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55 Mill St. (Distillery District)
Ambience: Although it only opened last October, the Mill St. Brew Pub has already established itself as one of the Distillery District’s most popular venues for dining and drinking. The pub features an in-house commercial microbrewery where the Mill St. brand is prepared for bottling and consumption on-site, but it’s the high-ceilinged, wood-panelled and sports-friendly atmosphere that seems to be drawing increasing numbers of regulars and new visitors to this burgeoning Toronto neighbourhood. The designers have utilized the old distillery features in a way that maintains the district’s sense of history, but offers enough of a contemporary vibe to avoid seeming museum-like.
Crowd: As more residents move into the area, places like the Mill St. Brew Pub are becoming regular after-work and evening haunts. The venue gets packed throughout the week and on weekends by a predominantly older crowd which naturally includes a fair number of beer geeks looking to critique the latest, freshest kegs of brew.
Dress code: Wear your favourite jeans and whatever other apparel makes you happy. If you’re really stuck, just pop into the attached gift and clothing shop and you’re sure to find some Mill St. gear ready to wear.
Should I dance on the bar? No. However, you can probably learn how to brew your own beer so you can’t get much better than that.
Will I get lucky? You definitely have a chance. But of course you have a ridiculous number of beers in which to drown your sorrows if things don’t work out.
Best accessory: A discerning palate.
Cocktail du jour: There’s only one cocktail that counts here and it’s served in a pint glass. This brew pub serves dozens of homemade lagers, ales, porters and everything in-between that’s made with hops and barley. Because most of their beers are brewed in-house, Mill Street’s beers are often up for grabs a day or two after brewing. Try the India Pale Ale, the organic lager, or the raspberry beer when it’s available.
Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-midnight.