Mill St. Stock Ale

This is pretty much as simple as it gets. The most popular of the Toronto based Mill St. Brewery’s creations based on overall sales, the Stock Ale is a classic and original recipe that is made ‘without fillers and adjuncts’, says the back of the bottle. This pretty much means that the only ingredients in this beer are the ones absolutely necessary to produce a beer (under modern standards). Of course, these ingredients are water, malted barely, hops and yeast, and you won’t find much else inside of a Stock Ale. This is why Mill St. is so proud of this beer.

And it’s good. It represents exactly what beer is supposed to be like. So many distilleries pride themselves on the practice of producing certain robust flavors, and given that this is also very admirable, they skip right over the basics and subtleties of just producing beer. Not beer with coffee in it, or beer with hazelnuts and raisins in it, just the absolute necessities. By only having the bare minimum, it takes real skill to invent a recipe that is still great. Anyhow, I don’t have all that much to say about it, but this one is simple and good. I could drink this all night and never really get bored. It tastes like a lighter beer, but it’s not; another good quality of good beers, I find. The bitterness of the hops is light and complimenting to the malt. Neither too sweet or bitter.

Every single beer store has it, and the LBCO also occasionally caries it. I got this one in the sampler packs that have begun to show up this month. I look forward to drinking them all: some old favorites and 2 that I have never tried before. Be sure to tune in over the next week or so where I will review them all.

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6 Responses

  1. Even-though this beer is “simple” in taste and character, its really much more difficult to produce a beer that is this clean. Other beers that incorporate a multitude of spices, hops, adjuncts and secret sauces can rely on these ingredients to cover up any off flavours or bad brewing practices. If I attempted an organic ale, or a lager, I’m sure it’d taste like pee.

    My only biff with the Mill Street Organic is the clear bottles… Yes its nice to see the beautiful beer, but if its stored poorly where its exposed to light,, skunk sack. Thanks corona!

  2. The Stock Ale is perfect for what it is, a “stock ale”. I don’t often find myself seeking out such a “standard” beer, even if beer of this quality is not a universal standard. I’ve bought the Mill St. sampler packs many times and always find myself giving away the Stock Ale and it’s lighter cousin beer, the Organic Ale, to unsuspecting crappy beer drinkers. Crappy beer drinkers can enjoy this beer too, maybe even more so than me, as it probably blows away their standards. I also usually give away the lemon tea beer too, which leaves me with just 3 of the 6 beers that I purchased. I’ve basically stopped buying the sampler packs since Tankhouse, Coffee Porter and Wit Beer are all so easily accessible in 6 packs at the LCBO.

    Chris, I’ve heard, although not done any first-hand experiments, that green beer bottles are actually the worst storage medium – for some reason the light coming through the green glass is supposed to skunk the beer faster. Regardless, with beers like these, it’s no problem to consume them before they go rancid anyway, Stock Ale does not benefit from aging. Right now all my beer is in a fridge that’s turned off, just to save space and keep them out of the light, whether the plan is to keep them aging or not.

  3. Brown bottles = good
    Green bottles = not so good, slight resistance to uv
    Clear bottles = no good, no resistance to uv
    Clear and green bottles are okay if they are kept out of the light, but more of the time they are on the shelf just soaking up the rays. Take a look at the lcbo next time and see if you can spot the clear bottles of innis & gun just chillin’ on the shelf.. For shame on the retailers bad practices!

  4. Perhaps that is why Steam Whistle is so characteristically skunky? I have had it on draught straight from the brewery and the flavor is slightly different. Hense, keeping them in the green bottles definitely has AN effect on the taste when stored long enough, even if it is not too pronounced.

  5. Definitely! Eventhough their beer is stored nicely in those briefcases, they definitely turn skunky pretty quickly. If the date stamp on the bottle is old its not going to taste that great. If its fresh, its good. If your in the brewery, its great.

    All in all, put your home brew in brown bottles. Don’t do as these clear/green bottle companies do.

  6. Judging by how most beers are in brown bottles and we will just be using the multitudes of empties that are lying around the house, I don’t foresee an issue with the beer spoiling or turning weird due to the bottle colors!

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