The biggest hurdle facing the guys at Tin Roof is that they didn't start out their brewery layout with a tap room in mind. For those familiar with the space, there is an area with tables on the far left, with the new brewhouse to the right and all the fermenters and bright tanks filling out the space. The restroom and office are to the back left. Not too long ago they leased the space to the rear of the building and expanded their operations, primarily with storage for all the grain coming in plus empty kegs and everything else that goes into the process.
The plan is to convert the entire left section into the tap room, moving the offices to the rear space and adding a conference / meeting room that can be used for special events. William also told me that the plans include opening up to the grass field to the left of the building (where Iron Brewer has been held in recent years) to create a decked patio / beer garden. I love the idea of a beer garden, we have enough nice days in the Fall and Spring, plus with some shade and fans going it would be tolerable in the Summer. If you're an Eskimo like me it will probably even be nice in the winter!
The division between the tap room and the brewery is planned to be a long wall with windows down the length to allow everyone to see into the brewery and check out what's going on. This sounds pretty similar to Great Raft's layout and I think it really works. It's nice to see that connection between the tap room and the brewery to really make it feel like you're in the same place the beer is made, rather than just another bar.
Most importantly though, the beer. William said that they are planning on having 10 taps pouring in the new bar, with all of the regulars plus a handful of special releases and experimental brews. They were already working on a few batches in anticipation of the opening, and that really gets me excited. Going and checking out the regular lineup is great for out of towners, visiting football fans, people just getting into craft beer, but for those like me and like my readers, it's the special releases that will keep us coming back.
It really sounds like all the right ideas are in place to make Tin Roof a good place to stop in and drink some beers. The goal, according to William, was to be open in about a month, maybe the second week of August. There is still a lot of work to do, but it's not unreasonable... and I'll be here to update everyone on how that goal is going.