“I want pizza.” This was the response when I asked if we had any plans for dinner. Not an odd request, but when my wife said she wanted to try Black Sheep I mentioned we could kill two birds with one stone. We’d been to the brewery before but I’d never formally blogged about it. With camera in tow we made our way across the river to Tin Whiskers Brewing.
There was a point where Tin Whiskers was one of the few craft beer options in the St. Paul area. Recently there has been a bit of a boom as our capitol tries to catch up with Minneapolis in that department, yet Tin Whiskers remains. You’ll notice immediately upon entering that there is something a bit different about this one. A giant mural of a robot drinking a pint of beer against gray circuitry welcomes you and grounds you within the engineering history of the owners. The name itself derives from a whisker, which is a term for tendrils between solder pads that can cause short circuits.
The taproom is small and narrow with long community tables running almost the entire length of the room. We ordered a couple of flights, grabbed a spot at the far end, and then called in our order to Black Sheep. Large windows face the street and urban St. Paul filled our view. A couple of rails wrap around concrete columns and a large glass garage door was raised to uncover a screen that was allowing a soft summer breeze to provide us with fresh air.
It was quiet when we arrived. By the time our pizza was in front of us it was busy, but not packed. As we sipped our beers and snacked on our coal fired pizza, low key lyrical musical filled the air and spilled into the street. It was a lazy night and the vibe matched our mood.
We’ve both had their beers several times before and on this trip the Lumen Lager jumped out at me. I’ve been digging on lagers lately and this one hit the spot. A bright rusty hue, full clean body, and a bready flavor paired extremely well with the pizza before me. I also had a Daisy Chain Saison Infusion with Key Limes, Short Circuit Stout on Nitro, and the Flip Switch IPA on Cask. The Daisy Chain was interesting with the strong lingering flavor of key lime. It had a bit too much ginger for my palate. Both the Short Circuit and Flip Switch went down smooth, owing much to their delivery method.
I’ve never been blown away by the beer at Tin Whiskers, but I’ve never been let down either. I’ve had great beers and a couple that were less desirable (I need to avoid pepper beers), but their flagships are always there and easy to drink. They have most of their beers available in 4oz, 10oz, and 16oz sizes. This is perfect for us because someone always has to drive but still wants to try a variety of beers. The real standout is the relaxed nature of the taproom. It’s a great place for a quiet discussion while watching the sun set in the windows of downtown St. Paul.