Saco -Geoff Houghton saw the potential in an old abandoned mill in Saco and made it home to a very popular brew pub. Houghton, who also owns The Liberal Cup in Hallowell, had an idea or two upon which to expand when he created Run of the Mill. And those ideas have definitely worked.

First impressions are important, and I was floored when I walked into the Run of the Mill. The large wooden floor planks, combined with the brick of the walls, gives the place a rustic, historic and quaint feel. With more than 13,000 square feet, two smaller dining rooms and lots of little areas to set up for a small gathering, the space is impressive.

Add to that a large patio with seating for more than 100 overlooking the river, and I do believe I’ve found another reason to travel south. With live music and an in-house brewery, the tunes and brews are always flowing.

I counted 24 beers brewed on a yearly basis. Whenever you go in, you’ll always have seven choices. When I visited, they included Bug Lager, Impact Pale Ale, What’s Hoppin’ XPA, Tarbox Creme Stout and the Cassk Kickin’ IPA. Sizes and prices range, but all are reasonable. Try a sample paddle of all seven beers on tap for just $5.

A full bar is available, and wine is served by the glass or bottle. Run of the Mill doesn’t set happy hour, but they do have drink specials. With daily lunch and dinner specials, you’ll find the place busiest on weekends. Mug club members line the bar, and college students pop over daily from UNE’s Biddeford campus to enjoy the homemade comfort food.

Beer cheese soup ($3.50 a cup), the Bob Cobb salad ($10.75) and the Saco Island Reuben are among a few different things to choose from on the food menu. Or go big and opt for the shepherd’s pie ($9.50) or the drunken pot roast for $9.95.

Fish and chips are a huge seller, and you can get a half or full portion for $8.50 or $11.25, respectively. A second kitchen opens when the patio opens, so be sure to clarify the menu options before being seated for lunch or dinner.

I’ll be heading back as soon as the Summer Bitter Summer Not comes out, to find myself a seat on that great deck. I may even stay for two beverages and try the Dog Days Summer Wheat.

 

Amber Olesen is freelance writer who lives in Westbrook.