Jun 14, 2013

Terrapin Tree Hugger

When I first cracked open this bottle of Terrapin Tree Hugger (a 5.1% ABV Altbier), I initially thought it to be an amber ale. It packs a solid hop character and moderate sweetness, but it wasn’t until the beer had a chance to warm in the glass that it’s true nature began to show through.

Terrapin Beer Company knows how to pack some hops into their product and Tree Hugger is no different. Perhaps that would explain my preliminary confusion over the style. The beer presents itself as a fairly sweet amber ale at first, but as the beer warms the malt begins to shine and take over as the hop character steps back a bit in the mix. Regardless of how I interpreted the brew, Tree Hugger hit the spot nicely.


Dark amber in color, Tree Hugger pours with a resilient, khaki cap of foam.


At first all that I smelled were citrusy, leafy hops with grapefruit and distant bready malts, but as the beer warms the malt sweetness and caramel comes out to play.


Again, this is a tale of two beers. Leafy hops and grapefruit presented themselves as the primary flavors, but the caramel, sweetness and toasted malt shine through as the beer has had a chance to rest in the glass. Throughout the life of the brew, it packs a decent level of hop bitterness that lingers for a good while in the finish. The moderately crisp mouthfeel gives the beer a refreshing edge.


Terrapin Tree Hugger is an intriguing beer. It’s not overly complex, but it’s hop profile certainly catches your attention. Is it an sweet amber ale or a hoppy altbier? All, I know is that I wish I had had another one to enjoy after this first bottle had disappeared.

Rating: 3.75/5

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