Drinking beer has its rewards. Just ask Terry Philp, who recently became the first person to earn 10,000 credits and Beer Guru status in Taco Mac’s Brewniversity. For more than a decade, the Tyrone, Georgia, resident has been a dedicated participant in the popular program that encourages patrons to expand their palates by providing credits for each new beer tried. The more members like Philp sip, the more they can achieve higher statuses that come with coveted rewards.
“I used to make my own beer, which was a hassle,” Philp says. “I realized it made more sense to head to Taco Mac and simply buy beer. Initially, I wasn’t really thinking about what I might achieve; I just started drinking and it happened. When I do anything, I like to be the best.”
As a retired Delta Air Lines employee, Philp has had ample time to raise a glass or thousands. “I’ve been to every Taco Mac there is and know all the managers,” he says. “Josh, for example, a manager in Newnan, has rated beer for Beer Advocate. He’s a real beer aficionado. I don’t consider myself an aficionado; I’ve just drank a lot of beer.”
As “hoppy” as he is to try new beers, he’s a stalwart sour fan, traveling the globe to experience as many as possible. “There’s a beer café in Belgium called Delirium that offers more than 3,000 beers. I can drink sours all day there and never drink the same one twice.”
If you ask him what he’s enjoyed most about Brewniversity, meeting people and discussing and drinking beer are high on the list. The trips he’s earned, however, have been peak highlights. “As a Delta Air Lines retiree, I’ve flown standby to Munich, Germany, more than a handful of times. It was only after I earned 5,000 points and became a Brewniversity Beer God, though, that I was able to go there for Oktoberfest. Taco Mac paid for me and a friend to go for a week. It was an unbelievable experience.”
What pairs best with the various suds he’s consumed? Taco Mac wings, of course. “Tyler at the Taco Mac in Peachtree City asked me what I wanted to eat when they were planning my 10,000th credit celebration on June 29,” says Philp. “I knew they had ordered Einstök Icelandic White for the occasion. He wanted to make it special by cooking up beer can chicken and ribs. I told him I appreciated the offer, but I wanted to stick with their wings. That’s beer food.”
Although he’s successfully scaled the program’s mountaintop, Philp has no plans to retire from his beloved hobby. “I’m hopeful that Taco Mac will keep creating new award levels for me to reach.”