Terrapin RecreationAle

Review Date 7/25/2015   Last Updated 6/12/2020   By John Staradumsky

Beer and the great outdoors. Do they really go together? Well why the heck wouldn’t they? Lots of beer drinkers also enjoy the great outdoors, and this reviewer is one of them. You might think I spend all my time drinking beer, but you’d be wrong. I spend as much if not more time hitting the pavement walking, jogging and running my friends. Hey, you gotta keep those pounds off after all.

Hence, Terrapin Recreationale. Terrapin introduced this beer in 2013 as their first ever beer sold in cans, a big help since bottles break far too easily when you’re out and about. Cans are all the rage these days in craft brewing, but they’re nothing new. I recall Pete’s Wicked Ale and even Hope Lager from the tiny Hope Brewing Company in cans back in the early to mid-90s. Neither of these beers is available today.

Recreationale is described by Terrapin as “a hopped-up session ale.” The beer was even launched in June of 2013 at a whitewater rafting event. I’ll confess that I haven’t brought this one on a run yet, but I did enjoy a brimming mug of the beer at Taco Mac the other day. It was hoppy and refreshing and went quite well with an order of Taco Mac’s famous Buffalo wings.

Ingredients from the website:

Hops: Bravo, Centennial, Zythos, Amarillo, Galaxy (Dry Hop)

Malts: 2-Row Pale, Crystal 24, Victory

Terrapin Recreationale has an alcohol content of 4.7% by volume with 42 IBUs. A beer or two of this strength shouldn’t weight you down, though it’s too high to be really called a “session” beer. The price is fair enough, I paid $6 for a draft mug at Taco Mac and the beer runs around $13.99 a 12-pack in cans.

My mug of Terrapin Recreationale arrived a bright orange amber color with a thick fluffy white head and a Tropical fruit nose of papayas and passion fruit. Taking a sip I got light toasty malt up front with the passion fruit the nose promised and some citrusy hops tossed in for good measure. There’s a bit of resin and a long dry bitter finish on this one, and not much else.

I’d call this a decent enough entry into the “session IPA” crowd, though like all examples of that style I find it too lacking in malt to drink as anything other than the first beer of the night. Still, given the outdoors nature of the marketing here, I can see it as a very refreshing beer to easily stash in your backpack for hiking or biking. Keeping it cold is another matter, though if you’ll be near a stream that might solve your problem.

Update 6/12/2020: Picked up a $2 pint can of Terrapin RecreationAle at Racetrac the other day. The beer is a little bit different according to the website description from Terrapin, in that ABV is lower and hops are slightly different. IBU count is lower, too. It was a beautiful June evening here in Canton with mild temperatures and low humidity. The beer was light malty with a bit of resin and citrus and refreshed nicely out on my patio.

ABV: 4.2%  IBU: 30

RecreationAle is specially formulated to accompany you on all of your adventures. Packing in just 99 calories so it won’t weigh you down, this full-flavored “LoCal” IPA will keep your feet moving on the trail of life.
HOPS: Citra, Galaxy, Amarillo, Centennial, Zythos (Dry Hop: Citra, Galaxy)
MALTS: 2-Row, Victory, Crystal 25

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.