In fact, they put strict laws in place about making beer back in the 1500s. The Reinheitsgebot, (or German Beer Purity Law, because we can’t pronounce that either) states the only allowable ingredients in beer could be water, hops and barley. Yeast hadn’t been discovered yet, so it gets a pass. Aside: if you want to know more about how Germans fermented their beer, read this. It involves a magic stick.
Even though the Reinhe…err…German Beer Purity Law was repealed in 1987, Germans still take pride in these traditional styles. But heck, you can find American IPAs in Munich these days.
But styles like Kölsch, Bock, Pilsners and Marzens have been around for centuries for a good reason. They’re clean, they’re crisp and they are drinkable.
Another one of these styles is Hefeweizen.
Coming out of Bavaria in Southern Germany, it’s part of a family of beers called “Weissbiers” (or White Beers) that were quite popular back in the day. One problem. Weissbiers were brewed with a lot of wheat – which was a violation of the German Beer Purity Law. However, there were some people in high places (Dukes and such) that were fans of these beers. They used their political clout to create loopholes to keep their favorite brew flowing.
Weissbiers and other wheat beers came to America with German immigrants. However, the style went out of favor in the first few decades of the 20th century, and Prohibition effectively killed it off.
However, during the Cold War era, American soldiers stationed in Germany once again got exposed to Weissbiers, and interest in the style started to return. Anchor is credited with brewing the first American wheat beer since Prohibition in 1984, and breweries like Celis and Allagash started brewing Belgian-style Weissbiers domestically in the early 90s. Today, wheat beers can be found in taprooms all over the country. But what makes the Hefeweizen unique?
This style of wheat beer is noted for its low bitterness (usually around 20 IBUs), unfiltered look and moderately high carbonation. Thanks to its fairly active yeasts, traditional Hefeweizens will have phenolic tastes/aromas of clove and banana. Coming in around 5-6% ABV, it’s a light summer/fall easy sipper, and a beer that works great out on the lake, grilling out with friends, or just enjoying a relaxing day.
That’s why Monday Night Brewing developed Rucksack. This classic Hefeweizen was brewed with the peels from 680 oranges per batch.
“We like to approach hyper-classic styles like these, make it grade A to style, but put our unique twist to it,” said Monday Night Brewing head brewer Peter Kiley. “We wanted to switch up the aroma a little bit, so that’s why we added orange peel.”
While Hefeweizens may seem simple at first, it’s styles like these that can trip a brewer up.
“There’s a lot of science and thought that goes into a style like this. We had to get the right fermentation temperature to make Rucksack as balanced as we wanted it. Just a single degree in either direction would really affect the properties of this beer.”
When you crack open a Rucksack, the first hit you get on the nose is, naturally, oranges. But you also get a little of that banana and clove spiciness that’s endemic to the style. Take a sip, and the citrus notes counter the spice just enough. Then, the dry finish almost begs you to take another swig.
“The aromatic properties of Rucksack help fit the background of a traditional Hefeweizen, but we wanted to put our own spin on it,” said Kiley. “We made this one for the southeast beer drinker. It’s crisp and clean.”
Rucksack is available on tap and in cans wherever you can find Monday Night Brewing.
If you want to learn more about the history of Hefeweizens and wheat beers, check these links out:
That’s right, you’ve been sipping on Drafty Kilt (and a number of other tasty Monday Night brews) for almost a decade. We think that’s cause for celebration, and we’re super excited to invite you to our 7th anniversary party: Tie One On.
The party is happening August 4-5 at the Garage and will feature 40+ unique beers, awesome live music, delicious local food, games and more. You’ve got some time to map out which of the limited specialty beers you’ll try first (tapping times and beer list to be announced), but tickets will sell out, so jump on this today.
Starting in June, you will be able to find our beers on tap and in cans/bottles all over Eastern and Central Tennessee.
“We are extremely excited to make this move,” says co-founder and CEO Jeff Heck. “Tennessee has some amazing breweries and a growing craft scene, and it’s an honor to be a part of that. Plus, one of our founders (Jonathan Baker) is from Nashville, and he’s always wanted to see our beers there. Now his family can buy Monday Night right from their local store.”
Expect to see our core and seasonal beers around the area. We’ll also have special releases from the Garage and our our black tie series in the Volunteer state. Nathan Grabowski is Monday Night Brewing’s face in the state, and Lipman Brothers will handle distributing.
Meet Nathan. He’s our main man in Tennessee. You’ll be happy to know that yes, that beard is 100% real. Don’t ask us how we know.
To properly launch us into the Volunteer state, we’re hosting a bevy of tap takeovers and other fun events around the region. We’d love to see you there, just please don’t tug on Nathan’s beard. It’s real, trust us.
Here are some of our launch events around the state (dates, times and beers subject to change)
To coincide with the launch of the Garage, Monday Night Brewing partnered with nonprofits to raise funds and awareness for local causes. We wanted to help organizations doing good work in our neighborhood, city, and state. Our goal? Raise $100,000 in the first 100 days of operation at the Garage.
Founded in 2013, PAWKids is a quality enrichment program in a safe, loving, and Christian environment while providing families with various resources that will empower and encourage them. Serving the Grove Park neighborhood, PAWKids works to nurture neighborhood children with safe, fun activities.
Check out the new Monday Night facilities, you’ll be glad you did.
Our story of raising money, learning (a lot), and realizing we need to do more.
Monday Night Brewing’s 100k in 100 Days project raised more than $286,000 for numerous Atlanta-area nonprofits, including Bearings Bike Shop.
By JOEL IVERSON
In September of 2016, we broke the news about the Garage, our new barrel-aging and sour facility based in Atlanta’s historic West End neighborhood. I was excited for our story and vision to be shared, but was nervous. Would we be viewed as opportunists trying to gentrify the neighborhood, or a bunch of vultures looking to capitalize on a soft real estate market? In other words, could a brewery led by three middle-aged white guys do something good for a predominantly black neighborhood located in an economic opportunity zone? More than just generating more tax revenue and a few more jobs – could we create a neighborhood gathering spot that supports and strengthens the area?
When the story about our plans for the Garage broke, most media outlets focused on the real estate/development aspect of the project. But we always wanted to bring the conversation back to our purpose statement:
Monday Night Brewing exists to deepen human relationships over some of the best beer in the country.
As we wrestled with this question, we came up with an idea. Since we didn’t have the cash flow to donate money to support all of the great local causes in the area, we decided to give what we could – our time and space.
We decided to give away free events (fully staffed and with free beer) to nonprofits with a focus towards under served parts of our city. Our goal? Helping these organizations raise $100,000 in the first 100 days of the Garage’s existence. It seemed like a daunting task. After all, us three owners (myself, Jonathan Baker and Jeff Heck) had just closed on financing the build-out – which forced us to take on more debt and put our personal homes up as collateral. We also knew we were going to be scraping by to get open on time and on budget. Giving away events for free did not sound like a sound business decision at the time, but it made sense in the context of our purpose as a business.
The Monday Night Brewing team breaks ground on the Garage with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (6th from left) and other city officials.
A few weeks later at our official groundbreaking with then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, I saw the West End come out in force. What I saw that day was an engaged, dedicated, and passionate group of people ready to see the rest of Atlanta start to notice the beauty and potential that already existed in their corner of the city. I had the privilege of introducing the mayor and announcing our 100K in 100 Days project. Not long after, we were overwhelmed with applications from more than 300 nonprofit groups from across the city. Each organization shared their unique work, how they would use the space, and why they thought we could help. It was so energizing to hear the passion and work that was already happening. In the end, we had the nearly impossible task of narrowing down the list to just over 30 organizations.
We had the privilege of watching each one of them bring their passion to our space, and seeing our space (and beer) help them raise not just funds, but also awareness to their mission.
In the end, we not only hit our goal, we crushed it. Over the course of a little more than 80 days, Monday Night Garage helped raise more than $286,000.
For me, this project served as a chance to keep challenging how we give back as company. We may never have the deep pockets to cut big checks, but we are committed to using our unique resources to help others.
We also learned that our community needs so much. 100k in 100 Days helped had groups focused on education, affordable healthcare, biking, therapeutic art, homelessness, affordable housing, and more. Yet these only scratch the service of how much is going on and how much more is needed.
While it was beautiful to see people from all over our city show up to the Garage and be wowed by the brewery and the neighborhood in which it resides, , it was also a reminder of our our city is still fractured.
As we think about our business, we always need to be mindful of our role in the community. How can we foster community in our backyard, and what’s our role in bringing together all of the communities in our city? I’m excited about the money we helped raise. But we need to do more. All of us do.
In the upcoming weeks, we will be posting blogs about each nonprofit that participated in 100k in 100 Days. I invite you to read their stories, and get involved. In the meantime, Monday Night Brewing and the Garage will continue its mission to deepen human relationships in the West End, the state of Georgia…and the whole nation…over some of the best craft beer in the world.
Joel Iverson is Chief Operating Officer and one of the co-founders of Monday Night Brewing.
(from left) Skinny Deville and Fish Scales look on as head brewer Peter Kiley transfers The Humdinger out of barrels.
The Humdinger is the latest collaboration beer between Monday Night Brewing and hip hop legends, Nappy Roots. An imperial rye stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels with Ugandan vanilla beans, The Humdinger shares the name of Nappy Roots’ monumental independent album. We talked to two of the Nappy Roots: Skinny Deville and Fish Scales about the inspiration behind the beer, and how they’re setting out to bridge gaps between community and craft beer with their collaborations.
Tell us about the inspiration behind The Humdinger:
Fish Scales: It was a style of beer we hadn’t done yet. Stouts are my favorite style, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong. After tasting Tears of My Enemies, we figured there was no better place to do a stout than here at Monday Night. As Nappy Roots, we’re trying to do something different with every beer.
Skinny Deville: The Humdinger was our third album, but our first independent album. It changed our lives, in regards to what we put in to make that album what it was. We got off Atlantic Records in 2005 and didn’t find another home to put our music out on until 2008. So we spent three years making an album that was gonna “wow” people and knock their socks off. That’s what The Humdinger meant to us. It was the end-all-be-all, the top-of-the-line, the snowcap on a mountain. To make a beer that aged as long as this one…that’s why this beer takes the namesake of our first independent album, The Humdinger.
What’s your favorite part of creating a beer with a brewery?
FS: Drinking it.
SD: That was going to be my answer.
FS: Drinking it. We brew at home, too, as Nappy Roots. So we know the process, we love the process and—I still say—tasting it at the end, sitting around drinking it with friends, is the best part.
Beer is a conversation piece that opens you up to so many other people and cultures that share the same common denominator. – Skinny Deville
Do you channel the same creative energy to develop beers as you do to write music?
FS: Yes. Skinny talks about it all the time—how it’s such a similar process, but a different mentality. We are way more open to criticism on our beer than our music. Beer is something we’re more in the beginning of, and that’s refreshing. With music, a lot of people have heard Nappy Roots, they’ve heard what we do, they know what we do, now they need a new product to go along with it. And this beer is it.
Do you have any advice for people looking to get into craft beer or homebrewing?
FS: Homebrewing builds communities. Microbrewing builds communities. One of our missions as Atlantucky [the group’s own nanobrewery] is to introduce craft beer into the black community and introduce the black community into craft beer. That has not happened fully, and a lot of craft breweries are happening right in black communities. So one of our goals is to be a bridge for that relationship. It can do so much for us all. Beer is the reason I’ve met so many good people, and I want to introduce people to that. I tell my cousins all the time, who are black people from small towns, I tell them, “come with me to a brewery, bro. You’ll meet some of the nicest people who will just want to sit and talk beer.”
SD: I say try something new, man. Don’t be afraid to try something. Everybody who is from my era—of hip hop or living—we’re always afraid to try new things. You can’t be afraid to try new things. And if you do, you’ll learn something.
FS: That’s how we found this.
SD: Beer is a conversation piece that opens you up to so many other people and cultures that share the same common denominator. A beer would get you into a great conversation with a doctor. With a hip hop guy and a doctor, what are we talking about? We’re talking about the beer first, and then what we do, and our careers, and how that applies to beer. But now I’m talking to a doctor, or a lawyer, or a farmer.
FS: Or a guy in Belgium who brews his beer differently than us, but we communicate on how our beers are different.
SD: Just trying to open yourself up and not limiting yourself. That’s what I would tell someone trying to figure out about beer these days—is to just try it, man.
The Humdinger is an exclusive release, launching Friday, May 18 at the Monday Night Garage. Join us for the release party, with a DJ set from WERC’s Jeremy Avalon, half-priced Front Porch Pale Ale, and maybe even some hangtime with Nappy Roots. The party starts at 6 pm.
Han Brolo is #1. We may feel that way, but it’s always nice when a panel of experts validates it.
Paste Magazine regularly hosts blind tastings of different styles of beers from around the country and around the world. This time around, it was pale ales. Out of 151 pale ales sampled by Paste’s panel of experts, Han Brolo came out on top.
“Winning a best of from the Paste blind tasting is pretty special. Not only do they bring in some top beer judges but they actively seek out the highest rates beers for that style and therefore it’s one of the most competitive in the US. To be in the top 50 is amazing, to be #1 is just mind blowing when you look at the list,” said co-founder Joel Iverson.
Monday Night Brewing is the first brewery from Atlanta to win one of these blind tastings.
Monday Night Brewing … is an ascendant brewery in the Southeast, and it’s time to recognize it.”
According to the review, “Han Brolo …is unique, possibly among all of the entries, for the fact that it is brewed with lactose, as is common among the so-called ‘milkshake IPAs’ …. Unlike true milkshakes, however, Han Brolo isn’t made with any fruit purees, vanilla or additional sweeteners—just plenty of hops. The results are pretty sublime, accentuating the fruit flavors and juiciness without adding an overwhelming amount of residual sweetness…The use of lactose only enhances the silky texture, but it’s the hops that are doing most of the heavy lifting. It’s an outstanding pale ale, and #1 in our field of 151,” writes Jim Vorel. Read the entire list and reviews here.
We are seeking an experienced production brewer with demonstrated leadership capabilities as well as a passion for hop-focused recipe innovation out of our clean beer facility.
Monday Night Brewing is an Atlanta-based brewery that began contract brewing in 2010 and full brewing operations out of our facility in West Midtown in 2012. Since then we’ve grown to almost 20K annual barrels of production. In the fall of 2017 we opened the Garage – our barrel-aging and sour beer facility which has already won awards for the beer and created a must-see destination for people in Atlanta. We’ve consistently been one of the top-rated breweries in our city, were recently voted best brewery in Atlanta, and have won the most major awards (GABF and World Beer Cup) of any brewery in Georgia over the last four years. We filter our decisions through our purpose statement: Monday Night Brewing exists to deepen human relationships over some of the best beer in the country.
What We’re Looking For
As we’ve grown and continued to see our industry evolve we’re seeking a competent brewer but also one who is willing to drive further innovation with our beer portfolio. This brewer will not be responsible for all recipe development but will have a focus towards our hop-forward recipe development alongside our team of brewers. Our hope is that this person will have a passion for hops that manifests itself through continued research, partnerships with our hop suppliers, experimentation with new hop products and extensive experimentation with hop utilization methodologies. Our approach to beer innovation centers around making the best beer and our brand is not bound by stylistic constraints.
3+ years of experience on production brew house
Demonstrated ability to generate innovative and quality clean beer recipes
Demonstrated expertise in hops and hop forward beers
Exceptional communication skills
Excellent sensory analysis skills
Full understanding of all brewing equipment and utilities
Strong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
Fully competent in the cellar
Brewing 4+ new beers on small batch pilot system monthly, with special focus on hop forward recipes
Developing and monitoring written brewing SOP’s; accountable for SOP execution by entire brewing team
Monitoring all hot-side batches produced to control batch quality and consistency
Monitoring, executing and reporting daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cleaning and maintenance tasks
Monitoring, handling and record keeping for raw materials
Overseeing the brewing process daily
Ensuring batch to batch consistency
Keeping detailed records of brewed batches to continually improve product quality and processes in our production management systems (EKOS & Mango)
Conducting basic quality procedures such as pH-measurement, gravity measurements temperature measurements and associated record keeping
Conducting simple maintenance duties
Maintaining high safety & hygiene standards
Taking on other duties as told by supervisor or colleague