Featuring a full spectrum of ‘hop-noxious’ brews in Manchester’s modern commercial-university district, cavernous lower level pub, MILLY’S TAVERN, resides in a bridge-shaded tall red brick building, visited New Year’s eve ‘05. Located along the riverside, the former Stark Mill Brewery (re-christened Milly’s Tavern in 2002) is a mere fifteen minute drive from Nashua’s friendly brewpub competitor, Martha’s Exchange. Exposed ducts, right and rear dining, and local nighttime entertainment mark this ample half-basement lair.

Brew tanks located behind centered Formica-topped bar served cornucopia of brews. Palest straw-hued hop-tingled lemon-tweaked lo-carb Euro pilsner-styled Fisher Cat Ale, wheat-husked hop-spiced spritzer Amoskeag Harvest Ale, vacuous lemony respite Mount U. Golden Cream Ale, and thinly fruit-spiced Tasha’s Red Tail Ale will please lighter tastes.

Better were exquisitely-detailed, brown-sugared, pumpkin pie-like, cinnamon-allspice-glanced Pumpkin Ale, dry piney-hopped citric-embittered alcohol-sharp Manch-Vegas IPA, resinous coffee-dried caramel-burnt black chocolate-y General John Stark Porter, butterscotch-hazelnut-sweetened Brownnoser (Brown Ale), and robust oats-toasted, anise-lingered, black chocolate-reinforced Milly’s Oatmeal Stout.

Revisited Granite State’s centralized Merrimack Valley corridor during snowy January 2010 sojourn. My wife and I enjoyed flatbread pizza, soup, and salad while sitting at open L-shaped bar mid-afternoon trying brewer Ron Gamble’s latest elixirs.

Mugs hanging from ceiling pipe ballast set the stage for two-hour beer blitz starting with mild yellow-fruited green-hopped soft-spiced Fisher Cat Ale and molasses-sapped honey-spiced corn-syrupy lemon-dried Buzzin Bee Honey Wheat. Berliner Weisse-styled Bold Horizons placed mildly spiced lemon-soured apricot-peach tartness next to tangy tangerine-orange undertones. Peanut, macadamia, and walnut saddled affable black coffee-spiced Castlefield Northern English Brown Ale as well as tart black cherry-fronted dry-malted coffee-burnt Ploughman’s Cherry Porter.

Hop-roasted chocolate-soured prune-dried blood-like Li’l Ivan Foreign Extra Stout was outscored by old standby, Milly’s Oatmeal Stout. Savored Man In The Moon, a dry-peppered Belgian-style Saison working lusty alcohol influence into vanilla-malted yellow fruiting and receding banana-clove sweetness, as a digestif.

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