by Chris Chamberlain

As a founding member of Metallica and the frontman for the heavy metal band Megadeth, Dave Mustaine has definitely done his share of hard partying. But now, sitting on the back porch of his quiet Williamson County horse farm, it’s apparent that he has mellowed a bit over the years. “I didn’t drink for the taste when I was younger; I drank for the effect. Now I’ve got a new outlook. It’s more about the fact that beer is refreshing and enjoyable.” Mustaine shares this new vision of beer through his own special beer, À Tout Le Monde, a Belgian-style Saison made in collaboration with world-class Canadian craft brewery, Unibroue.

Mustaine has come to Tennessee many times through the years to record and write with local musicians, but now he officially calls Franklin home. He moved his family here when his daughter decided to pursue a country music career. Even though she has changed her mind and moved LA to sing pop music, the rest of the Mustaine clan has taken to the country life. “I’m glad she made up her mind and is following her heart. The rest of the family fly back and forth from California, but I prefer to stay here when I’m not on tour. I like the pace of life here; it’s good for my blood pressure. I especially love the weekends when people stay stay home. It’s obvious that family matters around here, because there’s no one out on the road.”

The manor life fits Mustaine quite nicely. “I don’t drink much anymore. When I do, it’s usually beer or sweet tea.” He hosts a weekly internet radio show on Gimme Radio where he interacts with his fans via chat rooms while he spins music. “I always have two beers during the show. I can tell when I don’t because I don’t have the same energy. And if I had more than two beers, I couldn’t keep up with the typing when I chat with the listeners.”

À Tout Le Monde isn’t Mustaine’s first foray into the world of alcohol. A few years back, he played a show with the San Diego Symphony. “I wondered how to get to the classical music fans, how to loosen them up a little bit. We needed some social lubricant in a bottle, so I had a special cabernet sauvignon made for the show, and we sold out in 48 hours.” He followed that up with a release of syrah, and has expanded his line of wines to several award-winning varieties sourced from around the globe and from his own Southern California vineyard.

“But during the day, I don’t want wine,” he explains. “I want a beer!” During a concert stop in Quebec, his management arranged a visit with some of the brewers from Unibroue. He had considered using another small brewery to produce his first beer, but decided he needed access to distribution with a global reach. “These guys in Quebec knew my family had a French origin and that we had immigrated from Ontario to Ohio. I asked them to stick around after the show, and we started to taste through some of their beers.”

The tasting proved a bit frustrating for Mustaine at first. “I’d try one and say that I liked it and they’d say, ‘You can’t have that one.’ Then I’d try another, and they would say the same thing. When I tried what would become À Tout Le Monde, it was a no-brainer. I didn’t even know what a Saison was, but I picked it strictly on the palate.”

Even though it was Mustaine that chose the beer, he wasn’t just thinking of himself. “I wanted something that out fans would like. I still believe in being responsible about drinking, so I wanted something with less alcohol Saison has an ABV wheelhouse where it tastes best, so it worked out great that it has a little less alcohol. (4.5%) To me, it’s refreshing, not overbearing. It’s what the monks brewed during the winter so they’d have something to drink in the summer.”

Mustaine isn’t big on flowery descriptions of his beer. “All those tasting notes, they’re like leading the witness. Somebody said it has notes of mango, and that really worried me because I’m allergic to mangoes! I don’t obsess over descriptors. I just like that I can drink a couple of beers and not get hammered!”

Then there was the matter of the beer’s name. “À Tout Le Monde” is the title of a popular song of the Megadeth album Youthanasia, and literally means “to all the world.” Mustaine wrote it after a dream where his late mother came to him to say some things she’d been meaning to tell him. “If my mom could say one more thing, I hope it would be ‘I loved you all.’ It’s the perfect message for our fans.”

The beer has been extremely well-received, selling millions of bottles since its first release in 2016. À Tout Le Monde has earned two gold medals in the World Beer Championships, awards which Mustaine proudly displays in his office next to his Grammy for the latest Megadeth album. “I love seeing my partners succeed. It seems we were meant to be friends because we just get together and drink beer. I’ve visited the brewery during brewing, and I had a remote conference with the to thank the employees for the success. I’m not lacking in gratitude.”

Mustaine and Unibroue already have plans for a second collaboration sometime in the next year, and the recipe has already been chosen. Now about the name… “We thought we had a good name picked out for the next beer. One of the prerequisites is that it has to be in French, and that it has to translate to the same name in English. It turns out all the good beer names are already gone. I have other songs with lyrics in French, and even those were taken! It needs to be as strong as À Tout Le Monde, but I won’t title a new song just to have a good beer name.”

Other future products on the horizon include plans for a craft beer and heavy metal music festival, and Mustaine’s first crack at the world of alcoholic spirits. “I like YeeHaw beer and I met the folks at Ole Smokey through them, so we’re planning to do some sort of project together. I don’t drink a lot of whiskey or know much about the spirits industry, but I wouldn’t mind trying a bottle of that Paddy Winklestein or whatever it is.”

Mustaine is always writing and recording music and is planning to head out on tour with Megadeth again soon, but in the meantime he’s enjoying the restaurant scene around Franklin. “Red Pony has a great steak, and I really like Cork & Cow, but it’s hard to get in there. Puckett’s is one of my favorites, and their double cheeseburger is one of the best in the world. I just wish they sold my damned beer!”

In good time, Mr. Mustaine. With the success of À Tout Le Monde and the anticipation of the next release, maybe they will soon.