First, shout out to Dennis – thank you very much for bringing these back on your recent trip to Georgia and both of these were very good. The only Terrapin beer I had before was via a collaboration with Left Hand Brewing. Both Terrapin and SweetWater have previously won awards for various beers in their portfolios.
Terrapin Rye Pale Ale (5.5% ABV and 35 IBU) is a pale ale with rye and it won the pale ale category the first year it was entered - 2002. Terrapin is based in Athens, GA. I heard an interview with the brewer on “Can you brew it?” on the Brewing Network and the brewer was looking to brew a well-balanced pale ale that had some spice from the rye, but not too much hop bitterness on the finish that is present in many pale ales. Rye Pale Ale pours a light amber with a nice two-finger head that recedes quickly. One can detect a spicy note on the nose and this is one tasty pale ale – I agree that the brewer hit the target with a well-balanced pale ale.
Website description – “By using an exact amount of rye, a grain seldom found in other micro brewed beers, the Rye Pale Ale acquires its signature taste. Made with five varieties of hops and a generous amount of specialty malts, it offers a complex flavor and aroma that is both aggressive and well balanced – a rare find among beers. The Terrapin Rye Pale Ale was released in Athens, GA in April of 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Six months later this beer which was sold only in Athens was awarded the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival, the most prestigious competition in North America. We hope you will agree with our peers in the brewing industry that this is truly one of the best pale ales in the country.”
Sweet Water Brewing is based in Atlanta, GA and Georgia Brown Ale (5% ABV and 24 IBU) is a brown ale. Georgia Brown pours dark, not as dark as a porter or stout, but it is dark; with a two-finger lacy head. It has a nice aroma of chocolate and caramel / toffee and just a hint of hops. Georgia Brown is a nice brown ale and tastes just like it smells – some chocolate – some caramel – and just enough hop bitterness to balance it out. These were a great delivery from Dennis and I appreciate it. If you get down to Atlanta – I highly recommend Terrapin and SweetWater.
Website description – “A river of deep caramel and chocolate malts meandering through undercut currents of hop additions. Georgia Brown is part of our year round lineup and is line priced with SweetWater’s other lip smackin’ core styles.”