THE BREWERY: Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Baltimore, MD
Stillwater is what is known as a gypsy brewery. Without a facility of his own, brewer Brian Strumke pays other facilities to use their equipment to make his beer. While the “headquarters” are in Baltimore, Strumke has crafted brews in South Carolina, Belgium, Scotland, Sweden, Denmaark, France, Spain, and Italy.
Strumke is a self-taught home-brewer who went pro. After six years of brewing 10 gallons at a time, he scaled up to 30-barrel batches. But there’s more than one path to the big leagues.
Contract brewing – renting another company’s tanks to brew beer – has its risks: Because you can’t be at the host brewery 24-7, you must trust a stranger to nursemaid your beer through fermentation and conditioning. On the other hand, Strumke reflects, “I don’t have to pay off a $2 million building loan, so I can take risks, like making a beer with flowers.”
Existent represents the philosophy behind Stillwater Artisanal. We strive to define ourselves through our passion and sincerity while accepting that not all aspects of life are readily explainable. To manifest this ideology we present an ale of intrigue. Deep & dark though deceptively dry, braced by a firm yet smooth bitterness and accented with an earthy hop and mild roast aroma. This is an ale for you to define..
TASTING NOTES: via 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar
Existent is a dark farmhouse ale with rich maltiness and a light acidity. But its the yeast character in this beer that makes it special. That, after all, is what farmhouse beer is all about: the wonderful, wonderful flavours contributed by the unique yeast strains used to make beers of this style.
MY REVIEW: 3/5 on Untappd
It’s a good stiff beer with a cola edge. I like the story of this guy, but I didn’t find much special about this selection.