Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

The Run of the Mill Public House & Brewery

Not Rated.
The Run of the Mill Public House & BreweryThe Run of the Mill Public House & Brewery
Based on:
24 Beers
143 Hads
Place Score: 90
Reviews: 18
Visits: 28
Avg: 3.98
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

100 Main St
Saco, Maine, 04072-3500
United States
phone: (207) 571-9648

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @themillbrewpub

Place added by: deltatauhobbit on 08-18-2008

From the owners of The Liberal Cup in Maine.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 18 | Visits: 28
Reviews by ToasterChef:
Photo of ToasterChef
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

My wife and I stopped in here for the first time the other weekend, after doing some shopping in Saco. We weren't quite hungry enough for a meal, but an appetizer and a beer would be perfect, so why not finally check this brew pub out? Like most of the patrons that afternoon, we asked to be seated outside. There were no tables available in the shade, and the sun was rather hot, so we opted to sit at the bar. I'm glad we did. The bartender was very friendly and chatted us up a lot. It wasn't forced though, he was genuinely friendly (another couple at the bar obviously didn't realize what being a brew pub meant and after asking for beers similar to mass produced products they barely said a word to the bartender and he gave them their space).

The beers were served in real pint glasses...none of this 12 oz nonsense. They were very tasty and refreshing. If you are a fan of the Liberal Cup, you know what to expect here. We ate a large plate of fries. We had ordered sweet potato fries, but they were out of them. The regular fries were very good. I also had a cup of clam chowder. It was very creamy with lots of clams and taters. I would certainly order it again. The outside area has it's own kitchen with it's own menu, which is nice. The selection is limited out here, but I'm sure you could find something that you'd like to eat. There were also a trio of daily specials available; I'm not sure if these were exclusive to the outside kitchen or also available from the bigger kitchen inside.

As we were getting ready to leave, a couple of guys were setting up mics and amps, so apparently there was to be some outdoor entertainment, which is very cool. If we hadn't had other plans, I think we could have spent all afternoon on that deck.

Run of the Mill was a really great place. I'll certainly make the drive south to visit it again.

 1,851 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

We stopped here when arriving in Biddeford for a week long vacation. The beer was excellent (4 stars), the wait staff was very good, the ambience is very nice as it is located on the old mill island on the Saco River, but the food was just, well, run of the mill. The staff and space were accommodating and appropriate for children (we had 2 under 2.5 years old with us); the beer selection was limited but the quality of the ales were all very good and they had a full bar in addition to the beer. The vegetarian in our group was disappointed in the lack of options.

We would come back for beers and snack, but not for a full meal.

 638 characters

Photo of KLHBB
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of hockeypuck
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Reds76
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of bosshop
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of jschwamb
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of HookerBrews
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of coombski
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of rich42
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of jjboesen
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

During a recent trip to Portland Beer Week, I took the 20-minute Amtrak Downeastern to Saco, a former mill town west of the city that is currently undergoing a major revitalization of these mills, one of which is now the home of this excellent brewpub. Located on Factory Island, in the former York Mill No. 3 Building (1838), the Run Of The Mill is a 14 barrel brewpub that serves eight house beers, including one cask and a guest (Old Rasputin), in an intimate and convivial atmosphere with a homey brick-and-wood dining room and a separate Saloon; there is a long polished bar with a chalkboard draft list overhead. There is also an outdoor deck that overlooks the roaring Saco River and must be a great place to quaff craft brews in the warm weather. (Alas, I visited in November, when it was closed.)

The beers I enjoyed really made this trip worthwhile: Alewife Ale, an English pale ale; Impact, which was a crisp dry-hopped IPA; For Richer or Porter, which was a … well, you know; and the Ex-Wife Extra Bitter Cask. The food menu with its’ array of hearty New England favorites did not disappoint. My chowder and fish-chips were well-cooked, delicious and filling. The server was efficient though seemingly indifferent; however, he still kept my glass filled so no points are lost.

Don’t let the punny title fool you; this place is definitely not “run of the mill,” but an attractive, well managed venue that meets all the criteria of a Destination – at least when in Portland, Maine. Well, gotta catch the train back to Portland.

 1,552 characters

Photo of mbonugli
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Burt
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Sat outside overlooking the Saco River with a nice view of the old mills.

Food was freshly prepared and had the beer that was on cask.

Waitress was great and attentive,

6 beers on tap and one on cask. Food menu was filled plenty of selections.

Beer and food was reasonably priced.

Only had time for one beer and a quick lunch. Wish I had some more time because the rest of the brews looked good.

 401 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.78/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Set in an old mill building on Saco Island, this is the sister establishment of The Liberal Cup. Long, narrow space set up with the bar in the middle when you walk in. Great old-school tavern feel, with lots of wood accents and antique beer paraphernalia. The menu is great, and reasonably priced, with pub fare mixed with some local, homemade treats. Beer is good, but only 6 on tap with a cask. The beers they make rotate regularly, so if you are looking for something specific it is worth checking ahead. They do sell growlers, but they are pricey. Hand-blown glass fetches $25, and it's $10 for the fill. I visited on a Friday night, so it was packed, and the servers made fairly regular visits. Overall, this place is worth a visit. The beer is tasty, and the food is good.

 778 characters

Photo of Cavanaghty
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

When I lived in Biddeford this was my place of choice, I went the day it opened, and just went again for the first time in a couple years tonight. Much better than I remember! It used to be a great place for just drinks, but now the food and beverage has improved greatly! The beer selection is great, not only do they have their own beers, but several usuals on tap and bottle(buds and so on). The food and service has improved quite a bit since my last visit. Well, since I work near by it is time to make this a frequent stop again after shift. Oh just be careful, their beers can knock you on your ass quick, just make sure you have a safe way home after having a few of their beers.

 687 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4.18/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in here on 09DEC11 with Alewife for lunch, before heading up to mid-coast Maine for the weekend.

No, the name "Run of the Mill" doesn't mean it's an average place. It's an homage to the location, on the ground floor of one of a few mill buildings set on an island in the middle of the Saco River. There's a small, fenced-in area out front for nicer weather. Once in, the place is loads of old brickwork, worn and weathered wood, big-ass ceiling beams, exposed ductwork and lots of space, running long from right to left, mostly left. There are a few tables to the right, beyond which the brewing equipment is nestled. The bar is ahead and stretches to the left, with more tables and booths far to the rear left. Out a door to the rear left leads to a lovely deck overlooking the river. There were a couple of sets of taps at the bar, where brown, deep emerald and cobalt blue colored growlers hung above you. The barback was populated by many a high-quality liqour, if that's your game. There's really a lot of space here, and the light wood and warm lighting gives the place a welcoming feel. We parked at the bar and had super service from the tall, ponytailed 'tender. As for the biers, they had 6 regulars plus one cask, and a guest (Tripel Karmeliet). My XPA and Smelt Strong Ale were flavorful and well-made, to go with my pepperoni quesedilla while Alewife opted for the guest bier, to wash down her tasty steak. All-in-all, a very good (and by no means "run of the mill") experience here in Saco. Thnx go out to an anonymous couple I met at the Portsmouth Brewery who recommended this place. Prosit!!

4.18 rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$


 1,705 characters

Photo of SevaTse
4/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

On my quest to find good places close to the border of New Hampshire
As well as on a drive back from a day of shopping at Portland, Maine
Armed by some BA and Interwebs information
Me and my wife decided to stop at this location
We walked into a building that used to be a mill
To see whether the beer was good, and to find out the deal
With this place and situated near a campus of a college
To see if it's any good or just a pile of garbage

Current taps were clearly displayed above the bar
So wayfarers can study them from a far
There were about five beers that were made on the spot
One cask, and two guests taps, I thought, "why not?"
A cream stout was the order that was placed by me
While an Oktoberfest was demanded by the lady the French would call "votre marie"
No, the food on this occasion we failed to sample
As stuffed we were from Wholes Food buffet of BBQ, for example.
Lest I forgot, a Hugh Malone was also enjoyed by me
Making it a fairly pleasant visit, indeed.
The interior was not at all an epic fail
With house taps at $3.75, I'd say the visit went rather well
One could see the brick walls, and laquered wood bar surfaces
So you can sit in peace and pour delicious beer down your orifices
I saw a thing or two in common with the Liberal Cup
Perhaps the same owner or maybe it's a local chain pub
If passing by I say you pull your buggy over
And have a glass or two, as you're still about an hour away from Dover

 1,435 characters

Photo of sabalon
4.3/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I had an early dinner there today and I was impressed overall with the establishment. The atmosphere was very tranquil and inviting.

They had a wide variety of beers available, though I only had time to enjoy their stout, which was very nice. The food was definately worth every penny.

The only hit to the entire visit was the staff. I first sat near the end of the bar, only to be joined by a bartender who sat down next to me to cut fruit, and it soon turned into the staff social spot. After moving to further down the bar, all was well. Though I will give props to the chef who prepared my food for asking me how my food was through the service window, I was never asked by the bartender who was waiting on me. At times she seemed to be absent too long, once when I was in need of something. I had to get up and search her out around the corner.

A previous review of staff wrestling, my dealings, as well as other staff slacking does bring some red flags. I definately recommend the beer and food, and whole heartedly recommend visiting, as I will return myself - I just hope that the staff lax professionalism doesn't tarnish what looks like a solid establishment with great potential.

 1,194 characters

Photo of slander
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

So you named your place "Run of the Mill" and I can't help but think "Doesn't that mean 'just average'?" I guess we'll see. Oh, and how nice of you to be open to the public this time around. Last year when I showed up, you were selfishly closed for a private party of bullshit. But I did a return while in state as it's a Hallowell hook and I wanted to see what wacko is Saco...

In a complex of old milldam I had to circle to park. I even had to walk up a little hill or something. Entering through the far end, it's just a whole lotta big brick with nooks & crannies like old industry do, with English pubby panel walls around the bar area, some painted pieces & trim yellow & blue. The room is done with random brewery signage, tins & beer trays, a vintage "Biddeford & Saco Coal Co" sign, and other old town local pics & pieces. Old wood floors and fat plank ceilings, sporting exposed black ducts, track spots & lanterny lamps lighting. Small brewroom for show on one end of the room (the rest of the equipment is downstairs).

And then a good part of the room is run by a looong "C" shaped laminated cut tree bar curved & knotted with a brick base & footrest, seating 2 dozen+ on swivel backed chairs. Tower boxes of 6 taps each with generic & toy random piece handles on each end, and 2 handpumps on one end. Barback is fitted paneled pieces with a center mirror over tiered booze. A kegerator sits on center with guest tap Houblon Chouffe rearing its handle; wines displayed to both sides, bottled PBR, Kaliber & Woodchuck Cider shelved, and a baby etch-a-sketch I need to get at. "On tap" board to the right lists 6 tap selections, a single cask selection, and the guest tap on wood hooked pieces. 2 peek-a-boo kitchen food pass cut throughs where they'll do the most good. Appropriate Belgian glassware chalice action tucked behind the Houblon handle, other glassware shelved below & more booze below below. Ceramic mug club mugs hooked on a rack over the bar & mounted on some bar post beams, and block pieces with previous guest tap handles above. Hanging shirts for sale displayed, and TV's on both ends. A half dozen + high tops & bar tables, and some bar counter space pieces about the bar area. Foosball in the far corner and a tight dart nook behind me.

Open dining area past the bar with a handful of tables cozying up against a phat wood beam divider, and some booths on the rear wall below windows to the deck, quisp lighting throughout. A single table event room of brick & crazy off the backside and 2 rooms on the far end with 9 tables each. Sharing benchings "L" the rooms, one of them holding semi circle tables and cool prints & maps unusual ala Spuyten (The gorgeous 1860 Somerset County map of badass, um, yeah). Out back, a 2 tier deck offers cool views over the Saco River and more brick millings. The top side partially canopied angled over a "J" shaped stainless steel bar seating nearly a dozen and a half, and 30+ tables of all sizes and shapes and heights and textures extending out from there. And over in one corner, a bunch of deck chairs set up in a circle (for witchcraft, no doubt). Awesome outsidedness, with a separate menu of grillables and more.

The sampler was served on a long wood paddle and offered everything; 6 beers on (Alewife Ale, an English Pale Ale, well balanced, not too sweet or bitter; Bug Lager, a Bohemian Pils, light, nicely crisp, & fizzy on the tongue; Impact Pale Ale, a west coast IPA, cascade, not too bad; For Richer or Poorter, a bit roasty, chocolatey, but not a lot of body for a porter; Dog Days Sumer Wheat, an American Wheat, finishes kind of bitter; Dunkel John's Band, sweet dunkel weizen) and a cask offering (Summer Bitter, Summer Not, light and easy, a very good bitter). The Bug Lager, For Richer or Poorter & cask Summer Bitter, Summer Not were the best of the run.

And as we are in the lunching hour, I started with a cup of the Salmon chowder, which was good, but strangely very dilled. I am glad I didn't get a bowl of it as was contemplated earlier. And then the garlic parmesan wings, done never crispy enough but they weren't bad.

These are the Liberal Cup people, same recipes (mostly) but they have a different brewer. The beers were goodish; not bad, not stellar, just that. Food could've been better though. No probs on the serviceside, caught Emily of adorableness tending today, a week into her new gig behind the bar. Good tunes, to my warbling, or vice versa. I like the scene here, and would dig some time on the back deck, yes. And out now, what more Maine to see.

 4,567 characters

Photo of juzy
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Impressed that the Saco area is being revitalized. So many old mills that line the river that were just going to pot when I lived in Maine.

More impressed that there is a decent brewpub in one of these said mills!

Hot, hot day. Chose to sit outside in the shade.
Staff was friendly and had good suggestions.

Ordered the sample paddle and we were most impressed with the brown ale and the porter. The porter has a fantastic smokiness to it that I just love!

Food was good. Had the mussels and we each ordered one of the daily specials, of which they have three.

Beer selections, for the most part are okay, not fantastic, but definitely clean and well brewed. As I said the brown and porter are the standouts.

All in all it was a pleasant surprise and we enjoyed our visit.

 783 characters

Photo of BUGK08
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The atmosphere is really cool at run of the mill. I personally enjoy the pub style atmosphere and am very comfortable at run of the mill. There are live bands, open mic nights and a very impressive patio to enjoy on those warm summer nights. I think their beer falls a little short though, unfortunately. They have a great variety, and I always appreciate a bar that offers cask beer, but everything just seems mediocre. Even with relatively unexciting beer, I would suggest stopping in and enjoying the atmosphere, then taking home one of their huge growlers for later.

 570 characters

Photo of ericj551
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I was very excited to see Run of the Mill coming to Saco, finally a brewpub alternative to Federal Jacks! I love the location and setting, it's a great use of the old mill building. I thought the food and beer prices were very reasonable, $3.75 is an excellent price for a 20 oz pint. They do a seven beer sampler tray for $5 as well. I've only eaten there once, but my meal of bangers and mash was good.

Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by the beer. Last weekend I had the sampler tray, and it would have been hard to identify a lot of their beers if I didn't know the order. All the beers just seemed to taste the same, nothing terrible, but fairly bland overall. The porter was the best of the bunch, it reminded me of a decent dry irish stout. They had a couple guest taps, and I probably would have had a Geary's IIPA, but I was driving and didn't want a beer that strong.

Overall I would say that Run of the Mill is a decent brewpub if you're eating, but not a place I would stop by just for a pint.

 1,010 characters

Photo of Berue
4.3/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

As a frequent visitor to the Saco area, I had high hopes for The Run of the Mill and have been there frequently over the last few months. The location and atmosphere are fantastic and I can't wait until warm weather when they open to the deck overlooking the Saco River. The food here is very good, some things are much better than others but there is a great selection and the place is new so I'm sure they are still tweaking the menu. The service here is also great, and the staff all seem happy to be there and very attentive.

Onto the beer. Overall I would only rate the beer as mediocre; many of the brews taste like something anyone could whip out out of a "run of the mill" beer kit and most of the beers also seem over-carbonated. Don't get me wrong, any local brew is still better than a bud in my eyes and I won't stop visiting the Run of the Mill and I hope they can tune up their recipes to make the place even better. Their lighter varieties are refreshing and mild, but the ales and darker beers they had when I was there lacked any real distinguishing flavor. My suggestions to the brewer would be to try to decrease the carbonation in the beers, add a little more hoppy kick to the ale and IPA, and add additional malts for flavor in the darker varieties.

 1,272 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Been wanting to come here since it opened and started serving their own beers.

I always enjoy places that are in old renovated mills, the Sea Dog brewpubs come to mind as well. Similiarly, this mill is situated along the water and has a very cool atmosphere. Sort of has that local feel with all the wooden planks and siding along with the brick, but also a hint of gritty class. Parking is kind of weird though.

8 beers were on tap, 7 of their own with 1 of them being on cask, and the other was a local guest tap. 4 of the 7 beers are meant to be offered year round, so that leaves 3 beers being on rotation, a pretty good amount of new beers to try. I decided to go with all three rotational releases.

The food is the usual pub-ish menu with a slightly larger selection of seafood items. I ate at the bar and the waitress was nice and attentive.

I'll definitely be coming back to this place, although it kind of sucks that I live about 40 minutes north of the place.

 973 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
The Run of the Mill Public House & Brewery in Saco, ME
90 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.