Tag Archives: Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin to release second The Walking Dead-themed brew

lucille-label-1-226725A few years ago, Athens, Ga. brewery Terrapin Beer Company produced a beer themed after the hugely popular “The Walking Dead” television program that airs on cable channel AMC. Walking Dead Blood Orange IPA was hit with both fans of the show and beer-lovers alike. On the heels of that success, Terrapin is once again brewing a The Walking Dead-themed beer. This time around the beer will pay tribute to the most reviled villain the show has ever known; Nagen.

As fans of the show know, Nagen is a psychopathic dictator who demands total loyalty and doles out punishment with his beloved “Lucille,” a barb-wire wrapped baseball bat. The brewers at Terrapin found inspiration in the much-feared weapon and have created an extremely limited amount of Lucille an imperial stout brewed with several unique ingredients.

The label describes the beer as:

“Lucille,” the weapon of choice inside of this bottle, is an imperial stout brewed with blackstrap molasses and vanilla. Swinging for the fences, we aged this beer on hickory, maple and white ash, the three woods that are used to produce baseball bats. Big and menacing, its flavors hit hard.

The beer will arrive in 500 ml bottles and, as stated above, will be extremely limited in distribution.

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Posted by on January 26, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases


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Applebee’s honors American Craft Beer Week with special Happy Hour

bdg_ACBW2016_lgAmerican Craft Beer Week is upon us and the number of activities to show your support is nothing less than amazing. One event that you may not have heard about, but should definitely look in to is the Craft Beer Happy Hour at Applebee’s in Bartram Park.

The Happy Hour will feature craft beer from “down the block, around the corner and across the country.” Guests will have an opportunity to choose from a range of beers from local breweries such as Bold City Brewing Company, Veteran’s United Craft Brewing and Intuition Ales Works in addition to brews from regional and national breweries like SweetWater Brewing Company, Sam Adams Brewing Company and Terrapin Beer Company.

Along with the great beer, guests can expect a DJ to be spinning tunes on the patio and opportunities to win fun beer-centric swag. In addition, representatives from Bold City Brewing Company will be on hand to talk about their beers and answer questions.

The Happy Hour takes place Thursday, May 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 14560 Old St. Augustine Road.





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Terrapin brewing a beer based on The Walking Dead television program

walkingdeadThe news came out last week; fans of Terrapin Beer Company and of the AMC television program The Walking Dead have something to collectively cheer about. The two have teamed up to create a companion beer to the program. The Walking Dead Red India Pale Ale will be brewed appropriately enough with blood orange peel.

Astute fans of both the show and the beer may recall that several years ago, cases of Terrapin beer made a cameo on the program. In a horrifying scene, zombies – or Walkers as they are known on the show – fell through holes in the roof of a storage room on to cases of the beer. Oh the humanity!

Perhaps prophetically, during an interview with Spike Buckowski and John Cochran in 2013, I broached the subject of brewing a beer for The Walking Dead ( As fans know, the show took place in and around Atlanta, Ga. during the first few seasons. Indeed, it is still filmed outside of the Atlanta area. Spike, a fan of the show, expressed that he would welcome the opportunity to brew a beer themed to the show.

Release dates and availability details are not yet available, but once it hits the shelves it is sure to be a popular addition to Sunday night zombie watching.



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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Beer News


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Terrapin puts a coffee house spin on Moo-hoo Chocolate Milk Stout

Terrapin-Moo-HooChiatoWhen Athens, Ga. brewery Terrapin Beer Company first conceived of Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout they knew they had a winner on their hands. Since its first appearance, the highly-sought beer has had several variants includning an elusive, but supremely rewarding white chocolate version. This year, Spike Buchowski, brewer and co-owner of the brewery, has concocted yet another variation of this distinctive brew: Moo-hooChiato.

The beer, brewed with Sinclair & Olive cocoa nibs and Jittery Joe’s roasted Espresso coffee beans, evokes the flavors of a macchiato at your favorite coffee shop. The company’s website describes it:

“Like your favorite cup of Café Mocha, Moo-HooChiato “Chocolate Espresso Milk Stout “ puts you in the right state of mind. Take in the aroma of expertly roasted espresso from Jittery Joe’s and let your taste buds melt into the flavor of Olive and Sinclair’s award winning chocolate. Brewed with lactose sugar for a creamy mouth feel and a touch of sweetness, this is a Barista’s wish come true.”

Included in the bill for this tasty seasonal treat is:

  • 2-Row Pale
  • Flaked Oat
  • Crystal 85
  • Chocolate
  • DH Carafa III
  • Roasted Barley

Beer blog Beer Street Journal put together the video below featuring Buchowski talking about the brew.

Terrapin Releases Moo-HooChiato into Special Reserve Series from on Vimeo.

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Posted by on November 6, 2014 in Beer Styles


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Terrapin Beer Company cited for alleged brewery tour violations

Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin Beer Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you thought the laws in Florida regarding growler size were ridiculous  wait until you here about the laws in Georgia governing tap rooms.

In an article on the online addition of the Athens Banner-Herald, reporter Nick Coltrain breaks the news that Terrapin Beer Company has been, “cited four times recently by the Georgia Department of Revenue for allegedly violating regulations pertaining to brewery tours.”

To clarify for those who are unfamiliar with the regulations cited. In Georgia, breweries are not allowed to sell beer in their tap rooms. Instead, they may conduct “brewery tours” that must last at least two hours. Beer may be served as samples. But, these samples may not exceed 32 oz. Patrons must also be made aware that they do not have to purchase a glass to participate in the tour.

In short, the breweries are allowed to open their taprooms for two hours a day, give a tour of the brewery and serve samples during the “tour.” What most breweries do is to open their tap room for two hours a day, ask patrons to purchase a souvenir glass that includes drink tickets and enjoy their beer.

John Cochran, president and co-owner of Terrapin, has been active in the state legislature trying to repeal these archaic and patently ridiculous laws. Could that have anything to do with the targeting he seems to have received by the Georgia Department of Revenue? That is mere speculation, but it does seem rather fishy that breweries across the state conduct their tours in the exact same manner without visits from the revenuers.

Read the entire Banner-Herald article here:

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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Beer News


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Florida — Georgia weekend gets its own beer

bitter-rivalryThe week of the Florida – Georgia football game in Jacksonville is always an exciting and busy time. RV City begins filling with fans of both teams displaying their team pride with flags, banners, signs, colorful awnings, mannequins, and even more interesting displays. Fans of these teams are zealous to say the least. And that includes the brewers at the two breweries in each of the team’s home towns. Swamp Head Brewing Company calls Gainesville, Fla. home along with the Florida Gators, while Terrapin Beer Company hails from Athens, Ga. the same as the Georgia Bulldogs.

Four years ago the owners of the two breweries began talking about brewing a collaboration beer to commemorate the annual gathering known in Jacksonville as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party. An entry on the Swamp Head blog says, “Since our inception, we have thought ‘It would be fun to do a beer with our friends at Terrapin for the Florida Georgia game in Jacksonville.’” This year, those discussions came to fruition with the Swamp Head/Terrapin collaboration Bitter Rivalry.

The two brewers began to toss out ideas, Craig Birkmaier for Swamp Head and Spike Buckowski for Terrapin, but the conversation kept coming back to using the other thing each state is known for: Florida oranges and Georgia peaches. So, the two settled on an English Bitter style brew with hints of both. They also wanted to make the beer sessionable so they kept the ABV low so that fans can enjoy many pints as they celebrate their teams and with friends.

Because both breweries are supporters of their home teams, they also decided to come to Jacksonville for the game and host several tasting events. If you would like to try the beer with the brewers consult the schedule below to find out where they will be. Or, if you just want to know where you can find a pint of this delicious collaboration, check the handy list provided below as well.

No matter which team you root for this weekend, be sure to try this Bitter Rivalry and remember to party safe and responsibly.

  • Thursday, October 31, join the brew crews from both breweries at Aardwolf Brewing Co., 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 31, the fun continues at Mellow Mushroom Southside for the Halloween Party, 8:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 1, head over to World of Beer – Jacksonville Southside, 6:00 p.m  — 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 1, onto Green Room Brewing, 9:00 p.m. — ?
  • Saturday, November 2, head down to Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub, 11:00 a.m. until game time to enjoy brews with crew.

The distribution of this beer will be very limited and it will all be released starting on Thursday, October 31st. Most of the beer will be distributed in the Jacksonville market for FL/GA weekend with some reaching into St. Augustine and a small amount will stay here in Gainesville.  We will have the beer on draft at The Wetlands starting Oct. 31 as well.

Here is a list of the locations that will be getting kegs of Bitter Rivalry: Remember, this beer will probably go quickly and won’t be tapped until Thursday.

Jacksonville/St. Augustine

  • North Star Pizza Bar – Downtown
  • Fionn McCools — Downtown
  • Underbelly – Downtown
  • Dahlia’s Pour House – Riverside
  • European St – Riverside
  • Kickback’s  — Riverside
  • Bold Bean Coffee Shop – Riverside
  • Stripes and Solids – Orange Park
  • Brewer’s Pizza – Orange Park
  • Mellow Mushroom — Southside
  • World of Beer — Southside
  • Stogies Cigar Bar — Southside
  • European St – Jax Beach
  • Engine 15 – Jax Beach
  • Mellow Mushroom — Jax Beach
  • Green Room Brewing – Jax Beach
  • Poe’s Tavern – Atlantic Beach
  • JP Henleys – St. Augustine
  • Dos Coffee – St. Augustine
  • Mellow Mushroom – St. Augustine
  • Floridian – St. Augustine
  • Taps 210 – St. Augustine
  • Mojo BBQ – St. Augustine
  • Gas Full Service – St. Augustine
  • Aardwolf – San Marco
  • Grape and Grain Exchange – San Marco
  • Salty Pelican – Fernandina
  • Tomoka Brewery – Ormond Beach
  • Saucy Taco – Julington Creek


  • The Top
  • Loosey’s
  • Brass Tap
  • Stubbies
  • Mother’s
  • Salty Dog
  • The Swamp
  • Tall Paul’s
  • Tipple’s
  • KC Krave
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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Beer News


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Tenacity secret to Terrapin Beer Company success

terra1The drive from Atlanta to Athens, Ga. usually takes about 45 minutes. However, when the weather turns bad, it can take much longer. That is why, on a drizzly morning, we woke up early in our Atlanta hotel to make the trek to the college town to the east. Our destination was the Terrapin brewery where we were to meet up with Brian “Spike” Buckowski, brewer and co-founder, for a tour of the facility and a chat about how it came to be one of the quintessential breweries of the south.

From the outside, the brewery building gives little clue of what happens inside. It is situated on a road with other industrial buildings just outside of Athens. We pulled in and dashed through the heavy mist to the reception area terra2where we sat with a rather friendly brewery cat and waited for Spike to arrive.

Minutes later, Spike passed through the front door, coffee in hand and greeted us warmly. Spike and I had met several times before, but I got the feeling that he just genuinely likes meeting with and talking to people, particularly if it is about his beer.

After a few pleasantries, we donned safety glasses and walked into the mammoth brewery space. Production was busily going on as bottles were filled and palletized. We were treated to a tank-top view of their 100-barrel brewhouse and the control room where Spike works his terra3magic. Along the way, John Cochran, president and co-founder of Terrapin joined us. Spike and John met in 1997 while working at a brewery in Atlanta. The two became friends and, while working together, came up with the beginnings of what would become the Terrapin Beer Company.

“When we started it was really kind of a joke.” Spike said.

The story begins with Spike and John attending an Opening Day Atlanta Braves baseball game with their manager from the brewery. On the following day the manager was given a tongue lashing from the brewery’s owner for leaving work early to go to the game. The three were given penance of using rollers to tar the company parking lot. While working on the parking lot, Spike and John began talking about opening their own brewery.

Spike, being a huge fan of the Grateful Dead, tossed out the name Terrapin for the group’s album Terrapin Station.

“It’s slow, it’s steady, it’s a turtle, and it rolls of f the tongue,” Spike said of the name choice. The name stuck, but at that point that is all the two friends had.

Around that time, John found a book about how to write a business plan. He began working on the plan for their dream as he read through the book and completed the exercises it contained.

“We didn’t know what we were doing,” John said of writing the plan. Nevertheless, for a year and a half he plugged away at it until finally it was done.

John decided to leave the brewery where he and Spike had met and learn another aspect of the beer business. With that, he began working for a distributor in North Georgia. The experience paid off by providing him with a foundation for marketing and distribution of his brand.

Spike went to work for an upstart brewery in the heart of Midtown Atlanta called Black Bear Brewing Company. He approached the owners with the idea that he and John could contract brew at their brewery to help them keep their tanks full and operate more efficiently and cost effectively. Unfortunately, a month before the brewery was set to open, Black Bear ran out of funding and closed up shop. Soon after that, 9/11 happened and the friends were left without a brewery for their beer.

“Every hurdle that could possibly happen to us, happened,” Spike said of the situation.

But, they did not let these set-backs slow them. The two worked out a deal with Dogwood Brewing Company in Atlanta and began contract brewing their beer for draught only distribution to Athens. Their first beer was their Rye Pale Ale. The brew, developed by Spike, was entered into the Great American Beer Festival judging and came away with a gold medal. The young company’s first beer, in its first year had won one of the most prestigious awards in brewing.

“So,” Spike said. “We were like, ‘Wow, we did something right!”

With that things began to take off. Demand rose stretching the capacity of Dogwood to the limit, so the search was on for another contract brewer. They found Frederick Brewing Company in Maryland in 2004. Production chugged along and Spike came up with Extreme Cream Ale and entered it in the World Beer Cup. The brew won the silver medal but, since no gold medal was awarded that year, “Technically,” Spike said, “We brewed the best cream ale in the world.”

The next year, in 2005, Georgia dropped its restrictions on brewers that limited them to beers with an ABV of less than 6 percent. That year Terrapin introduced a number of new brews including Wake ‘N’ Bake the pitch black coffee oatmeal stout made from a premium blend of Costa Rican, Guatemalan, and Zimbabwe coffee beans. The beer weighed in at 8.1 percent ABV and delighted both beer and coffee lovers throughout the the brewery’s distribution area.

In 2006, the operation was moved back to Atlanta where they took over a defunct brewery not far from another Georgia beer icon, Sweetwater Brewing Company. The company continued to grow and the search was once again on for larger facility, this time back in Athens where there beer was well established and in high demand.

As was normal for the duo, adversity once again raised its head.

“We were sitting in this very room,” John said referring to the conference room we were in, “And the guy from the Department of Revenue was sitting right were you are. He said to me, ‘Why did you do it?’ Well, we did not know what he was talking about, we said because we love beer. But, he was referring to the press attention we had brought regarding the state’s position on tap rooms.”

At that time in Georgia, the state was trying to limit tap rooms to be able to serve on one ounce samples during brewery tours. Samples of that size were barely enough to taste a beer and breweries like Sweetwater, Red Brick and Terrapin mounted a campaign to sway the decisions of the law makers.

“When he told us what he meant we sort of looked at each other,” John continued. “He began pulling out pikes of papers we had to fill in. They wanted histories of our investors and their families. It was crazy.”

It took months and months before the state finally granted a license to the brewery. But, in 2007 Terrapin was up and running in their Athens, Ga. brewery. Today the brewery produces 20 to 23 different beers a year including their seasonals and special releases.

As our conversation wound down I asked the two Georgia brew barons their thoughts on the future of craft beer.

John said, “The way I see this industry growing… I think there is plenty of room for more smallr breweries.”

But Spike sees it a little differently. “I see a shakeout coming in 2015,” he said. “Local is everything and I want to drink local, but I want to drink good local beer.” He mentioned that superior brands like Sierra Nevada were losing tap handles to inferior local brews simply because they are local. He also thinks that price wars are not far off either. When a local brewery has to compete with larger national craft breweries the economy of scale is difficult to overcome.

The hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity of the pair has paid off. In June 2013 Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy’s #43 and host of Beer Sessions Radio on Heritage Radio had this to say on where he listed the brewery as fifth on the list of the top 25 breweries in the nation:

“…Terrapin is the result of a truly innovative spirit as well as a genuine love for beer. While they’re on the small side, the Athens brewery is growing-and fast. They’re expansion is owed in part to buzzed-about beers like Hopsecutioner IPA and Wake ‘N’ Bake Coffee Oatmeal Stout, but it’s how these flavorful beers consistently live up to their name that’s made this brewery a household name across the east coast, and even further.”

We could not agree more.


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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery


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