Hey everybody! I’m Robbie, the Lead Cellarman. Just to tell you a little about myself, I moved here from Colorado, where I was living in a small mountain town with a history of making the best beer in the world (the six breweries in Durango combined for 3 World Beer Cup medals and 4 Great American Beer Festival medals in 2016 alone). People always ask, why I would ever leave, but I came to Louisiana for a few reasons:
- I love the culture of The South, Louisiana in particular, because there’s a deep sense of origin and place in the music, the food, and the people that you can’t find anywhere else in the world really. I’m loving diving into everything Baton Rouge. I’ve had my first home game tail gate, and a bunch of other Baton Rouge institutions, I’m really looking forward to my first Mardi Gras and crawfish boils.
- I wanted to work in a craft brewery in The South that had that same sense of place, that it could only exist where it is. Tin Roof feels like it belongs in Baton Rouge, that it couldn’t exist without the little warehouse and grassy lawn and patio here off of Nicholson Drive. A lot of breweries are popping up in The South that don’t feel like they belong, that they’re mimicking style or bravado from other parts of the country, or they are literally an extension of a brewery from the other side of the country.
- I wanted to work at a brewery that gave me a chance to grow, to experiment, and to lead. This is where Tin Roof has come through in spades. The owners, Charles and William, have trusted me with some important decisions as far as the cellar goes, whether it’s buying $6,000 pieces of equipment, or scheduling filters, or changing cellar procedures, it doesn’t matter because they want to do what’s right for the beer.
In 2016, our production team, led by Head Brewer Michael Till, has really nailed down our core recipes, from completely redoing our hoppy beers, to tweaking some of our lighter beers. having everything locked in, I’m super excited for 2017, because we’re going to be able to experiment with all kinds of cool new stuff. We just had a new 30 bbl fermenter dropped off, with the intention of doing mixed or alternative fermentations, in either an old tank, or using this new tank.
Later today we’re filling some brandy barrels with a 10.5% Old Ale that will be ready later this year. We also have some freshly emptied heaven hill bourbon barrels that we’re filling with this year’s Smiling Ivan, and I imagine that our barrel aging program will continue to grow (personally, I would love to do something with red wine barrels, or play around with some barrel fermented saisons or rustic pale ales), but more to come on this later!
Anyway, I hope to see you guys in the brewery, come say hi (I’m the one with the unkempt beard and big safety glasses).