Earlier this summer I received a surprise request from a friend at Anchor Brewing. They were looking for their first guest blogger to write a post about a new beer called Mark’s Mild, which is part of their limited edition Zymaster Series. Anchor has a tremendous history and Steam was one of the first craft beers I enjoyed long ago. Needless to say, I was honored and jumped at the chance.
At the outset of the project I was given a rough concept. Tell readers about the origin of Mark’s Mild. The marketing department provided a few details, but also arranged interviews with brewmaster Mark Carpenter and Anchor’s resident historian, Dave Burkhardt. The story turned out to be tremendously rich, filled with intimate personal history and a touch of romanticism.
The resulting piece of writing is some of my best work. It’s called A Return to Maidstone, The Origin of Mark’s Mild. Here’s the introduction:
“In the dark of night well before dawn, a Volkswagen bus travelled past the hedgerows and hop farms of Kent County, England. Mark Carpenter was behind the wheel on holiday, in September of ’69, two years before he joined Anchor Brewing. He was headed to the city of Maidstone, where unbeknownst to him, a single pint of ale would inspire him to create Mark’s Mild over forty years later.”
Check out the entire essay over on Anchor Brewing’s website.
The photo above is of Mark Carpenter pouring from the first keg of Mark’s Mild at the brewery, before my interview.