As a dedicated beer writer, consultant, judge, show host, lecturer and sincere advocate under the alias Ale Sharpton, picking my favorite beer can always be a challenge due to constant introductions of new additions. Thanks to the craft beer boom especially throughout the last decade, bars, retailers and restaurants are beginning to truly appreciate the vast tasting profiles ales and lagers provide, directly increasing the demands of constant innovation. Well, during my years of research, it often becomes difficult to choose a favorite within this growing plethora of liquid gold. However, when I do find one that wows me, I let the world know. Enter the Creature Comforts Automatic Pale Ale direct from Athens, Georgia.
The word “pale” can often be correlated to lacking color or vibrancy. Of course, the “pale ale” term is simply a beer style in relation to its light color, but everything else about this fantastic beer is the exact opposite. Making its debut in June of 2016 by perhaps the most revered brewery in Georgia since its inception two years ago, the Automatic is vibrant, refreshing, and simply a lip-smackin’ pour of excellence. Both the aroma and taste boast notes of pear, pineapple, and a tad of grassy earthiness mostly due to the ingenious utilization of Mosaic and Crystal hops. Even more impressive is its drinkability, meaning you can consume a few of these in one “session” due to its merciful 5.2 percent alcohol by volume and light body.
Even Automatic’s packaging is stellar, thanks to local Athens painter Michelle Fontaine, who embraced the previous owners of the brewery’s home, a Chevrolet dealership in the 1940s followed by the iconic Snow Tire Company. Adding some pop culture feel of the mid-1900s and soft pastel colors, eyes are easily captivated to its can.
And its name? Creature Comforts says, “The name ‘Automatic’ is a nod to the amazing community in which we’re located—Athens, Ga. It’s a reference to the slogan of local restaurant Weaver D’s that inspired one of REM’s most prolific albums, Automatic for the People.” REM is also from Athens.
It was truly difficult to follow the footsteps to its big brother, Creature Comforts’ nationally renowned flagship beer—the Tropicália India Pale Ale—but Automatic made it seem like it was, well, automatic to maintain its maker’s illustrious reputation.
Get this beer while you can since it is seasonal and only available in Georgia. It is that good. If not, the Tropicália will keep you in sippin’ bliss since it is served throughout the year.
Beer: Automatic Pale Ale
Brewery: Creature Comforts
Alcohol By Volume: 5.2 percent
Tasting Notes: Pear, pineapple, grapefruit… basically that fruit cocktail you loved in elementary school ending with a slight bitterness. Add a little pine to its fruity nose and you have the Automatic.
Dennis Malcolm Byron aka Ale Sharpton is a world-renowned beer authority, award-winning journalist, blogger (AleSharpton.com), photographer event planner, show host (Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’) and gourmand. He proudly resides in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter (@alesharpton) and Instagram (@realalesharpton).