Sticky… blazing… baking… oppressive… these words can only be used to describe one thing: the climate of the South in the dead of summer.
It was August, and we were standing in line. Cars continued to pull in the driveway, then continue on down the side road in order to find that coveted parking spot. We arrived 30 minutes prior to opening, yet we were nowhere near the front. We were hot, our clothes were starting to stick to us, and the late afternoon sun was starting to burn.
We were in serious need of a beer.
Lucky us, we were waiting to gain entry to the Terrapin Beer Company, in Athens, Georgia. Once we passed those doors and slapped on our wristband… we were in. And may the beer tasting commence!
Join the line, and taste one of eight different beers made available by my new favorite friends at Terrapin. These guys are known for their IPAs and ales, complete with some of the most creative names I’ve come across. Try year-round brews like the Hopsecutioner IPA or the Rye Pale Ale, or something special. During our visit they were offering flavors like Tangerine Dreamsicle and Liquid Bliss, a chocolate peanut butter porter.
The best part of the experience (aside from the obvious)? The setting. The tastings are held in a field adjacent to the brewery, complete with outdoor stage for live music and little carts serving concert-style grub. People were playing frisbee off to one side while dog owners played fetch with their Fidos, beer in hand. It felt more like a chilled out festival than anything else. Even more chilled out when the sun began to go down behind the trees and we could sip our beers in the shade!
In total, we had two hours in which to try eight 4-ounce sample pours. It was extremely crowded, and in order to get all of our tastings in we had to pretty much get right back in line after each pour. This was partly due to it being a weekend, and partly due to the fact that it was the first weekend before classes started at the nearby University of Georgia. Obviously, a brewery is a perfect spot for college kids on their last nights of freedom.
Terrapin is open for tours 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. The tour of the brewery is free (it was closed for renovations when we were there) and a tasting pint glass start at $10, and go up to $12 for the specialty glass. Patrons can bring their own food and have a picnic or buy from a few independent vendors they have there.
We spent a rather lovely evening just hanging out, listening to live music, drinking beer. The setting sun provided a gorgeous backdrop as we were walking away, and the heat had finally given way to a beautiful southern summer evening.
Terrapin Beer Co. was included in my list of best college eats in Athens, Georgia. Read my other picks over at new foodie blogazine The Collaboreat! And, if you want to know more about where to eat, what to do and where to stay, check out my City Guide: Athens, Georgia – plenty of culture packed into this southern city!