Packaging: 12 oz. can
BJCP Style: American Pale Ale
Hops Variety: Mosaic, Crystal
Malts Variety: 2 Row Pale
Beer Connoisseur Rating: None
Bitterness Level: Very Restrained
- Would I purchase again? Yes
- Would I stock it? Yes
- Comments/Characteristics: Pleasant tropical fruit notes, very low bitterness, and a little nostalgia in the can.
Do you have a beer you love both because it is a quality beer and it has a certain nostalgia that it brings to mind? Creature Comforts Automatic is that beer for me. You’ll have to forgive me; but I have to expand upon this. Athens, GA (home to the University of Georgia) is a wonderful and quirky college town. It is home to the oldest state chartered university in the United States and is well know for its eclectic music scene. Among others, bands R.E.M., B-52’s, Widespread Panic, Black Crows, Drive By Truckers and Matthew Sweet all either got their start there or became famous performing at the various venues around town. So how does Automatic fit into all this? Anyone who spent much time in Athens during the late 80’s to mid 90’s will know what I am referring to.
Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods is a local restaurant that serves sweet tea along side fine Southern cooking. Weaver D’s was already well known around town; but became even more of an attraction after R.E.M. named one of its albums after the
restaurant’s slogan. A few years later, college football color analyst Todd Blackledge featured it on his “Todd’s Taste of the Town” segment during a national football broadcast of a Georgia football game.
The fraternity I was in at the time had the same restaurant cater our evening dinners during the week. The African-American proprietor, Dexter Weaver, was hilarious and loved to cut up with us. On his restaurant sign and the sides of his catering truck was the slogan that R.E.M. would make famous by naming an album after it – “Automatic For The People“. Creature Comforts Brewing Co. decided to pay tribute to the landmark restaurant when they named their Pale Ale Automatic. Needless to say, when I saw the name of the beer, I made the connection right away. If you look closely at the can, you’ll see “For the People” on the drawing of a sign on the can artwork. It’s always nice to have a special connection to something like that. I felt the same when R.E.M. came out with Automatic For The People in 1992. I am sure there are some folks out there that identify with that. But what about the beer itself?
Automatic Pale Ale is a hazy, pale golden color and develops a fluffy white head about two fingers tall once poured. Retention on the head is very good. The Mosaic hops used in this beer is amazing. When you pour it into a glass, you can instantly smell the citrus aromas without putting your nose anywhere near the glass. It is a complex hops variety that gives off any number of floral, spicy, pine and fruity aromas. I picked up on grapefruit and pine; but the longer you let it breathe, the more aromas you detect. The Crystal hops contributes some black pepper and herbal notes; but generally plays a supporting role in the aromas and flavors.
The taste profile has tropical, herbal and pine tones with a light mouth-feel. All of that is balanced on a backbone of low sweet malts. A snap from the carbonation is present at the end, but not off putting. The finish is short, drying and amazingly low on the bitterness scale. This was a very enjoyable beer and I can see it being a perfect choice for hot, humid summers.
Bottom line: Kudos to Creature Comforts Brewing Co. for this expertly crafted American Pale Ale bursting with tropical aromas and flavors. Also, nice job on the marketing/packaging by connecting some of the local history and nostalgia of Athens to the product.
Thanks for reading and until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!