Recently, I visited the most recently opened brewery in Saint Paul, Tin Whiskers Brewing Company. I had been following their progress for a couple months, and joined their email list so I would know when they planned to officially open the doors to the taproom. Last week, I received that notification. They opened on Friday, May 16th, and it was reported that they had a full house that night and on Saturday. I wasn’t able to make it this past weekend, so I decided to stop into the brewery yesterday.
Walking into the brewery, the first thing I noticed was the very large and open taproom. The outside “wall” facing 9th street is all windows, allowing the space to be illuminated by daylight. A useful arrangement (and a good number) of tables and chairs are spread throughout, including a couple of well placed sofas. There is also a nice long bar for anyone who wants to be right next to the taps and get a good view of the brewery. Nothing separates the open space of the taproom from the brewery area, which makes the whole place feel that much larger.
I sat down at the bar and took a look at the TV displaying the available beers and prices. They have 4 beers at the moment, along with a bonus nitro version of their stout. I ordered a flight so I could sample Batch Alpha (American Wheat), Batch Beta (Stout), Wheatstone Bridge (American wheat with honey and chamomile tea), and Flip Switch IPA. Check out my twitter feed if you want to see details from the experience. I will say that I was mostly happy with their solid selection of beers for having just recently opened. While at the bar, I was also fortunate enough to get into a fun bit of conversation with one of the 3 founders of the brewery, George Kellerman. Thanks for the beer chat, George!
On the bar, their were little flip-book style signs that had various relevant information. One of the pages encouraged taproom patrons to bring their own food and/or order from any of the nearby restaurants, including Key’s Cafe, Sawatdee, and Black Sheep Pizza. I was very tempted to order some delicious food, but I resisted this time. I’m sure I’ll end up ordering something next time.
Another of the pages in their book describes how they have a “stage” for each of the beers that they have on tap. The “stages” are listed on the TV alongside the beer names, and this page from the bar-top sign is the key to understanding them. Here is a pic:
I personally think it’s a pretty cool idea. They’re keeping their customers well-informed this way and also giving them an opportunity to share opinions on the Alpha and Beta beers, which might even be reflected in the next batches.
When I was done with my pint of nitro Batch Beta, I got up from the bar and took a couple pictures as I made my way to the exit. I had a good experience in this new taproom and I felt that a return trip was inevitable. Then I looked at this wall and I saw that the Tin Whiskers mascot already knew I would be coming back. Just look at what I’m talking about:
Yep, I’ll probably be visiting again soon to have a beer with the robot…