Today I arrived in Atlanta, GA, where I’ve met up with my good friend Joe. The plan is to try a bunch of local brews from the growing Atlanta craft beer scene, and then go to the Mizzou-Georgia football game in Athens on Saturday. After stopping at The Beer Growler and picking up some Founders Breakfast Stout for Saturday morning (the bus leaves Atlanta at 7 A.M. to go to the game), we headed to Taco Mac. It’s a sports bar with over 140 beers on tap, and a cool loyalty club for trying a lot of beers. For my first selection, I decided to go with something malty from Monday Night Brewing whose startup journey I’ve been following for several years as a homebrewer.
Location: On tap and served in a curved pint glass at Taco Mac – Prado, in Atlanta, GA.
Numbers: 7.2% ABV, 26 IBUs, ~ 240 Calories
Ingredients: Hops: Columbus and Willamette hops; Grains: includes cherrywood-smoked malt, chocolate malt, and roasted barley
Appearance & Aroma: The color was brown with some ruby highlights. The head was tan and very creamy (almost nitro-like) and stuck around for a few minutes, leaving some decent lacing on the glass. There was a good amount of caramel maltiness in the nose.
Taste & Feel: Body: The body was medium and the mouthfeel was fairly creamy, thanks to the head on it. Up front it had a dark bready flavor with a bit of caramel sweetness. The caramel flavors grew in the middle and built throughout the finish. There was also some earthy hop bitterness, which came through in the finish, but it was the caramel and some of the bitterness that lasts for a minute or so in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: I had this beer with some of Taco Mac’s signature buffalo wings, and the caramel flavors helped knock down the spiciness of the wings quite a bit. However, I think this beer would go perfectly with some BBQ, including ribs, pulled pork, or brisket. The sweet caramel flavor would complement a sweet BBQ sauce and would pair well together.
Overall Impression: This beer was extremely smooth and drinkable for being 7.2% ABV. I enjoyed the caramel maltiness of this style beer and the bit of earthy bitterness that balanced the sweetness in the finish. Overall, I think this would be a great beer for a cool, fall midwest evening, and I look forward to trying more of their beers.