartland. You’ll find the word “mild” in very small letters within a playfully decadent packaging design that bravely addresses trendy young things of both sexes rather than old codgers in cloth caps. Perhaps the local French connections have helped nurture a sense of style!

The brewery, R W Randall, dates from 1868, when a member of a brewing family from Jersey headed northwest to set up on his own. It’s now in its fifth generation of family control, with 18 . Cynful takes its name from one of the brewery’s longstanding licensees, Cyndi de Jersey, who originally requested a cask version of what was then the brewery’s “bright” dark mild.

When Randall decided to enter the Tesco Beer Challenge in Spring 2004, they opted for a modification of draught Cynful. The beer won, leading to a year’s contract with Tesco, which may be renewed, and the brewery is also in talks with other supermarkets.

Bottled Cynful is a pure malt brew made from pale ale, crystal and chocolate malt and hopped with Sussex Fuggles and Styrian Goldings, with a dash of Challenger. It uses the brewery’s house yeast strain, descended from a yeast that originally came from Eldridge Pope of Dorchester back in the 1940s.

It pours a dark amber-brown, with a soft, close, just off-white head. The restrained aroma is gently hoppy and roasty with some fruit and a touch of vanilla. The palate is light but creamy and very tasty, delivering maximum flavour from a low gravity in classic mild fashion.

The flavour begins with malted milk notes reminiscent of German dark lagers, soon lifted by tangy hops and blackcurrant and orange notes. A refreshing swallow leads to a gently hoppy finish, with more malt, a subtle blackcurrant fruitiness and fleeting roast and charcoal touches.

So why not make this fine beer even finer by bottle conditioning it? The brewery’s Ben Randall tells me this was discussed, but given the lack of experience, the long distances and the low gravity, was judged too much of a risk. However the brewery is now enthusiastic about its cask beer range, and is planning further forays into the premium bottled ale market, so the possibility isn’t ruled out. And judging by the experience of landlady Cyndi, it’s always worth asking.

Read more about this beer at

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>