Meet the Creatures: Athens newest brewery set to pour this weekend
The first signature beers from Creature Comforts, Athens newest brewery, become available in Athens during Twilight Criterium this weekend. Head brewers Adam Beauchamp and David Stein perfected the recipes used now in Creature Comforts’ first four offerings over two years of testing. You’ll be happy with the results.
Three out of four beers will be pouring out of taps at the brewery — 271 W. Hancock Ave., in the old Snow Tire building — and at bars and restaurants serving craft beer on draft.
The brewery’s pilsner, Bibo, is not yet ready to drink, but will be soon. Creature Comforts’ amber ale, Berliner Weisse and India Pale Ale, though, are prepped for tippling.
The brewery’s inaugural public tour takes place 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday. Typically, brewery tours will run Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., starting earlier on Fridays at 4:30 p.m. On Saturdays, tours run 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Creature Comforts also hosts the annual Good Food Block party, a fundraiser for the Athens Farmers Market’s EBT benefit doubling program, between 1-4 p.m. Saturday.
But before you head out to sample the fruits of Creature Comforts’ fermentation, here’s a quick introduction to their year-round beers.
Referencing the antique woodwork that trims out the newer edges at this former tire warehouse, Reclaimed Rye is a rye amber ale aged in French oak. Amber ale popularity is on the wane in the craft beer biz, said brewer Beauchamp. But he and Stein believe ambers to be worthwhile brews. With 5.5 percent alcohol-by-volume, Reclaimed Rye isn’t too power-packed to turn sloppy a polite trip to the pub with friends.
And when it comes to naming their brews, the Creature crew is always thoughtful, even anthemic. Craft beer, they say, is reclaiming an ancient tradition too long controlled by giant corporations. Reclamation, Beauchamp said, is Creature Comforts’ battle cry.
Athena Berliner Weisse
Berliner Weisse beers often are lower alcohol, fruity, tart and effervescent. And Creature Comforts’ Athena certainly meets those requirements. Like, perhaps, Champagne, a true Berliner Weisse can only be brewed in the German capital; hence, beers brewed in its style are named for the location where its tanked. At 4.4 ABV, Athena sparkles but doesn’t bowl over.
Athena is double fermented: at first using the traditional grain and yeast marriage, then another round using a strain of lactobacillus, the same stuff used to make yogurt. The result is a cidery, easy-to-drink, lightly acidic beer not unlike a Sauvignon Blanc wine.
Named after a revolutionary Brazilian art movement of the 1960s, one that blended past and future for sonorous and riotous new creations, Tropicalia is imbued with plenty of philosophy. It’s a hoppy beer, incorporating three different hops — the classic Centennial and high-powered, aromatic Citra and Galaxy — but aims to be less resinous than a typical IPA and hits the mark.
The resulting tropical flavors of mango, pineapple and grapefruit again push the typical into new territories. And at 6.5 ABV, it’s also Creature’s current heavyweight.