One of our favorite things about craft brewing now is the amount of new breweries popping up in unexpected places; areas not traditionally associated with brewing are now flowing with delicious locally made beer. Indiana is a great example of this. We recently tasted Munster's 3 Floyds Brewing and today we're sampling another new Indiana brewery, Tin Man Brewing.
Founded in 2012, Tin Man makes their beer in a 20 hectoliter (approximately 528 gallon) brewhouse that is notable for using a mash filter to squeeze wort from the grain, as opposed to the traditional lautering through the grain; they're is only the 3rd brewery in the country to use this technique. Tin Man's beer can be found on draft or in 16 ounce cans. We sampled four of these cans - Circuit, Rivet, Overlord, and 3Gear - at our tasting table. Read on for our tasting notes and be sure to leave your own in the comments if you've tried these tasty beers.
This very clear hay colored Bohemian Pilsner had a pleasantly fresh and fruity aroma with a slight amount of spice on the back. It reminded us of a field of grass, or perhaps corn. Highly enjoyable with a light metallic cracker-like taste, the refreshing Circuit had a slight bitterness from its Saaz hops.
An Irish Red Ale brewed with Nugget and Willamette hops and American ale yeast, Rivet poured a deep, almost orange, copper that was mildly hazy and full of fine-bead bubbles. With a surprisngly boozy aroma and notes of raisiny sweetness on the nose, Rivet reminded us of a barleywine despite it's 5.1% ABV. With a mildly sour tang that faded quickly and an attenuated mouthfeel, the raisin notes carried over to the taste but much of the sweetness did not.
Overload is a rich imperial IPA, full of "C" hops (Columbus, Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook). The 2-Row and Caramel malts gave the brew a light caramel yet clear appearance that we described as dull gold. The very fine bubbles carried the citrusy and mildly sweet aroma to our nose. The citrus and cedar notes also reminded of a white or citrus tea. On the tongue Overload was a rich vanilla and golden raisin flavor with undercurrents of spice - black pepper or perhaps a bit of raw garlic - and a thick and heavy mouthfeel from the 9% ABV.
Stepping back down in ABV, our final Tin Man beer was their Robust Porter, 3Gear. Small bubbles rose through the murky brown brew that recalled Dr. Pepper or a good root beer. We loved the aroma of 3Gear, with its roasty and slightly sour cocoa nib, molasses, and very dark raisin notes that resembled a port or dark sherry. In the mouth, the beer shared similarities with rye bread crust, but with more bitterness.