Northern brewer Daniel Thwaites is celebrating a remarkable 90% uplift in sales after deciding to change the name of its traditional mild.
The decision to ditch Dark Mild in favour of Nutty Black appears to have rescued the drink from near oblivion. Thwaites says the sales surge has come despite the beer retaining the same recipe and 3.3% abv strength.
"Sales of mild were struggling and the brand was in danger of disappearing, which led to us deciding to re-position.
"But the new name has struck a chord with drinkers and sales have motored along since we made the change last May," revealed sales director Brian Jenkins.
"Over the five months volumes have increased by 90% although this has come from a very low base," he added.
Beer writer Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide, is sad to see the name mild disappear, but says brewers cannot live in the past.
"It's a great drink, but the name mild does conjure up something of an image problem. The success of Nutty Black, however, proves there is still a lot of mileage left in dark beers," he said.
Thwaites is the second Lancashire brewer to taste success after re-naming mild in its portfolio. In 2000 Moorhouse's of Burnley phased out mild in favour of Black Cat, which went on to win Campaign for Real Ale's Champion Beer of Britain award in the same year. Brewery boss David Grant says sales of Black Cat have increased by about 400% since the name change.