If drinking in St. Paul, Tin Whiskers is a great place to start or end. With Bad Weather (another beautiful brewery making good beer), and beer destinations like The Muddy Pig and Happy Gnome nearby, St. Paul is bustling with craft beer.
Everyone here – from the friendly, beer-seeking taproom manager, to the quiet, always-improving head brewer – is top-notch. I know because I learned how to clean kegs on a manual keg-washing system here. Take it with a grain of salt if you don’t believe me, but Tin Whiskers makes one of the best beers in the state: Wheatstone Bridge.
The wheat beer isn’t my favorite beer they make, but after taking home many a growler after my keg-washing afternoons, it’s easy to say that the wheat, some floral chamomile, and sweet honey forms a harmonious trifecta. The body isn’t thin, but not motor-oil thick, resting perfectly in between. It’s the beer you give to someone who isn’t sure they really like beer. A beer that will have that drinker turn to you and proclaim, “Oh my god – this is so good. I’m getting another.”
The IPA is a good example of the west-coast style, more bitter than juicy. The stout, though a bit thin, provides good milk chocolate notes. Lecky Scottish Ale (each beer name is tied to electrical engineering), just arriving on Rochester shelves in pint cans and on tap handles, is smoky without being overbearing, perfect for the winter months.
But where Tin Whiskers really shines is its infusions. I remember cleaning one of the kegs of stout filled with a trio of forest berries. Behind the brewery at the dumpster I unwrapped a bag of bright red, dark blue, and pinkish goop that surely would have stained my shirt had it not been black.
With so much fruit, peppers, and syrup used in these infusions, Tin Whiskers has a great idea of what works. A recent favorite was the stout with blueberries and maple syrup. I dare say it had notes of Toppling Goliath’s nationally ranked Mornin’ Delight, thanks to perfectly used syrup.
Other great infusions include the Parity Pilsner infused with habanero (my pilsner-loving mom couldn’t get enough), Wheatstone Bridge with jalapeño, and the same wheat beer with cactus fruit and pear.
These infusions rotate constantly, so visitors can always find something to enjoy, or a new experience.
The downtown brewery is also perfectly situated for eating. Around the corner are Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza, and Sawatdee Thai, just to get you started. Most of the places deliver, meaning when you’re playing Cards Against Humanity with friends you haven’t seen in a while, enjoying that blueberry pancake stout at the brewery, you can recline in the comfy couches and chairs until it arrives.
As for the taproom itself, it’s quite compact on busy days, splitting the space between taproom and production area.
The brewing equipment stares back at patrons who sit at the bar. Behind them are large tables, the corner with the comfy chairs and couch, and shelves for beer by the windows that allow you to set your beer or flight board down while you stand.
The natural light is enjoyable thanks to the large windows, which open up in the summer to let in the outside air.
So take a trip to St. Paul and toast the giant robot mural (you can’t miss it) with some Wheatstone Bridge.