Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday Night Brewing's movin' on up!

Monday Night Brewing's Jonathan Baker sitting on gold.
Atlanta's own goes from homebrewing after Bible study to a 25,000 square-foot-brewery!

Whaddup Brew Heads!

After my homey Jonathan Baker—one of the founders of Atlanta’s own Monday Night Brewing and self-proclaimed MNB Master of Mind Control—invited me to check out the new headquarters for the brewery, I was there in no time. 
See, MNB and I go back like bra strap since my first post here. I loved how Jonathan, along with the rest of who I call the “J-Crew”—CEO and Brewmaster Jeff Heck, and Head of Operations Joel Iversonstarted MNB out of a Bible study group. Besides football, their homebrew get-togethers on Monday nights in Jeff’s backyard since 2006 (hence the company name) were the shiznit! 
After they got their business plan together, said the hellerr, heck with itand officially launched Monday Night Brewing on August 8, 2011, with Thomas Creek Brewery in Greenville, S.C. as their contract brewery (they make awesome stuff, too). Now it's exactly one year later and MNB is about to install a 30 BBL barrelhouse, a bottling line, and some cool attractions for beer geeks to enjoy 6 months from now. It’s tear-jerking, man!
When I got to the location (which Jon wants to be secret for a bit), I can’t front, I was blown away. For starters, the floor space dwarfs a number of existing microbreweries I have visited throughout the U.S., and abroad. Then there's the potential for killer parties, its close proximity from my neck of the woods, and the surrounding beer culture…man, it looks like their prayers were answered in a big way! 
After Jon gave me a tour, I took a couple of pics and then hit him up with an interview. Ladies and gents, my homey J.B. aka the Mind Controller of Monday Night Brewing. Cheers!

Ale: Talk about the transition from serving your beer on a few taps throughout Atlanta to getting your own, ridiculously massive brewery.
Jonathan Baker: It's been an exciting ride! We always wanted to build out our own space, be a larger part of the community here in Atlanta, and have the freedom to do more interesting things with our beers and brand. This space will allow us to do just that.

What have you learned since going from homebrewing to getting your own brewery?
We've learned too much to even begin. Brewing beer for fun is completely different from the industry of craft beer. Fortunately, even with the differences, there are enough similarities. For example, we still love beer. And we still love the community that beer creates–just as we did when we were homebrewers. Now we know a lot more about laws, distribution, operations, etc. You know, the fun stuff.

Talk about this new location. You guys scored big time with this one. I dig it!
Man, we just feel so blessed to be where we are. It's perfect. On the Westside, close to such a great, upcoming cultural area, but tucked in a quiet little alcove. We wanted to place that had the same vibe as Jeff's garage, where we started brewing. And we found it.

What's the next step?
Open the doors! But there are a lot of mini steps to get there.

So what are you getting bottled, bro?
We want to bottle all three products we have now Eye Patch Ale (6.2%, pale ale), Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale (7.2%), and Fu Manbrew (5.3%, Belgian-style wit). I'm honestly not sure which we will bottle first. What do you want?

Hell man, I am open to all three. Bring it! Are there any new beers on the horizon?
We've started tinkering with our double IPA recipe again, Blind Pirate. We don't launch a beer until we're ecstatic with it, so we don't give timelines on new brews, but that's probably going to be the next one out of the gate.

Arrrrrgh! Bring that one out, matey! I am a hop head to the max!
You got it!

Look for more fun sheezy from Monday Night Brewery, including a scavenger hunt and, of course, some good ass brew! Check out their site and blog here.



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