You just never know who you’ll meet because of good beer. Creature Comforts Brewing, for example, is your classic craft beer business story — founded in 2014 in Athens, Ga., by an entrepreneurial trio of pals, David Stein, Adam Beauchamp and Chris Herron. It’s known for a wide range of highly rated beers, such as its Tropicália American IPA,
Turns out, while filming Avengers: Infinity War in Georgia, award-winning film director and entrepreneur Joe Russo got hooked by Tropicália and turned into a genuine fan. They crushed so many beers during the filming that Russo decided to give Tropicália and Athena beers a cameo in his next movie, Avengers: Endgame.
“Creature Comforts beers are some of the best I’ve ever had,” says Russo. “I was taken by the beers on their own, but when I met the team behind the brews, their standards as great human beings matched their standards as exceptional beer makers. I fell in love with their work ethic and their caring attitude towards their customers and employees, as well as their commitment to social causes.”
Over time and many conversations over beer, a bond and a partnership emerged with the trio. Russo has been instrumental in helping the Creature Comforts team bring their brand to the West Coast. And while the country remains hunkered at home, the Creature Comforts team is now ready to expand beyond their home state, announcing a new brewery and taproom in Los Angeles slated for Summer 2021. Russo is sharing his insights into Los Angeles and his expertise in storytelling and global brand building.
“Over the years, we have admired the stellar craft brewing scene in California and its pivotal role in advancing American beer,” says Stein, who plans to relocate to Los Angeles to help build the brand. “We have collaborated with outstanding brewers in Los Angeles and throughout the state, and I’m proud to call them my friends. We are committed to both bringing our beers to California and continuing to build our brand in Georgia, home to our long-time, loyal fans who have been critical to our success.”
Once constructed, the brewery will include a 3,000-sq. ft. taproom, a 10,000-sq. ft. production facility and copious outdoor seating. The brewery will have the capacity to grow production to 15,000 barrels (the equivalent of nearly 3.75 million pints) annually, with more than two dozen hires planned. The brewery includes a 15-barrel brewhouse with a mix of 15-barrel and 60-barrel fermenters and brite tanks, a centrifuge and a canning line.
Why Los Angeles?
There was more to this than a neat new friendship with Russo. When selecting its first market outside of Georgia, Creature Comforts combined both the founders’ personal desires with an array of analytics on American cities, including data points such as the number of breweries, population dynamics, regulatory environment, demographics and more.
“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,” says Herron. “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.”
Over the years, Creature Comforts has collaborated with breweries in and around Los Angeles, including Highland Park, Modern Times and Green Cheek, as well as those in other parts of California, including Russian River, Sierra Nevada, Firestone Walker and Alvarado Street.
“We are excited to join the vibrant craft beer scene in California and plan additional collaborations,” says brewmaster Beauchamp. “While we are delighted to share many of our core year-round and seasonal beers, we also look forward to creating unique brews for the Los Angeles community.”
More on Creature Comforts
Creature Comforts opened their second production brewery in 2018 to keep up with demand. The world class brewery houses top-of-the-line brewing equipment, a full science lab and a canning line capable of filling 280 cans per minute.
Its groundbreaking strategic impact programs, “Get Comfortable,” targeting those most in need, “Get Artistic,” supporting the arts, and “Brew For One,” an annual beer initiative helping one worthy individual, have generated $2 million of value for the Athens, Ga. community. These programs will also be a force for good in Los Angeles when the new brewery and taproom open in Summer 2021.
Creature Comforts uses solar power for 70 percent of the brewery’s needs and extensive LED lighting. Highly-efficient, fully automatic brewing equipment also economizes energy use, as does heat recovery in the brewhouse. In addition, spent grain goes to local cattle farms, resulting in a 99 percent total waste diversion from landfills.