Monday, October 4, 2010


Once a new beer gets rolling on the hype train, it’s either get on board quickly, or run the risk of missing out. This sport, while perhaps not the sport of kings, is among my favorite pastimes: chasing the big ones from market to market, from trade partner to trade partner, from sea to shining sea. O what a life I lead! So it was with the beers of STILLWATER ARTISINAL ALES. This Maryland-based duo made up of a homebrewer and a beer fiend are itinerant brewers in the nascent MIKKELLER tradition - so don’t go looking for their brewpub or even their kettles next time you’re in Baltimore. Beer making continues to evolve and take on new roots and branches, and this tentacle in particular got a huge reaction out of the gate. I ran down to my local beer store and picked up bottles of STATESIDE SAISON and CELLAR DOOR, both farmhouse ales in the “Belgian tradition”.

STATESIDE SAISON is the one I unloaded into my glass first. It’s a 6.8% ABV, brewed with US- and New Zealand-grown hops, with a ridiculous amount of foam. I was taken aback right off the bat with the amazing taste - fruity and juicy, with just a slight whiff of funk. It was refreshing, and it tasted just fantastic cold. Lemon and pepper could be noted in the aftertaste. As it got warm, I daresay I was a little less interested, and made a vow to drink this a little more quickly next time. A great debut from this new brewer, and if I ever run into these guys I’ll clap ‘em on the backs and assure them they deserve the hype they’re getting. 8/10.