The last time I really gave Freemark a thought was about 10 years ago during a vertical tasting going back through the vintages of 1980s. I was not impressed. There were more missteps than winners.
Monday Night Brewing was born out of a weekly Bible study, but that’s just one of the unlikely things about Atlanta’s newest craft beer company.
Since 2006, three self-described “white-collar guys,” Jonathan Baker, Jeff Heck and Joel Iverson, have been getting together on Monday nights to home-brew in Heck’s garage.
They invited friends, family and even total strangers over to share the experience and taste their beer, all the while dreaming of owning a brewery one day.
Recently, Baker, Heck and Iverson finally unveiled the first fruits of that five-year process: Eye Patch Ale and Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale.
The draft-only brews are available at metro beer bars, such as Leon’s, Ormsby’s and Taco Mac, and to take home in growlers from Hop City, Ale Yeah and other beverage stores.
“We put together a three-year plan that got stretched into a five-year plan,” Baker said, just before the first kegs were tapped at Hop City.
“We could have started three years ago,
Evil Twin Ashtray Heart
Evil Twin Brewing, Valby, Denmark
$6.99-$7.99/11.2-ounce bottle at metro beverage stores; also on draft at select beer bars
Profile: Evil Twin madness has been building among Atlanta beer geeks since several offerings from renegade Danish brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso hit the market in May. The high-gravity, highly rated and rather expensive brews carry names — Soft Dookie, Disco Beer — worthy of “South Park.” Ashtray Heart references both a Captain Beefheart song and a common reaction to strong smoked beers. But it’s surprisingly drinkable, with sweet dark malts up front and complex, earthy notes of espresso, licorice and peat smoke.
Pair with: Try Evil Twin with wood-grilled or smoked meats or fish, such as bacon or pork belly, beef or pork barbecue, steak or smoked salmon.
Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News, a bimonthly beer paper distributed throughout the South: www.brewingnews.com/southernbrew
— Bob Townsend,
As prices escalated in the 1970s and 1980s for nebbiolo grapes, which go into the iconic Barolo and Barbaresco wines, Roero grape growers naturally wanted a piece of the action. They were more than happy to bump up nebbiolo production for their winemaking neighbors across the Tanero River at the expense of arneis.
When Lauren Salazar returned to Georgia recently, the sensory specialist for Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co. was surprised and pleased to catch up on how much things had changed since she left in 1992.
“I was giddy to see the beer culture,” Salazar said. “When I walked into the Brick Store, when I was at the Porter Beer Bar, I was like, ‘This is the real deal.’ I was in awe of the cellars and the passion people put into things. It almost made me tear up. I was so excited that it had made it to Georgia.”
Salazar grew up in Columbus and earned a degree in social work from the University of Georgia. She was working as a geriatric social worker when she took a part-time job at New Belgium 13 years ago.
Nowadays, Salazar works at New Belgium full-time and oversees the brewery’s tasting panels, which help to ensure the quality and constancy consistency of its beer.
“I realized that I really enjoyed the science,” said Salazar. “This concept that flavor and tasting could actually