If you’ve got time just for one beer-soaked stop in the A, head towards the funky Little 5 Points neighborhood to sidle up the bar at the Porter. Just keep your eyes peeled. Although The Porter’s leather-bound beer list is sprawling—it has more than 400 types of brews—its entrance is narrow and unremarkable. But that’s just part of the fun, ducking into a tiny slice of a bubbling oasis. Open and beloved since 2008, the Porter has only continued to gain steam with locals and visitors alike with its impressive brew offerings, stylish new American food and cool dark innards.
Fries and a beer is a match made in this beige heaven. Sure, it is quite the carboload but also makes for an extremely satisfying snack. Pair the Porter’s Belgian fries with Tropicália from Athens-based brewery Creature Comforts. This American IPA is ripe with juicy passion fruit notes, balanced with an aromatic citrus hops and gentle bitter bite. At 6.5 % ABV, it’s best reserved for guzzling after 5 p.m.—or maybe earlier. I don’t know your life—especially when serving as base for a Belgian fry feast. The Porter’s fries are legendary—cut thick and toasty and crisp on the outside, white and fluffy once bit into. Rolled in a special mixture of herbs and minced roasted garlic, these taters taste almost more like an Italian pasta than traditional French fries. The onion aioli makes the feast even more decadent. Definitely not for the faint of heart or stomach.
When Creature Comforts unveiled Tropicália in 2014, the employees had no idea how insanely fast and far its popularity would spread. Its hint of pine and bright tangerine notes—along with Beer Advocate’s “nearly perfect” review and 96 score—made it almost impossible to find on Atlanta taps on on shelves well into 2017. Grocers like Savi in Inman Park quietly announced new shipments on Tuesdays while Grant Park’s Kroger typically housed an empty slot above the Tropicália label and price tag. Bartenders got used to offering Bell’s Two Hearted as a similar-ish alternative, when they’d inevitably 86’d the brew from the menu. After all, Creature Comforts is a small operation and and the specifically fruity hops are pricy. Since the craze has died down enough to keep it flowing in bars across the city, it’s back in the realm of possibility. And, of course, Tropicália tastes great on its own, but anchors by these starchy canoes of deliciousness, it reaches even closer to paradise.