On the face of the slogan placed on their building, I disagree. At a deeper level within Monday Night Brewing’s origins, I get it.
Located on Atlanta’s West End, the brewery’s tour options don’t favor those who travel from the ‘burbs. Too much traffic. But, on a weekend... this can be done. So it was that some coworkers and friends visited for their 2-4 p.m. tasting/tour. At what time should you arrive for a two hour window?
Well, early seems to be the right call.
Consider that for $10, you get a souvenir pint glass and 6 tickets for 4 oz. tastings of whatever is on tap. Put the brewery on the increasingly popular West Side of Atlanta, and people come.
As the crowd gathered, the number of females attending was remarked by a couple friends as being, well, remarkable. So, I get curious and go to Google for answers to life’s questions. Hmm, 25%-29% of women of legal age enjoy beer. That’s interesting. In my growing experience of visiting breweries, the female proportion is substantially higher than that, but well below the 51% population average. If it’s a caloric intake issue, the women attending generally tend towards being pretty fit. Maybe they all suffered from Bud Light at an earlier age and just said “no.”
Anyway, here’s the brewery fresh options (click to enlarge):
Only, they were out of Drafty Kilt, Barrel Aged Drafty Kilt, and Tie Three On (though they may have found some of that near closing). Brewery visits beg for trial run products, and the options felt a bit limited for an emerging major player in the Atlanta market.
Here’s an image on the portions:
(Hint: 3 tickets for a full pour = not proportional, but 6 tickets = DUI without food, which isn’t served – and no food truck was present this day). So here’s how they pour, with the Bed Head, an imperial IPA with coffee. I’d say the pour was spot on. It was also a delicious beer, and one that I would look for in area menus.
Next up was the Blind Pirate IPA, also very good, but not as distinctive in flavor as the Bed Head.
Third was the T.Mac Daddy, brown, malts, and a bit roasted. It was decent and not overpowering, unlike what might be suggested by the slang of it’s name, “a man with an unusual power over women.” Absent an Austin Powers effect, I’d try other beers instead.
And lastly, in flavor as well, was the Nerd Alert pilsner.
All in all, the Bed Head was the best encounter, and otherwise the rest wouldn’t steer me to their products given other local choices. There’s ample competition, and Monday Night Brewing is pretty upfront about making “drinkable” beers. In other words, they’re good, but they’re safe.
Which leaves the facility. Most striking upon entering is the Wall of Ties. The Origin Story involved three friends who moved their 6 a.m. Bible studies from the morning to Monday nights, at which point they also worked on home brewing. Add experience, encouragement, and informal gatherings for a hundred or more guests, and there became a business imperative.
The result is people giving up their day jobs (i.e., their ties) for entrepreneurial risk. Patrons get $1 off admission if they donate a tie to the wall. A symbolic gesture with actual cash value.
They also have the usual fare of brewery stuff. A note, however, is that when we entered, the counter was full of pint glasses loaded with tickets. The crowd was huge.
Fortunately, we were early enough to get a table, and it’s a sizeable venue, with the lucky ones seated, several playing games, and many left standing indoors or on their patio.
The tour was hosted by “Duck,” an entertaining enthusiast who takes special effort to pose for pictures when he spots a camera.
Yep, he saw me again. If I heard correctly, they can produce up to 10,000 bottles in their four brew kettles, and can bottle at a rate of 3,000 per hour (after fermenting, etc.).
They added a formal touch to their vats.
The quote of the day was during Duck’s description of the process, when he pointed out that spent grains were sold for cattle feed. Brewers are very sensitive to being “green.” Per Duck, “Nothing says ‘recycling’ like a rib eye.” It will be a sad day when political correctness demands that carnivorous references be struck from public discussion. Keep the faith, Duck.
Our motley crew: