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Terrapin Beer Co

BREWER: Brian ‘Spike’ Buckowski

INTERNATIONAL BREWERY: Terrapin Beer Co., Athens, Georgia, USA

BEER: Recreation Ale (4.7% ABV)

HOST BREWERY (UK): Caledonian Brewery, Edinburgh





Terrapin Beer Co’s Brian – known as ‘Spike’ – is the creative force behind Terrapin beers, creating world-class beer recipes. It is not only his job, but also his passion.

He entered the craft-beer scene in 1993, by brewing his own beers at home and was quickly engulfed by the hobby. In 1996, he attended the American Brewers’ Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering programme, at Woodland, in California, where he honed his brewing, chemistry and engineering skills to better his craft.

As well as brewing at Terrapin, Spike travels to other breweries, both in the US and abroad, to collaborate with other brewers. This helps to keep his brewing skills fresh, enabling him to understand how other breweries perfect their craft.





The brewery was launched in 2002, when two brewers met while working together at a microbrewery in Atlanta. Looking around at what other breweries in the southeast were doing, Spike and co-founder John Cochran felt that they could make a contribution.

Realising that anyone could make just another pale ale, brown ale or stout, Spike and John set their sights on crafting beers unlike any which were available in the region at that time.

These days, John and Spike are enjoying Terrapin’s 40,000-square-foot brewing facilities, 100-barrel brewhouse, brand-new canning line and taking full advantage of the space to brew new, innovative and exciting beers.

The brewery is named after the Grateful Dead album – Terrapin Station.



RecreationAle (4.7% ABV) is a dry-hopped session IPA.

Among the awards it has won are: Bronze medal – Session Beer – US Open Beer Championship, 2013; Best of Mid-Atlantic/Southeast Region (Kolsch/Cream/Gold Ale) – US Beer Tasting Championship, 2014; National Grand Champion – US Beer Tasting Championship, 2014.

Spike said: “I have brewed with Shepherd Neame and Everards before and really enjoy coming to brew in the UK.

“I get exposed to the way the brewers here craft their delicious beers and I also get to enjoy real ale. That’s a treat for me.”