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Milly's Tavern / Stark Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Milly's Tavern / Stark Brewing CompanyMilly's Tavern / Stark Brewing Company
BA SCORE
87
very good

47 Ratings
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.57%
Active Beers: 27
Beer Ratings: 173
Beer Avg: 3.63
Taps: 15
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

500 North Commercial St
Manchester, New Hampshire, 03101-1151
United States
phone: (603) 625-4444

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
On *Firkin Fridays*, we will be tapping a new cask ale which will be available throughout the weekend until it's all gone. Depending on production and consumption, a new cask will be tapped every Friday or other Friday. Look for Firkin Friday details on our website and in our email newsletter.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jamespeissner
4.7/5  rDev +23%

Great selction of beerfrom a pumpkin (still) it was awesome! to a lambic (great for style) the Scotch Ale was right on and the Double IPA was really really good. the service was good and the food was great. Had the Ribs. Probably the best ribs I have ever had. the sweet potatoe fries were awesome also. I highly recommend this place if you like micro beers. Another thing I liked they don't sell bottled beer.

jamespeissner, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of DSmith234
4.68/5  rDev +22.5%

DSmith234, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of DrinknFish
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%

I stopped by Milly's on my way up north. I have wanted to go there since trying their beers at the extreme beer fest back in 2007, but was never able to find it, then again I didn't look to hard. This time I took my usual back roads but the ramp onto the highway was closed and there it was on the way to the next onramp. This place is great; it has that old dive bar feel, but with some of the best beer I have tasted. I ordered the TNT barley wine and was more than impressed. This beer is one of the best barley wines I have ever had, it was very full flavored and you could tell it was aged in a whisky barrel. They served it in the right glass and at the right temperature, which topped it off. The bartender while at times disappeared was a very interesting fellow and knew the beers pretty well, once we got talking beer he gave me small samples of just about every beer on tap. They were all good, but Tasha's Red Tail Ale, from the cask was my favorite. The food was ok, your typical bar food. We missed the happy hour by a few minutes, but this place is still a great bargain. I think the bartender was telling me that they always have a $1 draft of one of their beers, which for the quality of beer you are getting is unheard of. Now that I know how to get there, I think I will be stopping by every time head up north. Next time though I think I will be taking a growler of the barley wine home.

DrinknFish, May 13, 2008
Photo of stalefish666
4.44/5  rDev +16.2%

We were on our way north from RI through New Hampshire and stopped in at Milly's in Manchester. The pub was in the basement of the building giving it a dark but warming feeling. It was a Thursday afternoon and really quiet down there which was nice. The brewing equipment was set up directly behind the bar. They had a great selection on tap with about ten brews and three or four seasonals. The bartender was incredibly accommodating. We were able to make up a couple different sample racks and she let us try the seasonal taps on the side. Mike, the head brewer, came over to greet us after we expressed our interest in his beers and explained we were on a beer tour of NH. He really took the time to talk about the beers and the recipes and drew us a map of some other cool places to check out. We favored the Milly's Oatmeal Stout, the Manch Vega IPA and the 7.7% Hopnoxious. The Hopnoxious is a great choice for hopheads! We didn't have food but the rack of ribs looked really tasty. I can't wait to go back to enjoy their fine elixirs. Thanks Mike!

stalefish666, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of beerjournl
4.44/5  rDev +16.2%

Came back on the way to the airport to go home, it is Friday afternoon and the place is getting busy. Even better than before! Had more of the special brews they had on tap including the Dubbel Secret Probation and the Death March Stout. Both were excellent. This place has some of the best beer on this week-long trip! Had the Brewery Burger and it was good, my buddy had the sampler of some sort and it was average. Great beer, good food, excellent atmosphere except for the damn smokers! We will return!

Stopped here straight from landing at the Manchester airport on a Sunday afternoon. Walking down into the basement that is the bar it was like others have said, a mix of dive-bar and brewpub. It really has character in a good way. Obviously not a corporate chain and my kind of place to hang out. The only people there were at the bar, and it was kind of full. The bartenders were attentive but didn't have a great knowledge of the beer, just adequate. They did hunt me down some bottles of their special offerings that I'll be bringing home to Florida.

So far this place has had some of the best beer of my trip, on par with The Tap in Havehill which I also reviewed recently. If you are looking for a great dining experience this is probably not your place, but they do have a good selection of pub food. We didn't order any food but looked over the menu for a while.

The beer selections really show that the brewmaster is dedicated to the craft, and the taste shows that dedication. I sampled the Manch-Vegas IPA, and the Evil Eye. Both were excellent. I wish I had more time to spend going through the offerings, but I will definitely try to stop here before my flight home just for the beers.

beerjournl, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of WoodBrew
4.43/5  rDev +16%

Milly's is located under the Notre Dame bridge in Manchester, New Hampshire. The stairs leading down give it a "Cheers" sort of feel. The tavern is pretty large in a nice L shape. There is a dance floor at one end for the "L" and billards at the other end. In the midde is the nectar of the Gods!!! The beer on tap is decent and there are plenty of options....I was dissappointed that the IPA was out...but they did have a tasty Imperial IPA...as well as a seasonal Hopalicious. They have a cask condition beer available at all times...so I have been told. The service was great....Shout out to my girl....Autumn Rose....HEY!!!! She did not let me keave until I tried them all! The food....at least what I had was great! The chili with homemade nachos is excellent.

WoodBrew, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of adowney523
4.24/5  rDev +11%

I tried this place on the night some metal bands were playing. Maybe it was the vibe from the music, but I would have to describe the atmosphere as very dark and grungy. The place has the air of a dark basement.

They had eleven beers on tap including three Belgian-style ales. All the beers I tasted seemed to be of good quality.

Service was excellent. I was always offered another beer before my previous beer was finished.

They appear to have some great deals on certain nights. $3.25 for a pint is about as good as it gets for good craft beer.

I recommend this place for good beer and good deals. Don't let the grungy environment deter you.

adowney523, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of BuckSpin
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%

I stopped here while on my way to the airport. Milly's is like a time machine. Walk inside and it might as well be 1970. Smoke is thick. There is a spot for a band to set up. Band bumper stickers cover the outside windows. Its below street level, a precussor to the retro "industrial" look in that its REALLY what it looks like - industrial. They just didn't spend $$$ on making it look that way.

In short I half expected to see my idol Tony Bourdain sitting there, cigarette in mouth, pint in hand, waiting to see a Ramones tribute band. Hey, a guy can dream!

The brewing units are clearly visible from the bar, which wraps around the lower section. Raised tables accent the empties waiting to go back to the distributor. Its noisy, loud even, an odd mix of blue collar and well to do white collar - which is immediately a sure bet that THIS is a good place to be.

The beer? They are &^%$#@! serious about their beer. Many flagships, seasonals, limiteds and some really limited they do bottle BUT you can't take it with you....they will open the bottle for you to enjoy there. Had the Evil Eye (Saison) that was awesome, excellent. Bo's Scotch Ale was great, and the General John Stark Dark Porter was good as well. The best part?

ALL PINTS ARE JUST $1.OO DURING HAPPY HOUR!! Are you kidding me? Where or when do you see any brewpub just give away beer like that? I was ready to have my mail forwarded!! And the appetizers are 1/2 price as well during the same time.

I had a Bruschetta that was very good, and of course got my ubiquitous Reuben & fries. I am glad to report they don't scrimp on the corned beef, and it was shaved, a "whunk" of corned beef, nof sliced deli meat.

Service was very good, friendly, loud. The barmaids flirt, the guys BS. The owners get their hands dirty right behind the bar.

There are very, very, very few places like Milly's. Not for everyone, but if you ever wandered how a barrel aged barleywine might have tasted back in the days of no such thing as non-smoking, etc. check it out. And bring my mail back with you!!

BuckSpin, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of ILiveOffHops
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%

I just visited Milly's last night (Wednesday night) with a few friends, one visiting from San Diego. Milly's is located in an old mill down by the river in Manchester. The reason we went to Milly's tonight is because we were informed it was the only place in Manch with much of anything going on. $6 cover, but $1 draft beers and well drinks. If you're having a few or more beers then it is definitely worth it. I'll also have to check out happy hour, supposedly $1 drinks and 1/2 price appetizers.

Anyway, Wednesday night was a dance party essentially. Not my scene, but we found some seats down the end of the bar away from the bad dance music. Once we were situated in our spot the night became much better. The bartenders were attentive to us all night, even though they were serving over a hundred people. They were even interested in what we thought of the beers. The quality of the beer itself was great, very fresh. However they served the beer in a plastic cup! I was taken aback. I know that it was a cheap beer night, but even still at a brewery I expected more. With that said, the beers were very good. I had the Manch-Vegas IPA, the Hopnoxious Double IPA, the Evil Eye Saison and a sip of the Porter, the Alter Ego Alt and the Hefeweizen. I will leave the details of the brews for their own reviews. My advice is to try the Hopnoxious IPA and the Evil Eye.

I will be visiting Milly's again, next time I will go during happy hour or an off night at least.

***

My last review was unfair. I reviewed Milly's on a bad night, Wednesday, college night.

Tonight I visited for happy hour (M-F 4-7 PM 1/2 price apps and $1 drafts!). It was pretty quiet with just a few minute wait to get a beer. Started with the 4th Anniversary, a bittter ale.

I also had the tasty combo platter- mozarella sticks, chicken tenders, potato skins. Food was quick and hot. Portions aren't huge, but the food is prepared with care. Service was good. I followed food up with General Stark's and the Oatmeal Stout. Both VERY good.

The atmosphere is fairly "divey" in that it is dark and smokey, in a very rustic setting- old wooden tables, bars, and bar stools. Definitely not the place for a date, but a damn good bar for a cigar! ... or just a few beers.

ILiveOffHops, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%

This is my kind of bar. Nice, wide open, with a ton of bar space. I was here on a Thursday night, so I don't know how crowded it gets on the weekends, but the atmosphere was great. You can see all the brewing equipment when you approach the bar. When I went in they had at least 15 beers on tap, so selection is definitely a plus. The staff was friendly enough, but they seemed more tuned up as normal city bar staff versus beer aficianados. I could be wrong, as I didn't probe too deep, but that was how it seemed. I didn't inquire about any food, so I can't comment on any of that. The beer was good, and the atmosphere was good, so I will be returning. Good spot in Manchester.

GarthDanielson, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%

On a rainy Wednesday afternoon, with maybe six patrons, this place looks pretty shabby. I bet there's more atmosphere on a busy night. My wife and I sat at the bar and watched the brewer working. In this huge place, the brewing equipment is in the center, with the bar and tables around it. We enjoyed watching and conversing with the brewer.

The beers, I think, are what people go to Milly's for. It's certainly not the food, which is pub food at its most ordinary. There are eight beers that are always on tap and, when we were there, seven specialty beers. The specialty beers included Li'l Ivan Extra Stout, Illicit Affair (a lambic), Bold Horizons (a Berliner weiss), Hoplicious (an APA), Ploughman's Cherry Porter, Heidelberg Hefe, and an ESB. The Hoplicious was quite good, and my wife enjoyed the hefe. I had a small taste of Bold Horizons, and liked that as well.

We had excellent service, and I think that's because the bartender really enjoys her work, not that there were so few people in the place.

A good place to visit. Ignore the ambience and focus on the beer.

lordofthewiens, May 30, 2009
Photo of gixxerman
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%

Hmm, where do I start. first of all this place is in the basement level of what I belive was once an old mill or something. I was there at 4:30 for the $1 a beer happy hour Mon-Fri 4-7). There was a very mixed crowd, from suits, to laborers, and a few college kids. Definitely a come as you are type of atmosphere. It is a bit smokey, so if you are bothered by smoke be forwarned. The place is big enough, though, that you should be able to find a not-so-smokey spot somewhere. The crowd was very friendly and conversation was easy to find.

Oh, the beer. Well ,I tried the oatmeal stout, pumpkin ale and evil eye. None disappopinted, and the price is right on. I dare you to try and find a better beer value. They have the eight staples, plus the 4 seasonal. The seasonal selection when I was there was the Evil Eye, punpkin ale, hopnoxious, and blueberry ale - this one will set you back $2.

Ok, the food - not so good. Not terrible, sort of typical pub grub, but I don't think I would revisit this place for the food, just the beer. I would stop before of after dinner for a few.

The service was top notch, the barmaid was very pleasant and attentive, but not overbearing. The kind of service you usually appreciate, but is sometimes hard to find. She was very knowledgeable about the beer and answered any question I threw at her.

Overall, a great cheap place to go, spend under $10 and drink some great beer, in a very relaxed atmosphere and good conversation. If I am ever back in Manchester, I will be sure to stop back.

gixxerman, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of slander
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

Too many miles to cover and too little time to take have taken in everything yesterday, but if you'd seen the crazy Trouble map; pinned locations, hours of operation, directions to everywhere from everywhere, etc., you'd know that it was all planned out quite efficiently. That's how we roll, it's true. Soon we'd start heading back west through Vermont and out to Albany but it's early yet. We'd seen what we wanted to see thus far except for Milly's, which as an early opener, would serve as an acceptable backtracker for lunch...

Milly's is not an old street corner tavern but rather a large cavernous basement brewpub in one of the many old brick buildings in an industrial cluster on the Merrimack River. There's an elevated area for bands just off to one side of the entrance, and a small attached coffee shop to the other side. Down the stairs to the main seating area; 8 tables, a couple of raised bar tables and a gaming corner (Phil's Golf Game 2007 Live and a Simpson's pinball machine). Just beyond that, a large "L" shaped faux marble formica topped bar seating 2 dozen. The barback is a cupboard counter with a piece above holding glassware & tiered booze. A similar unit around the bend with a few towers of one or two taps each, and then a tower of 8 taps at opposite ends of the bar. Behind the bar, 2 rows of fermenters and a copper mash tun. The standard tap selections are listed on a slat chain board and the seasonals on a dry erase board. 3 rows of drop chain link poles hold mug club mugs above and growlers dangle all down the line. A single mounted TV on the corner post. An adjacent bar counter off the front seats 10 on each side of it, and more on the near wall and down around the bend running the far wall towards the rear, where sits a pair of small pool tables and seating in a raised space. A non smoking party room sits separate back there, with a 12 seat marble topped bar, lots of brick and strange seemingly misplaced pillars, 8 tables, nice space.

Ordered lunch; she burgered, and I had a cup of chicken noodle soup and the chicken stir fry, both were good.

We took in all 12 beers on 2 samplers of 6, served in small boxes with rope handles. The Fisher Cat Ale was pale, light, crisp; the Mt Uncanoonuc Golden Cream Ale, a slight hop bitterness and a little sweet; the Amoskeag Harvest Ale, a sweet aroma, golden, slight malt flavor; Tashas Red Tail Ale, copper colored, sweet maltiness, toffee & fruitness; the General John Stark Dark Porter, full bodied, roasty, chocolatey, quite nice; Milly's Oatmeal Stout, sturdy, sweet, dry & rich; the Manch Vegas IPA, Cascade, nice hoppiness; Bo's Scotch Ale, a malt bomb, al-co-hol, and the 4 seasonals, the Canterbury Ale, strange aroma, ick bitterness, may be past it's time; the Hefeweizen, unfiltered, banana, clove and some vanilla; the Innocent Blonde, a nice Belgian golden, fruity, sweet candy, a nice beer; and the Marathon Mild, dark, a slight roastiness, and some maltiness.
And the wildcard... a bottle of the limited release Napoleon's Waterloo, a wild ale with Brettanomyces, golden, tart, slight carbonation. I liked the General John Stark Dark Porter & Innocent Blonde the best.

Then brewer Mike Roy came out and talked with us for a while, that was cool. Some nice beers, here, and a good stop in the opposite direction from where we need to be, where we need to be getting on to.

slander, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of Seumas
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

How do you fairly evaluate a place that comes across as having a dual personality on each of the criteria used to evaluate it (except value)?

The atmosphere of the place rates as somewhere between average and good as a brewpub, but somewhere between good and exceptional as a tavern.

The brewers are good, but the cater to both the micro afficionado and the Spud-drinker. Read the descriptions, as well as the headings, in the beer menu before you order, or you may be disappointed.

The service was average, the evening I was there. But the willingness of the wait staff was exceptional.

The selection of brews is pretty impressive, even with the proviso expressed when describing quality.

The food was on the average side of good, but the effort the staff took to get me what I wanted definitely raised this rating.

Seumas, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of Zoh
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

I go to school at the sattelite campus of UNH which is right next door to the building that Milly's is in, so I am there about once a week. The greatest thing about Milly's is the happy hour; $1 drafts (of excellent beer) and half-price appetizers from 4pm-7pm Monday through Friday.

The atmosphere is hard to pin down. Kind of warehouse-like with it's huge open spaces, but also historic since the pub is in a century old mill building. The bar wraps around the fermenters and has rooms for at least three dozen people. There are also a dozen or so tables on the floor in front of the stage. Pool tables are in the back and there are several tvs around the bar. Unfortuately the decor is somewhat run down, with old tables, chairs, and barstools that could stand to be replaced. Not a problem for me and my buddies, but this never sits well with the wives. The bar can also get pretty smoky, again not a problem for me, but beware of smell-sensitive wives.

Service is usually decent, but not always very quick. It is however, uniformly friendly in my experience.

Beer selection is always excellent with eight standard brews and four rotating seasonals or whatever head brewer Mike has cooked up recently. The standards are a porter, oatmeal stout, IPA, red ale, cream ale, and a few others. Friday is also cask day. This is usually one of their own beer that has been cask conditioned, but occasionally a small batch that that has been casked.

Food is nothing too special. Most of the appetizers are microwaved or deep-fried pub fare. One exception is the sausages that come from a local supplier and are marinated in the pub's Red Tail Ale. Sandwiches are always good and fresh made, but overall the reason to go to Milly's is the beer, not the food.

Since I rarley go to Milly's outside of happy hour, the value for me is excellent. A couple of pints and an appetizer for less than $8 is always a good deal in my book. Even outside of happy hour though, beer is well-priced and food is reasonable.

One of my favorite places in New Hampshire and I encourage all New England BAs to check it out!

Zoh, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of superdudeo
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%

I have trouble believing that I lived only a fifteen minute walk away but I never have been to this place. Great beer selection. All homemade and really they go out of their way to make good homebrew. The atmosphere isn't much to talk about. It's really open, kind of awkward and the barstools are a little uncomfortable. Also the bartender was bitching about his baseball league and it took me a while to put in my order. Maybe I shouldn't be so picky. Anyways, they have a kickass happy hour. My subsequent trips were great, this is without a doubt a better beer bar than Strangebrew up the road (which doesnt have a happy hour like they do.) Cheap beer from 4-7 every day of the week. Where do you get that?
If you want cheap beer, good beer, and creative beer this is the place in Manchester for you. Kind of hard to find, but isn't that the case for all the good bars?

superdudeo, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%

Milly's is in the lower level of a brewpub/coffee house/night club establishment. A wierd combination, but very good nonetheless.

The interior is very wide open with brick walls and tables scattered across what must become the dance floor when the place is in nightclub mode. The waitress promptly attended to the table and took beer orders which were brought promptly and in the proper glasswear and presentation.

The food selection was fairly typical pub grub featuring burgers, sandwiches, melts, and wrap-ups. The food took quite a long time but was told this was because they were filling a 100+ burger catering order and a lot of the grill space was being used for this. Still, the food was brought out hot and tasted great. Some nachos were also supplied on the house to make up for the wait.

The beer selection had 12 to choose from, 5 of which were seasonal selections. A very varied selection and something to pair with just about anything you order.

Value is very good with it pretty easy to get two beers and lunch for around 15 bucks. A good stop to hit in Manchester and one ill be back to when in the area.

Sycodrummer, Nov 30, 2005
Photo of akorsak
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%

En route to The Wedding.

Atmosphere: Milly's is in the basement of an office complex, hidden alongside a cheesecake shop. If you're coming from the lower lot, you'd be inclined to miss the entrance and be forced to double back. Once inside and down a short flight of stairs, the dining area and bar await. Tables first followed by the bar and more tables. The layout is rather large, plenty of space. A stage, immediately on entrance, hosts music at night. The bar covers at least 90 degrees and has taps in multiple areas.

Quality: The whole package was nice. Food and drinks were good; Dan the brewer and I had a chance to chat (he learned the ropes at Market Cross in Carlisle, PA). The late lunch resulted in an empty restaurant, perfect for our monsters.

Service: Service was prompt, aided by the low population. As more people trickled in, things slowed down but not considerably.

Selection: Eight to ten beers on tap, including a few cask offerings. The oatmeal stout is a winner, as is the foreign extra stout. The Scotch ale, I was not so keen on. I left with a growler of a mild porter. An excellect selection.

Food: Sandwiches and entrees, including grub for kiddies. I had the buffalo chicken wrap, serviceable. There are enough options to keep most people happy.

akorsak, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%

I have now (26FEB04) added a food review to my original review below. Dined here last night prior to a Monarchs game w/Alewife and my Daughters. All dug a combo platter appetizer of mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers and potato skins. Alewife and I dug our Bo's Burgers, and the girls wolfed their chicken finger platters. Typical pub-grub, yes, but plentiful and tasty. We don't go for any fancy fru-fru stuff. And, apps are 1/2 price from 4-7P Monday thru Friday (as well as $1.00 pints!!! Except the Bo's Scotch Ale, at 8% abv, was a whopping $2.00 per pint!!). Service was good, overall, but the place smells smoky even when few smokers are present. Only bummer.

overall: 4.08
atmosphere: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

*** ***

(Original review of 21APR02): Milly's is located on the site of the former Stark Mill Brewery, which closed in late 2001. Same head-brewer running the show. Had 9 biers on tap yesterday, with a pilsner-type lager, IPA, Scotch ale, porter and stout among them. IPA and Scotch were both quite good; and samples of the others were similarly decent. Service good, but we were there at an off-peak time. Will have to see how they are at busy times... Pints were $3.25ea, except the Scotch Ale (8%abv), at $5.00/pint. They do 6- or 8-bier samplers, too. Prosit!

8

Bierman9, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%

Tucked away at 500 Commercial St. near downtown Manchester, NH, almost directly under the Bridge St. overpass, Milly's Tavern is the year old reincarnation (opened January 2002) of the former Stark Mill Brewery. The owner is the same, but the staff, including brewer/manager Art Maynard, is all new.

The brewpub occupies part of a first floor/basement of a mill building near the Merrimack River with parking in the rear. Being partly underground, there are not a lot of windows. Near the entrance is a stage used for live musical acts.

The bar is L-shaped, with the brewing kettles right behind the bar, in full view. The bar is formica topped, and surrounded by square-shaped, fabric-upholstered stools. There are a few televisions around the pub, including a big screen, projection TV in the stage area. The walls are exposed brick and the ceiling is painted but unfinished.

They now have 8 of their beers on tap regularly, with up to 3 more. They offer 6- and 8-beer samplers, but they are very generous with free samples. The bar serves several bottled beers and standard liquors. They also have a Mug Club.

The interior of this brewpub is not overly fancy, but the staff (and some customers) are very friendly, in the true spirit of a Pub. They seem genuinely interested in hearing their customers' comments, and seem to really want to make this place a success.

As for the 11 beers on tap, I have reviewed them elsewhere, but in general they were good to very good. I particularly liked the Manch-Vegas IPA (apparently named after Manchester's nickname), a very well-hopped, flavorful IPA. I also liked Milly's Oatmeal Stout, and two seasonals: Bo's Scotch Ale and the Pumpkin Ale. The brewer let me sample a new brew, an Espresso Stout, which should be available soon. He seems very willing to experiment with new beers, and he said his goal is to try to cover the gamut of styles. They also make a rootbeer.

The pub offers a fairly typical brewpub menu, and I sampled a blue cheese burger and fries which were very good.

In summary, I was quite pleasantly impressed with Milly's Tavern, and I will definitely be back. I think it is worth the drive from Boston, especially if you are driving north through New Hampshire. The pub is only a mile or so off the Granite St. exit (Exit 5) off I-293 N, which itself is not far from I-93.

http://www.millystavern.com/

UncleJimbo, Feb 17, 2003
Photo of hockeypuck
4/5  rDev +4.7%

hockeypuck, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of FrankLloydMike
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%

Update 06/05/2012:

Milly's became my local haunt when I was home for about a year, maybe a bit more, after the flood that necessitated Milly's much needed and deserved renovation, in March 2010.

The food, service and selection have all remained solid. And I still love the atmosphere here on an early evening when it's more the after-work crowd and less the heavy metal/hip-hop night crowd.

But the beer quality and offerings have been a bit all over the place as of late. I've heard, though I'm not sure that it's true, that they've been through a few different brewers lately. The IPA and the porter especially have remained solid, safe choices, and some of the rotating/seasonal offerings have been quite good. Others, though, have been a letdown.

I'll continue going here for a locally brewed pint, a round of pool and a sandwich in a nice space (assuming there's no band), but I wish Milly's would put more of the focus on the beer and less on the music. I've had great beer here before, and I wish it was a guarantee that I would whenever I'm in.

Old review from March 2010:

Overall: 4.28 | A: 4.0 | Q: 4.5 | S: 4.0 | S: 4.5 | F: 4.0 | $$

What an improvement! Because of a recent flood, Milly's has undergone a much needed and deserved renovation. The space now respects its location in the surprisingly sunny basement of an old mill and the quality of beers brewed behind the bar. Just a few small changes (and a lot of cleaning) have transformed this place from one I avoided despite the good beer to my preferred beer spot when I go home. This, of course, presumes I make it before the bands, which I could still do without, but I'm very happy to say that the tavern is now as nice as the beer it serves.

The beer selection is wonderful with eight (I believe) year-round beers and as many seasonal and rotating taps. At my last visit, I was able to have the very nice Manch Vegas IPA (I'd love to try this on cask), a maibock and an alt. All were excellent, as was the very reasonably priced food. I'd love it if Milly's dropped the music all together (and I could do with a few less TVs), but I'm just so happy to be able to have a solid meal with a great beer in a fine brewpub in Manchester.

Old review from 12-30-2008:

Milly's breaks my heart. The beer brewed on site is consistently excellent, available in a variety of styles and always pretty cheap--not crazy cheap, just pleasantly surprisingly slightly less than one might expect. Yet, it somehow falls short.

The place is in the basement of this gorgeous old mill right by the river, but also a bit far away from any other action downtown and right under an overpass. I think that sums it up pretty well. It could be a grotto to beer, a place where one descends beneath the old streets of the millyard and away from the sounds of the rushing water in the river and the cars overhead to the solace and solitude of fine beer. There's even a hint of this inside, with the brewery tanks faintly visible in an unlit area behind the bar in the middle of the vast, but meandering space. Instead of embracing this setting the way Novares Res in Portland does, however, Milly's feels more like a a sad, old sports bar with lots of shitty music. I guess it comes down to a matter of personal taste in the atmosphere, then, but I just want one good beer bar in Manchester that doesn't need a sign on the door asking you not to show your colors. In a city of over 100k, can't there be one nice place to experience the timelessness of beer without metal music and sticky floors? I wish this was the place.

FrankLloydMike, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%

$2 happy hour pints, a large, cavernous building, the smell of fresh wort and spilled beer...ah, the sensations of youth. I could picture this place as a meat market for the college and creepers crowd. And yes I am envious.

My sister and I arrived at 4PM for $2 pints and half price apps. A fellow sat next to me and handed us pamphlets for a rhino safari.

Service was good, food was good, and the beer was average to good. For a brewpub Milly's has a lot of tap selections (13ish?). There are 2 bars which help spread out patrons. People spread around bars like frogs to a pond.

It's also 10 minutes away from the Manchester airport, which was our real purpose for being in Manchester.

donkeyrunner, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of BillyBrew
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

I really dig this place and wish I appreciated it more when I worked in town.

It took me a few trips to find it, but it is almost under the Bridge Street bridge. Pretty much the basement of an old mill, down a flight into the door and down another half-flight to the bar. A very dark bar even in the afternoon with windows along one side. Very little decoration. A few large, brewery-related paintings of Stark Mill Brewery brews (from before my time). I enjoy how a great brewpub is tucked away in a dark basement, in a dark mill, in a dark city. I hear the nightlife at Milly's is active, but I have never been later the about 7 pm.

I have enjoyed all of thier brews that I have tried, only passing on a few of about ten or 12. They all are extra smooth from extra time spent conditioning. The extra effort is very appreciated. One note is the cream ale, as rare as they are, tasety and smooth.

I have never been there with more than about ten people total, so the service has been great.

The food is limited, but pretty solid and reasonable.

Well worth the effort to find.

Cheers!

BillyBrew, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of johnnnniee
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

2/12/2011
Milly's is weird! I want to say that their is a decent brewpub in town, and sometimes there is. Other times I go here and can't understand why they would serve that to customers. The staff is normally friendly and attentive. The food is usually decent for standard pub fare. The best deal is weekdays between 4 and 7 when appetizers are half price and normal drafts are 1 or 2 dollars. Weekend nights you will normally incur a cover charge and their will be a loud band.

3/4/2007
Milly's is not far from on the way home from work for me. Like some of the previous posters have said this place is in a basement, its dimly lit and hearkens back to a time in my past. The beer makes up for those short comings and then some. They have a good selection of regular brews, and always have more that a couple of seasonals or limited edition brew. Every once in a while you'll get to try one of their cask conditioned brews. Get there between 4 and 7 and the drafts are a buck with half price appetizers. If you want to take some home they will sell you a growler.

johnnnniee, Mar 04, 2007
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Milly's Tavern / Stark Brewing Company in Manchester, NH
87 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.