Stillwater is the brainchild of Baltimore native Brian Strumke, whose past life as an internationally renowned electronica DJ and producer led him down a path to crafting some of the world’s most unique and highest rated beers slapped with haute couture can and bottle labels. A homebrewer turned pro in 2010, nomadic brewer Strumke slapped his Stillwater sticker on many a brewery’s cooler around the world before the pandemic nudged him to place roots at the Talking Cedar Brewery in Thurston County, Washington. Today, Peaks & Pints presents an in-house flight of Stillwater beers — a flight we’re calling Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Stillwater Artisanal.
Stillwater Extra Dry
4.2% ABV, can
Brewed with Japanese rice and designed to mimic the subtle and drinkable flavors of sake, this low alcohol saison is the softer side of Stillwater. Made with Citra, Hallertau Blanc and Sterling hops, this dry saison hits the nose and tongue with grain, cereal, plum, honey, sake, and floral earthy hops. Expect a mild bitterness that lingers in the finish.
6.4% ABV, draft
In 2018, art took Strumke to Seattle, where he met Matt Storm, owner of The Masonry, the man known for his intensely curated beer list and wood-fired pizza. In 2020, the pandemic paused Strumke’s nomadic lifestyle and, allowing him to dive into Storm’s concept for a new brewery, Fast Fashion. The duo began brewing a series of small batch beers paired with a smart, fashionable Instagram account. Fast Fashion’s proprietary hop Anchovy, an experimental varietal developed and grown by the legendary Segal Ranch, has a unique watermelon Jolly Rancher character that swims through Goldfish, a Bruxellensis pale that strives to be a modern mixture of Duval and Orval. Expect a pale ale meets funky saison meets Belgian dubbel with slight sweetness and subtle hop bite.
Stillwater’s India pale saison ale Extra Loud brewed with Japanese rice is a collaboration with Dubfire, an Iranian American house and techno DJ and producer. It has effervescent carbonation, right for the style, that is quite prickly. The nose hits with pineapple, mango, and light pine with sweet honey malts and yeasty white breaded notes. Flavors exceed the nose with light cracker, honey, mango, pineapple, pine, and yeasty notes amongst herbal hits. It’s a lovely, hoppy saison.
As previously mentioned, Strumke is now brewing his Stillwater beers from a permanent location — Talking Cedar Brewery & Distillery on tribal land in Ground Mound, Washington. One of the first beers out of Talking Cedar is his longtime double IPA, Wavvy, but with a twist. Wavvy Triangle is a double international pale ale hopped with Motueka, Waimea, and Nelson Sauvin, and blended with Controlled Chaos v2 yeast blend. It’s delicious.
Stillwater’s Kiss Kiss is a double chocolate milk stout that tastes like a melted candy bar — because sometimes the people need a double chocolate milk stout that tastes like a melted candy bar.