Beer Town: Terrapin brewer a busy man

During a recent visit to the Athens brewery, Buckowski had four new beers to taste, including two he created for charity and an amazing collaboration ale he flew to Belgium to brew.

In addition, Buckowski has been hard at work in his own brewhouse, keeping up with demand for Terrapin’s year-round beers, especially the newest, Hopsecutioner IPA.

The latest beer in the Terrapin Side Project series is due out soon.  Called Boom Shakalager, it’s a crazy imperial lager that’s 9 percent alcohol by volume but surprisingly easy to drink. Made with German malts, hops and yeast, and dry-hopped with German Tettnanger, it has a winning citrus tang.

June 19 marks the one-year anniversary of the fire that gutted the historic Georgia Theater in Athens. Soon after the blaze, Terrapin launched the Georgia Theater Sessions, a series of four limited-edition, 22-ounce beers, with sales going toward rebuilding the Theater.

Iron Tankard Old Stock Ale was the first release. The second is Dubbel Feature Belgian Dubbel, a reddish brown brew with caramel and dark fruit flavors and a hint of hop.

Georgia Theater owner Wilmot Greene, who tasted Dubbel Feature for the first time last week, said the Terrapin Sessions series had been a big help in getting the word out about the rebuilding effort. If all goes well, Greene plans to reopen the Theater within the next 10 months. Until then, look for two more releases, Sound Czech Pilsner and Hoptaneous Combustion Imperial IPA.

Terrapin’s other new new fundraising brew is the 2010 Reunion Beer, a big Belgian Scotch Ale, due out in early July. The yearly Reunion beer series was created by Alan Shapiro of SBS-Imports to benefit the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (www.imbcr.org).

Shapiro, who is the importer of De Proef beer, is responsible for sending Buckowski to Belgium to brew with Dirk Naudts, the renowned founder and brewer of De Proef brewery. Previous beers in the De Proef collaboration series were created with brewers from Bell’s, Allagash and Port brewing companies.

The beer Buckowski and Naudts made together is an imperial Flanders red ale, dubbed Monstre Rouge. Loosely based on Terrapin’s Big Hoppy Monster, the American-Belgian hybrid features American hops and rye malt. It was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain, with Brettanomyces added, and aged on toasted American oak.

A host of complex aromas and flavors are sure to develop in the 22-ounce corked and caged bottles over the next few months but it already exhibits the funky qualities of the wood and acidic “Brett.”

Though 2010 Reunion Beer won’t be in stores until early July and Monstre Rouge won’t hit until early August, several release parties are scheduled in late June:

Saturday, June 26, Reunion cask at Taco Mac’s The Fred in Sandy Springs, 5600 Roswell Rd., 404-941-1503, www.tacomac.com.

Monday, June 28, Monstre Rouge at Brickstore Pub in Decatur, 125 East Court Square, 404-687-0990, www.brickstorepub.com.

Tuesday, June 29th, Reunion and Monstre Rouge at Trappeze Pub /cq/ in Athens, 269 North Hull St., 706-543-8997, www.trappezepub.com.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.