The picture above is the best of this set. We visited the Mill Street Brewery's new brewpub which has just opened last week in Toronto's Distillery District and were very impressed, first of all with the facility - one of the nicest laid out bars I have been in. It was pretty dark so the photos are not the best but hopefully they will give you a sense of the place. I didn't want to go all flashbulb on the place as I was pretending to be a reviewer, smelling the bun for hints of fennel, that sort of thing.
I had my first Cobblestone Stout. Stouts are fairly few and far between in Ontario craft brewing - unlike, say, Maine which is more stout nutty than anywhere else I know. It was not overly roasty but dry with subdued balanced, mint hops. More than anything it was rich and creamy with a tang to the yeast. A really good more-ish stout. I also had their IPA which I found very close to my recollection of their bottled Tankhouse Ale - except that was another tap on offer. It was great without being excessively hopped, boozed or a malty bomb. A reasonable pale ale that should win converts. But interesting to note one Bar Toweller thought the Octoberfest also was close to Tankhouse. Here are BAer reviews of Mill Street's brews.
For eats, we had standard pub fare: a BBQ bacon burger, nachos and french onion soup. All were solid. The coleslaw was particularly good especially as there was a decent pile of it. One hint. If you are a brew pub, do not remove the list of beers from the table after you have taken order for food. People are there to gawk at the beer list and daydream about every one of them. Not too expensive but not real cheap as all in it was 58 bucks with my moderately generous I-used-to-wait-tables-too tip. Reasonable for Toronto.
Mill Street is taking on a senior role in the Ontario craft brewing industry with getting three of their beers (stock, coffee porter and organic lager) in most LCBOs and now opening a flagship tasting room that shows off maybe ten more of their line. Not all beers are on tap yet as I learned when I wasked for an ESB and then their kriek. But that'll come and, more than anything, the brewpub is a show of the sort of confidence in financial backing that has been lacking in Ontario since the days of the upstarts Upper Canada and its since swallowed swallower Sleemans. It speaks to an entrepreneur's trust that a market for good local beer exists. There is also a retail shop which you can see in that last bad photo above (though glass this time) with both beer to take away and other swag.