We love Brian Strumke's effervescent and herbal Stillwater Stateside Saison. Having recently heard the news about upcoming canned beers as well as the latest in his music-inspired beer series (a black saison inspired by Small Black's "Breathless"), we checked in with Brian about how he got into beer, his brewing idols, and what's coming up next for Stillwater Artisanal Ales.
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"First, you must slurp it," Piet said. Piet van Leijenhorst, the master distiller for Holland's Lucas Bols, was giving us pointers on how to properly enjoy a Kopstootje (kop-stow-che), the Dutch pairing of a beer and a shot of Genever. According to tradition, to approach the tulip glass filled to the brim with Genever, you must first bend over and slurp—to use your hands or to spill would be bad form.
I've been a fan of Brian Strumke's beers since the first time I tried Cellar Door, his white sage-laced Saison. Never beholden to the DuPont gold standard that many stylists cling to as the only true expression of a Saison, his beers are playful, creative, and often remarkable. So when I saw he was releasing a small portion of his flagship Stateside Saison that had been aged in Chardonnay barrels along with multiple strains of Brettanomyces, even the price tag (about $13 for 11.2 oz was the cheapest I was able to find it) wasn't enough to calm my curiosity.