We all love our creature comforts, don’t we? They can be different things to different people, of course, perhaps a cozy sofa for one or the shade of an oak tree for another. For me, of course, my very favorite creature comfort of all is a good beer. And why not a creature comfort of a beer form one of Georgia’s newest breweries, Creature Comfort in Athens?
Creature Comforts Brewery features the beers of head brewer David Stein, formerly of Twain’s brewpub in Decatur. I’ve enjoyed so many fantastic beers at Twain’s over the years that I’m very excited about this new brewery. Today, a beautiful unseasonably mild day here in Georgia, I’m sitting at Taco Mac in Woodstock sipping on a mug of the first beer I get to try from these fine folks, Tropicalia IPA.
Creature Comforts calls this an American IPA and they say this about the beer on their website:
A balanced, soft, and juicy IPA. Ripe passion fruit and citrus hop aroma lead to a full, fruit-forward hop flavor that washes over the palate, ending with subtle bitterness. Some folks say they don’t like hoppy beers, and to that we say that hops do not equal bitterness. To us, hops offer a plethora of flavors, not just bitterness; and in Tropicália it’s a beautiful, luscious, fruit journey for your palate to enjoy without fatigue.
Tropicalia IPA has an alcohol content of 6.5%. This is a year round offering from Creature Comforts, and I paid $6 for a mug. Like many small Georgia brewers, they are draft only, selling their beer in the many multitaps in Georgia and through the increasing number of growler shops here. They also operate as a brewpub out of an old garage in Athens.
My mug of Creature Comforts Tropicalia IPA arrived an attractive orange amber color with a thick head formation and lots and lots of passion fruit, pineapple and resin in the nose. The beer has medium caramel malt up front, then back to the fruity hops and more resiny pine than the nose suggested. A long dry, but not overpowering, bitterness rounds this one out nicely.
An impressive effort, this is a beer that I can respect for its use of the newer hop varieties all the while retaining a firm malt character. Tropicalia IPA stood up nicely to an order of Taco Mac’s signature hot wings. It’s a little different from the pack, and a creature comfort that I’m sure to enjoy again.
Update 1/5/2016: Creature Comforts Tropicalia IPA has become something of a cult classic here in Georgia and indeed around the country. It's a beautiful beer indeed, lush and full of passion fruit and pineapple tropical notes, with perhaps a bit less resin than I remarked upon a few years ago. These days, the stuff is being rationed locally. A recent trip to Total Wine found it in stock but hidden behind the counter, one six-pack per customer, please. A few weeks later at Sherlocks it was on the shelf but with a sign advertising the same limit. If you can get it, you'll pay about $10.99 for that six-pack. Creature Comforts stamps the cans with a canned on date and a best by date, the latter being 90 days from the former. When I had this at Taco Mac they quoted 6.5% by volume, but the cans are now stamped 6.6% ABV.