lovers have something to cheer about. The state's newest brewer, Terrapin
Beer Company, has been around for a few years now, but it's beers are
finally available in bottles. Initially a draft only concern, Terrapin plans
to expand sales with the introduction of Terrapin Rye Pale Ale in
six-packs for home consumption.
Just as with the first draft product, distribution is initially in the
Athens and Atlanta areas. But plans are for Terrapin Rye Pale Ale ,
an exciting and unique brew from an accomplished area brewmaster, to someday
expand beyond Georgia's borders.
The Terrapin Beer Company is a contact brewer for now, but ultimately
the company intends to build a new brewery in Athens, Georgia. Attempts are
being made to raise one and a half million dollars for the brewery, which
would then expand the number of beers in its line beyond the three beers it
currently produces (Extreme Cream and Big Hoppy Monster being
the other two).
Terrapin brewer Brian “Spike” Buckowski is no stranger to the beer world. In
addition to his duties with Terrapin, Brian has also doubled as brewer at
Atlanta’s Five Seasons Brewing Company, where Terrapin Rye PA is
sometimes offered on draft. He’s famous for his assertive, hoppy ales, and
after one sip of Terrapin Rye PA you’ll see why.
Terrapin Rye PA is an American Pale Ale with a dash of rye added to impart a
unique and different flavor. American Pale Ale is a fairly new style in the
beer world, located somewhere between classic pale ale and India pale ale.
It is generally very well hopped, though not quite so much as American India
Terrapin Rye PA was introduced to the public in April of 2002 at the annual
Classic City Brew fest in Athens. It was an instant hit with local beer
aficionados, and soon became an even bigger one in Denver, Colorado. That’s
where Terrapin Rye PA won a gold medal at the 2002 Great American
Beer Festival in the American pale ale category. Not a bad way at all to
launch a new brewing company.
Terrapin Rye PA pours to a bright orange amber color with a medium sized
creamy head and a spicy, hoppy nose. The palate is on the lighter side with
just a hint of crisp malt and tasty hints of spicy rye. There are lots of
hops in this beer, with powerful flavors of citric grapefruit gradually
becoming more bitter and lingering on the tongue in the finish. This is a
delightful beer that is very drinkable and very flavorful.
The spiciness lends the beer nicely to pairing with spicy foods. I enjoyed a
glass most recently at Summit’s Wayside Tavern with a Singapore
Chicken Bowl, and the beer was the perfect complement to the noodles,
chicken, and vegetables in a spicy sesame sauce.
The bottled beer is currently being produced in Maryland by Frederick
Brewing. It seems to be just a tad less hoppy than the draft I've tasted,
but still retains a generous amount of hop character. It's a worthy beer
If you live in Georgia or are just passing through, make it a point to drink
Terrapin Rye PA. You can call the company at 1-888-557-BEER to find out
where it is sold near you.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.