Milk stout (also called sweet stout, mellow stout, or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Lactose can not be fermented by brewers' yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and the residue adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Mackeson still bears on its label the milk churn that has been its trademark since it was first brewed in 1907.
The beer was originally brewed in Hythe, Kent, by Mackeson's Brewery in 1907. Whitbread acquired the brand in the 1929 and gave it national distribution, eventually turning it into the market leader for milk stout. Brewing discontinued after 1968 at the Hythe plant. The beer was then brewed at the Exchange Brewery in Sheffield. When that was closed in 1993, Whitbread moved production to their Castle Eden and Samlesbury plants. From May 1999, production was contracted out to Young's Brewery of Wandsworth. Whitbread was purchased in 2001 by InBev. Production was then moved to Cameron's Brewery of Hartlepool before moving to Hydes Brewery in Manchester until March 2012.
For some years now, Mackeson has been a 'ghost brand' in the UK - still produced and sold but without advertising or promotion.
In 2012 its ABV was lowered from 3% to 2.8% in order to qualify for duty relief. It is available in 330ml cans and 275ml bottles.
A 4.9% XXX version is brewed by Carib Brewery in Trinidad for the local market where it is targeted at young adult males with the advertising slogan, "Take it to the Max". The Trinidadian version is a popular Hong Kong import, and is among the top twenty highest selling beers there, selling over 5,000 hectolitres a year.
A 5% ABV version called Mackeson XXX was formerly brewed for the American market. It was brewed in Cincinnati, Ohio by Hudepohl-Schoenling. The brewery is no longer in business, and this stout is no longer brewed in the U.S.
- Michael Jackson's beer companion ... - Google Books. books.google.com. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
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- Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson's Beer Companion, p 186. Running Press, 1997, ISBN 0762402016. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- "Carib Brewery Ltd - Mackeson". www.caribbeer.com. Retrieved 2010-08-03.[dead link]
- Euromonitor, 2011
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