Lights Out with Mill Street Preview

On Saturday, March 28, 2015 more than 100 venues throughout Ontario will go dark as part of Mill Street Brewery’s fifth annual “Lights Out with Mill Street” fundraising event is support of and conjunction with Earth Day Canada. Along with some of my contemporaries like Ottawa Beer Events, Ottawa Beer Club and Ottawa Beer Calendar, I was invited to attend a preview event on Thursday, March 19 that literally gave us a taste of what to expect from the ones taking place during Earth Hour.

Lights Out with Mill Street

I arrived at Mill Street’s Ottawa Brewpub before sundown and was warmly greeted as I checked in and was given a couple of beer tokens – hey, this was a media event after all. Industrious local musician Amanda Rheaume was already mid set as I opted for a glass of the brewery’s classic German-style Pilsner, sat with some friends and was quickly reminded that my voice is not well-suited towards an intimate acoustic show.

Portage Ale: Canoe Pour Me One?

The flagship beer of the Mill Street Brewery Ottawa Brewpub is a cream ale that pours a slightly pale golden colour with a frothy white head that leaves a healthy amount of lace behind as it settles and gets retained as a thin, collared cap. Portage Ale smells mostly of sweet grains, wheat and yeast. There is a strong juice-like tone that hovers between raspberry, cherry and grape, and a slight hint of alcohol on the nose.

Portage Ale
This Cream Ale is Only Available in Ottawa

The taste of Portage Ale is rather sweet as well, with grains making up the bulk of the body. There is a strong grassy tone, a certain grape or apple juice-like flavour, as well as subtle milk chocolate and red berry notes. The ale is medium-bodied with a high carbonation level and is quite creamy on the tongue thanks to a distinct yeast character. The finish is dry and the aftertaste has lingering yeast and raw grain tones.