Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Mill Race Mild | Grand River Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
38 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Mill Race MildMill Race Mild
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.50%

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.

Added by Viggo on 09-15-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
38
Ratings:
52
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
13.14%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 52
Photo of Goldorak
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

 556 characters

Photo of funkengruven
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

 508 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500 mL bottle picked up at the brewery; bottled on Jan 23 2015. I have been wanting to try this one for years now, as it seems to be one of Grand River's most highly-regarded brews in general - along with their Highballer Pumpkin, of course. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a rather attractive, deep, clear "old penny" copper-brown hue, topped off with a firm inch of creamy, off-white foam. Pretty good retention; it gradually dissipates over a period of five minutes or so, leaving behind a bubbly cap and collar, with a curtain of foamy lace around the edge. You can't look at a glass of beer like this and *not* want to drink it - unless you're a madman. The aroma is, well, a bit mild - roasted malts shine through with hints of milk chocolate and cappuccino. There's also a touch of vanilla, hazelnut and a distinct toffee/caramel sweetness.

Flavour-wise, toffee and caramelized sugar step up to the plate initially, followed by some light cocoa. The roasted malt features begin to take over in the latter half of the profile, with lightly roasted coffee joining up alongside the aforementioned chocolate. Suggestions of vanilla and hazelnut; their house yeast character is also noticeable toward the aftertaste, which is mostly dry. Light-bodied, but not at all thin/watery - the carbonation levels are quite restrained, giving this brew a luxuriously smooth, enjoyable feel on the palate. Much easier to knock back than most beers (or soft drinks, for that matter), but it's tasty enough that you'll probably want to savour what little you have. Unless you live in the KW-Cambridge area - you lucky sod.

Final Grade: 4.32, an excellent A. Mill Race Mild is undoubtedly one of Grand River's best products - which is why I find it all the more puzzling that it is not being distributed to LCBOs province-wide. Grand River has at least a few listings that I would not particularly miss, and this mild ale would be the perfect substitution - it's not like this is a style that is well-represented on shelves. Maybe they just don't think Ontario beer drinkers have any interest in this extremely light, flavourful style? Or more likely, it's some assclown at the LCBO who keeps turning it down? That would be a shame - because this is the perfect beer for a lazy afternoon - St. Paddy's Day or otherwise. A spot-on example of this highly sessionable style.

 2,362 characters

Photo of Derek
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

 478 characters

Photo of bobsy
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

 433 characters

Photo of kwjd
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Volo. My first English dark mild ale, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered this. Came out a light brown colour with off-white head. Smell is of toffee, deep roasted malt, nuts and some floral hops. Taste brings all of this together nicely with a mild bitterness. I didn't realize this was only 3.5% alcohol when I was drinking it, but it was quite flavourful. I really should have drank more than one pint and I'll order it if I see it again.

 462 characters

Photo of cratez
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Cask at The King Edward Pub in Ilderton, ON. Russet brown in colour with auburn hues and two fingers of tan head. A few spots of lacing speckle the pint glass. Smell and taste are roasted malt, vanilla, caramel, toast, chestnut, almond, table cream, pecan-like sweetness, very subtle chocolate/cocoa flavour, and a balancing hop bite on the back end with almost no bitterness. Aromas of baking yeast, mild floral hopping, and molasses develop after a while. Mouthfeel is soft, lighter than medium, low carbonation, slight spiciness toward the finish, dryly malted and lingering aftertaste. This benchmark session ale displays much more complexity than you'd expect for the weight. A winner in all formats and Grand River's best beer if you ask me. Thanks for putting this on Rich!

 780 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 291 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

 899 characters

Photo of mrnobody
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a cola brown with 3 fingers of root beer float head. Good retention and sticky lacing.

S: Smells of roasty chocolate malt and coffee. Enticing!

T: Tastes like it smells: chocolate, coffee. Neither overly sweet nor bitter. Seems like a light stout with many similarities to St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.

M: The mouthfeel seems slippery. This is not a heavy beer yet it does not seem thin either. Light-medium body with adequate carbonation.

D: For 3.5% ABV, this is an amazing accomplishment. Real flavour and truly "sessionable".

 578 characters

Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 826 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 494 characters

Photo of demcorhip
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

 1,486 characters

Photo of nokes
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 1,053 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

 893 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 2,012 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 4/27/11. Thanks to korguy123 for this beer.
Poured in to pint glass. Bottled on date of Jan 19/11.

A - Medium to dark brown with a small amount of off-white head.

S - Sweet toffee/caramel malts up front with some grain/cereal notes. A slight hop smell is evident as well.

T - My first experience with the style so I am intrigued by the great nose for this 3.5% ABV beer. Sweet caramel and grain/cereal flavours are predominant here with a slight hop bite present in the finish. Some light toffee and coffee notes come through at times as well. A lot of flavour for the low ABV.

M - Light body with a slight chew; light carbonation.

O - I really enjoyed this one, especially considering the low ABV.

 718 characters

Photo of mrmanning
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

 697 characters

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

 484 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brilliant example of an English mild.

Lovely dark amber, with red and brown highlights. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but full enough to be enjoyable.

Aroma of sweet, roasted malts is stunning. Flavours are well balnaced, from the caramelized malts to a bittering hop finish.

A very well crafted beer. Well done, Grand River!

 327 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 592 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 377 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery, 500ml into a pint glass. Bottled June 27, 2011.

Pours a dark brown with some dark red and mahogany highlights. A few fingers of tan head are formed, that's slightly creamy and moderately thick. Some lacing and moderate retention. Nose has light chocolate notes, some roast qualities, nuts, hints of caramel and dark fruits. Taste has roasty and mild coffee qualities, nuts are still mildly present themselves as well. Touch of caramel as well. Mouthfeel is a light medium, slightly watery in texture. Carbonation is medium low, and gets there only with some swirling down. Very easy to drink, I can only imagine this being more fantastic with cask treatment.

 685 characters

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 722 characters

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light cherry cola color topped by a mediocre head. Decent retention and lacing.

The aroma is roast, nuts and caramel and just a modicum of earthy peat.

The taste follows, with a very toned down brown ale to it. Bready, nuttiness and roast, with a nice caramel center perfectly balanced against a hint of nondescript bitterness. Finishes dry. Packs a lot of flavor for such a low ABV.

It's lightly carbonated and a tad thin bodied.

A very good example of the style, even if it's not a style I love. That said, I could see myself sessioning this and staying satisfied for some time. If I had to.

Another great beer from one of the best breweries in Ontario with some of the worst labels on Earth.

 707 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Mill Race Mild from Grand River Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe