Last night was opening night for Monarch Brewery in nearby Monticello, after a massively successful Kickstarter campaign.
At first glance, this isn’t so unique, I suppose – breweries are popping up at an astounding rate, and it seems like everybody’s got one. What is so special about Monarch, however, is that it just opened up in what used to be a historic Methodist church in Downtown Monticello (212 S. Independence St.), creating one of the most unique environments to enjoy brews in all of Central Illinois.
I kid you not, one can sit in a literal pew while drinking beer. It’s awesome. And while the balcony wasn’t quite open yet, there certainly is a ton of potential in this place for large gatherings. I’m told that the stage will be used for live music and dinner theater, which could be super neat.
In a time where the Champaign-Urbana area is seemingly losing more and more places to view music, this is the aspect that probably excites me the most, personally.
With last night being the first night of Monarch’s existence (at least to the public), things went well. The beer is tasty and varied, and the food menu is extensive. It’s definitely worth the trip to Monticello if you can brave the 20-minute drive.