Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The venison reuben at Mill Street Brewery in Calgary is a welcome spin on the ordinary, a monster of a sandwich served with a bag of crispy fries that could easily serve two.

Chris Bolin

2 out of 4 stars

Mill Street Brewery
219 17 Ave. SW, Calgary, Alberta
Elevated pub fare
Vegetarian Friendly?
Mill Street’s signature beers and a list of seasonal beers made on-site. Cider, some wine and cocktails also available
Very standard pub design and fairly noisy
Calamari, venison reuben, short rib mac and cheese
Additional Info
With its proximity to the Saddledome, the pub is very busy prior to Calgary Flames home games

Even those with the slightest interest in beer know that Mill Street Brewery has been growing its sudsy empire for quite some time now. Now owned by Labatt Breweries of Canada, the brewery's most popular beers, such as Original Organic Lager or Cobblestone Stout, are available across the country.

While it is primarily known for its beer lineup, Mill Street also has a handful of brewpub locations in Toronto, Ottawa and St. John's. This past fall, Calgary was the newest city to join the family.

The old house that the brewpub calls home oozes character. The Costigan House is one of the only century-old homes left on the busy avenue and it sticks out in a charming way. In its past life, it was a nightclub (Tequila's) and, more famously, a popular live music venue called Republik. Everyone from local breakout star Jocelyn Alice to Bif Naked and Lady Gaga have performed here over the years. If only these walls could talk.

Story continues below advertisement

But if they could, they might whisper in dismay about the atmosphere that's been imposed on them.

Take a look inside Calgary's Mill Street Brewery

Seemingly hastily designed, the soul of the space (the former lower-level concert area) has been sucked out and replaced with the pub's bar area. Surrounding the many high-top tables and stools are stainless-steel tanks for brewing beer – a necessity of a brewpub, I realize, an unnecessarily open kitchen visible through large windows, plenty of televisions and substantial fluorescent lighting that would wreck a first date.

The upstairs dining area doesn't fare much better, with a dark blue coat of paint and a few black and white photographs hung throughout. Aside from the chatter of other tables and clanking of pints of beer, the establishment feels terribly soulless for a building with so much history. It's a shame.

With the unpleasantries out of the way, let's move along to greener pastures.

The beer company certainly made the right move enlisting Creative Restaurants Group to be its local operating partner. The group owns a handful of local spots including Bonterra, Posto, Cibo and Scopa, all of which are reliably delicious Italian eateries with pleasant service.

As such, in my experiences, the pub is full of friendly bartenders and servers that are happy to help you find a beer to your tastes and explain the food menu with ease. Though the Mill Street Brewery standards are all on tap, the pub does have its own resident brewer who comes up with some refreshing brews that are worth opting for, such as the slightly bitter Digger's Dunkel or the undeniably refreshing Costigan Kolsch.

Story continues below advertisement

As for the food? Well, it's good. Actually, it's surprisingly good.

Creative Restaurants executive chef Glen Manzer has come up with a creative pub menu that is anything but basic. For example, his indulgent take on calamari arrives warm and tender in a rich lobster cream sauce with chunks of roasted squash, crispy wild rice and garlic breadcrumbs.

The venison reuben is a welcome spin on the ordinary with a portion of shaved venison meat fit for a giant sandwiched between marble rye with sauerkraut, gooey cheese and aioli. It's a monster of a sandwich that comes with a bag of crispy fries on the side. If one did not have an equally monstrous appetite, it could be easily split by two people.

Since comfort food is king in the wintertime, mac and cheese is a fitting choice. Though it's a little too steep in its price ($23), the mac and cheese topped with braised short rib ticked all of the boxes of what a fulfilling and appropriately cheesy pasta dish should be.

You'll need some of the perogies on your table, too, especially since the classic dish is rarely seen on a contemporary restaurant menu here in Calgary. It's filled with whipped potatoes and gouda cheese and served with caramelized onions, cabbage, lardons, garlic sausage and sour cream. A Ukrainian Baba would approve.

I am not normally a fan of rice pudding, but I'm always ready to be proven wrong.

Story continues below advertisement

The pub's warming wild rice pudding with a sweet saskatoon compote and finished in a couple of healthy spoonfuls of beer caramel sauce was another unexpectedly thoughtful dish, especially on a cold January night.

This Mill Street brewpub is a perfect example of how a restaurant's design can affect a dining (or drinking) experience. Food is only one half of the equation at best.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies