Terrapin Brewing has, quite literally, gone batty in finding inspiration for its latest beer.
The Athens, Georgia based-brewery is marking its first year as a partner of Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves and has a special offering for the opening of the Terrapin Taproom, which is adjacent to SunTrust Park. On Friday, the ball park will open for the first time, and fans will be treated to the "Chopsecutioner" — an IPA beer aged on wood chips from Mizuno Maple Elite bats.
"We approached Mizuno because they also have a partnership with the Braves and said, 'Hey wouldn't it be a cool idea if we could get the wood shavings or the wood bat chips from you guys so that we could age the beer on Mizuno bat chips,'" said Terrapin Brewmaster Brian "Spike" Buckowski. "And boom...we have the Chopsecutioner."
The beverage is a lower alcohol version of the brewery's flagship brew, Hopsecutioner, and a nod to the Braves famous 'Tomahawk Chop' gesture performed by fans.
"On a 95 degree day, in the humidity of the Georgia heat, while watching baseball, you want to drink something a little lighter" said Buckowski.
The result is beer that is five percent alcohol by volume (ABV), versus seven percent for the Hopsecutioner.
Buckowski ages the beer for two weeks on the wood chips, which is long enough to impart some flavor but not enough to overpower the beer.
"The wood we're getting is from maple bats, so it adds a really nice wood flavor but also a little dryness to the finish so it's nice and crisp and clean" he said. "It's not trying to be this big wood aged beer, it just adds another dimension to it."
For now, the Chopsecutioner will have a limited roll out — available in SunTrust Park and a few other bars and restaurants in the stadium's immediate vicinity, including the Terrapin Tap Room.