Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin Beer Co.

Georgia Craft Brewery: Terrapin Beer Company Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

Established: April 9th, 2002

Location: 265 Newton Bridge Rd, Athens, GA 30607

Known For: The Hopsecutioner IPA, Hi-5 IPA, and RecreationAle (Pale Ale) are Terrapin’s number one sellers and combined account for 40% of all sales.

Current Beer Menu: During my visit, Terrapin had sixteen beers on tap. With so many beers on tap, they easily covered a large spectrum of styles including Farmhouse, Pilsner, Golden Ale, Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA, Milk Stout, Coffee Stout, and Oatmeal Stout. Since we get distribution from Terrapin in South Florida I targeted a few beers that I haven’t had before. I started with the Tangerine Lemon Hopsecutioner which was an interesting treatment of Hopsecutioner. It was quite good with a bit more lemon than tangerine coming through. Next, a couple of cans of Terrapin’s newest offering, Watermelon Gose, were pulled out. If you have ever had Anderson Valley’s Briney Mellon this beer blows that one away. Juicy watermelon with a salty kick is the best way to describe it. Talk about delicious! If you haven’t seen this on your neighborhood shelves yet you should be seeing it soon. Krunkles Down Under was my next choice. It is an IPA that only uses Hops from the South Pacific. Motueka, Pacific Jade, Green Bullet, Topaz, Waimea, and Rakau are the hops used during the brewing process Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companyand Galaxy and Ella are used during the dry hop process. Together they produce the taste of passion fruit and guava. Finally, I targeted the three Single Origin coffee stouts that were on tap out of the four that were produced. Each version was brewed with the same base stout using a coffee sourced from a different location in the world. Hawaii, Sumatra, and Ethiopia were the three available with Guatemala being the fourth that wasn’t. I enjoyed the Kona coffee used in the Hawaiian version more than the other two.

Price Range: Brewery tours are $12.00, include a 12oz souvenir pint glass, and 36 ounces of beer. The price is subject to change based on special events being held at the brewery. The tour encompasses most of the production facility from the canning and bottling lines to the brewing equipment. The state of Georgia doesn’t allow for more than 36 ounces of beer to be poured per person. Georgia certainly isn’t doing their breweriesGeorgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company any favors by limiting brewery patrons not only the amount of beer they can drink in-house, but also what they can take home from the brewery in cans, bottles, or growlers. Breweries are hoping that 2017 brings positive change to their present situation.

Wine Menu: Wine is not allowed to be sold in the brewery.

Food Menu: Food is not served at the brewery, but there are picnic tables on premises for food brought from home or purchased from the food truck. The food truck(s) are available Friday and Saturday night, which also seems to be a rarity based on my experiences with both Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer CompanySouthern and Creature Comforts.

Ambiance: When you walk in the front door of the building you’re greeted by merch. Lots of merch. Terrapin doesn’t play in this regard. If it can be thought up Terrapin is selling it. After a moment of waiting in line, I was greeted by a very friendly woman who checked my ID, took payment, and directed me to the tasting room. The room is large or maybe just feels that way since there really isn’t anything taking up space on the main floor. The walls of the tasting room are a light sky blue adorned with wood paneling. The soulful sounds of Tre Powell, this time, accompanied by his band mates, filled the air with music. There was a very laid back feel to the space. After feeling this at three different Georgia breweries I’ve come to the conclusion that it must be Southern ‘thang’. Also, Terrapin is both kid and dog-friendly, which is Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companyalways nice to see.

Bar Seating: The few bar stools that were available were across the room from the bar. I experienced three Georgia breweries and not one of them had seats at the bar. It’s odd and I don’t quite understand it except that maybe they want the bar area relatively clear in order to serve people easier.

Staff: Stephan, tour guide extraordinaire and Lead Brewery Ambassador, led a pretty detailed tour and was more than happy to take questions afterward. He introduced me to Matthew McKenna, who is one of Terrapin’s brewers. He was eager to talk shop with me and a few other patrons. I have him to Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companythank for introducing me to the Watermelon Gose. I was lucky enough to meet Brian “Spike” Buckowski, Brewmaster and Co-founder, who was kind enough to take a picture with me and spent a few moments shooting the shit as well.

Merch: If you want it Terrapin probably has it. They have a large amount of items in the ‘gift shop’ including men and women’s t-shirts ranging from $10.00 to $22.00, glasses/mugs/tumblers ranging in price from $4.00 to $25.00, and if your pup is a big fan of Terrapin you can pick up a dog bowl, leash, or collar for between $6.00 and $20.00. You can Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companycheck out what else Terrapin has available here. Orders of over $100.00 will get you free shipping.

Membership offered: Terrapin doesn’t currently offer any type of membership or bottle club.

Best days or time of year to go: If you are looking for the smallest crowds at Terrapin, Southern, and Creature Comforts than focus on the times of year that the kids from the University of Georgia are Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companyout of school and back home. Typically the busiest days during the week are Friday and Saturday nights. Each Wednesday a unique cask is put on tap.

Regular Hours: Wednesday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday: 1:00pm – 7:30pm, and Sunday: 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Happy Hour: Due to Georgia’s antiquated beer laws happy hour is not a possibility.

Fun Fact:Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

  • The Terrapin name comes from the Grateful Dead’s ninth studio album named Terrapin Station.
  • Terrapin brews 25 to 30 beers a year plus any collaborations they are involved in.
  • The canning line produces 200 cans per minute.
  • Terrapin has brewed over 70 unique beers since 2002.
  • 50% of the beer Terrapin produces is sold in Georgia.
  • The collaboration Terrapin did with Cigar City Brewing named Vapricot is presently aging in white wine barrels.
  • Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer CompanyA batch of Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout is brewed in June specifically for export to Sweden. Moo-Hoo is the only beer Sweden receives from Terrapin.
  • Terrapin distributes to 11 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica.
  • Richard Biffle designs the labels that feature the turtle in them. He is best known for designing the Grateful Dead album covers.
  • Chris Pinkerton designs the labels that feature artwork not based around the turtle such as the label for Mosaic. He is best known for his work with Ben & Jerry’s, the Beatles, Bob Marley, Garth Brooks, the Grateful Dead, Guns N’ Roses,  Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and many more.Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

Overall Rating (1-5): I’m giving the Terrapin Beer Company a 4.5. Every member of the staff was beyond friendly. I enjoyed everything I had on tap and there was a very welcoming feel. I will certainly be back the next time I’m in the area. I hope by then the laws have changed for the betterment of Georgia’s blossoming craft beer scene.

What was missing: I honestly can’t come up with anything that was missing. My usual complaint about there being no stout available wasn’t in question with the abundance of the style on tap. Yay beer!

Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer CompanyThis is my third and final review of our trip to Athens, Georgia. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you.

Is there something else you would like to know about the Terrapin Beer Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Georgia Craft Brewery: Creature Comforts Brewing Company Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Established: April of 2014

Location: 271 W. Hancock Avenue, Athens, Georgia

Known For: Tropicália is Creature’s IPA and most popular offering. It is currently ranked at #3 on the top 250 beer list for Georgia at beeradvocate.com. The only two beers beating out Tropicália are also Creature Comforts offerings, See the Stars (bourbon barrel Russian Imperial Stout) and Cosmik Debris (Double IPA). I had the opportunity to try Cosmik on tap at a restaurant and it was otherworldly. Tropicália is 6.6% abv and offers up the Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.aroma and taste of tropical fruits like pineapple and passion fruit. Currently, Creature’s distribution area reaches west to Atlanta.

Current Beer Menu: Creature had five beers on tap at the time of my visit. The aforementioned Tropicália, Athena (a 4.5% abv Berliner Weiss), Reclaimed Rye (a 5.5% abv Rye aged a week on French Oak spirals), Bibo (a 4.9% abv Pilsner), and Tritonia (a 4.5% abv cucumber and lime gose). Tropicália and Athena would have taken top honors from me, but Tritonia was absolutely delicious. I have started enjoying the gose style more and more and Tritonia is an interesting take on the style. There is no hiding the cucumber or lime. Add that to the slight saltiness of the gose and it goes together perfectly. I am a fan of rye beers, so Reclaimed Rye was also a beer I could appreciate. Bibo is a refreshing Pilsner on point for the style.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Price Range: $14.00 gets you access and a tour of the facility, a glass, and six 6oz pours of beer. In regards to alcohol, Georgia seems to still be stuck in the 1930’s. It makes entirely no sense to me, but here’s how it works. You walk in and buy a tour. As part of the tour, you are given a glass (we had a choice of two) and a bracelet that has six tabs, each of which represents a 6oz pour. Once you enter you can begin drinking right away while you wait for your tour to begin. Breweries in Georgia are looking towards Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.2017 as an opportunity for change with the alcohol laws.

Wine Menu: Wine is not available for sale within breweries in Georgia.

Food Menu: Creature offers neither food nor access to food trucks. I imagine Athens will be seeing changes in the near future on this as well. One can only hope anyway.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Ambiance: Creature Comforts building has a very industrial feel to it. Originally built-in the 1940’s as a Chevy dealership the building later changed hands and became home to Snow Tires. In 2012 Creature bought the building and completely rehabbed the interior. A number of signs still hang in recognition of the building’s history. Like most of Georgia, Creature had a laid back feel to it. In one area of the building, there were giant Dragonflies hanging from the rafters that were donated by a local artist. Live music was provided by Tre Powell. Boy can that man sing! What seems to be a third of the building is laid out as the tasting room while the Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.rest of the building consists of the tanks, barrel room, and walk-in cooler.

Bar Seating: The seating consisted of a small area with bar stools and two large picnic tables that easily seat ten apiece.

Staff: Erin was my bartender and quite knowledgeable in regards to the beer. Graham was the tour guide and answered all questions without even a second thought. He even provided me with a behind the scenes look at both the barrel room and grain room. The tour itself was your typical brewery tour with a bit of the history of the building and brewery, the layout of their distribution footprint (Athens and Atlanta), and what goes intoGeorgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co. making their beer.

Merch: Creature has a wide assortment of t-shirts for $20.00, hats also for $20.00, glasses starting at $4.00, koozies for $2.00, and stickers for a $1.00. Most of the merch can be found both in-house and at their online store. Creature also has a ‘Get Comfortable’ line of merchandise in which they donate 100% of the proceeds to local non-profits that fight hunger, poverty, and homelessness through their Get Comfortable program. Those items can be found here. Also, 100% of the proceeds gained from the tours Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.on Wednesdays are donated to the program. If you bring in a donation item Creature will give a $2.00 discount off of the tour price. The 2015-2016 campaign has raised $65,000 in the last five months.

Membership offered: Creature doesn’t offer any sort of membership and there is nothing planned for the immediate future.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Best days or time of year to go: Any time that the University of Georgia isn’t in session. Once the college kids go home a large portion of the crowd does as well.

Regular Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Friday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, and Saturday: 1:00pm – 6:00pm

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.Happy Hour: Because of the current laws there is no happy hour available.

Fun Fact:

-The name ‘Creature Comforts’ originated as Co-founder David Stein’s homebrews.

-Bibo was the name of Einstein’s parrot and also translates as “I drink” in Latin

-The first run of Bibo ever produced was a drain pour due to a bad batch of Czech Saaz hops.

-Reclaimed Rye was named after the wood that was ‘reclaimed’ from the buildings ceiling during the renovation of the facility. That wood was refinished and can now be seen used as bar tops, tables, and on the wall as paneling.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

-Creature won an award for outstanding rehabilitation by the Athens Heritage Foundation due to their meticulous rehab of their 13,000 sqft space.

-They are both kid and pet-friendly as long as your four-legged friend is on a leash.

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.-Adding five 120 barrel tanks earlier this year Creature hopes to reach 18,000 barrels by the end of 2016 and are hoping to hit maximum capacity of 28,000 barrels after adding another tank later this year.

Overall Rating (1-5): I’m rating Creature Comforts a 4.5. Every member of the staff I came into contact with was beyond friendly. The brewery itself was open and inviting and the beer was very good.

What was missing: I personally think a brewery should always have at least one darker style of beer on tap. Unfortunately, Creature didn’t. Of course, no points are lost for that because it’s just a personal preference.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

When you’re in Athens or passing through Atlanta and have some time to kill add Creature Comforts to your brewery list to visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Is there something else you would like to know about Creature Comforts Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!