A Delicious Stateside Alt-ernative
A Review of Tree Hugger Ale by Terrapin Beer
Posted on 7/21/2013 by Chops
The altbier style is a strange one to say the least. I cannot help but think ''alternative beer'' whenever I hear it, but this is incorrect. The term ''altbier'' is actually German for ''old beer'' and involves pre-lager methods of top-fermentation. Uncross those eyes because I will spare you any more tech talk. Just know that whenever you hear the term ''altbier'', just think of an old German-style amber. They are some of the rarer options on the craft beer market, perhaps because they can be difficult to explain to the average beer fan. I recently came across a version from Terrapin named the Tree Hugger Ale.

So why the name Tree Hugger? As an added bonus, enjoying this brew also helps a good cause:

Terrapin Beer is a partner and supporter of Dogwood Alliance, dedicated to protecting Southern forests and communities from destructive logging practices since 1996. To learn more about their important work, and how you can be a Treehugger and join the forest protection team, visit Click Here

In the glass, this beer has a deep brown-heavy amber coloration. It comes with a rocky light tan head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I found the signature sweet malty aroma of a quality amber ale. There is a faint base of caramel and brown bread along with some earthy grassy notes and a light herbal flare. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer's introduction. This is a gorgeous brew with a very inviting aroma. I wasted no time diving in for that first taste.

Mmm, this beer is a smooth easy drinker with a nice mid-level body. The hop bitterness is moderate and doesn't get in the way of the savory malty character. A rich brown bread crust flavor sets up as a solid foundation. Swirling on top is a light caramel, toasted grains, nondescript herbs, an earthy woody note, and a grassy character akin to a lovely German Pils. The beer finishes clean and exits with a lightly bitter malty aftertaste.

Overall, Terrapin's Tree Hugger Ale is a delicious brew with a woodsy personality. They nailed the association between style and cause, so mad props for that accomplishment. This is a brew that I can easily recommend to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will enjoy a rare stateside glimpse into high quality altbiers. Novices will adore this brew as a rich and complex version of their favorite amber ales. To be honest, I was caught completely off guard by the Tree Hugger Ale. My only altbier experiences have come via German breweries. Terrapin has shown me once again that American breweries can not only compete, but they can far exceed expectations.

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Tree Hugger Ale by Terrapin Beer
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