Athens, Ga. is known for a few things. It’s a town with an unparalleled love for college football,
and it’s also a place where friends love to get together, hang out and possibly enjoy a tasty
Perhaps no one embodies that spirit better than the people behind Creature Comforts Brewing
Company — a craft brewery based in The Classic City.
DawgNation recently caught up with Creature Comforts CEO Chris Herron to discuss the beer
scene in Athens, how Creature Comforts is working to influence it and how Creature Comforts
plans to soon provide a taste of Athens to beer drinkers across the country.
One of the beers for which Creature Comforts is becoming famous is Classic City Lager — a
lighter beer than might typically be favored by IPA-loving craft brew fans — yet Herron says
there’s a lot to appreciate in a well-made lager.
In fact, Herron says Classic City Lager reminds him of the city for which it’s named.
“What’s cool about making a lager is that they are one of the hardest styles of beer to make,”
Herron said. “It takes attention to detail and focus. There’s an incredible appreciation for making
something seem simple that’s not, and I think Athens is similar. It’s a rather complex city with a
lot of nuance and character, but to many people visiting on a game day, it likely looks much
Classic City Lager is known as a beer that’s easy to drink, and it’s easy to imagine it pairing well
with a fun conversation among good friends — either with folks gathered around the backyard or
maybe at Creature Comfort’s downtown tap room, the site of a former tire store.
“Our purpose as a brewery is to foster human connection,” Herron said. “The idea that you can
come in and meet the brewer. You can talk to the person who helped put that beer in the glass.
That’s a unique experience. I think that’s something that’s really helped separate craft beer from
other types of beer.”
The notion that craft beer can succeed in bringing people closer together, and the idea that craft
breweries have elevated the experience of beer drinking is a theme about which Herron is
“The best thing for me is when you meet someone who says, ‘I don’t like IPAs,’ and then they
try Tropicalia, and they love it,” Herron said. “Beer can be so many incredible things. We look at
it as a fun challenge to help people navigate the world of beer and show them that their
perception of beer isn’t as broad as it could be. That’s a really fun part of the job.”
Herron and his team at Creature Comforts are serious about more than just beer. Their affection
for Athens means they want to contribute beyond the social scene.
“We absolutely believe that good companies are good neighbors,” Herron said. “One of the
things we hope people say is that they are glad Creature Comforts is here. We consider ourselves
a purpose-driven business, and that purpose is driven beyond profits.
“We want to be both a growing company, but also a great company by looking around us and
seeing how we can make a difference.”
Herron says that intention led Creature Comforts to pursue one of Athens’ most significant
“Athens has a very high poverty rate, which was one of the things that lead us to creating our Get
Comfortable program and fund,” Herron said. “Now there are 60-plus businesses in Athens that
have said they also have a heart for our community and pour money into that fund.”
Creature Comforts has also been a friend to Athens’ vibrant art scene through a program called
“We believe thriving communities have thriving arts communities,” Herron said. “If we can help
create a thriving arts community, we can help inspire place attachment. This means that the more
people are attached to their environment, the more involved they get in solving the problems.”
Being an ally to those in the Athens community is at the heart of what Creature Comforts does,
and soon, the craft brewery will expand to Los Angeles.
“Similar to how we felt like Athens found us, we feel like the same thing happened with Los
Angeles,” Herron said. “We were doing brewing collaborations with a number of breweries, and
we found ourselves in LA a lot. And then our product ended up in this little movie called
“Joe Russo, the director, and his staff had taken a liking to Tropicalia,” Herron said. “There was
this wonderful opportunity to put the beer into the movie, which they did. Then, Joe knew of a
location in LA near their studio, and said, ‘Hey, I know you guys are looking at other markets.
We are aware of this spot that we think will be incredible for a brewery.’”
“It just has felt right,” Herron said. “It’s definitely daunting. Trying to build a brewery on the
other coast is going to be new. Trying to build a brand here in Athens, we were essentially the
second major brewery in the market at the time. There, we’ll be like the 800th brewery, so it will
be very different in that way, but we love a challenge.”
Of course, the move to Los Angeles won’t change one of the things beer drinkers love most
about Creature Comforts — which is the pride the brewery takes in its Athens roots. It will
remain a fixture in The Classic City, and a popular choice for tailgate parties and any other place
Georgia Bulldogs fans congregate.
“Beer and football. What a natural thing to go together,” Herron said.
The people of Athens would happily agree.