June Beer of the Month- Terrapin Rye Squared

This month I decided to go with a seasonal that recently arrived on the Nashville shelves. Rye Squared is a perennial regular in my beer fridge. If you like hops, rye, and higher ABV- this beer is a must. Grab some while you can!

Terrapin Rye Squared-
Terrapin Beer Company - Athens, GA

Double the malt, double the hops, and double the flavor of the original Rye Pale Ale recipe. (Hence the name Rye Squared.) With its mammoth hop aroma, bitterness and flavor, this beer is not for the faint at heart. The Rye Squared clocks in at a hefty 8.5% ABV so double your pleasure and double your fun because Terrapin went a little crazy with this one! The first keg of Rye Squared went on tap at Tasty World in Athens on Monday April 25th 2005. A special thank you goes out to the newly formed Terrapin Keg Killers. We were told that Tasty World would put the Rye Squared on as soon as they finished off a keg of a "Select" beer they had on tap. When the Terrapin Keg Killers heard about this they went to Tasty world and finished off that other keg in record time. By 10pm on Monday they were enjoying the fruits of their labor when the first ever Rye Squared keg went online. Malt: 2-row pale, Munich, Malted Rye, Bisuit Malt, Honey Malt. Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, East Kent Goldings, Fuggle, Magnum

Smitty's Review: This sample started at around 45 degrees and was around 55 degrees when I finished. Pours a beautiful translucent dark copper amber with a dense two fingers beige head, with webby lacing. This beer has a nice floral hop nose mixed in with some fruity ale esters. The body sits somewhere between medium and full with average carbonation. The flavor starts off malty, with expected emphasis on rye accented by some caramel and toasted malts. This is quickly countered by a bold, but not overdone hoppiness that is spicy and bittersweet. Semi-dry bitter finish is resiny with accents of citrus, and a subtle amount of alcohol. This is somewhat warming as it goes down the windpipe. To sum this up, think American Strong Ale with a dash of whisky. This beer is just another reason why I love rye beers. Rye and hops work so well together.

Recommended Food Pairing: Spicy cheeses, BBQ, grilled meats and fish.

Where To Buy: Frugal MacDoogal (liquor store side), Midtown Wine & Spirits, and most liquor stores that carry specialty beers.

Browsing for Beer- June 2009

I apologize if some of these beers are old news, but I was laid off a month ago and had to put my beer shopping on hold. Even worse, my beer budget was nixed. Conflict resolution is my specialty, so I looked for change underneath the couch cushions and took my change jar to coinstar. $28.57 is what I ended up with in my pocket. Not bad eh? So what are the somewhat new beers on the shelves?

Frugal MacDoogal (Liquor Store side):

Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel
(in single 12 ounce bottles)
Stone Old Guardian ( Barleywine seasonal 2009 release)

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA (six packs)

St Feuillien Brune
(a very nice Abbey Dubbel)
Left Hand Widdershins
(Barley Wine)
Left Hand Chainsaw
(American Strong Ale, double version of Sawtooth)
Left Hand Goosinator
Terrapin Rye Squared (2009 seasonal- new batch)

Kulmbacher Eisbock!!!!!!!! (world class beer here, and one of Michael Jackson's favorites)
Terrapin Side Project "Monk's Revenge" (limited release Belgian IPA)
Shiner 100 Commemorator (Doppelbock)

Midtown Wine and Spirits:
Terrapin Side Project "Monk's Revenge" (limited release Belgian IPA)

Boulevard Two Jokers
(a double wit, bottle condition corked 750)
Stone Russian Imperial Stout (2009 release)

Shiner 100 Commemorator (Doppelbock)

Specialty Beer Stores:

Brooklyn Brown Ale, Summer Ale, and Lager

Kona Wailua Wheat, Longboard Lager, Firerock Pale Ale (distributed by Budweiser FYI)

New Belgium Skinny Dip

Terrapin SunRay Wheat (now in six packs)

If you have not been to Trader Joe's, I recommend you swing by. It's a unique food shopping experience. They are the only store in town where I have seen Stone Smoked Porter, which is an excellent beer and not too heavy on the smoke. It pairs great with food off the grill. They also have two house beers contract brewed by Firestone Walker, Mission St. Pale Ale and Mission St. IPA. I have tried the IPA, and it's not bad for the price.

I also heard that Flying Saucer is now serving beers from Jolly Pumpkin. I have not confirmed this, but it I sure hope it's true. They are a great artisan brewery out of Dexter, MI specializing in Belgian and barrel-aged beers.

Now it's back to job hunting. It's brutal! If any of you know a company looking for an account manager (retail services, QA, sign or merchandising programs, etc.), let me know. I also do landscape design on a freelance basis can provide a link to my website. Send me an email if interested (centralgritlap@att.net). So what did I buy? Sierra Nevada Torpedo, Kulmbacher Eisbock, and Terrapin Rye Squared. It went over the $28.57, but my wife owed me a six pack for running and errand. Sadly, one of the Kulmbacher bottles suffered an early demise on my garage floor. Be careful with their flimsy packaging!




Victory In Tennessee?

Rumor has it that Victory Brewing Company will be distributing a portion of it's line here in Nashville around June 15th! After one frustrating month of job hunting, this puts me in a good mood. If you have not had their beers, you are in for a real treat. I can't even remember how many times I have stopped by their Downington, PA brewery and restaurant while on business.

The three beers we are supposed to be getting is Hop Devil, Prima Pils, and Golden Monkey. Hop Devil is an IPA that was influenced by Sierra Nevada Celebration. Prima Pils is one of my favorite American pilseners. For those that think that Miller Lite is a good pilsener (by the way it's an American light lager and NOT a pilsener), then you might as well stay home. Prima Pils has flavor! Golden Monkey is classified as an Abbey Tripel and comes in at around 9.5% ABV. While some Beglian beer purists may knock it, it's easy to drink and great gateway beer into the style. Be careful with it, too many too fast will hurt you bad. Real bad.

If anyone at Victory is reading this and needs a regional rep- I am not working. I need funds to stock my fridge with your beers! wink wink.