Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cruisin' For a Brewsin: Monday Night kicks ass in the ATL!

Yesterday was a Monday that will surely be stored in the ol' memory bank. After spending hours in front of the computer to finish a beer piece for The Atlanta Voice (grab a copy on Thursday), I, like every avid football nut, always look forward to the Monday Night Football game. Little did I know that an entirely different event with the same "Monday Night" theme would get more Ale love than ESPN. But before we go there, a bro had to eat. 

I was going to try and fit in a visit to P'Cheen's wing night in Inman Park that my main man Mike Jordan from Thrillist was hyping up, but Flip Burger's grand opening of their second ATL spot was going down at the same time in Buckhead. Since the latter was a once in a lifetime thing, MJ understood the rain check. 
The "Southern Burgers" were killer!

When I arrived at Flip II, wine was given at the door. Thank goodness the brew option was available if one asked, so I chose the SweetWater 420 on tap over the Stella. Next up was the grub. Now I usually don't do too much red meat, but when I saw those burger samples cut in quarters pass by on trays, I had to make an exception. (Hell, it's a burger joint so I was gonna indulge anyway, right?) The first one was the called the "Southern": chicken fried ("grass-fed") beef, pimento cheese, b&b pickles and chow chow. I can't front, besides Holeman and Finch's burgers, this Flip special had me doing the two-step! It was delicious, coupled with some onion rings that I luckily scored by a buzzer beater. I mean, people camped out right by the servers' entrance so they would get first dibs of whatever came out, so I was in no mood to slug it out with them. Quite honestly, that Southern is all I needed. I know they have salads, kooky shakes (Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shake, anyone?) and all kinds of crazy burger combos (here's the menu), so like Schwarzenegger, I'll be back.

Dropping some goodbyes and thanking The Reynolds Group firm for the invite, I ran into a talented photographer and food blogger Broderick on the way out and he said he was meeting up with a dude named Jonathan Baker, one of the founders of the Monday Night Brewery. I had to roll; I always heard about it and hell,  it's beer, so I happily followed him. After a series of turns and side streets, its West Side location turned out to be a backyard with steaming beer vats, a hop vine, an open garage with a custom-made refrigerator specifically to run draft lines through holes drilled in its door and about 30 folks holding Monday Night glasses filled with homebrewed IPAs (the "Rye" and "Toasty") chatting it up. It seemed like Atlanta's best kept secret for beer lovers, but one of the founders welcomed me with a cold one and was excited that I was going to post my visit on this site. I'm a man of my word so here it is! 
Me and Mr. Baker

From what I understand, it was weekly until they spread it out a bit due to 9-5 gigs, kids and so on. They are aiming to bottle and distribute their liquid mastery and I will surely be doing a full piece on them in the near future, but until then, check out their website and support their cause. This gathering, which originally was a Bible study group (yep, you read right), is a beautiful thing run by cool folks who know their brew so I am looking forward to sipping some more of their homemade lovelies. Much props go to Jonathan (head of marketing and "Mind Control") and Joel (the "Operations Guy"); these guys were class acts and even gave my sticker some love by posting it dead center on the "kegerator." That's what's up! (I think I crossed paths with Jeff, Monday's "Supreme Beer Chancellor," on the way out because he was loosening his suit and tie like Clark Kent on a mission when heading up the driveway, but I will holla at him on another Monday.)

Bangin' smoked wings
Getting to my car, I caught a glimpse of the abysmal Yankee score on my phone and then realized I still had time to meet Mr. Jordan and his homey Donell at P'Cheen after all. It turns out that Mondays are gangster for BBQ; Chef Mike LaSage takes over the kitchen with his special menu, which includes wings that were stacked like Lincoln Logs  (see left) complete with four different sauces themed after American cities specializing in BBQ (see the complete menu here). Yep! "Thrillist Mike" was on point. The wings were smoked out more than Snoop Dogg (we're talking smoked and marinated on site for 48 hours, people), delicious and tender. Good call!

Even though my Yanks got waxed, it was still an enlightening evening that proved Sunday doesn't have to be the last day to hang out in Atlanta.

Like the Monday Night Brewery's slogan says, "Weekends are overrated!" 

They have a great case.


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