I have felt for some time that our blog is most lacking in two areas: the city of Savannah, and information about beer. I’ve thought about how best to tackle the second of those, and what I decided to do is highlight a few breweries that seem particularly interesting or make beers that I really enjoy. Savannah, of course, is going to require more concerted effort to actually go there and learn a few stories.
This might change before I finish with it, but I’ve started out by selecting five breweries that have caught my eye, and, once a month, I’ll write a chapter about them and what I think of their selections, sampling as many as I can. In this, I have the assistance of the team at Ale Yeah! Roswell, or, more accurately, the assistance of my brother, who works there and helps with the background information.
The beer chapters that will appear here will be written for the extreme novice in mind. There are a huge number of beer blogs out there, written to all levels of specialization. If you feel that what I have to say about beer is technically lacking and shallow, you are almost certainly correct, and I wish you the happiest and most successful journey finding greater detail elsewhere. We have said from the outset that Marie, Let’s Eat! is in many ways a learning-in-public experience, and, since Marie does not drink and I am a stunning lightweight who rarely partakes, our learning curve in this subject matter is quite remarkably steep. Bear with us should we make mistakes.
Since I have always preferred stouts and porters, I decided to leave my comfort zone and try some other types of beers, starting with a local brewery that does not presently offer those.
So the first company that I decided to sample is Monday Night Brewing from here in Atlanta. I picked them because they have received a good amount of hype and attention this summer and they were on my radar, and also because they have a reasonably easy-to-sample selection of four different beers. The company’s founders, Jeff Heck, Joel Iverson, and Jonathan Baker, met at a Bible study group in 2005 and began getting together in Heck’s garage on Monday evenings to work on some homebrewing recipes. They offer brewery tours at their facility off Howell Mill Road three times a week, and their bottled beers are available in every package store that I visited on my little research tour as well as a number of area restaurants. The three 12-ounce bottles rolled out in the spring, and the larger double IPA joined them in July.
I brought home their four beers and enjoyed them over the course of a week. In order of sampling, they are:
Eye Patch Ale IPA: Seems like a pretty standard middle-of-the-road beer for people who enjoy the flavor of hops over malts. The label says that there’s a mix of Cascade and Magnum hops, and I believe that I like that flavor more than the German hops of the next selection. It’s bitter and not overpoweringly strong. Pleasant, with a dry taste at the end that had me ready for a second bottle.
Fu Manbrew Belgian-style Wit: I liked this least of the four. Evidently, I might not be a fan of Belgian-style beers, and this was odd to me because I adore good ginger beers, and there was a very strong taste of both ginger and orange to this, but maybe they were competing with a stronger hoppy flavor and it didn’t work for me? Not a bad drink, but I am in no hurry to try it again.
Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale: By some measure my favorite of the four, this is really rich and has a taste of smoke along with lots of other competing flavors. This beer would go terrifically with good barbecue. I confess that I’ve looked around online at various product reviews to get a good grasp on how to describe the feel and taste of beers. (Beer Advocate has been quite helpful.) Several reviewers have described Drafty Kilt as a little watery, but I don’t agree at all. This has a good character and smoothness, and while neither thick nor chewy, it has a good bite and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Blind Pirate Double IPA: By some measure the strongest of the four. WOW. On behalf of all my fellow lightweight drinkers in Georgia, this is the only marketing decision that I didn’t like about Monday Night: this is only available in a 22-ounce bottle. I understand the logic: it’s obviously much more expensive to produce, and at the retail level, a single bottle costs as much as a six-pack of the others, but for a skinflint lightweight like me, it was a little aggravating. And the combination of my lightweightedness and the higher alcohol content meant that I was buzzing after half the bottle, returning the rest to the fridge for a midnight snack. It was pleasant and dry, but so strong that I’d rather have two separate Eye Patches than one of these.
So that’s Monday Night Brewing’s present offerings. They host tours and tastings on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturday afternoons and are working on several new flavors. I’m looking forward to trying them! But I’m also looking forward to going back by Ale! Yeah and stocking up with samples from October’s brewery of the month.
If you’re only reading these chapters, then you are missing part of the story! We have a fantastic Facebook page, where you’ll be able to follow along with much more than just links to chapters here, but additional information about our favorite places, including PR announcements, links when our friends-in-blogging visit them, and other follow-up news about the places we’ve been when we can find it. Give us a like and tell your friends to come see us!