Well, in case you were off doing healthy productive things for the past month, Georgia had its first whale release since the legendary 2009 massacre that was TERRAPIN DEPTH CHARGE. However, most gainfully employed adults that were around for that old Georgia peach were not around for this further disturbing release of See the Stars. I will be dealing with StS in a separate post, but I figured I would check in with some Georgia reviews since my last foray left much to be desired.
I got my cup of lean, a Lil Jon LP on the turntable, fat stacks prepped for Magic City, and my Young Dro t-shirt on: TIME TO MARCH TO THE SEA LEAVING A WAKE OF TORTURED GEORGIAN DESTRUCTION, finna get my Sherman on.
The Jeezy hustle is strong with this one and it breaks up serious bricks of raw. The srm looks like shit in contrast to the verve that modern IPAs take but, hey, a little crystal is fine, I guess, in moderation. Except crystal meth, not even once. Then this beer would be Floridian in execution. This drinks very similar to Kern River Just Outstanding in that “BJCP benchmarked/flawless in 2008” sort of tangent. This isn’t some guava and 2 row bomb that is stripped down to 1.003 FG. This is a classic, substantial, piney and aserose, sticky oils, lingering sweetness, cones and conifers, crushed up nugs on a coffee table sort of beer that is exceedingly crushable.
This is rad for failing to fall directly in line with the tired ass “hazy/orange juice/matter in suspension” archetype. It shows this brewery can follow rules and execute awesome examples of staple plays from long ago. The HOP AND LADDER play if you will.
Whenever I see a canned saison, the elitist prick in me is always like “here we go, some dialed down farmhouse beer, where’s the sexist marketing to accompany it?” Oddly, this is executed with class and poise and presents a degree of competence beyond the scope of “ITS A WIT WITH A DUPONT YEAST…IN A CAN.”
“In the heroine Atalanta, we see the traits of what we aim for in all of our beers: piquant, deceptively robust, and a bit wild. A tart plum saison, Atalanta tastes of plums intermingling with spicy yeast, and a refreshing tartness that makes Atalanta as good for pairing with food as by itself.”
Alright, so this isn’t some massive fruit bomb like Flora plum or OWA UME shit, but for the price point and packaging, were you expecting some super artisanal riff? It is refreshing, dry, exhibits a nice wheaty grist, creamy cheesiness, light tartness akin to almost a kettle soured berliner that ramps up the drillability. I can see tossing a few of these back on a daily basis while reading the local Georgia news and laughing my ass off at my state legislatures. So that’s a win. Tasty stuff for sure, if not earth shattering.
I will spare you the threadbare “SESSION IPA” vs “PALE ALE” distinction, I have done it better in other places and the less said about this hackneyed offering, the better. This is a wholly mediocre riff on the gentle IPA realm. The hops are forgettable and overly resinous akin to that vegetal note you get from oversaturated cones in dry hopping. The body of it is sweet and crackery, far too hefty for its designs, and comes across like a worse version of the ho-hum Founders ALL DAY ipa.
This is in or below the realm of the ubiquitous Terrapin offerings and doesn’t really command your palate or wallet in any meaningful way. The MEH exhalation can power the sails of indifference.
Speaking of completely underwhelming beers, prepare for categorical disappointment with Athena. In a world of kettle soured, lacto forward, ultra tart, low grist “berliners” and “goses” this one is amongst one of the worst offenders I have seen to date. This is a pretty tough beer to fuck up but, my cans were riddled with problems. First and foremost, I got clear dimethyl sulfate issues and a sort of putrid baby diaper aspect to my can, so I was like “ah, welp get the other can” but no such luck. The people who rave about the “FUNK AND AWESOME ACIDITY” must love sampling the off flavor/butyric/diacetyl kit from the BJCP judging program. The whole affair was back to back drainpours.
I know you will immediately call out DDB for negligent ratings pandering, hyperbole, or iconoclasm in setting fire to the Athena effigy. Please trust me when I tell you that this is not just disappointing but flawed in a meaningful way that was out of comport with all of the positive press that I previously heard abuzz.
The whole thing makes absolutely no sense because the FRUITED VERSION was mindblowing, guavas to the wall incredible, without qualifier:
Let’s be clear: the passionfruit Guava version of Athena is so so good that I can’t even identify it as the same thing as the base beer. It blows most of the fruited Bu’s out of the water and gives a collarbone chop to other ambitious AWAs who fail to hit their mark. If you have ever had Miami Madness from J. Wakefield or Imperial Stone Bu, this is in that mind blowing realm of guava puree, jamba juice cunnilingus, pith, frothy juiciness, intense tannins and a lightly brackish finish.
It fucks the game up, 5 mics from the Source, XXL is calling for their number, and the only real complaints are in the inaccessibility of this draft only club hit.
I haven’t had See the Stars yet but, if this beer isn’t the best thing coming out of Creature Comforts, I will be shocked. Don’t bother with the adjunct stouts, lock this down faster than a smoking hot Latter Day Saint wife. You will not regret it.
So there we have it, Georgia is up to some noteworthy stuff, some shoulder shruggy EHHHHH’s and everything in between.
See the Stars will be dispatched shortly, never you fuss chil’, now go fetch gam gam the brownie spoon, an doncha be lickin the bole.