Tin Whiskers Brewery

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St. Paul, Minnesota is a small city, and very clean with few visible vacancies in its downtown area.  It’s the kind of area you might want to walk around, either on the streets or the connecting skyways.  But, 0oF temperatures and icy roads are not a motivator, and my travels tend to coincide with just that type of weather.   Not this time, though, so it was a great opportunity to visit a new brewery, Tin Whiskers.

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I’m a sucker for robots.  I want to like a brewery with a robot mascot.  I admit.  And I was afraid that their beer would disappoint.  It didn’t. 

The brewery’s location seems unlikely, but a general trend among craft breweries is that they reclaim old or unusual (cheap) structures for their business ventures.  The Rossmor Building is a former shoe factory and now a loft condo. Having a brewery on the ground floor would be pretty convenient for residents.

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Enter the building, take the first door on the right…

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…and there’s a massive robot on the wall.  It’s actually viewable from the sidewalk through large pane windows that allow ample light in the building.  The space within is open and simplistic.  The ubiquitous stainless steel tanks are within view, marginally separated from the tasting area by the bar.

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And, from the bar, good things flow.  This is the Flip Switch IPA.  The company names their beers in terms that relate to electrical engineering, as the founders were once Electrical Engineering students, then home brewers, and now business owners.  The brewery’s name, Tin Whiskers, refers to tiny hairs that grow from metal surfaces in electrical devices, potentially causing short circuits.

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Other beers include the Wheatstone Bridge, Short Bridge, Short Circuit and… you get the drift.  Below is their current Flip Switch “Infusion,” said to include a light peach flavor.  I couldn’t find that, but it was tasty.  On another note, their Short Circuit is described as a “sweet stout,” which I liked a lot – it seemed to thin the stout a bit and make it more drinkable.

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Beer is good.  But there has to be more to brewery visit than that, even with a wall sized beer wielding robot.  There are a couple of low volume TVs, so if you want to watch selected sports programming, you can.

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Wednesdays are trivia night, but Thursdays is robot building.  Bins of Legos are provided, and there is a contest to build the best robot.  The prize?  I don’t know.  But it seems a very creative way to pump your theme and keep people entertained at a table.

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So, suggestions for improvement.  First, they’re only a year old, but they need more variety.  I’m sure they’ll get there in time.  Otherwise, the merchandise… you’ve got a killer logo, but…  not everyone in the world wants to wear black, and if they do, they don’t necessarily want large capital block lettering on the back.  And further, most probably resist paying for any T-shirt that I would call “concert thin,” the cheapest fabric possible.  Get some durable cloth.  And then, for those preferring grey or red, why is the robot on the side?  And the “Tin Whiskers” name plate?  Not needed.  I opted for the tin wall plate by default (upper left of the photo below), but I was hoping for a decent shirt.  (or maybe a hat with a fully centered logo).  Someone got overly creative…  In any case, I’ll see what’s on draught whenever I’m in town.  Good vibe, good beer.

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1 comment :

  1. On my list to visit IF I get to St. Paul. Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete