One of the great things about blogging about beer is a chance to talk to people within the brewing industry that you might never have met otherwise. One group of these people are the folks that make up Terrapin Beer Company down in Athens, GA. Since I’m such a swell guy, they sent me out a package of beers that they bottle and this is the first half of a sampling of their beers.
I figured it only proper to start with their session beers. I have a friend who lives in Atlanta, and he tells me the Rye Pale Ale is one of his favorites. Sounds like a good enough place to start.
The Rye Pale Ale pours redder than your average pale ale, a good sign of the rye in the brew. The aroma is quite sweet with a faint amount of earthy hops. Sweet on the tongue, theres a spicy bitterness in the finish. The hops are subtle, masked by the rye. Very nice session beer, and would go great in that humid southern heat. I really like this beer.
Next I moved on to the Golden Ale. I didn’t have a lot of hopes for this beer. Typically, a Golden Ale is an afterthought in a brewers repetoire, simply there to appease the light lager drinkers. After doing a little research, I discovered that this is actually a Cream Ale. Cream Ale is a rare style I’ve experimented with in my homebrewing trying to find a replacement for a beer I loved which I could no longer find. Basically, it’s a mixture of ale and lager yeasts and includes a lagering period. The result is a crisp and light beer, just like your typical lager, but with the complexity of an ale. Terrapin’s version fits perfectly into this style, extremely drinkable but not dumbed down for the mass market.
So far I’m two beers in and already very impressed. Atlanta has been gaining momentum as a brewing region and if this is representative of what Georgia has to offer, then I can’t wait to see more. Tomorrow I’ll finish up with some of their bigger, more extreme styles.