On a recent trip to the city of Amsterdam, I stopped by BeerTemple – the American Beer Bar right in the center of town. My Classically-themed beer heart started beating faster when I recognized a can in the fridge as none other than Atalanta – a beer by Atlanta-based and also Classically-themed brewery Orpheus. I have been eying this beer on Instagram and Twitter probably ever since we started this blog, so naturally, I could not resist and had to get my hands on this beer to review it for you, dear reader!
Atalanta is described by Orpheus Brewing as a Tart Plum Saison that supposedly tastes ‘of plums intermingling with spicy yeast, and a refreshing tartness’ (see back of the can above). Well, that sums up my experience with this brew, as I, indeed, found this beer to be refreshing and characterized by funky tartness and hints of red fruits. I particularly enjoyed sipping this in the warm, springtime sun. Over to the Classics background of this summer saison!
In Greek mythology, Atalanta is a heroine appears in several myths. Ancient authors describe Atalanta as a princess from either Boeotia or Arcadia (Greek regions). According to one source, she was left in the wilderness to die because her father had wanted a son. Fortunately for Atalanta, she was found by a she-bear who took care of her until she was discovered by hunters. This peculiar background made Atalanta a skilled hunter with the strength of a bear. As such, a beer is depicted on the impressive can art. Presumably, it is either Atalanta’s foster mom or her bear-like spirit that is illustrated.
One of Atalanta’s greatest accomplishments was her role in hunting the Calydonian boar. A giant boar had been sent by the goddess Artemis to Calydon to terrorize its people because their king had forgotten to make the appropriate sacrifices. Atalanta joined a pack of famous heroes to help rid Calydon of this destructive boar. Although several men complained about a woman joining their ranks, Atalanta ultimately managed to shoot the boar so that her companion, Meleager, could deliver the final death blow. In some versions of the story, Atalanta is also included as one of the Argonauts who joins Jason on his quest to find the Golden Fleece.
Besides Atalanta, Orpheus is also a significant figure in Classical mythology. We hope to get our hands on another one of the brewery’s beers in the future and will then highlight the Classical relevance of that name.
Ingredients: Hallertau Blanc hops, two-row barley, white wheat, flaked wheat, plums, Saison yeast, House Lactobacillus Mother
Brewed by: Orpheus Brewing, Atlanta, GA