Monday Night Brewing's story starts out in an unlikely place: a weekly Bible study group in Atlanta attended by brewery founders Jonathan Baker, Joel Iverson, and Jeff Heck. It wasn’t long before they realized they all loved beer, and decided to start brewing together on Monday nights. What started as a community thing quickly became more serious as their beers grew a following around the Atlanta area, and before long, a real plan was hatched. They started slow, but momentum built quickly and hasn't stopped; now Monday Night is one of the coolest breweries in the city, with distribution of their beers all around the South.
I've been a fan of Monday Night for years, and as a point of disclosure, when I was part of the team at Batdorf & Bronson in Atlanta I worked with Monday Night Brewing on a coffee IPA named Bed Head, which is still in production. They’ve continued their relationship and partnership with B&B long after my departure—Batdorf’s roastery is just a few miles away from Monday Night’s brewery—and this beer we're drinking today is the latest coffee beer to come out of the ongoing collaboration.
Monday Night calls Tears of My Enemies a “Scotch Barrel-Aged Milk Stout,” and it drinks like one. This beer pours thick and hearty, with a nice aroma of the Scotch barrels. To add to the depth here, they’ve added Batdorf & Bronson’s Costa Rica Tarrazu from Hacienda La Minita. Ren Doughty, the Outreach Coordinator at Batdorf & Bronson, chatted with me more about the process. “Adam Bishop, Monday Night's Brewmaster, came over to the roastery and we cupped four different coffees. The smooth Costa Rica Tarrazu most fully embodied the coffee essence he envisioned in the beer.”
Upon your first taste, you get the creaminess of the milk stout, that Scotch barrel roundness, and then the coffee bops you on the nose in the aftertaste. While I’ve had most all of Monday Night’s beers, this one may be their very best. The well-balanced taste of the beer lasts from the first sip to the next, and the sweet coffee flavor that’s on the backend contributes to a deep, evolving set of flavors.
I had the chance to try this beer on nitro at a local beer garden (Barleygarden in Alpharetta, highly recommended) and on nitro it’s only better, with a wonderful creamy texture like a coffee, chocolate, and Scotch milkshake. My hope is that this will become a yearly beer for them, and I’m guessing based on how it was received in the market around here that would be a guarantee. Southern beer geeks are really enjoying this one, and you can add my name to that list.
*top image via Monday Night Brewing