Milly's Tavern / Stark Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Milly's Tavern / Stark Brewing CompanyMilly's Tavern / Stark Brewing Company
Based on:
34 Beers
264 Hads
Place Score: 87
Reviews: 37
Visits: 53
Avg: 3.8
pDev: n/a
Taps: 15
Bottles: --
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 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Visits: 53
Photo of waughbrew
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Under the bridge street bridge, in the basement of an old mill building. Dark, dirty,and a little smoky. Three main areas - first you walk into a big open space that is where the dancing/djs/bands must happen. Down a few stairs brings you to the dining area with a bunch of tables and a couple of video games. Procede further and you get to the cavernous bar area, with plenty of seating and room to hang out, a TV, a chalkboard with the beers on tap. Right behind the bar is the brewery with all of the tanks out in the open.
My party sat down in the dining section on a Thursday at 5:30PM and waited for 10 minutes. Nothing. Went up to the bar to see if we could get some attention, and it took me 5 minutes to get the bartender's attention. I was practically waving my hand in the guy's face. After ordering some drinks from our new waitress, we waited another 10 minutes. Nothing. The place was almost empty except for the bar, and the waitress had "forgotten" about us! The porter was nice. After waiting 30 more minutes, our appetizer sampler was served. Pretty crappy. Seemed like microwaved frozen food. The IPA was not good. The scotch was decent but not much to my liking. We decided to eat our main meal somewhere else.
This place is definitely a bar and should not try to be a restaurant. Despite the crap service, this strikes me as a good place to hang out with your guy buddies and have a few beers. Might not be a place for the ladies (the two I was with said it was dirty, shady, and not a place they would go to again). With happy hour from 4-7pm m-f including 1/2 price apps and $1 pints, I would go again just for that.

A guy's place to relax and have some beers.

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Photo of jamescain
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

So the reason my score for the atmosphere is low is because of the band that played there the night we went. I'm sure on a night that they are not there it has a nice environment. Apparently when we were the the original band canceled and they had to find a replacement act. Instead of just not having a bad they chose (I would hope with out prior knowledge) some screamo band. Well lets just say that is not the best music to drink to. In typical screamo fashion their music was too loud to hear the conversations of others next to you. The waiter was nice and she understood that we were not into the show and joked with us about them. Their beer was good from what I had, they had a lot of stuff that was out so it was a little disappointing. Their selection was relatively diverse. I believe the only food that I had was french fries, which were good, but it is hard to mess them up. If it wasn't for the band I would probably go back, but I didn't appreciate having to pay a $10 cover without any knowledge of who was going to be playing. If they had told me I would have come back another time.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Located in the basement of an old mill, Milly's a bit tough to find if you're not familiar with the area.

Once inside, the establishment itself is quite spacious: small stage immediately on your right, a dining area in front of you that gives way to a wrap around bar with additional seating and a lounge area in the back. I'm told that the scene usually hosts metal bands and local DJ's; not quite my scene, but luckily there was no act the evening I visited.

The beer list boasted approximately 8 regular offerings, and 4 seasonals; however, a total of 5 brews were kicked. Taps that were pouring during my visit included: Pumpkin, Manchester Mild, Lil' Ivan's Foreign Extra Stout, Mybock Yourbock, Bo's Scotch Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Fisher Cat.

The Foreign Stout and Oatmeal Stout were tasty; however, the Scotch Ale was ridiculously over-sweetened (as our waitress warned) and the Pumpkin was standard for the style.

Although Milly's was 'unusually' crowded for a Tuesday night, there was really no excuse for the ridiculously slow service, not to mention how spacey the waitress was.

As for the food, there's really not much to say besides the fact that the black & blue burger was basically frozen and re-heated in the microwave.

Don't get me wrong, fresh beer is fresh beer and I wouldn't complain if I lived in the Manchester area considering how limited the options are; however, this is not a place to go out of your way to check out.

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Photo of ecoboy
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

From Stark Mills (whose coasters they still use) to Milly's I have seen evidence of slippage in several facets of this location's pub. It makes me a touch sad because, like Charlie Brown's Xmas tree "it's not a bad little [pub,] it just needs a little love."

The space is enticing in a nice New England mill way. Visible beams and ducts. But on a recent Tuesday evening visit, the men's bathroom looked really worn, my stool had a tear in the cusion, dead bugs lay unswept up on the windowsill. It's got a cigarette aroma even with the door open for fresh air. The place needs to be refurbished, bigtime.

The beer is a mixed bag: the scotch was a sweet hammer of a big beer, the IPA was crisp and hoppy. When I gave a friend a taste of my "red tail" he reponded with "that's the worst beer I've ever tasted." Unexpected sour notes dominated this brew.

There was but one cook in the kitchen at 6 p.m. on a weekday. A round of six appetizers took 30 minutes to get to the table. The food is pretty good: fresh chunks of jalepeno on the nachos, rather than canned. Real zing to the buffalo sauce on the fingers. But isn't a place destined to fail if they are unprepared for a party of 7 on a weekday mealtime? Our bartender did her best to guide our taste buds; one friend noting the 8-choice menu, but unable to read it asked if they did a pilsener. She said no, but recommended the commendable cream ale.

Caveat emptor, BA's. Plan ahead (dollar pints at happy hour!!!) and this place may reward you. But I found it a disappointment on my most recent visit.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped in for lunch and a pint while visiting some local contractors today.
Easy enough to find...right downtown near the Civic Center and easily spotted from afar thanks to a large Milly's sign above the pub itself. Milly's is located on the lower level.
Walk in to a fairly dark building with hardwood floors, a large area for bands, etc.. with the PA monitors still there.
A decent sized bar to seat a dozen or more and tables to seat quite a number of parties...a worn look on the tables and chairs as I felt like I was about to drop through my seat at an adjacent table to the bar itself.
Not used to the smoking anymore, but I was able to stay clear of the smoke quite easily with just a handful of drinkers enjoying a smoke on their lunch break.
The bartender was also the waitress and took my order fairly quickly...asked for the bleu cheese burger, but received the bbq/bacon cheeseburger instead in about 15 minutes or so. No biggie, as the beef was awesome and the burger and fries were both piping hot and delicious.
I only enjoyed one beer...the Manch Vegas IPA which was a solid IPA yet served too cold. Probably goes over well with the locals, as every one of them were drinking bud bottles...sad really, because there were at least 10 different craft brews to choose from. A red ale, IPA, porter, scotch ale, barleywine, imperial stout, anniversary ale and a few others I can't recall.
Reasonable prices on the food and the pint was just $3.25...great deals on happy hours with $1 pints from 4-7 I believe.
I asked the waitress if I could get one of the stronger brews to go and asked to speak with the brewer since he is quite active on the site, but she never came back to me with and answer on the growler and never saw Mike...oh well. It's a shame...would have loved to bring home a nice growler of the Impy or Scotch, but I wasn't going to wait around for an answer...had to get back home to work.
A great place to enjoy a few beers and burger if you don't mind the smoke. Not sure I'd make this a place I would take out of town visitors as the service was a bit inadequate, but I'd come by with a handful of BA's and work on depleting the brews.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Milly's Tavern is located in the basement of an old textile mill in Manchester (hence the name). There is no obvious sign outside that they brew their own beer. It has nice brick walls and big old windows, but unfortunately, not much thought was put into the decor. The tables and chairs seem like they came from a rummage sale. Some people might like this, but I think in such a grand old building, it might be nice if it was a little more put together.

We were there early on a Friday night and the crowd was dominated by locals. My wife and I sat at the bar. I ordered a Manch-Vegas IPA and my wife (being pregnant) ordered a root beer. She was told that they were all out of home-brewed root beer. Later, however, we saw another bartender serving the root beer to someone else. I flagged him down and asked him to get one for my wife - he had to go to the fridge in the kitchen to get it, but at least he didn't lie like the first guy. I was pretty disappointed.

The IPA, however, was not disappointing - extremely hoppy and fresh with a ton of grapefruity cascade goodness. The food was pub fare - the menu wasn't extensive, but what they had, they made well. The chili for 4.25 is a huge bowl with fresh jalapenos on top served with chips. It was a great meal for not a lot of money. I was traveling, so I only could sample one beer, but if it is any indication, the rest of them should be pretty good.

We missed the happy hour by about 15 minutes. It was advertised as being from 4-7 Mon-Fri and sounded like a great deal: $1 drafts, 1/2 price appetizers and $2 well drinks (yes, they do have a full liquor license). They also serve a couple bottled macros for those of you with less-enlightened friends. Milly's is a pretty good place to stop for a pint if you are passing through, and with live music on the weekends, would be a pretty good place to hang out if you live in the area.

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Photo of MugOfGoodness
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Happy hour with some co-workers so that means $2 drafts and 1/2 price appetizers (chicken tenders were great) - had the Hopnoxious IPA and a Oatmeal Stout. The IPA was great, very tasty and the Oatmeal was okay, a little too smooth for me - I wanted an Imperial which isn't the fault of the stout. They were out of the Burton which I bet was good and I did have a taste of the Manch-Vegas IPA which was also very good. The crowd was primarily male which was fine, but the women with us felt a little outnumbered. The waitress service was pretty overwhelmed but the nice bartender took great care of us and delivered the goods.

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Photo of BlueHammer
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

My team and I made a trip up to New Hampshire just to visit Milly's. I'd never been and they wanted to take me as I am a pumpkin beer fan and theirs had garnered support from the non-pumpkin beer fans among us.

I'd heard a lot about Milly's and had a vision of what it might look like but I was wrong. It's down near the river in the old mill section of the town. Inside looks like a dive bar but in a sense, that can add to the atmosphere - a no-frills type of place.

While we were there, they were setting up for live music. Evidently, the place turns into something of a night club later on in the night.

Not many people were there to eat, most were sitting at the bar. There was only one waitress working and she seemed a little "out-of-it". She forgot to put in an order for our appetizer. The food was good, but not unforgettable. The beer, was another story. It was superb.

I don't think I'll be driving up to New Hampshire again for a trip to Milly's. However, if I'm in the area I will definitely stop by for a brew.

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Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A bit hard to find for a small city, do not follow the Google maps direction, rather we went one street after West Bridge and then turned South. Place is in a basement and the environment is a lot different than the more social and upscale Strange Brew. But it is a brewpub and they try to fill every tap. A number of very drunk though passive people as well as families here for a late afternoon. Lots of tables, this is primarily a band place. The brewmaster alone knew the beers, its the fifth one inside of a year, but he certainly knew his stuff. I can see him opening his own place sometime. The feature for me was the Hoplicious, like a 1.5X IPA. Guest taps would be a good idea, and perhaps lead to rationalizing the product line. $1 pints happy hour from their regular not high abv. You can't beat that, though the staff was somewhat overwhelmed pouring pints for people having several.

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Photo of albern
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I can't decide whether Milly's Tavern is a decent pub that is respectable, or is this a drinking place where lots of beer gets spilled on the floor on a Friday night. It's hard to tell and it can go either way for me. I've been in here a couple of times, usually on my way back from business trips to Vermont. It's convenient if you are heading down 293 and want a quick stop. The beer is decent, and I've had all of what they offer with their sampler. I've had this a few times now and I think no beer is particularly outstanding. The lighter lagers were particularly underwhelming. The stout and the Scotch Ale were decent. They have very fancy growlers and there is a mailing list to keep you in the know. I think this is the only brew pub in Manchester. There are some breweries nearby. Milly's Tavern is okay, nothing to rave about. The owner is a very friendly guy if you get the chance to meet him.

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Photo of altgeeky1
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Milly's is a brewpub, but can be disappointing if you are expecting a Marthas or Portsmouth Brewery. Ignore everything except the beer... yes the beer is excellent. If your expectations were not mis-set, you will enjoy Milly's for what it is. I am convinced the no smoking law is going to force some needed improvements in the place.

The place is dark, but the bar areas have a cozy feel to it, with heavy dark wood and original mill hardwood flooring. What's notable however is someone thought they could get away with 'parkay' wood squares in the highest traffic area in front of the door, stage, and dining area.

Since the smoking ban, there is less of the death-metal-emo-kid and I have not seen any more of the occasional fat bikers with swastikas (not kidding - this was an element before).

The has always been high staff turnover, and service could be a downer. If your waitress is talking to another table for more than the length of one song (flirting, and not periodically glancing at your table...), it's one of those nights where you have to fetch your own beer. A manager making quick rounds could catch this problem before people complain. Most recently on a Saturday night, our waitress was good.

They could definitely use a menu review. Most selections involve fat or grease, although I've had an excellent cold Mediterranean platter, Greek stuffed grape leaves, and perfect salads. Fish and chips is something I'll try everywhere, but at Milly's it was far too greasy.

The beer selection is great. The barley wine, sweet stout, and the 'TNT' are not to be missed. The TNT in is a barleywine fermented in old Jack Daniels casks... served correctly at proper temperature, and low carbonation, the beer has a sharp taste you won't forget.

The 'sampler tray' is 6 two-ounce beers and is a great way to try all the beers. At $6 the sampler is very reasonable.

Happy hour prices are unbelievable, and Tuesday night is happy hour all evening... brewpub beers that start at $1 and go up 50 cents every 30 minutes. Tuesday gets busy very early!

I wouldn't want to see the place change TOO much... it's not pretentious and not overpriced. The smoke was one of the biggest complaint... now fixed. It would be smart to fix the floor as it is a bad first impression.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Milly's is closed on Sunday's in the summer, however since a big event was happening in the field across the street they were open for lunch and dinner. When my friends and I arrived we were the only customers in the place.

The restaurant only seats about 50 people. Another 20 or so could sit at the bar and the few tables in that area. This place is more a bar than a restaurant anyway. Being in the basement, it's rather dark and there's a large stage toward the front above the dining tables. This is where the bands set up. In the evening they move all the tables and that area becomes a dance floor.

The menu was your basic pub fare, burgers, soups, chicken, etc. I tried one of their burgers and thought it was good. However, the fryolator was broken so there were no french fries available. At the end of the meal I was a bit disappointed to find out the price wasn't discounted due to the lack of fries. Prices were very reasonable. My burger was under $8 and beers were $3.25. Weekday happy hour you can get full pints for $1 and 2 for 1 appetizers.

Lucky for me I arrived on a day when a couple new beers were brought on tap, an Imperial IPA and a saisson. I tried the IIPA, which was very tasty and the John Stark Porter (malty and chocolatey, yum!). I also had a sip of the Harvest ale, very crisp and delicious. There were about a dozen beers to choose from and I'd love to try them all.

While enjoying some beers the head brewer, Mike, joined us for a while. He told us about his recipies, brewing process and upcoming brews. He's a cool guy and makes some awesome beers!

Milly's is a great bar with some great beer. If you're looking for a dance club with some microbrews this is the place. However, if you want to eat dinner and relax with friends you may not be so happy here. Get your dinner first, then head to Milly's for some awesome brews.

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Photo of hbis2gut
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I'm truly surprised it took me this long to finally visit since I live 10-15 minutes north of the brewpub and all of my vacations and trips have some kind of beer oriented twist to them.
The location is a bit imposing being under the highway overpass, but the mill building itself seems quite appropriate. Once inside I got a distinct "warehouse" feeling. Very open and without alot of warmth. Initially, the atmosphere is a turn-off for me. This is especially the case when I saw all of the "coors light, budweiser, and other swill" advertised all over the brewpub in the form of flags and posters. I can't understand why a place like this would cater to the Nascar/BudLight crowd when the beers are truly outstanding.

The good news is that the beers were all exceptional. This is especially true when I compare them to the other two NH brewpubs I visited lately, Woodstock Inn and Marthas Exchange. If I had my way, I would combine the atmosphere of the Woodstock Inn and the beer from Milly's.
There were 4 of us that 1st night and we were able to rifle through quite a complement of different beers. We quickly met the manager(possibly the owner), and when I began discussing the beers he had the Head Brewer Mike come out and talk to us for a while. It was a really nice touch and he is a really down to earth guy with and obvious passion for beer. In fact, he was working out the last few days before a beer vacation to Belgium and Germany. He gave us the lowdown on styles he's working on and upcoming cask ales. He also gave us a free sampler of a whisky cask Porter that was just great.

As far as food, we only had apps and sandwiches, but the food was high quality and fresh. There didn't seem to be anything truly unusual for the gourmand types out there but many pub staples and a good variety. This is a nice surprise as well considering many brewpubs seem to treat food as an afterthought...

Long story short, this is a brewpub where the beers speak for themselves. I would revamp the atmosphere and tacky decor if it were my place, but it won't stop me from visiting often to see the regular beers as well as the specials and cask pulls. Also, happy hour here cannot be beat. Great deals on pints and half price apps. 3pm - 7pm? See you there!.

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Photo of artied2
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Milly's Tavern in Manchester under the you will have read elsewhere, used to be called Stark Mill Brewery. Food's OK, the french onion soup was actually very good, mostly pub grub and non-spectacular at that. Good selection of brewed beers, one of my favorite IPAs here, but something for every taste; red ale, brown ale, porter, stout.... Art the brewer keeps a variety of offerings. The only unfortunate thing is their tendency to keep serving beer long after it has lost its sparkle. For example, here it is September/almost October, and today's special was Summer Wheat for a buck a pint....ouch. Art told us there's an Oktoberfest and a pumpkin ale aging, and should be ready "soon". It is certainly worth the trip up the turnpike to give them a try. In a large venue like a beer summit, the beers from Millie's (the fresh ones, not the Summer Wheat in the dead of winter) would compare well with a lot of their better known counterparts. Smoky place sometimes and usually empty on Saturday afternoons, which allows me to get my butt kicked by my wife at the pool tables in the back without any witnesses.
Give it a try...

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

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.

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.

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Photo of BillyBrew
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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.


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Photo of FrankLloydMike
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

$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.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

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.

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Photo of superdudeo
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

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?

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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!


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Photo of Zoh
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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!

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Photo of slander
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

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Milly's Tavern / Stark Brewing Company in Manchester, NH
87 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.