Five for Friday: 5 Amazing Beers from Red Hare Brewing

I’ve gushed many a time about how fortunate I am to live in such a fantastic beer city (click here or here or even here). Metro-Atlanta’s love affair with craft beer is quite the saga with new chapters and great, new breweries popping up damned near monthly.  Today I must show some love to the brewery that is quickly becoming my local fave.  Nestled in Marietta GA lies Red Hare Brewing:

Red Hare Brewing Company is an independent micro-brewer located in the heart of  Marietta, GA. In August 2011 Red Hare starting selling its craft beer through out the state of Georgia, and is now also available in South Carolina. Red Hare is the first craft brewery in Georgia to can their craft beer. Stop by for one of our tours & tastings to see where all the magic happens: Thursdays & Fridays 5:30-7:30pm, and Saturdays 2-4pm.

Here are 5 of their beers I can’t get enough of:

Number 5:  Watership Brown Ale

Part of their mainstay series, this one is available year-round (can & draught).

ABV: 7.2%

45  IBUs

Slightly sweet with a roasted malt character, and a noticeable but not overpowering hop character that rounds out this Brown Ale into a very well balanced brew.

Brown Ales don’t generally enter my list of favorites; I find they all tend to run together.  This one is solid.  It’s got great drinkability and the flavor characteristics are distinctive.

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Number 4:  Gangway IPA

Part of their mainstay series, this one is available year-round (can & draught).

ABV: 6.2%

65 IBUs

Gangway IPA is crisp, unfiltered, and golden in color and slightly sweet; hopped with Williamette, Chinook, Cascade and dry hopped with Falconers Flight.

This is one of my go-tos for IPAs.  I’m a notorious hop hound.  IPAs top my list as favorite style and usually I seek out the excruciatingly hoppy, the palate destroyers.  Gangway is nice medium.  It has enough hops to satisfy my palate while still remaining drinkable.  Don’t get me wrong, this little can still packs a punch and you can tell a lot of love went into this brew (unlike some breweries that I feel knee-jerk out an IPA because you have to have one).

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Number 3: Sticky Stout

Available seasonally on draught only.

ABV: 6.5%

17 IBUs

Dark roasted malts lend to the a rich dark color, and hints of chocolate and coffee found in this beer. The addition of oats balance these flavors and give it smooth full body, a light sweetness, and a sticky mouth feel finish.

The stout is my second favorite beer style and this one is delicious!  I was lucky enough to catch this on tap at quite a few local bars over the winter season.  They hit on that chocolate/coffee combination that I so love in my stouts.  Sticky Stout is a stout lover’s dream.

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Number 2:  Forbidden Fruit

Availability: Fall Seasonal 2013 (draught only)

ABV: 5.5%

12 IBUs

Brewed with french-style yeast, fresh pressed north Georgia apples, vanilla and cinnamon. Tastes like a fresh baked apple pie in a glass!

Apple pie it is folks!  Wow, so much flavor packed into one glass.  Somehow the best of the flavors come through without being sickenly sweet or the spices being overbearing (like in many Xmas beers).  I caught this one tap in their tasting room (which is awesome by the way…great space and live music).  Now I only lament that I have to go all the way to Marietta to get it!

forbidden-fruit

Number 1:  Rauchbier

Availability: Rabbit’s Reserve #6- Limited Edition  (draught only)

ABV: 6.8%

Rabbit’s Reserve #6  released September 2013. Rauchbier is reminiscent of a German-style Oktoberfest and can literally be translated to “smoked beer”. Munich, smoked, and dark roasted malts provide this brew with its softly smoked flavor and smooth maltyness.

When I tell you I’m obsessed with a beer, I truly mean it!  I have attempted to stalk this beer all over Atlanta to find it on draught.  I enjoyed several pints at the brewery and then proceeded to talk about it way too much to my beer loving buddies.  The Georgia Pine (kick-ass restaurant and good beer selection) had it for a while and just last weekend I saw it on their website and got way too excited.  We called and they no longer had it.  Talk about bummed.  This smoke in a glass beer ranks in my top 10 favorite beers of all time.  My heart broke when I read this on Red Hare’s site:

*No longer in production

Rauchbier

I beg you Red Hare, can I get this back at some point?!

There you have it beer lovers.  Red Hare Brewing!  Go check them out, you won’t be disappointed!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  NPR podcasts

Eating:  Cabbage, black-eyed peas and cornbread.

Random fact:  Today Lefty Pop will be featuring my piece on GA’s Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate.  It goes live at 5 so be sure to check it out!

Five for Friday: 5 SnOMG Observations from Atlanta

It’s been a week dear readers!  No doubt you’ve seen my city all over the national news.  Good stuff.

Just in case you didn’t hear it on the news and don’t live here, here’s what happened.  Forecast predicts we’ll be missed by this snow storm, whew.  NWS says oops, nope, you’re gonna get hit (Monday night).  Schools ignore this still latching on to the hope it won’t be “that bad” (and still embarrassed for cancelling two weeks prior for it being “really cold”) and schools stay open.  Since the schools are open (and they would definitely be closed if something were really going to happen, right?), everyone goes to work.  At 9 am, the powers that be decide, hey, perhaps we should start treating the road now.  Then, around lunch the schools say, go home kiddos.  Kids are getting released, time to close down shop says every employer in the city all at once.  Millions jump on the icy roads all at once and this happens:

light-snow-shuts-down-small-airports-and-causes-hundreds-of-crashes-in-atlantaap_winter_accidents_kb_140129_16x9_992 sstorm

Since my week has been all about snow, ice, and Atlanta’s response (or lack thereof)  to both, I thought I’d dedicate my Five for Friday to what’s been called a number of cutesy, clever names:  snOMG, Atlantartica, Hothlanta, etc.  Here are five observations made over the past several days.  I flirted with calling these “lessons”, but let’s be honest, no one is really going to learn anything from this.  That would be asking entirely too much.

Northerners can be real pricks….when it comes to snow.

We get it.  You get a lot of snow.  You drive in it.  You’re total bad-asses, really.  You honestly should get some sort of prize for toughing that shit out everyday and you’re a bit bitter that no one’s acknowledged the 4 feet of snow in your front yard, yet when we get a few inches we totally steal the lime light.  How rude!  Here’s the thing, cold weather effin sucks.  I hate it so very much.  So kudos to you for enduring.  I get why you’re so bitter.  I would be too if I had to deal with grey skies, snow, and below freezing temps every day.  I was ready to snap in a few hours.  You bastards are made of stone cold steel and toughness.

But (of course one was coming), please realize that we’re not equipped to handle this shit.  Our roads have zero pretreatment, everything turns to ice, and yes, we can’t drive in it.  Chaos ensues.  It’s okay to laugh, it’s ridiculous, but you don’t have to be so crass about it.  You’re only further perpetuating the northern stereotype of being, well, northern.  Seriously though, y’all are some tough folks if toughness is measured by the amount of cold one can endure.

Since not many people are truly from Atlanta, I would have thought our snow driving skills (because you know, untreated roads can be perfectly navigated if you know how) would have been a lot better.  Aren’t we a city full of New Yorkers, New Englanders, etc.?

Our lack of public transportation is the real humiliation.

We’re a huge city, yet we refuse to embrace the basic necessities that big cities MUST have.  The snow didn’t make our traffic suck.  It sucks every single day.  It sucks in the sun.  It sucks (doubly) in the rain.  It sucks almost every hour (weekends included).  It’s a problem that we’ve all just chalked up to the price of living in Atlanta.  But we really shouldn’t be so complacent.  We simply have to get over our complete dependence on the highways and cars.  Let’s get moving on bringing MARTA to the burbs.  Let’s get over this ridiculous fear of public transit bringing in a “bad element” (ie. minority or low income…the horror) to our neighborhoods.  Let’s quit being absurd.

jam

SnOMG or regular day?  Could be either.

Our politicians act like politicians.

Are we really surprised that the lack of preparation and then slow response after someone finally realized a screw up had been made garnered no real apology.  These guys are thinking about how to spin it all in the best interest of their careers,  careers spent spinning and campaigning and occasionally doing some actual work.  Keep holding your breath for a sincere apology as the buck continues to be passed.

I’ll fight my strong desire to launch into a rant about term limits and the entire electoral process.  That really doesn’t belong on this snow post does it?

crossed-fingers-behind-back

I feel just horrible.  Really, I do.

People are always awesome in a crisis.

Hurricanes, floods, snow “storms”, they all really bring out the best in folks.  People helping people, it really warms your heart.  But watch how quickly we get back to our normal selves now that the snow is thawing.  No more hellos, no more going out of our way to help.  Back to our eyes on our phones and our ear buds in.  It’s a shame we can’t bottle this crisis humanity and tap into it every day.

free

Snow sucks.

It all comes down to that.  Yes, I’ll admit it’s pretty to look at from inside, but at the end of the day, I’ll pass.  Going outside takes entirely too much effort.  Layers of clothing and practical, warm footwear must be sported.  You can’t simply crank your car up and leave, there’s this defrost feature in your car that will clear your windshield of frost in a mere 15 minutes!  Your floors will be filthy from all the snow that gets stuck on your shoes and then melts by the door.  You bust your ass walking down your driveway.  The list goes on.  I don’t even like the positives people usually attribute to snow:  Skiing- I suck at it.  Snow ball fights- Too cold on my hands.  Snow Angels- No.

Give me a beach and some heat.  The end.

How was your snow day(s)?  Live up north and wanna poke fun a bit more?  Leave me a comment or two.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Hey Champ – Artificial Man

Random fact:  The only true fun I’ve ever had in the snow was sledding with my cousins in Ohio as a kid.

Five for Friday: 5 Beers I Can’t Get Enough Of

I have a slight infatuation with craft beer.

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Wait, that’s a total lie.  I love beer.  We’re total buds.  Craft beer is currently to a drinking habit what wine has been for years.  It’s an excuse to drink under the guise of a hobby.  Guzzle a case of Bud Lights over the weekend and you’re going to be called redneck with a drinking problem.  Down a few stouts and IPAs and you’re an enthusiast!  It’s a drinker’s perfect disguise!

Craft beer is also similar to wine because you’re always in collecting mode.  You HAVE to try them all.  Every brewery.  Oh, the rare stuff.  The one offs.  The stuff that you need to “know a guy” to find.  It’s fun because it’s like a yummy, boozy hunt!

Recently I received a major award cool prize at our local hangout Taco Mac.  They have a program that encourages spending drinking at their fine establishment:  The Brewniversity.  There are all kinds of levels and prizes for drinking/collecting unique brews.  I just hit 125 and thus graduated with my Bachelor’s.  I get my name on a plaque and some goodies, but the big prize is the big mug.  Now I get 20 oz pours.  My “problem” just got bigger by 4 oz.

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NICE!

So in honor of this major accomplishment, I’d like to dedicate today’s Five for Friday post to beer.  This will likely be an ongoing series that pops up when I feel the need to push 5 deserving brews on your unsuspecting palate.  Here are 5 beers I’m really into right now.

Number 5:  New Belgium– Coconut Curry Hefeweizen 8%

A Hefe I like!  This is major folks!  I traditionally am not a fan of the wheats, but I love this one.  Our bartender introduced this to me as “the nastiest f$&#ing beer I’ve tasted in a really long time”.  Well, I had to try it after that.  Delicious!  Now he winces every time I ask for one.

The aroma is bold and big with coconut and curry tones and a hint of banana from the hefe yeast. With a vast spice list of cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime, and cayenne pepper this beer carries a bit of heat but the alcohol soothes the finish. Coconut Curry Hefe will leave an inquisitive smile on the drinker’s mug.

coconutcurryhefeweizen_l

Number 4:  Southern Tier– Pumking 8.5%

Holy deliciousness in a glass.  I’ve been obsessed with this one since my first sip.  Since fall has come and gone, it’s getting harder and harder to find.  We’re hording a bomber in our pantry.

All Hallow’s Eve is a time of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent. It is thought that we harness this magic to brew our powerful pumpkin ale. Not so, but it is with great respect to the magic of their trade that our brewers produce this fine beer. Take a whiff of this complex ale and your journey has just begun. At first sip, a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds, yet another victim enraptured by the Pumking.

southern tier brewing company

Number 3:  Samuel Smith- Organic Chocolate Stout 5%

A beer that appeals to the beer snob and hippie in me!  I force this beer on everyone I meet.  Usually the organic garners an eye roll…..and then they taste it.  Chocolate bar in a mug.  It’s insanely yummy!  And at 5%, it’s super drinkable for a stout.

Brewed with well water (the original well, sunk in 1758, is still in use with the hard water is drawn from 85 feet underground), the gently roasted organic chocolate malt and organic cocoa impart a delicious, smooth and creamy character, with inviting deep flavours and a delightful finish – this is the perfect marriage of satisfying stout and luxurious chocolate.

sam

Number 2:  Ballast Point– Indra Kunindra 7%

Another curry beer….or should I say THE curry beer.  I’m on the hunt for this one.  It’s super hard to find.  Matt and I found it at Hopjack’s Filling Station in Pensacola (they rock so hard!) and took a growler home to make sure we had another taste.

A burst of Madras Curry, Cumin, Cayenne, Coconut, and Kaffir Lime Leaf.  An India-style Export Stout is Ballast Point’s unique collaboration with award-winning homebrewer Alex Tweet. Released in limited quantities, this explosion of South Asian flavors is reason enough to kneel down and thank the heavens.

beers-indra-kunindra-primary-image

Number 1:  Jekyll– Hop Dang Diggity 6.7%

This is currently my favorite IPA and that’s saying a lot with the sheer number of IPAs available.  I love that it’s local too!  Atlanta’s craft beer scene is insanely incredible.  Some crazy good beers coming out of this area!

Our Hop Dang Diggity Southern IPA will give you a full nose of Georgia pine aroma while the malty backbone provides for a perfectly balanced sweetness.  Hopped up like a one legged chicken, this is not your standard “economical” IPA.

It is entirely likely that you may choose to not drink this IPA, but only breathe in it’s wonderful aromas…  snap out of it and take a sip.  Not too dry, but having just the right amount of sweetness to balance the bitter, then finishing with a refreshing clean that begs for the next taste.  This hoppy style pairs well with any of your favorite spicy foods.

jekyll

Cheers!

Wanna check out some of my other beer posts:  5 IPAs   & Beer Butt

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to: Queens Of The Stone Age – 3’s & 7’s

Random fact:  I find beer knowledge sexy.

Music Midtown 2013 Misses the Mark

Ah the music festival!  It really is one of my very favorite things.  Because, what could be more exciting than seeing one great show?  How about 10?  Or 20?  Or more?!  I’ve been lucky enough to attend some really great ones, but I still haven’t cracked the big boys yet (Cochella, Bonnaroo, Burning Man).  The Voodoo Experience is my favorite.  Every October I make the trek to NOLA to visit my bestie for 3 days of music heaven.  Man do those guys know how to put on an event.  They always have a great line-up, but it is the management of the festival that makes it:  clean, well organized, tons of local food vendors, great merch, killer layout, and limited waiting for anything.  These guys are like machines!  Someone is constantly emptying trash cans (which are everywhere) or making sure the porta potties are good to go.  I’m already counting down to this year’s Voodoo; only a little over a month to go!

But this post isn’t about Voodoo.  I wish it were.  I really wish that I could easily compare Music Midtown to Voodoo, but they are almost opposite in every way.  Let’s breakdown Music Midtown 2013.

Great Acts!

So we’ll start with the one positive (and only thing they have in common with Voodoo), they pulled some great bands together this year.  I only went to Saturday, but still got to see:  Queens of the Stone
Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Capital Cities, Artic Monkeys, Weezer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Imagine Dragons, The Black Lips, and ZZ Ward.  Not a bad day of musical acts and honestly, QOTSA’s set almost made the entire day worth it.  They played a kick ass show, though it was only just over an hour long.

 Music-Queens-of-the-Stone-A

They were perfection!

And now the rest of the Music Midtown experience….

Insanely long and disorganized entrance line…lines….mob of people.

It wasn’t very clear where the actual line was.  Was it all of the people on the sidewalk stringing out a third of a mile from Piedmont Park’s entrance (in both directions)?  Was it the herd in the street skipping all of those people?  Was it the secondary herd on the other side of the street skipping the skippers?  Who could tell?  Mostly everyone just shoved as close as they could to the entrance and hoped the line would move while trying not to come unglued because people were skipping them left and right.

An hour and a half.  That’s how long we waited.  And there were plenty who were likely less “aggressive” who waited much longer.  At one point some folks busted down a fence and just went in.  Well, I guess that could have saved me $115 each in ticket money.

I missed half of Weezer.  That really sucks.

They had one bag checker who poked in a bag or two.  One guy for 100,000 people .  Bags weren’t checked.  I could’ve gotten anything in this venue.  Why go through the motions if you’re really not going to check?

I saw three tickets scanners.  100,000 people and 3 scanners at the entrance, you do the math.

line

This line has a twin facing the opposite direction coming up the street.

I’m hungry.  Let’s stand in line….lines…a disorderly mob for 30 minutes for a veggie corndog.

Not nearly enough food vendors.  Hungry people are not so friendly.  Hungry, drunk people are doubly obnoxious.

corndog02

This was totally worth $8 and 30 minutes.

This may not be Voodoo Fest, but it’s looking an awful lot like Doodoo Fest.

I think I saw about 50 or so porta potties.  50 bathroom for 100,000 people.  That’s a lot of poop and pee in a condensed space.  I forwent the beer (for which there were tons of vendors and short lines) so I wouldn’t have to face the bathroom disaster.  Lines were averaging around a 30 minute wait.  And around the time the sun set  the toilets started overflowing.  Yep.

Trash everywhere.

I would bitch that I can’t believe that people were so rude and threw their trash everywhere.  But honestly, they didn’t make it easy for folks to not be litter bugs.  There was a sever lack of trash cans present.

Oversold?

Definitely.  For the space and accommodations, this show was seriously oversold.  And I’m guessing that quite a few stayed at home or left due to the weather!  I’d estimate they could handle around 3/4 of the people there IF they hired more staff, had more food vendors, and quadrupled their porta potty number.  Want to sell more tickets?  You need more space.

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This was from last year.  So picture this plus mud.

Monsoon season is upon us.

It poured.  Hard.  This was the one part of the day’s misery that isn’t on Music Midtown’s organizers.  It’s an outdoor concert and rain happens.  But in this instance, rain served to make me a soggy version of frustrated and disappointed.  Soggy is always worse.  An hour and a half wait in line in a nice breeze vs. dripping in a poncho.   Being crammed in like a sardine with dry folks vs. snuggling up with mud people.  Rain definitely made it worse.

At the end of the day, the feeling I was left with was disappointment.  I’ve lived in Atlanta for six years and this was my first Music Midtown.  Unfortunately, it will be my last.  I’ve seen many reviews online that mirror mine, but I’ve also seen many people raving about how awesome it was.  The music was awesome, but there is more to a good festival experience than music; especially in a city where there are multiple great shows playing any day of the week.  The only thing I can figure is maybe it’s an age thing.  The average age of the vast majority of the MM goers looked to be around 19-22.  And let’s face it, at that age you can tolerate A LOT more!  You just get shit housed and roll in the mud.  You’ll pee by the fence, f@& the porta potty lines (I saw TONS of people doing just that) and why would you want to eat food?  That would only ruin a good buzz; we’ll grab some Waffle House later!  Well this old lady obviously can’t hang.  So peace out Music Midtown.  I’ll leave you to the youngsters and take my disposable 30-something income elsewhere.

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See any 30s in this picture?

Stay positive & love your life (even when you are in a poopy porta potty)!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  F. Stokes – 1954

Eating:  So many leftovers

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I HATE that this was Matty’s first festival experience.  Wah, wah,

100 Word Song: Graceless

Taking a drag of his last cigarette, the bells of Sacred Heart rang out around him. Thirty stories up, the air was cool and windy over the city.

Thirty, interesting number.

How was it possible for one person to have had and lost so much? Thirty years on the job and released just prior to retirement. Released, ha! Just call it what it really is, a death sentence. He had nothing now; surely nothing left to give her.

He snuffed out the butt, feigned the sign of the cross, and sighed, “There must be a science to walking through windows.”

 

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This 100 Word Song post was written the for the prompt “Graceless” by The National.  I had to counteract the beauty of my Trifecta post this week with something much darker.   There the prompt was the word “grace” and I incorporated a busker who I consider to be the “Heart of the City”.  For this post, heart is also present through the mention of Sacred Heart (Bascilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a Catholic church located downtown).   I suppose without shadow, we can’t appreciate the sun.  Odd that I write this looking at the Atlanta skyline which is surprisingly sunny this afternoon.

 

 

But, as always people- Stay positive & love your life!

 

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  Okkervil River – Down Down The Deep River

Eating:  Mac and cheese, lima beans

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I recaulked my shower last week and now I’m having to do it again.  Damn learning curve.

 

Trifecta: Heart of the City

Each day she’s there.  I’ve never stopped to ask her story.  I’ve never bothered to learn her name.

Up the escalator I move.  Her voice lifts me from the depths of the city’s underground.  Her song carries me into the sunshine.  Her melody warms my heart and I feel the strains of the workday melt away.  She sings with such spirit; the joy in her voice gallops up and down Peachtree Street like a wild mustang released.

Her clothes are plain; generally a set of colorful scrubs.  Her hair is tightly tucked beneath a bandana.  Her grace comes from within; each delightful note presented to the world on operatic sound waves.

A tattered hat lies on the ground.  We toss in some change; she offers a shy grin and a head nod never breaking from her song.

She’s as much a part of the landscape as the oak to her left and it’s as if she belongs to the city itself.  Did the asphalt jungle give birth to her?  No, she is older than the city and its soaring structures.  Before the lights flashed and the air was filled with a cacophonous back beat, her foot tapped out its own meter.    Before traffic jammed and green ways turned gray, she gently hummed her tune.

In her lives a soul that has seen days before many would walk by too tethered to their phones to notice that life is going on around them.  She calls to them to share a moment, one tiny second.  And when she catches a fleeting glance of acknowledgement, her eyes sparkle with victory.   Connection nourishes her; it fortifies her mission.

I’ve never stopped to talk to her, and yet we’ve had many conversations.  I’ve never asked her name, and still, she’s shown me her essence.  I’ve never learned her story, but each day she’s there.  Maybe she’s always been.  And may she always be.

BuskerHat

 

This 319 word story was written for this week’s Trifecta Challenge:

GRACE (noun)

1
a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b : a virtue coming from God
c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
2
a : approval, favor
b archaic : mercy, pardon
c : a special favor : privilege
d : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
e : a temporary exemption : reprieve
3
a : a charming or attractive trait or characteristic
b : a pleasing appearance or effect : charm
c : ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

Remember:

Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.

You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.

The word itself needs to be included in your response.

You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.

 

It was inspired by one of Atlanta’s most well-known buskers, Opera Lady.

From CBS local:

Opera Lady

Often seen: Downtown on Peachtree Street
Peachtree Center
231 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA
(404) 654-1296
peachtreecenter.com

One of the main reasons shows like “America’s Got Talent” succeed is because of the surprising sounds and beauty that come from the most unlikely places. Opera Lady, as she is known locally, is the furthest away from the extravagance associated with the belly-bellowing craft, but has a voice that could easily be heard in the Atlanta Opera. Often seen in downtown Atlanta in front of the entrance to Peachtree Center food court, she regularly sings for the downtown workers during lunchtime and has a basket for donations.

 

Enjoy!

 

Stay positive & love your life!

 

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  311 – Do You Right

Eating:  Black beans, grilled veggies, and rice.

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I enjoy Opera Lady far more than I enjoy going to the opera.

Monday Night Brewing: Weekends are Overrated

This past Saturday Matt and I took a trip into the city to tour one the local craft brewing companies springing up all around us, Monday Night Brewing.  It was an awesome experience.  Here we are four days later and I’m still thinking about it.  Now, part of that could be stemming from the fact that I haven’t enjoyed an after-work beer at all this week.  Sorry guys at Monday Night, there’s a valid reason for that.  But mostly I can’t get the taste of the beer out of my head (two brews in particular) and I’m in awe of their branding.  I’ll get into both of these reasons a bit later.  For now, let’s learn a little about:

Monday Night Brewing

This company has probably the oddest start-up story I’ve ever heard.  It was born out of a Friday morning Bible study!  I know, sounds crazy.  A group of folks were meeting up every Friday at 6 am.  As you can imagine, this wasn’t the easiest time in the day for them to get to know one another.  So when one of the guys picked up a brew kit, they all checked their schedules  to find a time to meet up (Monday evening looked good) and help him brew his first batch of beer.  And thus the first Monday night beer was brewed.  I’m told it was…drinkable.

This Monday night meet up became a ritual and the next thing you know, more and more people started showing up.  Soon everyone was looking forward to their Mondays, because that meant a chance to hang with friends and brew beer.

Eventually they decided that it would be totally rad to turn this little “hobby” into a business.  They made a 3 year plan and 5 years later Monday Night Brewing was officially launched.  During those five years, they were perfecting the recipes for Eye Patch Ale (their IPA) and Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale (close to a stout taste).

Eye Patch Ale

A crisp, drinkable IPA. The earthy deliciousness of Cascade and Magnum hops, combined with upfront malt flavor, and balanced with a pirate’s sensibilities. Our Eye Patch Ale is a uniquely drinkable take on the American IPA – sweet caramel, citrusy flowers and swashbuckling adventure abound with every pint.

  • 6.2% ABV
  • 46 IBUs
  • Hops: Columbus, Cascade, and Magnum hops
  • Grain Bill: Marris Otter as a base malt, with just a hint of Rye malt

Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale

A roasty scotch ale with a hint of smoke. Full-bodied, but not overpowering. Smokey, but not in a creepy bar kind of way. Sweet, but not obnoxiously so. Sound like your ideal mother-in-law? Fair enough, but it also is a pretty dead-on description of our Scotch Ale. In a difficult hop-growing climate, Scottish brewers relied on other ingredients to impart flavor and bitterness – one such ingredient was smoked malt. Drafty Kilt is a dark, malty bombshell of a beer.

  • 7.2% ABV
  • 26 IBUs
  • Hops: Columbus and Willamette hops
  • Grain Bill: Includes cherrywood-smoked malt, chocolate malt, and roasted barley

Then last summer, we were introduced to their third offering, Fu Manbrew (Belgian-style wit).  It was obviously well received, because it won Bronze in the US Beer Open its first month and Gold this year.  Now, while I’m sure that the guys and gals at MNB are very proud of this accomplishment, this beer holds another distinction for which they should be even prouder,  I love it!  It holds the honor (such a big deal) of being the ONLY wit I like.  I generally despise all things wheat when it comes to beer, but I adore this one.  I think it’s the ginger.

Fu Manbrew Belgian-Style Wit

A bright, spicy Belgian-style wit. An effervescent, easy-drinking wheat beer, brewed with Belgian yeast, German hops, and a whisper of ginger from the Far East. This mustachio’d Belgian-style wit believes that good beer defies borders. The name Fu Manbrew was crowdsourced with some help from our friends at Scoutmob. They call the mustache a “Flavor Savor” for a reason.

  • 5.2% ABV
  • 15 IBUs
  • Hops: Hallertau
  • Grain Bill: Pilsner and wheat malt

And that leaves their final beer offered in bottles:

Blind Pirate Double IPA

A surprisingly balanced double IPA. A pirate without the use of his eyes is a bitter man indeed. And this Blind Pirate’s bitterness is only matched by his boldness. He doesn’t care if you enjoy the citrusy, spicy combination of hops on your tongue, the faint herbal notes in your nose, or the exquisite balance of caramel malts looting your senses. The Blind Pirate is a bold, bitter ale not for the weak in spirit. Just don’t ask him if you can borrow his sight glass. He gets offended.

  • 8.2% ABV
  • 85 IBUs
  • Hops: Simcoe, Willamette, Columbus, and Cascase
  • Grain Bill: Marris Otter as a base malt, with Munich, caramel, and a smidge of wheat

So here are my highlights from the tour:

The four mainstays-  I already knew I liked all of their beers and so I was looking forward to retasting what I already knew to be good…..

but I was pleasantly surprised to experience…

Two special tour brews-  They had a cask of their Eye Patch Ale all jacked up on Mosaic Hops.  Sweet mother of pearl!  It was so freaking delicious.  As a hop hound, I was in heaven.  And then low and behold, I tasted something even more delicious, their Eye Patch Ale with Serrano peppers.  Hear me when I say, this is one of my favorite beers of all time.  I couldn’t get enough.  They have to bottle this stuff.  It just needs to happen.  Or at the very least, let’s get some of those special kegs out to some metro Atlanta pubs.  I would be very pleased if one made its way over to Local Republic. hint, hint.

The marketing-  The branding is just so clever and well conceived.  They adopted the loosened neck tie as their logo to signify all of those Monday nights when they arrived in their work attire (corporate suit and tie get-ups).  The slogan:  Weekends Are Overrated.  Genius.  And the branding is everywhere, from the tap pulls (shaped like neckties), to the “suit guy” on all of their bottles (with the beer name theme cleverly worked in….Fu Manbrew dude sports a fu manchu), to their “Tie One One” wall of ties (if you bring one to add to the collection, you’ll get a dollar off the normal tour cost of $10).

The tour itself-  Tour guide (and co-founder), Jonathan Baker, was so informative.  We especially loved the detailed description of their beer making process.  And at $10 per person (cost includes tour, pint glass, and 6 generous tastings), it’s a bargain.

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So as you can see, they are off to a fabulous start.  They just started bottling 6 months ago and already I’m seeing their beers in more and more locations.  And after the tour, I’m going to tell you that there will be nothing slowing these guys down.  The brand is solid and the beer is superb.  Atlanta won’t be able to contain Monday Night!  So my recommendation beer lovers in the ATL or surrounding areas, is to make plans to take a tour now.  Later you’ll be waiting in a very long, well earned line.

Check out their plans for other brews and learn more by clicking on the link below:

Weekends are Overrated

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Speedy Ortiz – Tiger Tank

Eating:  Sweet Potato Pot Pie (lentils, sweet potatoes, and polenta)

Drinking:  H20

Random fact:  I can only wink my left eye.