Tastings

Remember that archaic time when breweries in Georgia weren’t allowed to send you home with any beer? Oh, that was yesterday? Weird.

Well, folks, it’s a new era. Thanks to the tireless work of the Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild, our lobbyists, brewery owners, and the countless local beer lovers who helped us pass SB63, as of July 1, we can now offer up to 72 ounces of our tasty cold snacks to go as a souvenir with the purchase of a tour. You read that right. Beer. Straight from our fermentors to your fridge. We want you to continue supporting your local retailers to buy our beer there but when you do visit the brewery you’ll be able to take home a souvenir with your paid tour.  It’ll be like going to Disneyland and getting a free Mickey Mouse hat with your admission ticket.  Except the Mickey Mouse hat will be made out of malt, hops, yeast (and love) and you’ll be able to drink it later at home.  And there won’t be a lot of creepy Disney characters walking around.

In addition to the take home tours that we’ll be offering, we’ll continue to have our $10 “drink it here tour” at the brewery, but the maximum quantity we can serve has gone from 32 to 36 ounces. More beer! Woo!

Check out our awesome new chalkboard (pictured below) for the different packages we’ll be offering. We’re throwing a lot of new information at you, and there will a learning curve for us too, but with a little bit of patience and (a tasting of no more than 36 ounces of) beer, we’re positive that the changes this new law allows will be the best thing to happen to breweries since, well, beer.

Our top priority is (and always has been) making awesome beer for awesome people, but creating a cool and comfortable environment where those awesome people can enjoy our brews is pretty high up there too. The Monday Night Brewing tasting room has been a beer-lovers’ mecca since we opened our own brewery just over two years ago, and while a lot of thought was put into the design of the space before we ever opened our doors, there’s always room for improvement. So, if you haven’t been by recently, here’s what we’ve done to make our tasting room even better.

New Chalkboards

Shortly after we opened up, we put once-intern-but-now-sales-gal Zoe to work decorating two giant chalkboards to hang above the bar to tell people about our four beers. It wasn’t long before four beers turned to five, which quickly grew to ten, and soon those two chalkboards were falling down on the job (not literally though, that would be dangerous). And as we’ve been getting busier, we realized that there needed to be a better way to let you guys know which beers were on tap, and where. So to make it easier to figure out which line to get in at the bar, we’ve drawn new chalkboards (thanks, Zoe!) for each beer that hang over whichever tap that beer is being poured from. Less confusion, faster lines, better experience! Plus, it’s pretty.

outdoor bar

The guys really thought out the design of the tasting room when they renovated our old warehouse into the functional space it is today. Building the main bar to open up to the patio in addition to the indoor part of the tasting room is an awesome (and super useful) feature of the space. But with the recent upswing in temperatures, our patio has become busier than ever, so to help alleviate the lines at our main bar, we’ve added a custom-built outdoor bar with eight more taps. It’s not up and running quite yet, but will be very very soon.

outdoor heaters

gas starter fire pitOur patio is amazing during the warm months, but our guests (and employees, if we’re being real here) want to be able to enjoy it during the cooler months too. We noticed over the last two winters that a couple of fire pits that needed constant tending weren’t cutting it during the winter, so we’ve run gas lines the length of the patio. We added a gas starter to one of the fire pits, and we have hook ups for standing propane heaters. We’re sure they’ll be a welcome addition once the temperatures drop.

The same week that we celebrate our 3rd anniversary is also  the first week that Monday Night will be available in a state that is not Georgia. Alabama, watch out, we’re gunning for you. We’re touring Birmingham, Pelham and Auburn, bringing weeknight-lover’s craft beer to the thirsty.

We’d love to have you join us. No, seriously. Join us.

Birmingham

Monday, August 4

Tuesday, August 5

Wednesday, August 6

Pelham

Wednesday, August 6

Auburn

Thursday, August 7

This was the main takeaway from our Hop City beer tasting at Octane this week, in which we gave free pint glasses to those who dressed as pirates or wore kilts.

This makes intuitive sense, once you think about it. A kilt is a commitment. An eye patch is easy. A kilt costs serious money and requires someone who has either really high self esteem or no fashion sense to wear one (sometimes both). An eye patch can be as easy as wrapping a dirty napkin around your eye, in some cases. See below for exactly what I’m talking about.

We’ll start with the pirate family… including the one and only kilt-wearing man we served.

Let not the cuteness of this young pirate fool you. For he will STEAL YOUR BOOTY!

The bird makes the outfit. Unless that’s a part of her arm? In which case I suggest immediate medical attention.

Perhaps he’s not dressed “as a pirate,” but that’s a pirate expression if I ever saw one. I wonder what unfortunate swashbuckling incident led to 4  pirates simultaneously losing sight in their right eyes? Probably an octopus with hot pokers for arms. (And yes, I know the real reason pirates wear eye patches.)

You aren’t fooling anyone, sir. That is a napkin over your glasses. But we’ll count it, because you do look ridiculous, and that’s the first rule of pirate fashion.

Sell it with that face, Captain Duct Tape!

And finally, the cutest pirate couple AAAARRRH-ound.

We need your help. We’ve entered the phase where we will be transitioning Monday Night events away from a random garage on the west side of town to bars and restaurants serving Monday Night beers, all over the Atlanta area (and eventually Georgia). This will allow us to meet more people in different parts of Atlanta, and give us a venue to provide beer for sale (which we cannot do out of a garage for obvious reasons). However, we haven’t yet put too much thought into what a post-garage Monday Night event should look like.

What would you be most excited about? Here are a few thought starters, but we really want your fresh thinking. Leave a comment, if you dare.

  • Meeting the owners (prediction: this will not be a winning suggestion)
  • Drink specials on Monday Night beers
  • Random schwag giveaways (we wouldn’t be able to give away stuff to everyone, though)
  • Games or trivia
  • Food options paired specifically for Monday Night beers
  • Bringing in interesting guests such as authors, scientists, or pirate experts

nate-newsLooking for some food to make that pairs with (and includes) Monday Night beers? Probably not, since you can’t buy our beer yet. If you’re into cooking and into Monday Night, you might want to keep this post bookmarked for future reference.

My Nashville-based brother Nate hosted a tasting party with his chef-girlfriend Colby. They came up with some recipes for onion rings and pizza, made with and paired with our Eye Patch Ale and Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale. Mmmmm.

P.S. My brother runs a website called “Nate News.” Big egos seem to be a running theme in our family.

Jeff and I found ourselves in Decatur yesterday for the annual Decatur Beer Fest. What a great time. The weather was perfect, there were a ton of great beers, and we actually bumped into a bunch of people we knew.

Before we get into the beers, I would like to go on record as saying that I hate pretzel necklaces. It’s always difficult to recap a beer festival. You drink so many beers, pour out a bunch of the crappy ones (I do anyway) and always end up with less capacity for memory than when you started, if you catch my meaning. However, these were a few of my favorites:

  • Duck-Rabbit Imperial Russian Stout: tasted more like a barleywine than a stout, but quite delicious
  • Avery Kaiser: an imperial Oktoberfest. Normally I don’t like Oktoberfests, but this was one malty, high gravity bombshell of a beer.
  • Oskar Blues Ten Fidy: an imperial stout in a can? My oh my this beer was money.
  • Port Brewing: there were 2 excellent beers from Port, and I can’t for the life of me remember their names. One was a Belgian IPA, a collaboration between Tomme Arthur and, uh, someone else. The other was a funky, funky farmhouse ale. Delightful.
  • Post Road Pumpkin Ale: of the 2 pumpkin ales Jeff and I tried, this was hands-down the winner.
  • Flying Dog Horn Dog Barleywine: I’ve had a bunch of Flying Dog beers, but not the barleywine. It was great. Had it towards the end of the festival, don’t remember much else.

There were, of course, other highlights. The cool tasting glasses we got, for one:

Though for $35 the glasses better be cool. We also tried the Budweiser American Ale. Much has been said of this beer recently, and I think it deserves its own post. Look out for that later this week. And Jeff tried to convince me that the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is an acceptable beer. It tastes like cough syrup. To which Jeff replied, “I LOVE cough syrup.”

I think the 28 rating on RateBeer.com says it all.