Thunder Volcano

Boundless enthusiasm for something stupid

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Pub Review: Milly’s Tavern

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Almost nothing about Millie’s Tavern says “this place is going to brew good beer.”  It advertises itself as a nightclub/brewery or something like that, and that usually means the brewery is little more than a novelty add-on and they give at most half a shit about the beer quality.  But I’ve been wrong before, and since there ain’t a lot else along these lines in south-central New Hampshire, I decided to give it a go.  Stepping into the basement bar, which had a feel that spoke much more closely to “dingy honky-tonk” than “restaurant and/or nightclub”, I became ever-more convinced that this place would suck.  Or, at least, that the beer would be mediocre and the food would make my drive home really uncomfortable.

I was right.  The End.

No seriously, I’m really glad I went there.  Their porter, one of the two beers I use as my litmus test at unproven breweries, managed to disappear from the glass quickly enough that it almost escaped my notice.  The second pint was, as it always is, a minor dilemma.  If I’m to be scientific about it, I go with IPA since that’s my other Litmus Test Beer.  But my gut always tells me to try something different and/or weird, since that’s where brewers get to go outside the limits of the Everyday Beers (which are often Set in Stone by The Suits) and do as they please.  They had a couple lambics on the menu, which is kind of a double-whammy, since I tend to be really skeptical of American beers bearing the label “lambic.”  In other words, I had to know.  And it was good.  Not really within the confines of “lambic,” but it was a decent sour wheat ale, except for the noticeable-but-not-overpowering taste of the fake blueberry flavoring they used (I hate fake blueberry, and I still liked this beer).

I got the chance to talk with the brewer for a little while, so I lingered over an IPA or an APA (some hoppy pale beer, I can’t remember.  It was also good).  He seemed pretty stoked on the place, and gung-ho on beer in general, which is really all you can ask for in a brewer.  Though he wasn’t nearly as sold on the lambic as I was.  I think I lost a little respect from him for thinking it was good.

All in all, I would recommend a stop by if you for some reason happen to be near Manchester, New Hampshire.

Oh, and I wasn’t really hungry when I showed up, but their chili was some of the best I’ve had in a brewpub for a while now (it’s sort of a secondary mission of mine to find a brewpub that has decent chili).

Written by Baron Volcano

09/28/2011 at 10:44 pm