Mill Street Tankhouse Ale | Mill Street Brew Pub

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Mill Street Tankhouse AleMill Street Tankhouse Ale

Brewed by:
Mill Street Brew Pub
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Like traditional pale ales, Tankhouse Ale has a deep copper-red colour. We use five different malts to produce a complex malty texture. The most dominant character of our Pale Ale is the hop. The spicy Cascades is used to give an assertive hop flavour, aroma and bitterness to our ale. The result is a satisfying and complex-tasting beer. Our brewmaster developed this recipe 20 years ago and it has remained his favorite drink of choice.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2003

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Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 425
Photo of Sammy
2.92/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I did find some flavour in this brew, but had to ignore the metalic undercurrent. The flavour that needs to be brought out is a malty balance. Had it 2.5 years later on cask and it was better, with a light body, light carbonation. C-hop and no balance. The cask is the review score. The bottles' quality is getting watered down, and with Mill Street beers in general, beginning in 2009, I was getting stomach aches likely owing to chemicals being used.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well-deserved (first) pint after another head-shrinking day at CIBC's downtown Toronto IT head offices (oh, right, let me be clear - fuuuck you, Michael!).

This beer appears a clear, bronzed medium copper hue, with two fingers of puffy, bubbly, and rather creamy off-white head, which leaves a splendid array of honeycombed lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells of sweet, fairly crisp biscuity malt, with some additional caramel and toffee notes, and earthy, grapefruit and orange rind citrus hops. The taste is zingy lemon zest, orange cream, a hint of fleshy grapefruit, lightly toasted bready caramel malt, and further grassy, faintly leafy hops.

The carbonation is a tad high, but settles as soon as I do, the body a decent medium-full weight, and more or less smooth (the hops here seem capable of making me care a little less about this particular metric). It finishes off-dry, the sort of muted citrus hops and grainy caramel malt performing that last dance lean-in.

A pretty enjoyable APA, one with which I've now even clinked glasses with a vendor's natural enemy - the client. Hey - they chose this (and paid for it, natch), duly aware of my proclivity, so they aren't all that bad, I suppose. Worthy of an alternate sort of mind-numbing session, this one is.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a huge off-white foamy head with pretty good retention. Aroma of floral hops mix with some bitter hops. Taste is dominated by bitter hops with some floral aspect also present. Wow, I’m glad there are more and more Canadian breweries that are brewing heavier hops beers then in the past.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from biegaman, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 341ml bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of smoky caramelized malt, tea, brown sugar and some hops.

T: The taste is very malty, with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and a touch of fruit. The hops character is mild, but provides a good balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, a little bit filling, good representation of style but also has qualities of a Brown Ale as well. It might not be my first choice, but it’s a very good beer to stick with for while.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coppery orange with sunny Sunkist edges. A standard pour has created three full fingers of foam that is midway between cream and ecru. And a fine looking lid it is. An abundance of attractive lace helps secure the higher score.

The nose is at least as malty as it is hoppy, which is a characteristic that doesn't thrill me when it comes to beer of this style. Those of you who crave balance will love it. Toasted malt come through, as does a whiff of hops that I would have been hard-pressed to have identified as Cascade.

Balance, balance and more balance. An Englishman might think that Tankhouse Ale is on the hoppy side. An American (this one) begs to differ. Nevertheless, just like MS Coffee Porter, MSTA is clearly well-brewed, drinkable beer. Maybe all those hoppy APAs have spoiled me.

There's plenty of barley onboard, with a flavor profile that tastes like a mixture of pale and toasted/caramel. Munich is probably in there somewhere. The hops provide some amount of grapefruitiness; but again, the classic Cascade flavor isn't that evident.

In the end, I've been won over by Tankhouse Ale's sheer competence. It's good solo and would probably sneak up to great alongside a big, juicy burger and fries. I'm sure it would be a standby if I frequented Mill Street Brew Pub. The mouthfeel is exceptional. Very few 5.2% ales are this lush and creamilicious.

Every one of my favorite APAs are dominated by hops. The fact that Mill Street Tankhouse Ale isn't and still manages to impress is a testament to the skill of its brewers. Thanks to biegaman for yet another quality Canadian brew.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at The Beer Store in Niagara Falls on our recent trip. Pours a clear reddish amber with a huge bubbly off white head that leaves lots of lace as it slowly recedes. Smells of grass, spicy and citrus hops, light caramel, and a slight mineral aroma. Taste is wow different. A bit of nutty chocolate right up front that I wasn't expecting from the aroma. Citrus caramel mineral and grass linger in the finish. Moderate carbonation, medium body. Wow this one is not what I expected. The mineral aroma and taste was a bit of a turn off for me, but the caramel nutty chocolaty was really nice. Good but could be better.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a bottle of this from a mixed pack that I bought whilst in Hamilton for my son's hockey tournament. It poured a clear copper with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent is faint bitter hop. The taste is nicely balanced and easy to drink. There was a floral spice present. The Mouthfeel is lighter with good carbonation. Overall it's ok certainly worth a try.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep copper amber color, dark but very crystal clear to see through with a nice amber crystal dark color. Head is light off tan to white, four fingers tall and souffle like retention. Nice looking brew.

Notes of biscuit and toast with a faint caramel sweetness. Really hints toward an amber style with the caramel sweetness here. Nice light toasty grains to go with it.

Classic straightforward amber. A little lighter on the malt and feel with a touch of wetness slightly. Mild herbal tea like hop bent on the finish and a pinch of grapefruit rind like zest. Some nice faint caramel and grainy toast round out a bit.

It's a straight forward simple amber, that's decent, but not earth shattering. Not much to really say about it, but I also can't find anything really faulty, weak, or wrong with it either.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to reviewing this one. Have had it hundreds of times over the years.

Poured in to tulip glass.

A - Medium brown colour with a nice amber glow and half a finger of bubbly white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Bitter citrus hops with some floral notes and a nice sweet caramel malt backbone.

T - A flavourful and well balanced pale ale, bot nothing spectacular. Nice crisp bitter hops up front with some floral and light citrus notes. A nice sweetness from the malts with some caramel flavour balances this one out very well.

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Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Varnished red cedar with a deep coppered hue. The beer is brilliantly clear and visibly well carbonated. Giant, boldly defined bubbles resemble a collection of air balloons hovering just above the surface, which is plastered in a foamy encrustation. The whole of the circumference of the glass has become caked in the crusty white stuff.

The aroma is quintessential of many a number of American amber ales. It has a big presence of darkly toasted grains and a healthy dosage of zesty, stinky Cascade hops. There's a drop of pine serum and a good deal of stinky, hemp-like herbals. It's nothing too dynamic, but there's a lot of nice aromatics at hand here.

The same could be said of the flavour; it's nothing mouth-watering but serves its purpose with a respectable performance. There's toasted grains, whole-wheat breads, a touch of caramel and a complimentary cast of bitter grapefruit piths and pungent herbal cones. It's far more reserved than its American counterparts (and unarguably not quite as delectable).

The carbonation is fine and a good dose of sticky, sappy hop bitterness survives. I'm not sure how many IBU's we're sitting at but I think we got off at the right floor - any more would overshadow the flavour and any less would make for a pretty lackluster mouthfeel. The beer is quenching and quite satisfying for a pale ale, even despite the mild disposition.

The issue I have with Tankhouse Ale, and I'm far from the only one, is its inconsistency. Apparently the recipe had to be tweaked when one of the brewery's founders left the company. Whatever the case, the beer has been terribly inconsistent over the years; zestful and generously hoppy at its best, weak and painfully bland at its worst.

I plan to keep rolling the dice. All said and done this is still (sadly) one of the hoppiest examples we have access to in the province of Ontario. Besides, it's not at all a bad beer. I'm fine putting some money down every now and then for a sixer or a pint of Tankhouse and in most cases, I'm content with the purchase.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear, deep, dark amber color. It is topped by a frothy light tan colored head, which creates a pretty densely packed, almost creamy head, but its only about one finger thick. The aroma has a light hoppy spiciness to it which is quite nice. Underneath this is some crystal malt notes that carry both a bit of caramel and a bit of toasted malt notes.

The taste of this beer is hop dominated as well, but not in the way a pale ale might be. It is lightly spicy, with a touch of herbal grassiness to it and even has a touch of sweet citrus to it, but just a touch. The beer has a nice malty sweet backdrop to it as well, which perfectly accentuates the hop notes, but does not quit reach their level. Notes of caramel, some toffee and ample caramelized malt notes are here. The beer only has a light bitterness to it, but it is quite solid and contributes to the overall hoppy sense of this beer.

This beer is quite nice, no flavors jump out at you, but sometimes (actually many times), you don't want that in a beer. This has been solidly put together, and it is a great beer to just drink and enjoy. I would have to say that I wish this where a tad drier, it would make it easily quaffable and the crystal malt notes might not be quite as high.

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Photo of Derek
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I keep revisiting this one (on-tap as well), but it has never thrilled me.

A: Light amber, pours with plenty of head, not much retention, but it initially leaves some lace.

S: Floral, slightly citrusy, hints of caramel.

T: Floral & citrusy hops, mild nut bread, hints of burnt caramel. Modest bitterness.

M: Moderate body & carbonation; some residual sweetness.

D: Decent.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance – Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy off white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation visible and there is a decent amount of lacing. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, cereal

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and some cereal. There is some hop bitterness.. but not as much as I remember tasting when I had it previously from a bottle. There is also a bit of a grassiness. It ends with a malty sweet aftertaste with just a touch of bitterness.

Overall – This one wasn't as good as I remember it being. Perhaps I ran into an older out of date keg. Regardless, it's still one of the better better beers made in Ontario.

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Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into pint glass aug 12 2009

A clear ruby red, half a glass of light tan head that had good retention and lots of lovely lace

S hops and sweet malts and a pine

T hops with caramel, very little citrus and a fair amount of malt quite nice not what i expected. one of mill streets best a decent ipa or at least thats what it reminds me of

M/D nothing to complain about a nice well rounded beer. good carbonation, thick enough, happy am i

i liked this beer start to finish, nothing crazy good but a nice one worth trying

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Photo of bylerteck
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at The Manx in Ottawa. From notes.

A - Poured a dark copper with no visible carbonation, no head as it was poured all the way to the top, no lacing and no retention. Bright.

S - Fruity hops with fruity malts as well. Caramel came out too. Nice and inviting with balance.

T - Piney and fruity hops. Fruity malts with caramel, dark bread, and biscuits as well. Kinda like an ESB.

M - Mild carbonation, medium body and a slight bitterness in the finish.

O/D - Less hops than I remember in the bottle. It's quite nice and seshable while being smooth and flavourful.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received as extra in trade with Viggo. Thanks, Eric!

A: Deep copper with a 1-finger thick light tan head.

S: Mild pine hop presence with a definite pineapple component. Hint of sweet caramel.

T: Mildly hoppy with a combination of pine and earthy spiciness. Mild caramel presence with a toasted biscuit component

M: Medium finish, well carbonated

D: Goes down easy but not sure how many i'd drink.

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Photo of DrJay
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer a lot more on tap than in the bottle. Overall, it just seems to have a more balanced flavour and aroma profile. The crisp Cascade hop aroma is still present, but there is a light maltiness that peeks through. Toffee and toasted malts are evident in the flavour, but it's still the bitterness that (rightly) dominates. Nice dry finish with some hop bitterness lingering on the palate. Head retention and lacing is much better.

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Photo of Viggo
2.57/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper/ruby, fizzy white head forms, leaves just as fast, some random spots of lace, almost no retention. Smell is sweet, malty, some citrus and pine hops, weak. Taste is almost all malt, some toffee, crystal malt, bread and grain, tiny bit of floral in the finish, light bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, extremely weak finish. What the hell did they do to this? It used to be a decently hoppy pale ale, now it tastes like they don't even bother adding hops anymore. Very disappointing as this used to be a great session ale.

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Photo of dgilks
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark copper colour with a smooth offwhite head. Poor head retention.

Malty aroma with a distinct grassy hoppiness. A touch of citrus. Interesting.

Moderately malty with some nice caramel tones. Moderately-low bitterness with a dose of resinous, citrus hops. Okay.

Medium body with moderately high carbonation. A little gassy.

A decent APA. A little middle of the road but it ticks most of the necessary boxes.

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Photo of Rutager
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a very clear, amber-brown with a half finger of bubbly off-white head.

Smell. Toasty caramel malts and a little hops underneath.

Taste. Caramel malts and earthy hops. Nice lingering light bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

Overall. Good, easy drinking pale ale. I could go for another one of these.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've bought several 6-ers of this and drank it a number of times on tap, but this is my first time reviewing it.

A - Pours a dark copper brown with a reddish hue. Solid thumb of bubbly light brown head which dissipates slowly and leaves a little lacing.

S - The smell on Tankhouse is unique and memorable, mixing roasted malts with sweet caramel and finishes with a sweet citrus hop.

T - The bitter hops come off on the top, though this particular bottle had a slight metallic flavour. The caramel flavour comes through as well and the lemon citrus comes off strong with a bitter after-taste.

M - This one goes down smooth, it's very light and the carbonation is perfect. Delicious!

D - This is one of my favourites by Mill Street, and I've found it to be consistently delicious when enjoyed on tap as well. A very nicely balanced ale, and the bitter finish makes it a flavourful and rewarding experience!

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Photo of papat444
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of many beers i brought back from a recent day trip to Ottawa.

Enjoyed this with my supper last night: Salmon & fried veggies on the barbecue with some fennel salad.

Poured from a 341ml. bottles.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber/copper body with a 2-3 finger pock-marked head. The retention was not the greatest as it receded a little too quickly.

Smell: Berries, very fruit-like with lots of malt and maybe just a hint of hops. A bit of a subdued aroma.

Taste: Nice hop bite to start with a very earthy overall feel to the flavor. The taste is less fruit and has a more bitter edge to it though it's not overdone. A nice spicy finish lasts long after the sip.

Mouthfeel: Very well rounded and robust for an APA. Balance is solid and the palate is happy!

Drinkability: Easy to gulp this one and would gladly have this more often.

Overall: Another winner for Mill Street in my book. A pale ale with some bite to it. Very reminiscent of the English style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, a bit spicy and a note of cascade hops. In the taste, cascade hops up front, notes of citrus, and just a little spicy. A nice hop bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry hop, with a touch of citrus in the aftertaste. Nice hops and a really nice flavor.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the brew pub.

Copper tinged gold colour, with off-white head. Bit of lace, reasonably dense. Decent.

Coppery on the nose as well. Mild citric hint with plenty of rich malt , and a touch of vanilla. Sweet, mildly tangy. Pretty nice.

Taste is quite malty. Caramel, toffee and a touch of roast blending well with a resinous hop that has a touch of citric character. Bit spicy in the back. All good, but then on the back, there's an unfortunate bread yeast note that shouldn't be there. Sort of a by-product, doesn't detract from drinking overall but it's a shame it's there.

A bit fizzy midway, not much body.

Not a bad English pale with good help from the US hops.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My mate brought this one over from back home. Thanks Log.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger off-white medium head that fades relatively quickly to a thin wisp. The beer is a burnt umber or rust brown, clear, with no visible carbonation evident. A ring of film remains until the end and leaves a touch of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pale malt with some caramel and toasted malt in there as well. A nice dose of floral hops and some fruity esters, mostly red fruits and berries. A nice medium strength nose, quite good for the style.

TASTE: Pale and toasted malt up front with a good dose of floral hops through the middle into the finish. Some peppery spices make an appearance as well, with a good amount of bitterness to close it out at the end. The mild and long lasting aftertaste is bitter and spicy as well. Pretty well balanced and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Not overly creamy, but goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Could be a little thicker and creamier, but basically a standard for the style.

OVERALL: The back of the bottle says they use a "staggering" amount of hops. Though very nice indeed, I'm not sure I'd describe the taste profile as the result of a "staggering" amount of hops. Regardless, the hop profile was certainly nice, making this one enjoyable and drinkable pale ale for sure. This is actually one of my favorite Canadian beers, and definitely my top choice from Mill Street. I've enjoyed quite a few of these on occasion, and I plan on enjoying quite a few more the next time I'm back in the Home and Native.

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Mill Street Tankhouse Ale from Mill Street Brew Pub
3.76 out of 5 based on 425 ratings.
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