When Atlanta’s Orpheus Brewing debuted its first beers on Memorial Day 2014, enthusiastic crowds packed the tasting room located near the Atlanta Beltline and Piedmont Park.
Three years later, Orpheus is set to celebrate its third anniversary. And in that time the brewery and its founder and brewmaster Jason Pellett have become known for Belgian-style saisons, sour, wild and barrel-aged beers.
One of the earliest examples of Pellett’s palate is Atalanta, a tart, sour mash saison flavored with fresh plum juice. The beer is named after the Greek heroine and Argonaut. But the inspiration is more contemporary Atlanta.
“I had a sour plum popsicle from King of Pops,” Pellett told me back in 2014. “The very first bite made me think, ‘Oh, that needs to be a beer.’ ”
With a nod to all that, Orpheus Atalanta is this week’s Beer Pick.
Orpheus Brewing, Atlanta
Available on draft and in 6-pack cans.
This year-round beer from Orpheus, described as a “tart saison,” is flavored with fresh plum juice cold pressed by Atlanta’s Arden’s Garden. Brewed with barley and wheat and fermented with lactobacillus and saison yeast, it’s bright and refreshing, with touch of spice and a puckering fruit presence.
Hallertau Blanc hops offer floral and fruit-forward aromas of pineapple and lemongrass that add complexity to what is ultimately a food-friendly beer with a dry finish that’s a natural for warm weather.
Orpheus recommends pairing Atalanta with cheese, oysters, poultry, fish, or spicy curry. I think it might make a fun match for Chinese duck with plum sauce or a summery almond plum tart.