Beer Goggles: How everything changed for a craft beer brewer after it sold itself to MillerCoors

When a craft beer brewer sells to a larger brewing company, the common refrain from the craft owners is that “nothing is going to change.”

For Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens, Ga., that was never going to be true.

Founded by brewing school graduate Brian “Spike” Buckowski and University of Georgia graduate John Cochran, Terrapin was built on brewing knowledge and credit-card debt. The brewery’s Rye Pale Ale won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival when it opened in 2002, but it relied on brewers in Maryland and elsewhere in Georgia to produce its beer under contract.

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