Creature Comforts and metro Atlanta’s Our Culture Brewing launch new sweet potato ale

Isaac Smith (from left), Adam Beauchamp, Shakeel Radford, Fenwick Broyard, Isaiah Smith, Josie Footman-Smith and Dan Reingold are among those involved in the Creature Comforts/Our Culture collaboration. Courtesy of Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Isaac Smith (from left), Adam Beauchamp, Shakeel Radford, Fenwick Broyard, Isaiah Smith, Josie Footman-Smith and Dan Reingold are among those involved in the Creature Comforts/Our Culture collaboration. Courtesy of Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Seeds Take Up the Soil sweet potato ale is a new collaboration between Athens’ Creature Comforts Brewing Co. and Our Culture Brewing Co., a Black-owned brewery that plans to open in Atlanta.

In celebration of the shared roots of African and Southern agriculture, the beer is brewed with Georgia-grown sweet potatoes and flavored with sorghum, cinnamon, nutmeg and Madagascar and Ugandan vanilla beans.

Isaiah Smith is director of procurement at Creature Comforts and a founder of Our Culture, along with his wife, Josie Footman-Smith; his twin brother, Isaac Smith; and their longtime friend, Shakeel Radford.

“Less than 1 percent of breweries are owned by minorities,” Isaiah Smith noted. “We wanted to pick up the torch and see what we could do.”

To that end, Creature Comforts created a brewing residency program earlier this year, in which each member of the Our Culture team partnered with a corresponding staffer from Creature Comforts.

“Diversity and inclusion has become what we pursue,” said Fenwick Broyard, vice president of culture at Creature Comforts. “When you use the word equity, you’re talking about ownership. Not just a seat at the table, but at a table of your own.”

Footman-Smith, Our Culture’s head of operations, said that, as a brewery in the planning stages, it was important to observe how some of the more successful breweries in metro Atlanta operated.

Seeds Take Up the Soil is brewed with Georgia-grown sweet potatoes and flavored with sorghum, cinnamon, nutmeg and Madagascar and Ugandan vanilla beans. Courtesy of Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Credit: Handout

icon to expand image

Credit: Handout

“We’ve been trying to continue to build our brand,” she said, “so that when we do come into the market, we’re ready, not only as a brand, but as a company that makes quality beer.”

Radford had a chance to work closely with Creature Comforts’ marketing team and witness firsthand the recent opening of the company’s new DTLA brewery and taproom in Los Angeles.

“Flying to L.A. to see how you go about opening a business from the ground up was pivotal,” Radford said. “I’ve learned so much, and continue to learn what makes a brewery successful.”

For the launch of Seeds Take Up the Soil, Our Culture partnered with BrewGether, a nonprofit that aims to increase the connection between agriculture and the craft beer industry, and also helps fund Black-owned farms in Athens and Atlanta.

“We have a history with Our Culture, and when they worked with Creature Comforts, it was a perfect match,” said BrewGether founder Dennis Malcolm Byron, also known as Ale Sharpton. The organization is selling Seeds Take Up the Soil glassware to support the cause.

“Using local agriculture was a main priority of mine early on,” said Blake Tyers, a founding member of the Creature Comforts brewing team who is active in recipe development, using local ingredients. “We use DaySpring Farms wheat for Athena, our year-round German-style wheat beer.”

“The farm is the front line,” Isaiah Smith said. “From the soil to the glass is what we’re trying to cultivate. It’s really about the community and our culture.”

Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

About the Author