Since moving to the Hudson Valley for my brewing internship with Sloop Brewing, I have had the utmost pleasure of encountering a craft beer scene entirely new to me! At almost every turn, a local asks, “Have you been to ‘so and so’…” giving me plenty to do in my off time.
It was no different hearing about Tin Barn Brewing (shoutout to the gem who told me to come here; wish I could remember who, so I could tell you I love you) A female owned and operated brewery nestled in the quaint, rural community of Sugar Loaf, NY, about an hour North West of NYC.
Stepping onto the scene after a failed hike attempt, I was warmly greeted by a bartender behind a milled countertop with live edge, which I learned was done with Lauren’s dad’s own mill! I chose the Kaleidoscope Sour #4 with coconut, banana, pineapple and tangerine. Making sure I was in the right place, I asked, “Hey, this brewery is female owned, right?” He replied, “Sure is! She’s here if you’d like to speak with her!” Cue Lauren VanPamelen, co-owner (she co-owns with her father, Dale) and head brewer of Tin Barn Brewing. As we sat down and shared a few sips, she gave me the backstory on the entire Tin Barn operation!
Tin Barn opened their doors to what once was an auction barn, and was serendipitously destined to become their production and taproom space (the name existed before they found the building, by the way) in June of 2020. Lauren, who was previously a licensed optician and home-brewer, had a team of 4 people, one being her father, assisting her in brewing, and daily operations, which at the time, were limited due to Covid restricitons. However, their employee count has grown tremendously, and Lauren humbly mentions that most of the employees could walk to work.
Beyond the double entrance doors, you’ll step inside the taproom with the brewhouse on your left and the bar on your right. Further back you’ll find a kitchen ready to go with gourmet pizzas and apps like brisket nachos and Poutine fries. *Pro-tip: get the Caesar Salad White Pizza. Thank me later. There are certain themes throughout the taproom, designed to accommodate groups of all sizes and vibes.
The crown jewel of the space, however, is the backyard area. Fully equipped with it’s own bar, upper deck with viewing glass and Adirondack chairs with umbrellas facing the stage, which hosts live music every Friday and Sunday afternoon, seating below the deck, astro turf and a ton of picnic tables as well as some nice touches of outdoor landscaping – basically, a perfect getaway for folks who live in NYC and need a breath of fresh country air.
Brewed in a 15 bbl brewhouse, Lauren produces mostly her favorites: New England IPA’s and heavily fruited sours. Even in a years time, she has managed to create variations of recurring beer lines like Kaleidoscope and Queen Citra IPA, both of which I sampled and both were absolute fire. I was also privileged to try the Fruit Snacks sour, which had every single flavor you’d find in a Welch’s fruit snack pack and, again, absolute fire. The best part about the Kaleidoscope series, for me, is that Lauren achieved a perfect balance of tart and sweet. She describes her brewing style in the sense of a mad scientist, experimenting with flavors and hops – her favorite to work with, Motueka!
Lauren shared how proud she is of her dream coming to fruition. The greatest feeling she has to date is seeing a line forming outside of the brewery doors two hours prior to opening, which was the case on Saturday! We wish nothing but the best for this up and coming brewery! Follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Now, do yourselves a favor and plan a trip asap!