Monday, August 15, 2011

Louisiana Beer Road Trip: Tin Roof Brewing

Recently my wife wanted to take a nice little day trip to visit Louisiana's state capital in Baton Rouge. I could honestly give two craps about Baton Rouge due to it's association with that other school up there but the wife wanted to go so of course I went. The up side of visiting BR was I got to work in a visit to Tin Roof Brewing Company.

I've had their beers before but it had only been at beer festivals and well, I don't review beers from beer festivals. It's just a personal thing I believe in. In my opinion the beer isn't being served in its optimal environment so who am I to "judge" that beer properly. But what better way to judge a beer than straight from the brewery itself? There really isn't one.

The brewery is located close to the river and about a mile from that other schools campus. Apparently it used to be a Sears distribution center and is a decent size. As we walked in we noticed the tanks but our eyes were immediately drawn to the tower of empty cans sitting in the middle of the brewery. It was so cool to see and know that these guys were so close to getting their product out there in something other than draft.

We met with co-owner Charles Caldwell and a little bit later with other co-owner William McGehee. They showed us around and explained their process and expressed their excitement over getting the cans and also the canning line. Charles said that he was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of cans(90,000+) he had to order due to the minimum order. The canning line pumps out 35 cans in one minute. If my math is correct I think that 90,000 cans translates to roughly 42 hours worth of canning beer and I believe roughly 234 barrels of beer. That's 36 gallons in a barrel and me translating ounces into gallons and then into barrels. Yeah I could be wrong. Overall translation: That's a shit ton of beer.

The place was a decent size but the ceiling wasn't very high which can be a bad thing since it can and does affect the size of their tanks. In the picture below you'll see that they are short and squat. I believe Charles said they were 30 barrel tanks. In the end they'll have to work some long hours or change facilities because just like in Jaws, They're gonna need a bigger tank. Or was the boat? Whatever.

Despite the size of the brewery they made damn sure to ensure they have a beautiful kick ass bar complete with muther fucking Kenny Powers. I really liked the bar and think something like that should be built in my back yard. I may need to recruit my buddy Riki Fink because I'm sure he has mad bar building skills. You hear me Riki?

Overall these guys are cool as shit and the beer is damn good. I love that Louisiana is slowly but surely building an amazing local brewery scene and I feel so privileged to be a part of it! Thanks Charles and William for the awesome visit!!

Oh and here is my review of Perfect Tin Amber!

Brewery: Tin Roof Brewery

Beer: Perfect Tin Amber

Style: Amber Ale

ABV: I have no clue

Louisiana Availability: Yes, of course.

Price Range: Around $5.

Nice copper, golden color with a beautiful, frothy off-white head.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of caramel, sweet toffee and nuts with a slight hoppy aroma.

Taste: Nice aggressive maltiness balanced well with a hint of hops. Toasted bread, caramel and honestly a slight tobacco(Red Man)flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: A fantastic brew that will capture a wide drinking audience. Inoffensive yet still flavorful. It's important to do this in Louisiana especially in a college town and Tin Roof has managed to do this well. Oh and GO GREENWAVE!!!!!

Score: 4 out of 5 Buddha's Photobucket


The Beer Buddha


Smurfe said...

Nice you got to review a very good beer. I really like the Perfect Tin. I have to say though I like the Bengal Pale Ale 10 times more. It has to be one of the smoothest and balanced Pale Ales I have had yet to enjoy.

For my palate they have hands down the best beers in Louisiana right now and we actually have some pretty good beers brewed here. I hope they continue to brew a few beers great and not feel they have to brew every style out there less successfully.

Once again, thanks for supporting the little guys. Hopefully someday soon they will be well known outside our area.

Smurfe said...

I forgot to ask. Did they give you a projected time frame when they will be rolling those cans out to the shelves? I can't wait as I would rather enjoy a cold one at home rather than having to drive into BR to a beer bar to have their beer.

Travis said...

A few thoughts. The short squat tanks may be beneficial to the beer as it puts less pressure on the yeast during fermentation, resulting in healthier yeast and a lower likelihood of yeast related off-flavors.

Regarding reviewing a beer at the brewery - I agree that a beer should not possibly be better anywhere other than at the brewery unless perhaps it requires some conditioning. However, if a beer does not serve well at commercial locations, it may not be the locations, but rather a flaw in the brewing. My point being that beer should be judged as served to John Q. Public, while potentially being sampled at more than one location.

Riki said...

Sounds like we ate building a bar. We should talk to Barefoot, he built one not to long ago.

The Beer Buddha said...

Smurfe- I was told hopefully by September 1st in BR.

Travis-Thanks for the insight. Although beer festivals in my opinion are NOT an ok environment for reviews.

Riki- Hell yeah!



Josh@lazymagnolia said...

Tin Roof canning already? thats supper quick! to my knowledge there less than a year old. also its a pretty can. i like.

Side Bar. a barrel is 31.5 gallons in the us and 36 in the uk. so that would be closer to 276 barrels...but if they role out a tank of beer a day (im just speculating here) that would only be 2 weeks of canning. its a ton of cans but they could blow through them pretty easily.

The Beer Buddha said...


Yeah thanks for the heads up regarding barrels. I unfortunately didn't do my homework properly and glanced over the numbers!



Dave said...

Any word about those cans being sold in New Orleans or will a road trip to Baton Rouge be necessary to find them?

The Beer Buddha said...


They will be releasing in BR first but then NOLA after that. Not sure of an exact date.



Travis said...

@Buddha: I agree on festivals. However, Tin Roof is available on tap in New Orleans. You probably new that. Just want to make sure you know what I am referring to i.e. not beer festivals.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in the "Beer" world a Barrel of beer is 31 gallons. This was done to ease taxation calculations for the Feds.

A Brewmaster!