Since beer-o’-clock is a little earlier than it used to be (we all could certainly use a cold one at all times these days), it’s only right to share some great news for one of Georgia’s most beloved craft breweries.
News broke this afternoon that Creature Comforts Brewing Company is expanding to a new location in Los Angeles, California, which will be the company’s first location outside its home city of Athens. The brewery, which will include a taproom, is slated to open summer 2021.
“We’re super excited. This is far bigger than what Creature normally does,” Creature Comforts CEO and co-founder Chris Herron said in a phone interview with Hypepotamus Monday afternoon. “It’s probably going to turn into a bit of a national story.”
That’s because Herron knew then what everyone else is discovering today: the brewery is opening the Los Angeles location in partnership with Joe Russo, one of the famed Russo brothers who directed some of the biggest movies ever, including “Avengers: Endgame” and “Infinity War,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
According to a statement from Creature Comforts, Russo became a big fan of Tropicália while filming in Georgia. The company says Russo “has been instrumental in helping the Creature Comforts team bring their brand to the West
Coast,” sharing local insights and his own global brand-building expertise.
“Los Angeles stood out because of its large craft beer community, the success of numerous independent, small craft breweries and California’s brewery-friendly state laws,” Herron said in the prepared statement. “The beautiful weather and coastal location were also factors, since a good number of our beers are great in the warmer months, and we just really love the beach! Combining those factors with the solid friendships we have made with some local breweries and the chance to work in close proximity to Joe and his team, LA became an obvious choice.”
At six years old, Creature Comforts can only be considered a major craft beer success. That’s in no small part to the wide fandom over the original two beers produced by the Athens-based company: the wildly popular Tropicália IPA, and the tart “Athena” berliner weisse, both of which gained major attention as favorite brews of thunder god Thor in the blockbuster MARVEL movie “Avengers: Endgame,” which was filmed in the Atlanta area in 2017.
Creature Comforts already has two brewing locations in Athens. Its first location in downtown Athens is a former Chevy dealership and tire shop built in the 1940s. The jet-fueled success of Tropicalia, which anyone in Atlanta can tell you became hard to find for a few months due to demand, made it necessary for the company to acquire a second production facility, which opened in June 2018.
Creature made its second facility a model of beer-making efficiency and innovation, just to make sure they wouldn’t have to repeat the good problem of being so popular that you can’t get beer into thirsty people’s mouths fast enough. The 40,000-square-foot building holds a dual 85-barrel German-engineered brewhouse, allowing it to almost triple production of Tropicália from 120 barrels to 340, and up to four hours faster. It also has a high-efficiency canning line capable of packaging 185 cans in 60 seconds on average. And to prove that beer geekery is a real thing, they even threw in a beer laboratory to perfect quality control.
It’s proof that every industry, including alcohol, can benefit from dreaming big, innovating and incorporating better technology, and being bold when others are being careful.
“In the long term I hope Creature Comforts is a global brand someday. Part of that is to push yourself to expand beyond the simple things. If we know we can be successful somewhere, that’s probably too easy of a move. Los Angeles, California is going to be an entirely different beast than being successful in Athens, Georgia,” Herron said with a laugh.
The west coast Creature Comforts will be located in City Market South at 1124 San Julian Street, in L.A.’s Fashion District.