Beer Town: Marietta’s Schoolhouse Brewing grand opening is May 31

Schoolhouse Brewing in Marietta will celebrate its grand opening on May 31. CONTRIBUTED BY SCHOOLHOUSE BREWING
Schoolhouse Brewing in Marietta will celebrate its grand opening on May 31. CONTRIBUTED BY SCHOOLHOUSE BREWING

Two former science teachers, Thomas Monti and Justin Waller, debuted Schoolhouse Brewing in Marietta earlier this month. On May 31, they'll celebrate their dream-come-true with a grand opening party featuring food, music and, of course, plenty of Schoolhouse beer.

Monti and Waller started homebrewing during their teaching days at Marietta Middle School. But in 2014, Monti switched careers and opened Schoolhouse Beer and Brewing on Whitlock Avenue in Marietta.

The combination growler/bottle shop and homebrew supply store soon became a hangout for local beer geeks and a venue for beer events. And many of the homebrew recipes Monti created there became the impetus for a full-scale brewery.

Former teachers Thomas Monti and Justin Waller are the owners of Schoolhouse Brewing in Marietta. CONTRIBUTED BY SCHOOLHOUSE BREWING
Former teachers Thomas Monti and Justin Waller are the owners of Schoolhouse Brewing in Marietta. CONTRIBUTED BY SCHOOLHOUSE BREWING

Located in an office park on Franklin Court, near the revitalized Franklin Gateway area of Marietta, the new Schoolhouse space includes a seven-barrel brewhouse and a spacious taproom and bar with 20 rotating beers on draft — plus the relocated homebrew supply store is open during taproom hours.

But what makes the brewery so distinctive is the satirical schoolhouse theme that’s evident in every corner of the build-out.

The official-looking “Principal’s Office” door displays the names “Mr. Waller” and “Mr. Monti.” There’s an upright piano in a corner of the tasting room with a sign that reads “Music Dept.” The “Library” shelves hold beer books and magazines. The “Cafeteria” offers local snacks for sale. And the chain-link fenced-in patio was designed to resemble a playground.

“When we decided to go forward with this, we knew we wanted it to be centered around the taproom with the focus being on the beer being enjoyed here,” Waller said during a recent tour. “We already had the name Schoolhouse, so we just took that to the next level. We even have a rentable business meeting room that we call the detention room.”

Talking about the transition from homebrewing to professional brewing, Waller said it was initially driven by Monti’s fans at Schoolhouse Beer and Brewing.

“There were so many customers who were pleased with the recipes that he helped them with, so they knew he could brew good beer,” Waller said. “And they would constantly ask, ‘When is your beer gonna be on the board?’ I decided I was ready to make the transition out of the classroom. My wife said it was OK, so I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

“Our tagline is ‘Where Education Meets Recess,’” Monti said. “One of the things that we really like is being considered an open source brewery. So if you like one of our recipes, we will scale it down for you, and you can brew it at home.

“The other cool part is we’re a rotating brewery. We really do believe in fresh, new and local. So every single time you come in, you’re going to find a new beer, which is a lot of fun. We decided to go with a seven-barrel brewhouse, and we did that so we could run new beers every single time. And they’re a bit more limited that way.”

Another interesting feature of the brewhouse is that each fermentation tank has its own name.

“We named them after women who keep men in line,” Monti said. “So we’ve got June Carter, Priscilla Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Parton, Bettie Page, Joan Jett and Janis Joplin. We know the fermenters are where the magic really happens. And we want to pay respect to these women to make sure we know what we’re doing each time.

“We just love the Georgia beer scene right now. We’ve been very lucky to be part of it. We were pretty adamant that we were going to keep our homebrew shop, because that’s where we started. And we want this to be what we call the third space. Everybody has home and work. But we want you to feel like this is your third place in the world.”

When I visited, there were at least three IPAs on tap, including 1777 West Coast IPA, Cry Baby American IPA and Homewerk Hazy IPA. Textbook Table Saison, Homeroom Hefeweizen, After School Amber, Cheat Sheet Pale Ale and Advanced Social Stouties American Stout are among the other recent offerings. And look for Golden Goose Belgian Triple on tap at the grand opening, along with many other new beers.

EVENT PREVIEW

Schoolhouse Brewing Grand Opening

Noon-11 p.m. May 31. 840 Franklin Court, Suite A, Marietta. 770-361-5247, schoolhousebeer.com.

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