July 17, 2013

Fu Manchus, Pirates, and Scotsmen: Three Beers from Monday Night Brewing

Monday Night Brewing beers

Monday Night Brewing is a company that gets marketing and PR. They've got creative names and packaging that portray a fun brand. Besides, they were kind enough to send me one each of their three year round beers to review, so that helps.

Seriously though, the Atlanta-based company really knows how to portray a fun attitude, reminding us perhaps not-so-subtly, "Hey, this is beer. Why don't we just enjoy it?"


Fu Manbrew Belgian Wit

Monday Night Brewing Fu Manbrew beer reviewAs only seemed fitting, I started my tasting on Monday night with Fu Manbrew, a Belgian wit and Monday Night Brewing's newest year round beer. Fu Manbrew pours a more golden than pale. Spiced with ginger, it's a little different than the "classic" witbier. I smelled some faint ginger aroma in there, along with some yeasty notes. On the taste, I definitely got the ginger, though it wasn't sharp or hot. It actually blended pretty well with the mild bitterness (15 IBUs) provided by the Hallertau hops.

As I examined the bottle, Monday Night's marketing prowess reared its beautiful head. "Weekends are overrated," read the front, under the image of a mustachioed rapscallion with his fist in the air. In the description on the back, I found another interesting tidbit: "The name Fu Manbrew was crowdsourced with some help from our friends at Scoutmob."

"Who is this Scoutmob?" I asked. The bottle did not reply. Lucky for us, they have a website. "Scoutmob connects you to the most inspired goods and authentic local experiences from independent makers." Pretty cool. Go check it out.

Finally, on the back of the Fu Manbrew bottle it read:
"In the perfect stranger we perceive man himself; the image of a God is not disguised by resemblances to an uncle or doubts of wisdom of a mustache." - G.K. Chesterton
If anyone can tell me what that means, please explain in the comments.

By this time I was enjoying myself and it dawned on me: As I took a large, less scrutinizing step backwards I realized, this is a fun, damn tasty beer.

Eye Patch Ale
"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were god, God would permit us to be pirates." - Mark Twain
Monday Night Brewing Eye Patch IPA
I would have made a damn good pirate. I guess there's still time...

To wash down my lunchtime burrito, I cracked open Monday Night's Eye Patch IPA. Right off the bat I picked up some citrusy hop action characteristic of the "C hops". Indeed, Eye Patch features Columbus and Cascade hops, along with some Magnum. I was surprised to find it was only 46 IBUs -- it seemed like more. Maris Otter malt provided the base, but I was pleased to find a bit of rye malt in there, too. The rye provides just a bit of spice -- a great touch for an IPA, in my opinion.

Other than that, the beer had a great burnt orange color and really nice lacing. Which got me wondering, why do we care about lacing? As is often the case, Billy Broas has the answer.

Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale

"KILT, n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland." - Ambrose Bierce
A satirist and writer, this Bierce guy sounds like an interesting character (if Wikipedia is to be trusted):
  • He was the tenth of thirteen children whose father gave all of them names beginning with the letter "A". In order of birth, the Bierce siblings were Abigail, Amelia, Ann, Addison, Aurelius, Augustus, Almeda, Andrew, Albert, Ambrose, Arthur, Adelia, and Aurelia. [Seriously? Who would do that?]
  • Bierce fought at the Battle of Shiloh (April 1862), a terrifying experience that became a source for several later short stories and the memoir, "What I Saw of Shiloh".
  • In 1913, Bierce traveled to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, he disappeared without a trace.
Well I'm intrigued (if not horribly distracted).

Monday Night Brewing Drafty Kilt Scotch AleWrapping things up with the Drafty Kilt, I found it to pour a nice chocolate color with a solid, tan head. Definitely darker than some other Scotch ales I've seen. Again, I detected chocolate in the aroma, but picked up some roast as well. On the taste, I got some of the smoked malt, but it was pretty subtle. The lingering roasty flavors really got me jonesin' for some beef. This would be a great beer with meat off the grill. 7.2% ABV? Would NOT have guessed that.

Bottom line, the description on the bottle hits the nail on the head: "A roasty Scotch ale with a hint of smoke." I thought the flavors improved after sitting outside the refrigerator for several minutes.

The Verdict

If I had to pick a favorite, I'd probably go with the Eye Patch IPA, though I could see any one of these beers standing out depending on the food I'm eating, the weather, my mood...great beers all around.

As for whether Monday Night Brewing has plans to enter the Asheville market, not any time soon, said MNB Sales Gal & Semi-Professional High Fiver Zoe Rosenberg. They're working to dominate Atlanta for the time being. But that shouldn't stop you from visiting their brewery next time you're down there!

Til next time...cheers!