Exploring: Monday Night Brewing, Atlanta

Monday Night 1

A couple of weeks ago our friend Sven came to stay for the weekend, and, when you have a fellow beer guzzling German in the house there’s only one place to go – a local brewery for a spot of beer tasting and a little tour. As you all know, we’ve already been to SweetWater so we thought we’d head to Monday Night Brewing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend their Saturday afternoon playing corn hole and sampling every beer the brewery makes?! Exactly.

This place is pretty small and tucked away on a kind of industrial estate but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something special! We rocked up, paid our 10 bucks, picked up our souvenir glasses and 6 beer tokens and we were off. The boys were so excited – beer, beer, beer! We chose our first drinks then went to explore.

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So this isn’t the greatest picture I’ve ever taken but it’s the only one of all 3 of us!

The inside of the brewery, literally where the trucks rock up to take the beer to stores, is turned into a bar on beer tasting days. There are cute mismatched tables and chairs, a fireplace with the signature moustache of Monday Night Brewing on top of it, sofas, a table top slider game and of course, a big screen showing the current football game – you can’t go anywhere in America without a TV screen with some sort of sport on! Oh, and we can’t for get the tie wall – Monday Night Brewing’s trademark is a tie and, if you bring one to the tour and tasting you can tie it onto the wall behind us in the picture. Sadly, the German forgot his but I’m sure he’ll have another opportunity to do it!

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After sinking a beer, we re-filled our glasses and headed outside into the courtyard. If you thought the inside was cute, the outside is even better, especially in the September Atlanta heat! There are tables dotted around, benches, a couple of corn hole boards towards the back and to top it all off, there are strings of lights to make the place look even cuter! It actually reminded me a little of a beer garden back home in England – perfect.

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We spent a little time outside playing corn hole – we had this game at our wedding so Sven knew all the rules. We all played each other, meaning 2 games each. Sadly my skills weren’t their best and I lost both of my matches, the German won both his (good job because that boy hates to lose!) and Sven won one. I blame the fact I had a beer in one hand and a wedding party taking pictures right next to us! Yep, a group of groomsmen had swung by before one of them headed off to get married – see, I told you this place was cool!

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Then came the tour and it began with a line I never thought I would hear – turns out this place was started by 3 guys who met at a 6am…wait for it…bible study group! Not what I was expecting at all! Basically, one of their wives bought a beer brewing kit for her husband for his birthday, he then asked his friends to brew some beer with him on a Monday night – hence the name and the logo of a guy with a tie. They did and it was alright, so they tried again and it got better each time. They starting living for Monday nights and their beer brewing sessions. Eventually, they started inviting their friends around and things got bigger and bigger so they decided to go all the way and start a business and if you ask me, they made a pretty good decision. I’d also like to point out that I bought the German a beer brewing kit for Christmas, so far, it’s still in the box – it needs to be out of the box because that story that you read right there, that my friends, could be Team Richter! In my dreams…

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We finished the tour and headed back for another beer or so, well, for the boys anyway, I was the designated driver! I think they managed to try every beer – my favorite was the Fu Manbrew, the German loves the Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale, it’s forever stocked up in our fridge.

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Sadly, 4pm came around and we had to leave…booo. But, the German has officially added it to the list of places to go whenever we have a visit so I’m sure we’ll be back pretty soon!

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Food: Making our own pizzas

Making Pizzas
As you all know, the German celebrated his birthday the other week and we spent the weekend in Savannah. Lucky that we did because his birthday present was a little heavy to take on a plane.

The German’s favourite food in the whole, entire world is pizza. He could eat it every single day and not get bored. In fact, before he met me I think he really did eat it every single day and, if I go back to the UK and leave him home alone without any pre-cooked dinners in the freezer he definitely would eat pizza every single day. So, with this in mind, I bought him his very own pizza recipe book, a pizza stone and a pizza peel so that he could make his own pizzas from scratch. Turns out it was a blummin good present and he was a happy birthday boy so, last weekend, we decided to try it out.

The adventure started with the dough. Turns out this baby needs 18 hours to prove – 18 hours? I knew it would take a while but I wasn’t thinking 18 hours! Anyway, we made it the night before and waited for the yeast to do its stuff and make the little ball of dough double in size…and it did!

It was pizza time. The German had chosen a sausage and fennel pizza (fennel seems to be a favourite of his lately) so we started with a basic tomato sauce by literally squishing some tomatoes and made the ground pork into sausage meat by adding some ginger, fennel seeds, garlic and chilli flakes. This thing was looking good.

We chopped up the rest of our ingredients (well I did, chopping isn’t really the German’s forte) and we were ready to go:

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First we needed to shape our bases. The German wanted to do the Italian thing and shape them in the air on his hands – he tried, but he needs a little more practice, so after a little bit of air shaping he continued on the counter top and managed to make some good circles! We put the toppings on and these things were ready to go…the only thing we were about to struggle with was getting them from the counter top to the oven…disasters.

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We have a pizza peel but, once half of the pizza was on the peel the other half didn’t want to move. We ended up having to squish the pizza a little to get it on the peel and then onto the pizza stone that had been heating up in the oven but we made it and 12 minutes later our first pizza was ready – success! This thing looked good!

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We then had another struggle to get the second pizza off the counter top and into the oven – does anybody have any tips on how to do this? It seems we really need them. We did use a lot of flour – probably too much if I’m honest – but it still didn’t work! Help is greatly appreciated. Eventually we did it but sadly, whilst the pizza was in the oven the pizza stone broke! It literally cracked into 2 pieces. We managed to patch it together and use it for the pizza but, it’s safe to say, it will be heading back to the store this week.

Next came the taste test, after one bite we realised we did bloody well! They were amazing! Very tasty indeed. The German was pleased with his efforts – I think pizza making will be happening a lot more often in the Richter house. He’s already eyed up another couple of pizzas in his book he wants to try.

Have you ever made your own pizza? What’s your favourite topping?