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Stark Brewing Company

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BEER AVG
3.61/5
Stark Brewing CompanyStark Brewing Company
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

500 N Commercial St
Manchester, New Hampshire, 03101-1151
United States

(603) 625-4444 | map
starkbrewingcompany.com

Notes:
Formerly Milly's Tavern

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
35
Reviews:
148
Ratings:
342
PLACE STATS
Score:
87
Reviews:
38
Ratings:
58
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
9.47%
 
 
Taps:
15
Bottles/Cans:
10
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 58
Reviews by jamescain:
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.

 1,100 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of vdamato_25
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Absolutely love Stark Brewing Co. Me and my buddies went their this past week for some great beers, food and football. It is a unique brewpub with the brewery and distillery at the center of attention. I had the rueben sandwich which was one of the best I have ever had. It was quality pastrami coupled with the sauerkraut of course; but what really made it was the creaminess of the melted Swiss and Russian dressing. Because of their very well known home-grown beer selection I chose to go with the 10 beer sampler which gave me 10 tastings of different beers on the menu. I am not a huge stout guy at all but their oatmeal stout was like nothing I have ever tasted. If you are looking for a full bodied, sweet beer to sip on, look no further. The scotch ale was also incredible and had a very smooth finish after a very unique, malty taste. If you are looking for something light to go with your meal, I would go with their Mt. Ucanoonuc or Red Ale. Although this place was a little hard to find, it was well worth it. I would highly recommend it and will be going back!

 1,073 characters

Photo of Barleycorn
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of Justin82
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of mrson83
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of kdivers
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of paulish
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of rjp217
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of MacSon1982
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Really cool location and look to this place. They brew their own beer and it's not too bad.

91 characters

Photo of lambpasty
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3 | food: 3.75

Photo of jco3
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of swalsh666
2.28/5  rDev -40%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

Beer and food for a college crowd

33 characters

Photo of jthurbs
2.96/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of DSmith234
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of halo3one
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of mbonugli
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of BierBliss
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of coombski
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Kimball-NH
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of hockeypuck
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ajcormier
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of jamespeissner
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

 410 characters

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.

 3,572 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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.

 680 characters

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Stark Brewing Company in Manchester, NH
3.61 out of 5 based on 342 ratings.
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