“Yeast sample for lab analysis”. That’s what was written on the label that was taped to the box that contained the beer that you see in the photo above these words. In addition to this beer, there were two other beers in the box from Monday Night Brewing: their Fu Manbrew Belgian Style Wit and their Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale.
To be completely honest, prior to their email asking if we’d like to sample their beers, I had never heard of Monday Night Brewing. As is usually the case when I get an email from someone that I don’t know, I did a bit of interwebz research to see if the sender is legit. Thankfully, a simple “Monday Night Brewing” Google search led me to their website which then led me to their Twitter feed, Instagram account, and Facebook page. And if all that weren’t enough, I also found their brewery profile pages on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.
Here is what Monday Night Brewing is all about (courtesy of the “About” section on their website):
Monday Night Brewing is an Atlanta-based craft brewery. We brew beers for the weeknights – balanced, flavorful ales that pair well with food.
Believe it or not, the idea for Monday Night Brewing grew out of a small Atlanta Bible study. We started brewing beer together on Monday nights as a way to get to know each other better. As we got more engrained in the industry and more people started showing up to brew with us, beer quickly became more than just a weeknight hobby.
We spent almost 5 years perfecting our Eye Patch Ale and Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale before bringing them to market. Years of minor tweaks, arguments over hop profiles, and experiments with different brands of base malts are poured into every glass that we brew. In the summer of 2012 we launched our 3rd offering, Fu Manbrew, which won Bronze in the US Beer Open in its first month.
And here is what they have to say about their Eye Patch Ale:
A crisp, drinkable IPA. The earthy deliciousness of Cascade and Magnum hops, combined with upfront malt flavor, and balanced with a pirate’s sensibilities. Our Eye Patch Ale is a uniquely drinkable take on the American IPA – sweet caramel, citrusy flowers and swashbuckling adventure abound with every pint.
Let’s get on with the review…
- Appearance: Pale orange color. Somewhat cloudy. One inch of off white foam that dissipates rapidly.
- Aroma: A rather subdued nose with hints of honey and orange marmalade.
- Taste: Medium carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Starts off with a mellow honey sweetness. Citrusy hops kick in at mid-palate along with some mild bitterness. The sweet and bitter elements come together as you approach the finish, ending on a bittersweet and somewhat astringent note.
- ABV: 6.2%
I’ve been conditioned to expect huge hoppy flavors whenever I see IPA printed on a bottle of beer, so when I took my first sip of this Eye Patch Ale, I was a little disappointed that my palate wasn’t under attack in a nice, West Coast IPA kinda way. But then a funny thing happened. I played around with the pics (aka, I douched it up a bit), let this beer warm up, took another sip, and then started to really enjoy what was going on in my glass. Monday Night Brewing set out to create a mellow and uber-drinkable IPA, and that’s exactly what they achieved. Their Patch Eye Ale is a well balanced, almost session worthy IPA (I say almost because this beer is easy drinking given it’s middleweight ABV) that is definitely worth trying if you’re on the lookout for a less intense IPA drinking experience.