Episode 021: Monday Night Brewing

Monday Night Brewing is Atlanta’s true hometown brewery.

Back in 2006, Jonathan Baker and the company’s co-founders Jeff Heck, Joel Iverson, and Adam Bishop, would come home from their day jobs each Monday night, loosen their ties, and get nerdy about home brew techniques, hops, and malty flavors. Out of both goodwill and friendship, Monday Night shared the first hundred batches with close friends, inviting a steady stream of eager taste testers to their garage to sample what would become their three beer offerings today: Eye Patch Ale, Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale, and Fu Manbrew.

Fast forward to 2012, and the original crew had quit their day jobs in order to open up shop full-time in Northwest Atlanta, not far from the likes of the South’s most beloved eateries like Bacchanalia, The Optimist, and Abattoir. You can find out more about dropping in for a tasting session and tour here.

Today, Monday Night is proud to be a strictly Southeastern beer brand, crafted for weeknight consumption and paired to perfection with a vareity of food and feasts.

Oh, and the ties? They’re now the brand’s beloved logo, seen on each and every label that comes off the line.

Tune in, subscribe on iTunes, and be sure to share this episode. As always, you can let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!

Episode Transcript

Jonathan: We brewed for five years every Monday night, and when we did that we invited folks into our garage to brew with us. And over time that became a larger and larger gathering. And it was really organic. I think true community – you’ve got to have that organic growth, you can’t get it any other way. I’m Jonathan Baker, I’m one of the co-founders of Monday Night Brewing. My official title is Marketing Guy and Master of Mind Control. But that doesn’t work.

So I met my two business partners in a Bible study that I was in about eight years ago now. We all had white collar professional day jobs so this was something we did for fun outside of work. And we all wore neckties to work. So we’d come home from work, loosen our ties, brew beer, and that became our thing.

The fun thing about starting out in a garage is that at that level you can kind of experiment as much as you want. And that hasn’t left us. So we’re trying to play around with all these different flavors to push the boundaries of what Georgia beer is.

So I grew up in a marketing family. My dad owned an ad agency. I had a degree in Marketing from Emory. You would think that there’s a lot of overlap between what we do as a small brewery and what a large brewery does marketing-wise. But it turns out that was not super helpful to me. Because they have budgets and we don’t have budgets. We have, “Oh maybe I found five dollars in my pocket. I’ll spend that on some Facebook AdWords.” For us, we probably had a few thousand people come through the garage before we even launched, and that’s a few thousand people that feel like they were there from the beginning, connect with the brand, and that was huge. So what we try to do is actually replicate that garage feeling here because when people feel like they’re a part of your brand, that’s when they’re going to become lifelong consumers. That’s what we’re trying to do.

With the amount of breweries there are, even in America, it’s really tough to differentiate ourselves. So what we’ve done is narrow that field and we don’t ever want to be a brewery out of the southeast. So with that in mind we can say, “Well what do we need to differentiate ourselves in the southeast?” I think one of the key things for branding is consistency. Just like every batch we make has to taste the same, the image that we put out there has to be the same.

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