At Brooklyn Brew Shop, one of the things we get most excited about are new breweries. We love our tried-and-true favorites, but discovering new, daring brewers is one of the purest joys of the current craft beer renaissance. Enter Creature Comforts Brewing Co., founded just last year in Athens, Georgia. Within 8 months of opening its doors, the outfit was named one of the top 10 craft breweries in the state, and their reputation has only grown since then.
Every brewery is run and marketed differently, and Creature Comforts are angling themselves as the young idealists of the craft beer world. On their site, they have entire sections dedicated to their ideology. The "brand" section shares their ethos: "A curious mind leads to better living." The "inspiration" page simply has pictures of their favorite daring heroes, artists, and thinkers, including Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde, and Outkast. If they continue on their current path, they'll live up to their idols.
As they say, Creature Comforts craves curiosity, so it would make sense that they would reward curiosity, as well. The Tropicália was created with the desire to share the knowledge with the curious that a strong hop presence doesn't have to yield bitterness. The solid gold brew is full of tiny bubbles and is topped with a small head, and it is packed with flavor and revelation.
The nose has a beautifully mixed fruit presence, from the peaches of their home state to the pineapple, guava, nectarine, and passion fruit of faraway lands. All of this, along with its classification as an IPA, coalesced into one of our favorite brews in a long time. The Tropicália is a brilliant "starter IPA," with an unmistakable, citrus-y hop presence that does not combat the beer's juicy drinkability. Any bitterness present was smooth and pleasantly lingering, adding to the unstoppable refreshment inherent in this brew. We're big fans (if it wasn't apparent already).
Every good beer needs a good name, and what's a better source of inspiration than your hometown's patron god? Like the ancient Greek powerhouse, Athens, GA is named after Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom and a bunch of other stuff. Like wisdom, the Athena is earned, not found. This white-gold brew has intrigue in its hazy, lemony depths, and is anything but simple.
Strangely, the aroma went through stages. First, we got a gentle detail of roasted corn, followed by a gruff lemon scent. Beneath that, there were more nuanced layers still, including a musty sourness. Unlike the clean sour found in mass-market lemon juice or sour candy, this sourness feels alive, and the Athena smells like you're walking through a hay field, with the true stuff of life all around. Such truth came through on the tongue, as well, the pleasant sourness worn proudly on the front-end. At the back, that roasted maltiness came back with an aesthetic of a fresh french baguette, light and airy and yeasty. Light on the palate but pervasive, the Athena sticks around, both in the mouth and the mind.