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Mill Race Mild - Grand River Brewing

Not Rated.
Mill Race MildMill Race Mild

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 8
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  3.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Darkly coloured and rich in appearance, this mild ale is brewed in the traditional style of British mild beers that are disappearing even from the pubs of London, England.

Grand River Brewing has revived this traditional style of beer that is deep in colour but doesn’t possess the harsh bitterness that many people associate with a darker beer. The pronounced creamy head welcomes you and is followed with a beautiful roasted barley flavour and a smooth creamy taste.

This is a beer that just makes you want to have another and with being a mild, go right ahead.

(Beer added by: Viggo on 09-15-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of augustgarage
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to northyorksammy for this generous extra. Bottled March 2nd, 2010 - poured from a 500mL bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Cordovan liquid which glows a soft rich carmine. There is some chill haze but the body is otherwise quite clear. An active, light buff head settles to a steady finger of cream which persists well.

Light caramel aromas with delicately roasted malt. Vague hints of Cadbury eggs - and very slight diacetyl.

Mineral-laden palate entry with a touch of brown butter which transforms into roast malt, lots of toffee, a touch of brandied raisins, and a general nut flavor. Light bitterness or perhaps astringency throughout...

Pillowy body, soft but well carbonated...

Pretty well done example of the style - carefully crafted compared to most I've tried thus far...

augustgarage, May 20, 2010
Photo of bartle
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated April 03, 2010

Pours a rich mahogany brown with ripe red hues and a nice off white head that sits well for a little while before fizzling out.

Smells of light caramel, biscuit, a touch of tart cherries, some sulphur-ish notes, but nothing completely offensive. Seems very balanced with noble hop character coming through

The taste is of caramel, biscuit, a little rye like character, some mint, a touch of tartness and a clean yeast finish.

The carbonation is good for the style. Nice a low, potentially a little high, but it gives it a nice kick and sparks the drinkability of this one.

Lots of flavour, and it's great fresh.

bartle, May 02, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going through a mixer pack of Grand River brews. Very impressed thus far. Have some work to do tonight, so I figured the mild ale would be a good choice for the evening.

Pours a very dark chestnut, a bit of amber when held to the light. Leaves an off-white head, encircles the glass. A bit of lacing.

The smell is toast, ground coffee, a bit of chocolate, dark malt.

The taste is surprisingly good, considering the low ABV and the 'mild' labelling. Very much like drinking a lighter porter, but I never would have believed this was under 4%. The taste is bready, with the chocolate and coffee providing secondary bursts of flavour. I get a bit of cornbread at the forefront as well. Some bitterness at the finish, which is dry.

This brew is terrific as a flavourful session. Works well on those nights when you want the taste of a dark ale but without the weight. Still can't get over the ABV!

JohnnyBarman, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a quite large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of fruity ester with some light toffee malt. Taste is also dominated by light fruity ester with notes of toffee and caramel malt. Body is about average with good carbonation. I thought this one really packed lots of character while maintaining good balance.

Phyl21ca, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Viggo for this one. Served in my trusty Surly pint glass. Bottle dated April 10th, 2009.

A- Good looking brew here - three fingers of light tan foam with decent retention. Dark ruby red color with some auburn tones to it - transparent if you hold it up to the light. Only knock is minimal lacing.

S - Sweet roasted malt, some brown sugar, a touch of nuttiness. It's pretty light and has a slight twanginess to it.

T - Taste is a little like sourdough bread, mixed with light hazelnut. There's a touch of cocoa and and a light floral hop finish. It might even taste slightly better than it smells, although the aftertaste is not that great with some funky raisin character to it.

M - Somewhat watery, although that's not surprising considering the super low ABV. It's maybe a touch thicker than light bodied in viscosity. Low carbonation.

D - 500ml is a good serving size for this one. It's nice to see a low-ABV roasty brew, although this isn't in the league of other session delights like Death & Taxes. Still it's the best Grand River brew I've had so far!

MasterSki, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cheers to biegaman for another brew from Ontario. Pours with a nice head which settles quickly. Malty smell. Taste is smooth malt with a hint of some sweetness. Extremely drinkable. At 3.5% this would be a great session beer & would be wonderful on cask. I am glad to have tried it.

Cheers.

SkinnyElvis, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't usually like "light" beers but this was a pleasant surprize. Dark colour, light tan head, one to two fingers with minor lace and a wispy surface and ring. Smell is slightly sweet, reminds me of molasses. Fresh taste - did I mention it was bottled July 14th and purchased from the brewery? Mildly hoppy, mildly bitter, slightly sweet toasty oats, honey, molasses, brown sugar. Although tending to the sweet side, there's nothing cloying about this, it's a very nice beer overall. Body a bit thin but overall mouthfeel is sufficient to satisfy. Light carbonation but regenerates just fine with a swirl, even to the lower quarter of the glass. Low alcohol and good taste make this a terrific sessional, I'm impressed.

ThatWineGuy, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of mrmanning
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled fresh from a growler purchased at the Brewery on 15/01/08. Deep mahogany body sits under a billowing froth of beige foam. Excellent head retention and minute lacing throughout the drinking experience. The aroma is initially roasted barley and burnt malts. It is also quite toasty and nutty. Just a touch of vanilla extract and mineral. The flavour profile is surprisingly well rounded and full, but that just goes to show you that full flavoured beers don't have to be high in alcohol. This beer is quite full of sweet burnt malts, toasty barley, quite nutty, with a just enough of a hop presence to create a perfect balance. The finish is dry and lingering. Well done Grand River Brewing!

mrmanning, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to grub for this trade, thanks to Deuane for the handoff. Pour chilled from the 500 ml brown bottle into my dimpled mug.

A - Deep coffee brown w/ black cherry shade accenting w/ a thick 3 fingers of creamy pale tan head

S - Roasted nuts w/ gentle stone fruit aromas. There is a dark cherry tinge and hints of mild nougat and caramel

M - Light acidity w/ mild carbonation, light body and toasted texture w/ a mild yeast tang

T - The taste is mildly bready (pun intended) w/ a light roast coffee taste and smooth caramel maltiness w/ accents of plum and gentle date-like sweetness that rounds out the flavor w/ a very gentle hop spice

D - A very good ale w/ high quaffability. That is hard to get close to - a lot of flavor for such a small beer. A sessioner you won't hesitate to order more than one of if possible. I wish I had more Milds like this available locally. Thanks Grub!

Slatetank, May 14, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A deep, dark tone of auburn with dashing scarlet highlighting. A bold trimming of tapioca like colour and texture stays roped around the top. The beer is dark enough to obstruct most light from passing through, even when held against the afternoon sky. Still, its body is clear and its tone is not only luscious, but quite unique also.

The aroma is about as strong as its alcohol content but is it ever pleasant! In what closely resembles a German dunkel, toasted breads are lathered in molasses, nuts are dusted in cocoa powder and we're afforded an unclothed look at some chalky, mineral-rich water. Mild, pleasant sweetness like this makes the first sip irresistibly tempting.

Similarly sweet and mild flavours are offered in the taste. Once again, a good dousing of sweet molasses and cocoa powder seem to abound with notes of nuts and grainy, well toasted breads. The touch of roast barley supplies a bit of robust dimension and is much appreciated; raisins, dates and a hint of smoke surface. This is one for gulping not sipping.

To credit Mill Race Mild's drinkability as being anything less than exceptional would be unfair. Its low alcohol makes no compromise on flavour and each mouthfeel is every bit as satisfying as a beer twice its strength. Even more, given the low alcohol you'll drink twice as much (or drink it twice as fast) as well.

It seemed surprising to me that as a new brewery, Grand River were releasing a 3.5% mild ale as one of their first offerings. I was equally surprised to see it become one of (if not the) flagship beer of the company. Of course, those impressions were before I had tried it. It all makes perfect sense now.

Mill Race Mild is not only an incredibly well made ale belonging to an under-appreciated and near-extinct style, but it's quite simply a fantastic beer. This is one I plan to revisit again and again, and why not in sessions? To brew low-alcohol beers like this isn't easy; there is really no room for error. In my eyes, Grand River makes none.

biegaman, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of demcorhip
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice looking dark brew, courtesy of Derek. Thanks for the opportunity to try some elusive beers from southern ontario! Almost black, but clarity is revealed by the garnet highlights at the edges of my glass. Mildly carbonated, only managed a thin tan head which dissipated to leave a decent collar. Initially some decent, intricate webs of lacing.

A nice and inviting nose on this one. Creamy hazelnuts meet a nice touch of roasted malts hinting at dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. An underlying earthy leafiness rounds out the aroma.

This is a very tasty brew, especially considering the low abv. Hazelnuts and multigrain crusty bread meet the roasted flavours much like that described above for the aroma. Then the hops show up with their earthy leafiness and mild bitterness to clean things up.

Light bodied yet very flavorful. A nice balance is struck between the pale malts and more roasted malts. The hops fit in quite nicely as well. The slight watery quality of this brew is not surprising, and makes for a great thirst quenching drink.

This is the definition of a session ale. Very drinkable, with a solid amount of flavour. Much like a light porter, and as far as im concerned that is a very good thing. Would love to knock back pint after pint of this on draft, and am jealous of those who have the opportunity to do so. Thanks to Derek i have a few more offerings from this brewery that i am really looking forward to trying after this one, its damn good stuff!

demcorhip, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of nokes
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this first in a taster (alongside Grand River's Galt Knife and Pumpkin Ale) at the Castle on King in Kitchener, Ontario. This one was the clear winner for me, and I liked it well enough I followed up with a pint.

The exact colour was hard to tell...not quite enough light in the pub to see clearly, but it came off looking a lot like a porter. Nothing exceptional, but still quite fine.

Smell and taste-wise, this is just a really good beer. It's not a knock-your-socks-off beer, but there are nice waist-deep earthy smells and tastes in there...a fair bit of complexity; nicely rounded mouthfeel that I wasn't expecting in something with 3.5% ABV. There's some coffee, maybe some chocolate (but not sweet), lots to make it interesting, but not overwhelming. It's really easy to just drink and enjoy.

I'm a fan of English Ales, but I generally like them lighter...browns and reds mostly. This beer really surprised me, all in pleasant ways. I'd quite happily drink more of these, and may well find myself doing so in the future. It's good beer.

nokes, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of Imstillthegman
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Derek for this bottle.

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a two finger head of light tan bubbles. Not much lacing, though.

The aroma is of roasted malts, dark fruit, and molasses. Initially the smell was strong, but it faded before I could really enjoy it for what it was.

The flavor is quite interesting. The dark fruits and molasses from the smell are there, but so is some coffee, some nuttiness, and some burnt toast.

Thinner medium body, good carbonation. It's a bit drying, as well. The low abv and good taste of this one make it almost dangerously drinkable. Thanks, Derek.

Imstillthegman, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caveat: this is an unfamiliar style for me.

A - Unexpectedly dark: very dark but clear red, with a very creamy tan head.

S - Fruity and dark smelling - raisins and molasses with a light backing of husky grain.

T - Dark, rich fruit, caramelized sugars, molasses and toasty grain. Hint of coffee in there as well. Finish is nondescript and lightly bitter.

M - Fairly light body and carbonation. Quite dry as well.

D - Quite tasty, especially considering how "small" this beer is. Good session beer if you like darker ales I think, but not quite my cup of tea.

allergictomacros, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of CanuckRover
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark ruby red, brown really. Nice tan head. Not much in the way of lacings.

Sweet malty aroma. A slight roastiness, caramel and restrained earthy hops.

Quite nutty. Good caramel/toffee malt with a nice brown bread character to it. Sugary fruit like figs and dates. A good dry roasted flavour. Subtle bitterness in the finish.

Mouth feel is moderate, perfect for session drinking.

Glad I don't live in the GTA, I'd be in trouble if this was on tap at a bar near my place. Good.

CanuckRover, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of bobsy
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo. Not as good as other milds I've had, but a fine example nonetheless, and considering their rarity in these parts its a real treat. Dark amber body with a sweet aroma. Malty flavors at the fore, with caramel, coffee and a hint of smoke. I also found a suprising fruitiness with hints of apple and figs in both the nose and flavour. Low level of bitterness. Like other people have said, this makes a great session beer.

bobsy, May 04, 2008
Photo of Goldorak
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled at cask days at Volo café.

Appearance: Cola brown with a bit of red thrown in for good measure, it sported a nice frothy ring.

Smell: Roasted, caramel sweetness intertwined to give it an aroma similar to hoisin sauce. It absolutely floored me.

Taste: Light as a feather, totally dangerous to drink, the flavors are concentrated in the finish where a mild sweetness, similar to maple sap caress your taste buds and only the faintest kiss of hops pulls it all together.

This is a good a reason to advocate for milds on cask as I have ever seen.

Goldorak, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled at volo as part of cask days 2007

pours deep rub red, nearly brown if not held to the light. a small off-white head forms, disappearing fairly quickly and leaving no lace.

aroma is nice. just a hint of alcohol. toasted biscuits with lightly fruity jam. raisin. just a hint of date. bit of grain. hint of spicy hop character too that almost feels like cardamom.

taste is good. toasted multigrain bread. date and raisin, but very light. alcohol is almost completely hidden. light toast and a hint of caramel carries this one very well.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation. nice medium-light body.

drinkability is great. a light ale that isn't light on flavour. good balance. solid and interesting malt base. absolutely sessionable. grand river is quickly becoming a powerhouse in ontario - even brewing under 5% ABV.

grub, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some pleasant malty and floral aroma. Dark colour with a soapy mocha head, as expected in a cask. Easy drinking mild bitterness.A bit of coffee for balance and taste. Sessionable and worth trying, but about what you can get out of a low ABV beer. OK, but nothing outstanding. Had this again six months later at Volo on cask and was mediocre again. I had this on tap 2.5 years later at the Golden Kiwi and it was a bit more mouthfeel and appearance noticed. A milder version of a shwartzbier.

Sammy, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery at the end of August.

A: Deep mahogany, off-white/light-tan head, not a lot of retention but it leaves some lace.

S: Dark toffee, caramel, dark fruit and a light spicing.

T: Dark toffee, chocolate, caramel, roasted nuts, dark fruit, figs, orange zest, some mineral flavour, balanced bitterness.

M: Residual sugar yeilds a pleasant, moderate body (impressive for its strength), yet the finish is still crisp & relatively dry.

D: Very drinkable.

Derek, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of pootz
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pored from a fresh growler, we get a decent clear mahogany colored ale with a tight tan cap that lasts well enough.

Light toast and some roasted husk "char" in the nose, light hay-like hop tones.

Medium body, rocky, sharp mouth feel malty character with a mild astringency. Hard water gives the hops more of a sharp edged "bite" than is common in most milds.

Malty-toasty in the front side then the bittering hops kick in and compliment the roasted barley char astringence leaving mild lightly dry, roasted finish....light metallic after taste.

Fairly true to style for a mild although I would like to see some fruity esters from better ale yeast in this brew, even though it is not necessary for style adhesion....which is a "mild ale" not "traditional".

Drinkable and clean...but just too much like the so-so dark milds from F&M which I have never been partial to Sorry to break up the love-in but I was not overly impressed with this effort....even as well crafted as it was

pootz, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of funkengruven
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the four growlers picked up at the brewery last week, this poured into the glass a deep dark brown with a nice tan head. Smell was very malty, like a good English brown ale. The malt was very prominent in the flavor which is a good change from the other three more hoppy brews this brewery does well. The texture of this was smooth and slightly creamy, there was some body to this brew. The low ABV makes this a very easy drinking and satisfying session beer.

An excellent offering from this brewery.

funkengruven, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler full at Golden Tap awards. Have since had it on tap at Volo.

Pours a clear reddish brown, thick off white head, not much lacing, thin collar is retained throughout the glass. Smell is grainy, cherry, mild roast and chocolate, bit of floral. Taste is caramel, grains, chocolate, light fruits, bit of caramel, touch of roast in the finish, bready, nice. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation, very smooth, good flavour for such a low ABV beer. Nicely done!

Viggo, Sep 16, 2007
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Mill Race Mild from Grand River Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.