Atlanta Orders In: Bold Monk Brewing opens beer garden, plans more events

The 1836 pizza from Bold Monk Brewing Co. features soppressata, tomato, mozzarella and torn basil. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Bold Monk Brewing Co., which debuted in December, 2019, is an ambitious example of the recent Georgia brewery boom.

Besides a 15-barrel brewhouse, the sprawling two-story space features an exhibition kitchen, multiple bars, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a vaulted Library Loft with a retail bookstore.

Bold Monk Brewing Co. offers duck confit fried chicken wings, with cayenne and chile honey. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

In many ways, Bold Monk could be seen as the beeriest dream of award-winning brewmaster and managing partner John “JR” Roberts, whose Brewed to Serve Restaurant Group also includes Max Lager’s and White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails. But, after barely four months in business, Bold Monk closed for dine-in service, because of the pandemic.

“We closed all three of our restaurants on March 16,” Roberts said. “We kept operations going in the brewery at Bold Monk, and we started distributing our beers, which was an interesting time to do that. But, it was good, because it gave us some cash flow. And, we were doing ‘Drink Beer Do Good’ on Saturdays, selling canned beer in a drive-through setup, with all that money going to help pay our employees' health insurance.”

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Bitterballen from Bold Monk Brewing Co. comes with smoked brisket, apple mostarda and beet sabayon. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

In early May, Bold Monk reopened for to-go service, followed by limited dine-in service, which included adding tables to a covered breezeway. Also, a long-planned beer garden, situated on a wooded hilltop behind the restaurant, suddenly became a priority.

Fittingly, one of the first events planned for the beer garden is an Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 19, with a German menu, and a Bold Monk Fest beer brewed for the occasion.

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Bold Monk's yellowfin tuna salad features bibb lettuce, chile-orange vinaigrette, charred corn, peach, avocado and spicy peanuts. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

“It’s the day Oktoberfest would have started in Munich,” Roberts pointed out.

He said sales at Bold Monk are a third of what they were before COVID-19, but he’s hoping a combination of cooler weather, more outdoor seating and increased beer sales will add up to better numbers this fall.

“People are still looking to come out and do parties,” he said. “People are still getting married. We set up the loft and our beer garden specifically with weddings in mind. Those are the things we need to focus on right now, and hope for a recovery.”

Oktoberfest beer soon will be on tap at Bold Monk Brewing Co. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

What may be most difficult for Roberts, though, is that Max Lager’s in downtown Atlanta, the first Brewed to Serve venture, remains closed.

“It makes me really sad,” he said. “I was just there checking things out, and it’s hard to walk into the place that you’ve worked in for 22 years, and now it’s closed. Going into 2020, things were golden. We had negligible debt at Max Lager’s and White Oak, and they were doing very well. Now, Bold Monk is supporting everybody.”

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BOLD MONK BREWING CO.

Menu: Belgian-inspired seasonal menu

Alcohol: full bar menu available for dine-in; beer, wine and cocktails available for takeout

What I ordered: Yellowfin tuna salad, with bibb lettuce, chile-orange vinaigrette, charred corn, peach, avocado and spicy peanuts; bitterballen, with smoked brisket, apple mostarda and beet sabayon; duck confit fried chicken wings, with cayenne and chile honey; 1836 pizza, with soppressata, tomato, mozzarella and torn basil. It all traveled well, but the unique, melt-in-your-mouth wings are special, and the soppressata pizza is a nice combination of heat and spice, with a fluffy, chewy, charred crust, and a crispy edge.

Service options: dine-in or takeout; order in person, by phone or online through OpenTable; call on arrival for curbside delivery

Safety protocols: following all COVID-19 safety guidelines

Address, phone: 1737 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW, Building D, Atlanta; 404-390-3288

Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays; 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays

Website: boldmonkbrewingco.com

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