Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mill Street Brew Pub: Toronto, ON

Mill Street brewery has done what every small brewery in Ontario hopes to achieve as they have just expanded their operation in order to meet demand nation wide. Brew master Michael Duggan (no longer with the company)along with Jeffery Cooper and Steve Abrams opened the doors to Mill Street back in 2002 making them the first commercial brewery to open in East Toronto in more than 100 years. Located in a beautiful spot and tourist destination, the Mill Street brewery occupies a building in the Distillery District. Since gaining Canada's acceptance as a reputable brewery, Mill Street had to expand and thus moved their brewing operation to a warehouse outside of Toronto. Instead of letting go of their great spot in the distillery district, the company decided to renovate and create the "Mill Street Brew Pub".

Walking into through the front door you'll notice the retail store on your left. Here you'll find many of Mill Street beer products in six packs, singles and growlers. Along the back wall you can purchase t-shirts, sweaters, hats and other apparel all emblazed with Mill Street's logo.

Walking back out of the retail store, you immediately enter the huge brewpub. To your right you will notice the large glass walls encasing several vats, cooling tanks and fermenters that are in the middle of producing beer that will be served at the pub. They were actually in the middle of brewing their fruit beer and I was fortunate enough to sample some that was being kegged. Mill Street has 11 of their beer's available for the public to choose from which was a surprise to me as I never knew they brewed that many.

Beers available:
Award winning Tankhouse Ale
Stock Ale
Award Winning Coffee Porter
Wit Beer
Cobblestone Stout
Extra Special Bitter - which at the time was available in cask
Mill Street Pilsner
Organic Lager
Raspberry Fruit Beer
Helles Bock
India Pale Ale (wish it was in bottles

The Layout of the brewpub: There is a huge front patio that has to sit more than 100 people and also probably used for special events. The dining area is exposed, wide open, high ceilings with rustic wooden beams from the original building and the area is capable of seating hundreds. Mill Street beer posters, brewing artifacts and tools are scattered throughout the pub on walls and in cases. There is a fireplace near one of the exits, but I assume it is a gas fireplace as opposed to a wood burning one. There is a very attractive bar located in front of the brewing equipment that also serves some good single malts. Shakira and other pop music plays loudly in the background which I don't like to much. First I don't like Shakira and secondly it makes it hard to carry on a conversation.

Our server was great. She had answers for all of my questions and never hesitated to bring me more samples. She helped explain the history of the brewery/brewpub which was very nice and helpful. My fiance and I split the beef nachos which were excellent and filling. The Tankhouse Ale complemented them very nicely.

In all, it is a great place for tourists to visit and for those that appreciate great craft beer. Although it doesn't really fit into my definition of a pub, due to the sheer size of the place, I will be going back for a full meal and I might as well have a few pints while I'm there.

55 Mill Street Building 63, Toronto, ON
416 681-0338



Anonymous said...

Nice informative post Troy. Mill Street actually does some distribution through the NSLC, unfortunately not all their beers, but I did get to try the Tankhouse Ale at the Seaport Beer Fest... and I have to say I really enjoyed it. When I noticed they had a booth at the fest I was pretty excited to try their coffee porter, but apparently that isn't one of the beers they offer through NSLC. How's the porter? and their IPA for that matter?

On a related note, Garrison launched an Imperial Pale Ale (unfiltered and filtered versions) at the beer fest... 63 IBUs on the filtered and the unfiltered is slightly stronger. Too bitter for the general public in my opinion, but after a few trips back to the booth that night, the unfiltered started to grow on me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Troy!

Thanks for the great write up! God Bless Tankhouse indeed!!!
Sorry I couldn't make it to the Golden Tap Awards. Sounds like Joel did us proud though!

Good luck with the blog!

Steve Abrams
Mill Street Brewery

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