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Brewtopia Events LLC

Owen Ogletree's Brewtopia Brewsletter: March 2013

In this issue:

- Top Reasons to Get Tickets for 18th annual CLASSIC CITY BREW FEST

- Volunteer for Classic City Brew Fest

- Dank Tank & Turtle Go Head-to-Head


- 2014 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting to Feature Classic UK Firkins

- UK Cask Ale Journey - Photo Album

- Brewsletter Sponsor

- Featured Beery Links & Events

- Owen Ogletree on

- Follow Brewtopia Events on Facebook

Follow our craft beer adventures...


- Top Reasons to Get Tickets for 18th annual CLASSIC CITY BREW FEST

We can think of loads of reasons for every beer fan in the region to attend our April 7 Classic City Brew Fest...


  • For 18 years, the Classic City Brew Fest has been known as one of the Southeast's favorite and very best beer events.
  • The BrewFest offers a huge variety of rare and world-class craft beers - including most regional brewpubs.
  • Our popular Cask Ale Pavilion serves 15+ unique cask ales, and attendees can vote for People's Choice casks while they sip these one-off batches.
  • The Foundry & Melting Point complex provides three ballrooms, an outdoor patio, music hall and outdoor cask pavilion for attendees to enjoy the BrewFest in an attractive, non-crowded set of fun venues.
  • Every ticket is a VIP ticket!
  • Each ticket this year comes with a free digital subscription to Beer Connoisseur magazine.
  • On the Friday and Saturday before the BrewFest, you can enjoy great tours of Terrapin Beer Company and special tappings and tastings at Trappeze and aromas [craft works] pubs during Athens Craft Beer Weekend that culminates on Sunday with the Classic City Brew Fest! Athens' Copper Creek brewpub is now also open on Sundays.


CLASSIC CITY BREW FEST (Sunday, April 7, 2013 in Athens, GA) offers sampling of around 300 world-class craft beers from around the world, a cask ale pavilion with 15+ rare, one-off real ales and live music from Tropical Breeze. A benefit for the Athens-Area Humane Society. Click here for tickets, information and discounted Foundry hotel rooms for Sunday night.


Would you rather enjoy the BrewFest as a volunteer? If so, see the section below or sign up here.


Get BrewFest tickets before they disappear!



Sponsors: Brewtopia Events LLC, Terrapin Beer Company, Goose Island, 5 Points Bottle Shops, Trappeze, and Chops & Hops. Special thanks also go to Athens' Cox radio stations including Magic 102.1 and Power 100.1.


- Volunteer for Classic City Brew Fest

Being a Classic City Brew Fest volunteer is really fun, and when the festival clean up is over, the volunteers get to participate in the fantastic volunteer party with beers and food! There is also a free t-shirt and other goodies in it for you. Volunteers must be at least 21 and are NOT permitted to drink during the hours of the fest. We also need people to help work the door, run the registration booths out front, and dump the dump buckets.  


There will be a preview volunteer meeting at Trappeze Pub in Athens on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM for those who want to sign up in advance for their favorite tables.


The MANDATORY meeting for ALL volunteers is at 11:30 AM SHARP in the Foundry's Melting Point music hall on the day of the fest (April 7). All volunteers are encouraged to show up on festival day as early as 9 AM to help us move beer.


To volunteer, simply REGISTER on our EventBrite volunteer site. Tickets for volunteering will NOT be required - your name will simply be on our volunteer list, and group volunteer email information will be sent out starting in middle March. Please be patient - we will be in contact by email. THANKS!


- Dank Tank & Turtle Go Head-to-Head

A Comparison of SweetWater Seasonals and Dank Tanks vs. Terrapin Seasonals and Side Projects


Owen Ogletree, Thel Melton, Nick Allen, Mark Hall and Jeff Rapp sat down in "beer judge mode" to see how similar-themed specialty products from Atlanta's SweetWater Brewing and Athens' Terrapin Beer Company stacked up to each other. Please keep in mind that some of these beers had been aged for several months, but their high gravity nature meant that most of them held up quite well.






SweetWater Magnum IP Imperial Pilsner - 9% ABV

- Herbal, citrusy aromas. Hops seem resiny and floral. Rich, honey like malts, vanilla.


Terrapin All American Imperial Pilsner - 8.9% ABV

- Earthy malt, woody hops, cellar-like. More flavoring hops than the SW beer, not quite as rich and malty as SW perhaps.


Verdict: Terrapin may be closer to style, but the hops and rich malt of the SW seem juicy and mouthwatering. These are a pair of sweet, malty brews worth sipping.






SweetWater Danktoberfest - 8.5% ABV

Imperial Oktoberfest

- Very light aromas of Munich malt. Creamy, a little toasty, moderately sweet, caramel, burnt honey notes. Flavor much more intense than aroma. Very drinkable and pleasing. Will definitely fire up your lederhosen.


Terrapin Gamma Ray - 11% ABV

Wheat-wine ale with honey

- Honey, rum, raisins, schnapps, white wine like, prunes. Aging has really mellowed this strong beer. Slight tartness in the finish. Hint of sherry. When young, this beer will leave radiation burns on your tongue.


Verdict: Terrapin has more complexity and depth - especially in aroma, and the SW is younger and has fresh malt flavors. Two very different, but fantastic, beers.






SweetWater 15 - 10% ABV

Imperial ESB

- Caramel, toasted nuts, slight hoppy aroma, honey hints. Caramel flavors, raisins, sweet malt with hoppy balance. Great example of an imperialized ESB.


Terrapin 10th Anniversary Ale - 9.969% ABV

Strong ale with spices

- Clove, spices, triple-like, orange peel, fruity, allspice notes, golden malt intensity.


Verdict: Two great ales to celebrate two brewing milestones in Georgia. SW is very clean and UK oriented, while the Terrapin is more Belgian-like with layers of spicy complexity. We loved both these beers.








SweetWater The Gimp - 10.3% ABV

Old Ale

- Reminds us of spaetzle gravy in aroma. Earthy, oxidative notes, bitter, burnt sugar, overripe apricots, hints of roasted malts, meaty flavors.


Terrapin Phlux Capacitor- 9.8% ABV

Oak-aged American Ale

- Fruity, dark caramel character, floral aromas. Flavors of a new oak barrel with lots of raw tannins and vanilla. Toasty, crystal malts with hints of figs and mincemeat. Flavors that surpass 88 miles an hour.


Verdict: Of these two movie themed ales, we approved of the complexity and flavor of the Terrapin - even with the rough, fresh oak notes. With its intense, fruity, malt backbone, the Gimp is also an intriguing beer that could possibly get "medieval on your arse."






SweetWater Ghoulash - 8.5% ABV

Black Double IPA

- Chicory coffee, floral hops, roasted malts, hints of tropical fruits. Flavors reminiscent of a cigar humidor, molasses, dark fruits, sweet, dark fruits, cocoa.


Terrapin / Shmaltz Reunion Ale '12 - 8% ABV

Dark ale with cinnamon, cocoa nibs and vanilla

- Spicy aromas mingled with dark malts. Bold flavors of chocolate, allspice, vanilla, mole sauce-like, chocolate cream pie in a bottle. Quite a complex, satisfying dark ale.


Verdict: These two beers both kick ass. SW has pure hop and malt goodness, while the Terrapin contains layers of malt, hop and spicy notes, along with rich fermentation esters.








SweetWater Happy Ending - 9% ABV

Imperial stout

- Coffee, dark raisins, dark malts, rich earthy roasted malts. Bold, full body with background of coffee, prune, roasted malts. Slightly sweet coffee tones balanced by mild hop notes, relatively clean. A delicious dark ale.


Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout - 10.25% ABV

Imperial stout

- Fresh espresso, light fruits, alcohol notes with herbal, toasty hints. Flavors of licorice, sweet coffee - not quite as complex as SW, but very malty and sweet. Like rich coffee with lots of cream and sugar.


Verdict: Two thick, full-bodied black ales with loads of character, but Terrapin seems more warming and sweet, while SW offers malt complexity.



Southeastern brewers swept all three specialty beer awards at the immensely enjoyable 2013 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting, with first place going to Kevin McNerney at 5 Seasons Prado for his All Good barrel-aged robust porter. Second place specialty and people's choice were awarded to Hole in Juanita Mexican Mazurt imperial stout, guest brewed by Hamp Covington and Dan Rosen at Burnt Hickory. The delightful, sessionable Moon River Slo-vannah Pale Ale grabbed third place.


First through third place classic style medals were presented to Uinta Hop Notch IPA, Lagunitas Sucks and Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout (respectively). Click here to read descriptions of all the casks and see photos from the event.


- 2014 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting to Feature Classic UK Firkins

UK casks are typically elegant, low alcohol, golden ales, pale ales, bitters, mild ales or dark ales. Despite our best efforts in 2013, we could not secure any fresh UK ales for ACAT, but for 2014 we are working EARLY with several importers to try and insure that a few, traditional UK cask ales are included. This allows for a fun comparison by attendees of traditional UK and speciality USA casks. Many brewers in the USA (and a growing number in the UK) include special ingredients and/or processes (spices, fruit, wood, chocolate, etc.) with the 10.8 gallons of beer placed in their casks. Which type of cask do you prefer - classic or speciality? 


For our 2014 ACAT, we are expecting scrumptious, UK cask ales from Bateman's, Thornbridge, Harviestoun Brewery, JW Lees and the new artisanal London Fields Brewery - among others. Stay tuned for details in the months to come!




- UK Cask Ale Journey - Photo Album

Last February, Owen took 20 friends and beer industry folks on an epic, ten-day cask ale (and whisky) trek that stretched from Manchester to Scotland to London. Highlights included the delightful Craven Arms/Cruck Barn pub in the Yorkshire Dales, Theakston's Old Brewery, Black Sheep, Tullibardine and Famous Grouse distilleries, Traquair House, Hawkshead Brewery, Castle Rock Brewery, Bateman's, Newark's amazing Just Beer Micropub, the National Brewery Centre in Burton-Upon-Trent, Burton Bridge Brewery, and Meantime in London. Click here or on the photo to the right to visit Owen's photo album from the trip.


Watch the next issue of Southern Brew News and this Brewsletter for a report on the trip's collaboration brew day between Terrapin and Thornbridge. The resulting Coalition Imperial Rye ESB with English and American hops will be making its way across the Atlantic to us soon! Check out the video from the collaborative brew session here.


- Brewsletter Sponsor

Sixpoint Resin


Resin is the hoppy new beer, just released in Georgia, from Brooklyn's hip Sixpoint Brewery.


This tasty, 9.1% ABV beer boasts 103 IBUs and a deep ruby, amber color from a variety of premium malts.


See the video story of Resin by clicking here.


- Featured Beery Links & Events


- Owen Ogletree on

Check out Brodie Barton's podcast interview with Owen Ogletree on the Atlanta Beer Geek site.


Owen and Brodie discuss all things related to cask ale and do a follow up on the awesome 2013 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting.



- Follow Brewtopia Events on Facebook

CLICK HERE and hit the Brewtopia Events "like" button on Facebook to see live photos and news posts as we sip, quaff and sniff craft beer around the world.



  • Live photos and details from Athens' amazing Classic City Brew Fest coming up on Sunday, April 7. Find out which cask ales are chosen as crowd favorites.
  • Owen Ogletree and Nick Allen travel to the April 2013 member's conference of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in Norwich, UK. We'll post photos from Norwich's best real ale pubs and breweries.
Owen Ogletree is an Athens, GA beer writer, beer traveler, nationally certified beer judge, and founder/director of, the Classic City Brew Fest, and the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting. Phone: (706) 254-BREW.
Brewtopia Events LLC • 265 Newton Bridge Rd. • Athens, GA 30607
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