Mill Creek Brewpub
11 S Palouse St
Walla Walla, Washington
Visited on May 25, 2009
There’s not much more disappointing than visiting a lackluster brewery after an entire extended weekend filled with the best the nation has to offer. This is the challenge that Walla Walla’s Mill Creek Brewpub faced as I stopped for the night after a weekend excursion to Portland.
I found the spot to be very ho-hum. It’s a typical large sports bar establishment that reminds you of a Buffalo Wild Wings, except not nearly as nice. Plastic flags, plastic banners, plastic tables, plastic chairs, slightly sticky floors, and a lot of space for a lot of people to cram into to drink pretty much sums this place up. The beer was below average, as was the pub grub. Not really worth the effort unless you happen to be in the town anyways.
The brewpub is somewhat hidden by trees on an odd-angled street. It’s a big, contemporary building that looks like it could be in a strip mall or house a Damons, Ruby Tuesdays, or the like. There’s a ton of room inside. A very long bar, several long bar tables, a bunch of high-tops, a patio packed with tables, and I believe even another room elsewhere. The décor is your typical bar scene. Lots of signs for specials, Bud, food, and the like. Not a bad place, but not a ton of character either.
They serve standard pub fare without any frills. Not sure if anything is handmade or not. I got a French Dip sandwich that was simple but delicious. The onion rings were good, but could easily have come out of a frozen bag. Not a bad option when in a town with no other brewpubs, but nothing to go out of your way for.
Four styles are typically on tap: wheat, IPA, porter and golden. They were out of the wheat when I came. The golden was sweet and aimed at first-time drinkers in the college town. The porter was a little thin but had a hint of depth. The IPA was the clear winner. They used plenty of hops to balance an elevated alcohol content, and they did it decently. Tons of flavors besides the upfront bitterness.