Above: Monday Night Brewing is the only microbrewery in Atlanta under AKC supervision.
As of May 31, the brewery’s six core beers — Blind Pirate, Drafty Kilt, Eye Patch Ale, Fu Manbrew, Nerd Alert and Slap Fight — are kosher in a bottle, in a can or on draft.
Regular, unflavored beers do not require a kosher certification, but beers that have flavor added do. Monday Night’s Drafty Kilt ale, for example, counts cherrywood-smoked malt and chocolate malt among its ingredients.
“A lot of the beers that come from these smaller microbreweries require certification,” said the AKC’s director of development, Rabbi Noach Muroff. “A lot more of the breweries are now starting to become certified.”
The past few months, Rabbi Muroff has reached out to a number of microbrewers in the hope of certifying them as kosher. So far, Monday Night is the only one that has gone through the process.
To certify the company’s six core beers, Rabbi Muroff and a few other members of the AKC researched all the ingredients, then went to the brewery in West Midtown to observe the brewing process from start to finish.
Monday Night’s various seasonal and limited-run beers are not certified by the AKC.
“The decision to go kosher was really about respecting the brewing process and the ingredients, which is something we take very seriously,” Monday Night co-founder and head of marketing Jonathan Baker said. “I know there’s a large group of the population that looks to the kosher label for that assurance as well.”
After an initial conversation with Rabbi Muroff about being certified, Baker conferred with the other two founders of the company, CEO Jeff Heck and head of operations Joel Iverson, before going ahead with the certification process.
No changes to the beer recipes or brewing process were necessary. Baker said new labels with kosher markings are in the works.
“We usually have about 30 to 60 days’ worth of labels on hand,” he said. “You should start to see some new labels in about six to eight weeks.”
Monday Night Brewing grew out of a small Atlanta Bible study group. The group, which included Baker, Iverson and Heck, brewed beer together on Monday nights for five years before bringing the brews to market in 2011.
The microbrewery offers tours and beer tastings on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Rabbi Muroff is still reaching out to other microbreweries about kosher certification.
“Every other product, you go to the store, and you have a kosher symbol right on the product,” Rabbi Muroff said. “For some reason, it’s become accepted with beer that people just know it’s kosher without the symbol. It becomes a bit of a problem when you get into some of these microbreweries that use special ingredients, and it creates a bit of confusion.”