Monday Night Garage, the West End location of Monday Night Brewing, recently launched a menu of seven Neapolitan pizzas made in house using beer yeast. Available Wednesday through Sunday each week, these wood-fired pies are the result of a pandemic project by Monday Night co-owner Joel Iverson.
“For 15 to 20 years, I’ve been into making my own pizzas at home,” he says. “When Covid hit, and I thought our business was going to go completely under, I’d come home and cook to keep my sanity. Wood-fired pizzas became the thing I got really into.”
Twice a week, Iverson experimented with different yeast fermentations, flours, and dough. He’d share his creations with Monday Night employees. The crowd favorite came from a yeast culture containing wild strains captured in Monday Night’s coolship, a large, open-top vessel dubbed “the Crunkship.”
“There’s so much parallel to beer making,” Iverson says. “The Garage is where we do sour and wild fermentation and experimental stuff. We have a dedicated room for brewing with yeast from natural flora and fauna.”
This yeast, combined with a sourdough starter, provides the basis for a crust that’s lighter and more digestible. Baked at 900 degrees Fahrenheit in a Naples-built oven, the pies feature house-made tomato sauce and fresh Colombian buffalo mozzarella.
Once Iverson decided to offer pizza at Monday Night Garage, he hired Adi Komic, formerly of Best End Brewing, as culinary director. Komic helped Iverson create seven unique varieties for the menu, including margherita, hot honey, bianca funghi, and Calabrian. The hot honey is sourced from local beekeeper Brendan Horgan, while salad greens come from Aluma Farm in southwest Atlanta. Crust dipping sauces—garlic, pesto, hot chili oil, and verde—are available for an extra charge. (There’s also an off-menu pie that features fresh buffalo burrata, paired with prosciutto and hot honey. The team only gets a limited amount of the burrata, so just ask and you might be lucky enough to try this pie.)
“A lot of the time, you show up to a brewery and it’s chicken wings and fried food,” Komic says. “We believe in doing a few things really well and connecting them with the story of the brewery.”
“There are four ingredients in beer—water, yeast, wheat, and hops—and four ingredients in dough—water, yeast, flour, and salt,” Iverson says. “Pizza is a communal food. It fits well with this communal place we built.”
He says he eventually wants to bring the Neapolitan pizza menu to Monday Night locations in Charlotte and Nashville, and possibly the Westside. He and Komic are currently working on a series of chef collaborations for the future.