What do films and craft beer have in common? Human connection, story, and legacy, Creature Comforts’ Chris Herron says


When fostering human connection is a primary goal for a brand, as it is for Georgia-based Creature Comforts Brewing Co., chance encounters and meaningful conversations can open new doors. For Chris Herron, the craft beer brand’s co-founder, connecting with AGBO co-founder Joe Russo over beers in Atlanta turned out to be a pivotal turning point for the company, which has expanded from its Athens, Georgia location with a newly opened brewery and taproom in Downtown Los Angeles. Herron, who co-founded Creature Comforts in 2014, partnered with Creature Comforts West President, Jake Wood, in planning every detail of the new location in DTLA’s fashion district to prompt rich experiences and to tell the story of the brand, which has reached a new milestone in its growth: the California craft beer market.

(Shown above Left to right: Chris Herron, Joe Russo, Kyle & Jake Wood)

The proximity of Creature Comforts’ new space to AGBO is no coincidence: Herron first met AGBO co-founder Joe Russo while filming for Avengers: Infinity War was underway in Georgia. The filmmaker and entrepreneur became a fan of Creature Comforts’ beers during production, and quickly grew interested in the brand’s story and ethos. The pair got together to talk over a meal – and beers – and it wasn’t long before they formed a meaningful and lasting connection.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) enjoying a can of Creature Comforts Athena Berliner Weisse in Avengers: Endgame

“What struck me with Joe was just how easily and naturally the conversation flowed,” Herron says. “We really connected about what a good company looks like in the world, the idea of having a positive impact on your community, and the strong belief in blending creative energy with quality.”

In addition to the company’s plans to embed itself within the DTLA community and identify new synergies (taproom patrons can order Superfine Pizza to be delivered to their taproom tables), Herron and Wood are also excited to tap into California’s craft beer market by introducing new, successful brews with Georgia origins to Californian beer lovers, like fruited sours, while also developing new flavors tailored specifically for the local market.

“Georgia has fewer breweries than L.A. County, so the opportunity to be around so many other amazing breweries in our industry is unique and collaborative,” Herron shares, adding, “The goal is to absolutely make beers that are only available in California, over time.”

Russo was the one who initially spotted the historical space that would become Creature Comforts’ new brewing facility and 3,000-square foot taproom – which turned out to be zoned for a brewery. Herron, who then ran with Russo’s idea to bring Creature Comforts to L.A., says that aesthetically, the space’s design elements create a warm, jovial ambience – and serve to encapsulate the company’s story.

“Creature Comforts makes some of the best beers I have ever tasted,” Joe Russo said when the space first opened its doors in October. “The taste was enhanced when I met the team behind the beer [...]. I fell in love with their work ethic and caring attitude towards their customers and employees, as well as their commitment to social causes,” he adds.

In addition to Creature Comforts’ “groundbreaking strategic impact programs” meant to help those most in need and its community-based initiatives in Georgia, which support literacy and artistic expression, Herron notes that sustainability is among the company’s top values, and repurposing old facilities for brewing and consumption has always been a focus.  

The flagship Creature Comforts brewery in Athens, Georgia, occupies a repurposed 1950s mechanic shop, and a second location in Georgia dates back to the1890s and was previously a textile mill. For the new DTLA location, Herron and Wood were intentional in incorporating a few nods to Creature Comforts’ Georgia origins. The pair shipped to L.A. some of the 100-year-old heart pine wood that the company salvaged during the building of its Athens taproom, creating an aesthetic link between the two locations. 

Herron also says the new taproom, which has a beer garden and upper-level seating overlooking the L.A. skyline and a private event space, has its beers listed on chalkboards repurposed from the space’s original garage doors. There’s also an antique scale that serves as a divider between spaces.

“Each brewery is a manifestation of our value system: We care about people, we extend kindness, we leave a legacy. And one of our values is to crave curiosity. So we love throwing these little Easter eggs that create room for conversation, because our purpose is to foster human connection.”

For Herron, opening a brewery in Los Angeles was a dream that Russo helped bring to life through his encouragement and support of the company. Creature Comforts’ beers, which even made their way into Avengers: Endgame, where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) enjoys the Athena and Tropicália brews, signify tremendous promise for collaboration – both with AGBO and the local community.

“It’s a dream we didn’t even know we had, and I think that Joe Russo helped us open our eyes to it.”

Although the new California-specific beers are in the works, for now, local craft beer lovers can enjoy both the seasonal and year-round Creature Comforts offerings on tap, in addition to limited releases like Hazy Double IPAs, Fruited Berliner Weisses, and rustic barrel-aged farmhouse-style ales.

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