We came home with a W! Monday Night recently participated in the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest, in Lexington, Kentucky. We went up against 65 breweries and 325 different beers. In total, we sent 10 beers, and 9 medaled. Slap Fight, Eye Patch, Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt, and Blind Pirate Blood Orange IPA all received a Bronze medal. Georgian Imperial, Lassiez-Faire, and Fu Manbrew received Silver. Meanwhile, Garage Series #3, and Tears of My Enemies received Gold. And… wait for it… the 2017 Best In Show overall winner was Tears of My Enemies (we can still hear them crying).
Tears of My Enemies is an 18-year scotch barrel-aged imperial milk stout aged on Batdorf & Bronson Coffee and vanilla beans. This delicious brew has been turning heads since its origination. We talked to Head Brewer and Barrel Program Director Peter Kiley about this beer.
Leo: What was the idea behind Tears of My Enemies?
Peter: Well, the first batch of Tears of My Enemies was actually made by my brother, father, and I to commemorate our family cat “Nutkin” who had recently passed. This was actually the second beer I’d ever home-brewed (who would’ve thought). I like to make beers that I would like to drink, assuming that what I like to drink is something that other people would love to taste. I didn’t want to play in to the high alcohol genre, but I did want to create a beer that went against the current style, which for Tears, was big, chewy, and decadent. I also wanted to create a beer that had more components playing together than one stealing the show. I’m a firm believer that the sum of individual parts will always create a better whole. Does it taste and smell the same? Can it be paired with food? Can I be proud of this?
Leo: What about the name Tears of My Enemies, is there a story behind that?
Peter: Tears was an idea that I believed in, and as the name states I didn’t have a lot of people onboard with the idea. So I’m glad that we could carry it across the finish line and get everyone’s help. It turned out very well.
Leo: Why Batdorf and Bronson coffee?
Peter: Their loyalty to us plays into our core beliefs. Our long-time friend Ren has been our Ride or Die coffee guy since our beginning. Because of their loyalty to us we will always remain loyal to them for personal consumption, for our business consumption, and for our beers here at Monday Night.
Leo: How would you, the creator of this beer, introduce Tears of My Enemies to someone who is entering the craft beer world for the first time?
Peter: Well to start, I believe a lot people have preconceived opinions that state “I don’t like dark beers”. I like to think that Drafty Kilt is a prime example of what you might think a dark beer should taste like, but it doesn’t. For this beer, I didn’t want to get a thick “desserty” side, but I definitely wanted that to be a “backbone” of the beer. If I was to describe this beer to someone who didn’t really drink craft beer, and try to make it appealing enough for them to try, I would state: the alcohol is high but it’s got flavors designed to emulate some of your favorite foods. So, when you try the beer, you smell and taste flavors of campfire-roasted marshmallows, maybe even S’mores. Hints of chocolate, milk chocolate-chip cookies, and extremely smooth flavors that remind you of dessert. When you have your palate and your nose align, you’re going to have, as we say at the brewery, a “club banger”. The lingering notes of scotch on the back end complete the overall experience.
During the interview, Peter mentioned “beer alone without a story, especially craft beer, is a really big injustice”. The barrel program at Monday Night has had great success over its young life, and continues to grow with sights on our new facility dedicated to barrel-aged and sour beers. All-in-all, we are happy to announce we’ve brought the Commonwealth Cup home to the ATL!