Since becoming an avid craft beer drinker in 2005, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for a brewery with a unique concept and brand. I am drawn to creative names for beers and eye-catching tap handles. There is something comforting and familiar about being able to pick a favorite beer brand out of a lineup of a myriad of taps at a bar. From the names of their beer all the way to their robot logo and tap handles, Tin Whiskers is a recognizable brand that will only continue to grow, and it is in large part to the approachability of their beer.
The Tin Whiskers taproom is in the Rossmor Building downtown St. Paul. The vibe of the taproom evoked memories of the taprooms in Colorado. The abundance of windows and exposed brick provide a very industrial and clean feel which fits very well with their engineering-themed brewery. The bright lights and long communal tables make this a natural space to gather and meet people. They also have a nice long bar that you can belly up to and enjoy some nice conversation with other patrons, or the knowledgeable beertenders. If you are hungry, the brewery shares the same building as Black Sheep Pizza, Sawatdee and Key’s Cafe. If takeout or delivery is not your thing, then they encourage you to bring a picnic if you crave something to nosh while you imbibe. The name, Tin Whisker, comes from an electrical engineering term for a soldering failure on a circuit board. However, let me assure you, there are no failures when it comes to their portfolio of approachable beers on tap. The lineup of beers at Tin Whiskers have several things going for them: approachability, depth, and drinkability. There is truly something here for everyone.
If you are into hoppy beers, the Flipswitch IPA comes in at 6.2 ABV and 63 IBU and has plenty of hop presence. Chinook, Citra, Warrior and Centennial hops are used in the boil and then the beer is dry-hopped with Citra and Warrior hops. This beer is big on earthy, citrus and floral aromas and has a nice malty presence to make it a very drinkable and balanced American IPA. The hop bitterness is not heavy-handed for this beer and I tend to prefer that when it comes to American IPAs.
If you are into something refreshing, the Wheatstone Bridge American Style Wheat ale is something that is perfect for those Minnesota summer days. What separates this from other wheat beers is the use of honey and chamomile which give it a very pleasant and complex flavor and aroma. This beer is orange in color and is slightly cloudy. The beer is light and effervescent and at 5.4 ABV and 20 IBU, it will appeal to a wide range of beer drinkers.
If you are in the mood for a pilsner, the Parity Pilsner is a nice option. This is a very balanced beer with a slight sweetness and just enough hop bite to give it a great flavor. The slightly sulfuric yeast character, which I find incredibly pleasing in this style, is present and accounted for. The beer drinks crisp and bright and is a nice addition. This beer is 5.8 ABV and 29 IBU, making it very drinkable and approachable.
Moving towards their malty selections we have the Ampere Amber. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of amber beers, so I was not expecting a whole lot from this offering. I was pleasantly surprised to find that instead of the overbearing malty sweetness that I have come to dislike in amber beers, the Ampere Amber has a distinctly roasted malt character which makes the beer crisp and gives it an edge. This beer, like most of their others, is very drinkable 5.3 ABV and 48 IBU and perfect for fall.
The Boolean Brown is one of my favorites from Tin Whiskers. It has a roasted malt aroma that is so rich and inviting. The flavor has a very nice biscuity and melanoidin flavor which balances out the sweetness from the malt. The mouth feel is a little dry and the roasted malt gives it a nice bite that makes you want to enjoy another pint of this delicious beer.
As we are entering fall, nothing says warm me up like a nice and flavorful stout. In my opinion, the Short Circuit Stout (5.3 ABV and 31 IBU) embodies everything right about this style. It is robust and roasty. It is velvety and slightly sweet from the chocolate and lactose. This is what I will definitely come back and have several pints of because it hits on all cylinders from flavor to mouthfeel. If that wasn’t enough to get you to put the coordinates in your smartphone and head on down there; Short Circuit is also available on Nitro! Yes, imagine all the velvety goodness I described and add in the cascading smoothness of my second favorite gas. Well, I don’t need to tell you that you know what you are going to do when the weekend hits.
You can also order a Short Bridge, which is a half and half pour of the Short Bridge Wheat and the Short Circuit Stout. Believe it or not, the chocolate from the stout and the sweetness from the wheat beer play very well together.
As a St. Paul resident myself, I cannot say enough about how excited I am to see Tin Whiskers putting out the beer that they do. Whether you are a beer connoisseur or are just dipping your toes in the craft beer pool for the first time, you will find something to enjoy at Tin Whiskers
The atmosphere of the taproom is a great place to eat, drink and be merry.