Mill Street Tankhouse Ale | Mill Street Brew Pub

very good
191 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 191 | Ratings: 423
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Part of the Mill Street Taster's Pack. 341 ml bottle served cold and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Red and copper color that is transparent to eye. Pours about a finger of head that even as it diminishes leaves a nice creamy cap on top and then devolving to a soapy residue over time. Some bubble action is also clearly visible.

Smell - Hops, some caramel and a slight floral undercurrent. Nothing ground breaking bud well executed for what it is.

Taste - Good hops bite adding to the bitterness, with slight caramel flavors cutting through that at times. The bitterness is prevalent but not overpowering or completely dominant as some spiciness comes through on the palate, especially in the back half of any given sip and as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - Slightly dry finish, medium carbonation. Spiciness leaves some tingling sensations.

Overall - Very well crafted and one of the best Mill Street has to offer. In a similar vein to the just recently tried distillery ale, however this is far more accessible. An excellent beer for those looking for some hops that turns into a moderately spicy beer, this comes very highly recommended. For those looking for a great beer or Mill Streets best offering, I can tell you that this is the best one I've had from them yet. Definite repurchase.

 1,304 characters

Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 341ml bottle poured into a small pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a clear ,deep amber colour with about 2 fingers of slightly off white head which dissipates slowly, leaving behind some light lacing.

Smell - Light caramel and toffee notes. There's also a little bit of a grainy smell. Not a whole lot else maybe some light spice? (For a beer with a 'staggering' amount of hops the aroma is pretty faint)

Taste - Caramel and toffee mostly, but also a good deal of spice and grass and grain and general deliciousness. Not expecting that much from the nose, but this is really well balanced and surprisingly complex. There's a definite a bitter bite to it, but for an APA its extremely gentle.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, medium to low carbonation.

Overall - 3.75/5 One of my favorite regular Mill St. offerings. A well balanced and extremely drinkable APA.

 872 characters

Photo of Kremlock
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper colour, very clear, pours a 1 inch head that then falls to a nice cream rim around the glace. Lacing is continuous throughout the drinking.

S: Spiciness, pine, a bit of caramel in the background

T: Some pine with a good malt backbone. You get an upfront bitterness then merging with some caramel and a bit of bread to finish with an equal part of dryness and sweetness.

M: Carbonation is great. Med-low mouthfeel.

O: This is by far one of my favorite Mill St. beers. It's a great pale ale which can be consumed as a session beer.

 548 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a copper red with a half finger width of bubbly head.

Smell - Leafy hops, citrus, grass.

Taste - Lightly bitter leafy hops along with a caramel malt flavour. Finishes with a well-balanced hops to malts flavour.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall - A good APA by Mill Street. Hops and malts are well-balanced. Nothing really stands out as a "wow" factor with this one, but still a good brew.

 451 characters

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.

 329 characters

Photo of maclean25
2.84/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought a 6-pack of bottles from a liquor store while visiting Ottawa. Came in with no expectations though I was a little suspicious due to the ambiguous "dark ale" descriptor on the box.

The body is clear amber and it poured with a small creamy head. The aroma is of an earthy-flowery hops, with light grapefruit and bubblegum. In the taste the hops is dominant with a smoky ash malt. The flavour has chocolate, bubblegum-mint, and little bit of zesty lemon. It has high carbonation with a constant stream of carbonation bubbles and a creamy or buttery feel. I find it lighter than most other beers.

Overall, I find it out of balance, like there are two flavours battling each other. Looking back, maybe I have been spoiled with APAs, as all three others I've reviewed here were far superior (though two of those are west coast beers and the other a world-class beer).

 870 characters

Photo of Hex
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bloody-orange color. VERY interesting to look at. Little bubbles rise from the bottem in a "bubble stream" or something of the sort. Nice double finger head, but wont stick around for the party... the lacing on the other hand will keep you company.

S - Has a deep lemony/chocolatey scent. This beer could probably be made into a candle. Very roasty, toasty and smelling a chocolate lemon meringue pie.

T - flavors all come together perfectly and make since. lemony and refreshing, chocolatey and creamy, hoppy and chewy and bitter and sweetness never fit in the same bottle so well. This is a very high class beer.

M - the mouthfeel is tough to discribe. There is a creamy, chewiness in the begining that is washed away by a refreshing and cripy tang. As it you spilled the filling of a brown sugar cinnamin pop-tart in your mouth and the pinesol lady came and cleaned it up.

O - This is a rare beer to see out and about and well worth choosing over many other pale ales. Deffinately a treat. Dont pass it up.

 1,036 characters

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

On tap in a half pint glass at the Mill St Brewery in Ottawa.

Nice orange-reddish liquid with a fair amount of carbonation, formed a 2 cm creamy head that dissipated soon.

Smell is that of caramel malt, some sweetness and a bit of fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is soft and dry, light bodied. Tastes pretty much like so many other beers in that same style that I have tried. The hops are pretty well thrown in and create a good balance. Quite sessionable.

Not memorable, but not bad at all. I'd have no problem drinking it again and again. Just not unforgettable.

 558 characters

Photo of justiceavocado
2.78/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Gift from an old friend in Canada, sent to me via my brother. From a 341mL bottle into a tulip.

A – Not sure what to expect from this one. Pours a clear reddish-orange with a good amount of visible carbonation, head dissipates in less than a minute, but lacing hangs out averagely well.

S – Crisp lemon and lime hops, but not orange or spices. Not particularly clear, but that's expected for the style.

T – Nose is slightly sweet lemon, followed immediately by smoky malts, finish is a mix of both, resulting in a kind of pine wax bitterness. Not boozy at all. Kind of a one-dimensional taste, upon reflection, just pine bitterness, and not much else. Not the worst quality, but not the best, either.

M – Velvet carbonation, lots of thin bubbles, almost like a bottle-conditioned belgian with sugar, which is weird for the style, like it was forced. Leaves a dry resin for a bit after a sip.

O – The bottle claims this is brewed with "a staggering amount of hops," but I don't know what the story is. I don't taste so much of a balance as a full-on bitterness with no aromatic or fruit or malt to balance it out. Again, it's one-dimensional. I prefer a beer to commit, really bring a strong presence – which might be a lot to ask of a 5% pale ale, but I've had others that fit my preference more nearly than this does.

 1,336 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amber clear ale, off-white with good lacing and some curtains.

Smelling citric, lemon, grape-fruit and pine needles.

Tasting of toffee, grape-fruit juice and crushed lemon seed.

Little carbonation, small bubbles, smooth with a medium body, a dry finish.

A good well balanced APA. Nice hop charatcer.

 306 characters

Photo of TheBeerGuy101
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a gem of a brew...

Deep copper in color and very light lacing.

The aroma is complex. Dark-Bitter Chocolate. Light Caramel, Heavy Roasted Malt. Hoppy. Slight Coffee. Floral. Spicy. Smokey.
One of the better smelling ales in my opinion!

The flavor of Tank house is easy drinking, crisp, pungent in malts, slight sweetness, slight bitterness - Almost woody like.
It's extremely well balanced.

This brew would pair well with an aged cheese.
I had with an extra old cheddar and some dry roasted, slightly seasoned peanuts.
If you like a spicy, smokey malty and hoppy brew, you'll certainly fall in love with this drink!
From start to finish, this one pleases every time.

 681 characters

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

341ml bottle poured into a Mill St. tulip.

A: Copper brown with a reddish hue. Off-white head that has nice lacing as you drink.

S: Does not to this brew justice. It is far fainter than the taste and is the only pitfall of this otherwise fine beer. Faint sent of malts and caramel.

T: Very nice and distinct taste that I have grown to love. Malty with hints on caramel and enough hops to balance it out. A slightly bitter finish that I love. Always consistent and a pleasure to taste.

M: Nice crisp carbonation that fades quickly enough not to mask the finish of this finely crafted ale. An almost smooth mouthful that is very enjoyable.

O: A staple in my beer fridge and my personal favourite drink with all factors considered (Everyday drink, price point, flavour preference etc). When reviewing/drinking other red/brown ales, Tankhouse sets the standard that is normally tough to match.

 894 characters

Photo of h20mbh
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark copper in color. nice head. medium carbonation. very clean looking if that makes sense?

hops. slightly woody in smell.

tastes like it smells. enjoy the after taste which lingers. dry. more hops than malt, but that is what I like.

somewhat light, but that wood like smell/taste seems to add a certain density to the mouthfeel.

great brewski. i mean great. can i say great again? not perfect but every category scored a 4/5 so can't ask for much more. one of my new favorites. highly recommend for an ipa lover, or really anyone looking to try something different than highly questionable "premium" macro lagers.

 660 characters

Photo of canadrian
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours a rich copper colour. Crystal clear in clarity. A light, cream coloured head tops the brew, made of moderately tight bubbles. One and a half fingers. Head dissipates fairly quickly but lacing lingers quite a while longer (though it was absent in the later half of the beer). Small bubbles steadily rising from bottom of glass to meet the cap hint at a nice level of carbonation.

S - Grapefruit notes, slightly metallic, from the Cascade are first noticed on the nose. A malt aroma is also present, slightly biscuity and toasty.

T - Bold, tart grapefruit flavour up front from the Cascades. Malt flavours (slightly roasted) evolve subtly but become more pronounced as the initial hop flavour disapates. Nice bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied mouth feel. Moderately tingly due to carbonation.

O - A nicely balanced, nicely flavoured APA which would session well, though can be enjoyed as a sipper as well.

 925 characters

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.

 776 characters

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

Appearance: It has a nice clear copper/amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice thick lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrusy hops with some sweet caramelly malts and some fruity notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice citrusy, piney/earthy hop character to it that brings a slight bitterness and has some bready, fruity and caramelly malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a med/high carbonation with a nice overall balance and flavor.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

 596 characters

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.

 419 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Marce in Toronto. Pours dark amber with a thick white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of caramel malt and hints of hops. Medium, tangy body. Grapefruit hops dominate the palate while caramel malt provide some balance. Medium finish is dry. Nothing special brew.

 277 characters

Photo of Converge
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Just under two fingers of thick, off-white head. Deep amber-orange and brown. Looks good. Bits of spotty lacing follow a nice soapy cap of foam down the glass.

S - Lots of leafy hops, with some nice caramel malt and brown sugar balancing it out. Smells very enticing.

T - Very good balance of citric and earthy hops with a nice malty backbone of caramel, bread, and spices. Simple but balanced and enjoyable.

M - Good carbonation and a medium bodied feel. Pretty creamy on the palate.

D - A nice and balanced APA with an enjoyable hop presence.

 598 characters

Photo of david18
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a large draft of this on a recent trip to Toronto. I tried a lot of beers on that trip. I didn't love any of them but this was a little better than most.

Appearance is a copper to amber color. Darkish head with a lot of active carbonation.

Aroma was more malty than hoppy, especially for a pale ale but overall a nice aroma.

Flavor was also a bit more malty than hoppy but pretty balanced and not bad.

Overall a pretty good beer. Nothing outstanding but good.

 471 characters

Photo of aletale
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a six-pack of bottles...

This beer pours a deep, clear copper colour. There is very minimal head even on a fairly aggressive pour, which was slightly disappointing.

However, the nose more than makes up for it. This resembles some of the more flavourful IPA's I've had in this past. A brilliant scent of spices, some bright fruits, as well as some hops come to mind.

A very interesting drinking beer. It is hoppier than the nose would indicate, leaving a nice dry aftertaste. On the front there is a very spicy, fruity, and perhaps even nutty bite to this beer. Very unique, to be sure. Plus, with it's medium/light carbonation, and lack of alcoholic 'bite' the beer drinks quite easily. I'd be tempted to chug it if it wasn't so flavourful.

Mill Street Tankhouse Ale drinks like a traditional English pale ale, with a few extra surprises. Definitely reccomended.

 880 characters

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.

 373 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first widely available APA in Ontario, and my introduction to Centennial hops. A frequent "session ale", seems odd to be reviewing it now after so many years of enjoying it...

Dark red-hued amber with a long-lasting, cream-coloured head. Decent level of carbonation and pleasant mouthfeel; no oiliness whatsoever. Hoppy aroma, pure "C" with citrus and pine notes. Well balanced taste, with caramelized malt sweetness blending into a "west-coast" bitter hop finish.

Excellent flavour palate for 5.2% ABV sessionability. A very drinkable beer that should appeal to many.

 575 characters

Photo of Kartoffeln
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark (but clear) coppery orange with a sizeable, foamy, tan head. Retention is solid: the head takes its time diminishing to a patchy cap of foam, and leaves the slightest bit of spotty lacing.

S: Caramel, biscuit, and roasted malts provide a well-rounded base for nuanced hop aromas - a clean and fresh floral, slightly grassy, and generally earthy character punctuated by spicy and citric (notably grapefruit; probably Cascade hops) notes.

T: Caramel and biscuit malts lead the sip, slightly bready and toasty, along with earthy, pine-like, floral hops. Segues into a more roasted malt and citrus/grapefruit hops with a bit of woodiness that complements the roasty malt.

M: Either on the heavy end of light-bodied or light end of medium-bodied, with light, creamy carbonation. The clean, bitter grapefruit/roasted malt finish balances the taste perfectly.

D: A great APA with exceptional balance and complexity to make it worth sipping as well as sessioning.

 975 characters

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a nonic glass.

LOOK (3.5/5) All in all, a pretty standard appearance for the style. It poured a nice coppery-red which was very clear. The head was nice and fluffy and sustained itself for an average time and left some good lacing. There was some really evident carbonation that was nice, but it faded pretty quickly.

SMELL (3.5/5) The smell was good example of the style. It was dominated by hops, with a somewhat earthier aroma. Some maltiness balanced the hops, and this was a mostly bready/biscuit with some toastier notes. A crisper finish.

TASTE (4/5) Similar to aroma. Some nice malts to begin, and obviously finishing with a strong earthier hop flavor. This finish was long, fading into a moderate bitterness.

FEEL (3.5/5) It was medium, but had a slight oily feel that coated the mouth in a long-lasting way that worked well with the drawn-out bitter end.

DRINK (4/5) I liked it a lot, I was happy to drink the glass. Its a nice rich brew that offers an experience at each mouthful. Good for sessioning.

 1,020 characters

Mill Street Tankhouse Ale from Mill Street Brew Pub
3.76 out of 5 based on 423 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.