Pineapple Express Helles Lager is brewed by Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia
All Aboard!! Arriving at your favorite craft beer outlet is
Pineapple Express, the winner of Terrapin’s first annual Employee
The Employee Homebrew Challenge is the brainchild of Terrapin VP
Sales/Marketing Dustin Watts. The Challenge splits all Terrapin
employees into assigned teams containing members from each
department. The mission is straightforward: formulate a beer recipe
and brew a 5-gallon batch, choose a name, design a label concept,
develop a marketing strategy, and present the brew as creatively as
possible in a skit to all coworkers and a panel of judges at the
company holiday party. There are no style guidelines or rules,
though the project must fit the “Side Project” line of inventive,
unique beers, must be feasibly brewed on a commercial level, and all
aspects of the project (brew ingredients, marketing materials, etc.)
must stay within the provided $75 budget.
“I saw the Employee Homebrew Challenge as a great way to get our employees
working together across departments on a fun project that has a real reward,”
said Watts. “Employees get to see how other departments in the brewery
contribute to each step required to get a beer on shelves from start to finish,
so it’s also educational. Besides that, all these skits make our holiday party a
ton of fun!”
The 2012 winning team was comprised of: Andy Dupras (packaging), John Lane
(brewer), Rainey Lynch (tour), Lily Swindle (tour), Mike Wallace (sales), Julia
Weckback (marketing), Chris Wright (packaging).
Pineapple Express was inspired by a late night grilling session with
friends. A couple chunks of pineapple got thrown into the mix, and an idea
for a new beer style was born. The team brewed up a Helles lager for the
base brew and used real pineapple and smoked malt to concoct the winning
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Wheat, Caramalt Pilsner, Smoked Malt, Acidulated
Hops: Perle, Hallertau Hersbrucker
Other: Pineapple Puree, Natural Flavor
Terrapin Beer Company
Terrapin Beer Company was founded by Brian "Spike" Buckowski and John
Cochran. The two men actually wanted to develop their own brewery, in 1998,
before they had their own beer. After finally developing a beer the two were
contemplating names when Buckowski, a Grateful Dead fan, mentioned Terrapin.
The name comes from "Terrapin Station," which is a Grateful Dead album.
After three years of talking to bankers and investors to no avail, Spike and
John realized the only way to start Terrapin Beer Company was to begin as a
It released its first beer, the Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, in Spring 2002 at the
Classic City Brewfest. Six months later this beer, which was sold only in
Athens, Georgia, was awarded the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the 2002
Great American Beer Festival. With demand for Terrapin growing daily, the
Rye Pale Ale was soon made available to beer fans in Atlanta, Georgia as
well. Soon after, Terrapin was chosen by producers of "Blue Ribbon" on
Turner South to be featured on a TV special about breweries in the South.
The viewers of this show voted Terrapin as the Best Brewery in the Southeast
by an overwhelming margin of 72%.