Baton Rouge’s Tin Roof Brewing recently added a pair of 10 barrel fermentors, allowing for more small batch beers to be served in their taproom. Additionally, a can labeler and a plethora of blank cans means that they can put these beers in cans for you to take home from the taproom.
Two weeks ago, they debuted JuJu imperial IPA, then followed it up with Haze Hunt triple IPA last weekend. The JuJu sold out rather quickly and got such good reviews that the hype built up for the Haze Hunt release, with a large crowd getting to the taproom hours before it opened, complete with bottle share in an adjoining parking lot. Again, Haze Hunt sold out rather quickly, along with the limited supply of special teku glasses.
These beers are all gone from the taproom now, but given their success, it’s hard to believe they won’t brew one or both again in the near future. Word is that a larger batch of JuJu should be coming soonish, and it may even see some limited distribution. That’s the beauty of these small batches. It’s a perfect way to test a recipe on a larger scale than a half barrel batch that is roughly the equivalent to a homebrew amount of finished beer. But you also aren’t committing to a 30 or 60 barrel batch that may not sell.
So let’s talk about the beer. JuJu imperial IPA was designed to be a stronger version of their popular Voodoo pale ale. Like Voodoo, it was brewed with Citra and Simcoe hops and while it was intended to be a 9% beer, those happy yeast kept chewing on the sugars and this beer ended up at 10.5%. It pours a hazy gold with a touch of orange tint to it. This beer is a Citra bomb! Those beautiful orange and grapefruit and citrus aromas explode out of the glass, and the flavor follows suit. While the Simcoe may provide some resinous notes, the Citra is clearly the star of the show, and I’m not upset about that. This beer also doesn’t drink nearly as heavy as the 10.5% ABV would indicate. That makes it a dangerous thing. It’s dangerously delicious. In my opinion, this is absolutely the best beer Tin Roof has ever produced. It’s definitely my favorite. I really hope they brew this one again soon, because I only have a few cans left in my fridge.
Haze Hunt was designed to be a Triple IPA, putting it at 11.2% ABV, a few notches higher than JuJu. Haze Hunt was brewed with Vic Secret, El Dorado and Meridian hops, along with Golden Promise and Vienna malt to go with a hefty dose of flaked oats. Before I talk more about the beer, I have to give props to the label design, which is based on that old Nintendo video game, Duck Hunt. It features the dog holding up a hop, and reminds me of my childhood playing that game. Haze Hunt pours slightly darker than JuJu, but still a hazy orange. The aroma and flavor profile is completely different as well, with tropical fruit such as pineapple and mango being the star of this one. I really enjoyed this one on tap at the taproom. I do find that this one is a little more boozy than JuJu, but there are certainly enough hops there to hold up to the higher ABV. It’s a well done beer.
Hopefully this is just the start when it comes to these small batch Tin Roof beers. Something like this was sorely needed, and I really like seeing the success of these beers as well as the whole taproom atmosphere. I never thought I’d see the day when there were people lined up for a Tin Roof release. Kudos to those guys and gals for pulling this off, and hopefully there’s lots more to come.