Like any budding brewer, Lauren Van Pamelen got her first taste for homemade hops at – you guessed it – home. At the time, Van Pamelen was living on Long Island with her father, Dale, a longtime entrepreneur in New York City and Long Island. One fateful day, she brought home a homebrew kit and quickly got to work on it, transforming her kitchen into an unofficial science lab.
“Out of the first five brews I made, the first one was the best,” Van Pamelen recalls, adding that her father teased her to no end about her new hobby. Soon, however, he dove into the passion project too, and the duo found their preferred father-daughter activity.
For the younger Van Pamelen, however, brewing was more than just a thing to do on the weekends; it was a lifestyle. After finding her groove in the homebrewing scene, she enrolled in the intensive brewing science and engineering program through the American Brewers Guild in Vermont. She earned her certificate, then went to log hands-on hours at Oyster Bay Brewing Co. in Long Island.
All the while, she dreamed of opening her own brewery. When she moved to the Hudson Valley four years ago, she knew her time to jump into the local craft beer industry was approaching. Working with her father, she began scouting for potential locations in the Warwick area, near where she lives.
“We wanted to be within reach of New York City, but for [the brewery] to be an escape,” she explains. After her pursuit of one property fell through, she stumbled across an old tin barn in Chester that was a mile away from the original. Coincidentally, the barn, home of the now-closed William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers & Auctioneers, looked exactly like the old logo that Van Pamelen designed back in 2015.
Currently under construction, Tin Barn Brewing is slated to open near the Sugar Loaf arts community in fall 2019. In true Hudson Valley fashion, it will operate as a farm brewery that utilizes as many local ingredients as possible. Lauren Van Pamelen will serve as head brewer, using her collected hoppy knowledge to concoct the New England IPAs for which she hopes the brewery will be known.
In addition to pouring craft brews, the 12,000-square-foot space will hold a kitchen, a brewhouse, and a taproom to create distinct spaces for cozy seating, dining, and lounging. Keeping in line with the trend among brewers to rotate selections often, Van Pamelen will switch up her offerings regularly and include a medley of sour beers, stouts, and easy-drinking brews as well.
If all goes according to plan, Tin Barn will serve a regular menu of four to five beers, along with seasonal specials and local ciders and wines.
In terms of construction on the Orange County edifice, Van Pamelen is working with Tinkelman Architecture in Poughkeepsie to design a venue that walks the line between modern and rustic.
“We don’t want it to be dark with too much wood, but we want it to be light, bright, and inviting,” she explains, noting that the hotspot will be open to families and their four-legged friends, with juice boxes for kids and watering stations for dogs. Van Pamelen’s golden retriever, Barley, will likely be a frequent visitor onsite, after all.
Already ok’d for sewer and water connections with the Chester town board, Tin Barn Brewing now awaits a fire sprinkler system and a liquor license. Construction is underway (and the Instagram photos prove it), as Van Pamelen plans which vendors to source ingredients from and what types of food to serve onsite. Although nothing is confirmed, she hopes to offer pizza and poutine as brewery staples.
“I think those things go really well with beer,” she says. “They’re great for sharing.”
As autumn – and an opening date – approaches, keep an eye out on Tin Barn’s Facebook page for development updates and sneak peeks into what to expect at the brewery.
Tin Barn Brewing
62 Kings Highway Bypass, Chester