Beer Town: Tie One On celebrates 10 years of Monday Night Brewing

The trio who started Monday Night Brewing — (from left) CEO Jeff Heck, founder Jonathan Baker and CPO Joel Iverson — are ready to mark its 10th anniversary. (Courtesy of Ali Lamoureux / Monday Night Brewing)
Caption
The trio who started Monday Night Brewing — (from left) CEO Jeff Heck, founder Jonathan Baker and CPO Joel Iverson — are ready to mark its 10th anniversary. (Courtesy of Ali Lamoureux / Monday Night Brewing)

Credit: Ali Lamoureux

Credit: Ali Lamoureux

Monday Night Brewing celebrates its 10th anniversary on Aug. 7, with the Tie One On party at the Garage on Lee Street in southwest Atlanta that weekend.

It’s a huge milestone for co-founders-owners Jonathan Baker, Jeff Heck and Joel Iverson — three former homebrewers who improbably met at a Bible study in 2006 and decided to make beer together.

The last Monday Night anniversary celebration was in August 2019. Not surprisingly, the founders didn’t Tie One On in 2020.

Going back to 2011, Monday Night built its first brewery and tasting room off Howell Mill Road in West Midtown, becoming the first new craft brewery in metro Atlanta since SweetWater opened in 1997.

The Garage, an ambitious 22,000-square-foot taproom, event space, and facility for barrel-aged beers, opened in 2017. And on Labor Day in 2020, the company debuted a taproom in Birmingham, Alabama.

Last week, I sat down at the brewery with Baker, Heck, Iverson, brewmaster Peter Kiley, and COO Rachel Kiley, where we talked about the history of Monday Night, and what’s brewing for the future.

“Out of the gate, we were contract brewing. We had two beers, on draft only, and it was all just a big gamble,” Baker said. “And then when those beers started to sell, that was the first turning point, because that caused us to open a brewery, which we did a year and a half later.

“After that, winning a gold medal for bourbon barrel-aged Drafty Kilt at the Great American Beer Festival was another big turning point. That’s what pushed us to further explore our barrel-aged program, which pushed us out of our barrel-aging space, and down to the Garage. When we opened the Garage, we also moved to cans and rebranded. Between 2013 and 2017, it was just a lot of work, and growing pains.”

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Caption
Keeping Monday Night Brewing successful a decade later are (top row from left) COO Rachel Kiley, CEO Jeff Heck, CPO Joel Iverson, (bottom row from left) brewmaster Peter Kiley and founder Jonathan Baker. (Courtesy of Ali Lamoureux / Monday Night Brewing)

Credit: Ali Lamoureux

Keeping Monday Night Brewing successful a decade later are (top row from left) COO Rachel Kiley, CEO Jeff Heck, CPO Joel Iverson, (bottom row from left) brewmaster Peter Kiley and founder Jonathan Baker. (Courtesy of Ali Lamoureux / Monday Night Brewing)
Caption
Keeping Monday Night Brewing successful a decade later are (top row from left) COO Rachel Kiley, CEO Jeff Heck, CPO Joel Iverson, (bottom row from left) brewmaster Peter Kiley and founder Jonathan Baker. (Courtesy of Ali Lamoureux / Monday Night Brewing)

Credit: Ali Lamoureux

Credit: Ali Lamoureux

More recently, expanding into Alabama, and soon Tennessee, marks two more major milestones in the Monday Night story.

“Opening in Birmingham last year was not only our first out-of-state location, but our first restaurant. Doing that during the pandemic was terrifying, and understandably so,” Heck said. “The cool thing about Birmingham is not only that it’s been successful in and of itself, but it’s also given us a real bump to our wholesale business in Alabama. As we saw that work, this opportunity in Nashville came up, and so that taproom in East Germantown will probably open right around Labor Day weekend in 2021.”

Looking back on 10 years, Iverson and Peter Kiley were both grateful and excited.

“To me, anniversary parties have always been the thing that deeply connected with our purpose statement of deepening human relationships over some of the best beer,” Iverson said. “Especially the last four or five years, we’ve just had these banging beer lists.

“It’s a celebration of outstanding beer, but then, to me, it’s also that time when you’re able to reflect on the gratitude of making it through another year, and seeing the faces of retail partners, and distributors, and employees, and old friends. It’s been two years since we had one, and not only is 10 a big year, but it’s also a testament to all that.”

“I will say on my end, after 10 years, I’m so excited to show people what we have on our beer list,” Kiley said. “I don’t know if there’s a style we’re not representing. For the people who have known us, and trusted us, and been a part of our growth, and then also the people that just might be coming for the first time, that’s going to be so stimulating, engaging and fun. All the lessons and things we’ve learned after 10 years are going to be on display.”

EVENT PREVIEW

Monday Night Brewing Tie One On 10th anniversary party. Aug. 7-8. Tickets $15-$75. Five bars, 40-plus beers, late-night party, live music, local food vendors, and more. The Garage, 933 Lee St. SW, Atlanta. freshtix.com/events/tieoneon10.

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