In case the title didn’t tip you off about the content of this post, I’ll cut right to the tweet-worthy and SEO-friendly portion of today’s entry: the delicious vanilla porter that Joel Manning and co. have been releasing seasonally on draught for the last four years is slated to come to a store near you. Yes, Mill Street Brewery’s Vanilla Porter is coming to the LCBO.
This is–speaking frankly as a person who loves a good dark, rich, winter beer–great fucking news. This is a delicious beer.
And, since I’ll take any occasion to hop on my soapbox, I’d also like to point out that, like a lot of beer brewed by those folks out in the Distillery District, Mill Street’s Vanilla Porter doesn’t get enough love from the city’s beer fanatics. I mean, it’s undeniable that it’s a good beer, but people always seem hesitant to put it up on a pedestal like they would something from say, Great Lakes Brewery, perhaps owing to the fact that Mill Street is generally seen as something like a new mid-level category of brewer one might call “big craft.”
It’s a fair assessment for sure (they ain’t exactly hurtin’ for dough), but the fact that we tend to hesitate to champion their beer as a result is a bit of a shame. It’s something like not liking a band once they sign to a major label. I mean I can totally dig the impetus behind supporting the small and independent (obviously), but it’s pretty dumb to dismiss that which is successful simply by virtue of its success. Did Nirvana, for example, become a lesser band when they ditched Sub Pop records and went to DGC? Uh, no, they released Nevermind and then In Utero, two of the most influential rock albums of all time. Now I’m not calling Joel Manning Kurt Cobain and I certainly hope that his wife won’t also conspire to murder him and make it look like a suicide, I’m just trying to say that when the people behind the production of a beer are clearly passionate about said beer and that beer tastes good, then just drink the fucking beer and stop worrying about what’s cool, dude.
However, if you must drink your Mill Street beer in secret to maintain your street cred, now you can happily down Vanilla Porter and listen to Nirvana’s Unplugged in the privacy of your basement while you publicly espouse a rare one-off beer and the virtues of Nirvana’s Blew, a 1989 EP released only in the UK.
For those of you who might not already be familiar with this great beer, Mill Street Vanilla Porter is an English-style porter made with caramel malt and roasted barley and it’s impossibly rich and sweet. It’s brewed with Nugget hops which help dry the beer without making it bitter and, importantly, it has pure, natural vanilla extract added to it prior to filtration and gassing.
The result is a fantastic and complex winter beer that you should by no means feel ashamed about drinking.
Like the equally-fantastic Mill Street Cobblestone Stout, the Vanilla Porter cans are Nitrogen-charged, meaning it pours thick with plenty of head.
The beer should hit select LCBO’s as early as tomorrow, Tuesday October 15, and is expected to be fully rolled out by Friday so you can pick some up this weekend.
Some of the city’s other brewers in grunge-era band analogy:
Steamwhistle: Pearl Jam – Providing consistent quality with solid mainstream appeal.
Great Lakes Brewery: Stone Temple Pilots – Popular product early on that got even more complex and interesting as time went on.
Amsterdam Brewery: Soundgarden – Pioneers in the scene who somehow only really got noticed when the scene took off around them.
Black Oak Brewery: Mudhoney – Early on the scene and consistently putting out good stuff, though they have difficulty gaining mainstream traction.