zm.mpmn-digital.com
New recipes

Beer Review: Stillwater Artisanal Ales Sensory Series Vol. 1: Lower Dens

Beer Review: Stillwater Artisanal Ales Sensory Series Vol. 1: Lower Dens



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


Brian Strumke, the mastermind behind Stillwater Artisanal Ales, has no shortage of innovative craft beer ideas. Since beginning his "brewery" (Strumke is a self-described "gypsy brewer"), he has collaborated with numerous other beer makers, both in the U.S. and around the world. To usher in 2013, Strumke has come up with a new concept: the Stillwater Sensory Series, which aligns brewing with visual and audio arts.

The first installment in the series is called Lower Dens, named for the Baltimore band with whom Strumke collaborated to create a multi-media product involving beer, music, and video. Inspired by the Lower Dens song "In the End Is the Beginning," Strumke set out to create a beer he felt matched the sound of the music — which he describes simply as "white light."

Lower Dens is brewed with hibiscus and appears very similar to a saison, but — as with many Stillwater offerings — is relatively open to interpretation. Poured from an attractive 375-milliliter (12.7-ounce) bottle into a tulip glass, the beer resembles Strumke’s description almost perfectly. A robust clean white head sits atop a rose-hued liquid that quite closely resembles a burst of light.

The aroma of Lower Dens is impressively floral, bursting with notes of rose hips. At first sip, the brew follows suit in terms of taste, with touches of hibiscus and rose playing nicely against subtle hints of dark fruits and a light wisp of smoke. Despite being uniquely flavored and complex, this beer does not become overbearing, and is in fact quite refreshing. At a relatively light 6 percent ABV, Lower Dens makes for very easy drinking.

There’s more to the beer than just the imbibing, however. As part of the multi-media project, the bottle is labeled with a QR code that, when scanned, will take the drinker to an exclusive performance of the namesake song. Stillwater’s Sensory Series is a unique and exciting venture from a brewery that is already one of the most forward-thinking in craft beer, and this first volume is definitely worth trying. Find it at Of Love and Regret, the Stillwater-affiliated pub in Baltimore, or across the country wherever Twelve Percent Imports’ beers are sold.

— Mike Lorenz, The Drink Nation

More From The Drink Nation:

Beer Review: Terrapin Wake 'N Bake
2013 Super Bowl Beer Ad Scorecard
During the Game, Swap Light Beer for Session-Friendly Crafts


Stephen Mejias

Says Brian Strumke, Stillwater owner and brew master:

“With Stillwater, we set out to create an environment of intrigue—from the visual aesthetics of the packaging to the lack of definitive style of the beer, subtle complexity is also our hallmark. We are asking the consumer for consideration, to interact with the product. It instantly rang clear to me that [Lower Dens] were seasoned mature artists. There were hints of beloved nostalgia but nothing obvious or trendy driving repetition with intricate overlays allows the listener to take the back seat for a ride while also tempting you to look deeper within. These were all traits that I related to, from my days as an electronic music artist and now as a beer designer.”

The beer is said to be “light in body and color, intermingled with aspects of dark fruits and a floral earthy spiciness, gently accented with a hint of smoke.” (Mmm…)

Before this news, all I knew about Lower Dens was that my friend Natalie likes them. So: 1., hot girls like Lower Dens 2., Lower Dens have their own special beer.

Lower Dens are obviously awesome.

The band (and the beer) will hit the road this fall, so catch them if you can. Nootropics is available now from Ribbon Music.


Baltimore brewer-band collaboration runs through Chicago

If you like craft beer and moody rock music — if you like one, odds are good you like the other — something interesting is happening this week. And it's all because of me. Well, sort of.

The story begins in July 2011, when a band called Lower Dens played Schuba's. I was there, and after Lower Dens' set, wound up in a conversation with a couple members of the Baltimore-based band. The next day I had planned to interview a guy named Brian Strumke, who lived in Baltimore at the time, and brews beer under the name Stillwater Artisanal Ales, for a story about gypsy brewers.

I asked the Lower Dens people if they were familiar with Stillwater. They were, and they were big fans. The next morning, after an hour on the phone with Strumke, I mentioned that Lower Dens liked his beer. In a happy and fateful intersection of creativity and locality, Strumke turned out to be a fan of the band, too.

That's where I leave the story.

In the following months, Strumke tracked down Lower Dens' singer and songwriter, Jana Hunter, on Facebook and pitched an idea: What if he made a beer based on one of her songs? Beer inspired by music was an idea Strumke had been mulling for awhile, and it was a natural for him for 10 years before becoming a brewer, he was an electronica DJ. Knowing that he and Lower Dens were in a mutual admiration society, he finally saw an avenue to do it.

(Side note: As my writer friend David informs me, this is an example of ekphrastic art— one form of art created in response to another form of art. Ekphrastic art is often poems based on paintings, but it can also be songs based on paintings, poems inspired by monuments or — why not? — beer based on music).

Hunter quickly agreed to Strumke's plan, and offered up the last song on Lower Dens' second and most recent record, Nootropics. The song is a spacey 12-minute dirge called "In the End is the Beginning."

"It's a song that at once has a lot of weight to it, but not a lot of elements," Hunter said last week from Glasgow, Scotland before playing a concert. "It benefits from creating an ambience with space. Rather than being something that is easy to interpret, it's the song on the record that requires the most of the listener, especially in terms of patience and tolerance for heaviness. I thought that would be the most interesting thing for a guy who wanted to make a beer out of a song."

Strumke was up to it, and the result will be shipped across the country this week it should be on Chicago's shelves and taps in the coming weeks. Both the bottle and bar coasters will include a QR code that can be scanned for an exclusive performance of the song. Strumke said he plans to continue collaborating with other independent rock bands, including a few notable names he has already approached.

As for this beer itself, which is simply called "Stillwater Sensory Series Vol. 1 Lower Dens," Strumke described it as "a light, crisp saison with flavors and aroma meant to be dark and a slight purple hue."

And, of course, that is a direct reaction to the song.

"I broke the song down to a spectrum of colors and just tried to visualize how it made me feel," Strumke said. "Jana thought I was going to do a dark beer because it's a dark and droning song, but when I envision the song I envision myself in a large white void, but not bright — it's more hazy or smoky or foggy."

Just like his ekphrastic beer.

Though maybe a bit skeptical at first, Hunter said she was impressed with the results.

"Initially it seemed like a crazy idea, but he proved himself the right guy to do it," she said. "If there was any hesitation initially, it was gone when he gave us the idea for the flavor profile. I liked the idea that he didn't take the most obvious route."

Sometimes things just work out at a chance meeting between a music-loving beer writer, a rock band and a brewer.


Stillwater Artisanal Ales

A collaboration with our boys at Siren Craft Brew in England. We added volcanic salt and hibiscus to a traditional German beer then tied it all together with Brett fermentation. Black as a moonless night but without any roasty notes.

Stillwater / The Brewers Art Debutante

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater / Tired Hands Smoking Buddies

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater / Westbrook Gose Gone Wild

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

"It’s no secret that we like to party, and sometimes it gets wild. So we took Westbrook’s refreshing Gose and cranked up the volume a bit, adding a massive dose of Citra & Amarillo hops, then fermented it various strains of Brettanomyces. Go Westbrook, it’s your birthday, get funky!!" -Brian (Stillwater Artisanal)

Stillwater 7000

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater A Saison Darkly

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

A Saison Darkly Brewed at Huisbrouwerij Sint Canarus in Deinze-Gottem, Belgium with Dr. Canarus. This black saison carries qualities similar to a stout with light roast and burnt sugar flavors, spiced with Rose Hips, Hibiscus, & Schisandra berries.

Stillwater Action Bronson 7000

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 5.0% ABV 1 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Arcana

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal / Morada Frutaria Gose

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Channel Crossing

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Jaded

Belgian Dark Strong Ale 10.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Struise/stillwater Out Black Black IPA

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Business

Russian Imperial Stout 13.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal New Sensation

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Of Love and Regret

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Pixacao Tropical IPA

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Plant Based - Hibiscus & Agave

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Artisanal Stockphoto

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater As Follows

Belgian Golden Strong Ale 9.0% ABV 25 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Big, bold, hoppy & gold.. built sturdy enough to withstand the Apocalypse, but delicate enough to sip and enjoy all night.

Stillwater Asmr Frission #003

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 6.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Asmr Frission 002

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 6.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Asmr Frisson 001

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 6.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Atlantic Gose

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Atlantis Gose

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Autumnal Amber Saison

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater BOYOBOY

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 5.6% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Barrel Aged Cellar Door

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Big Bunny

Sweet Stout 8.0% ABV 30 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Brontide

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Bronze Age

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Cellar Door

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Intricate blend of herbal grass & tangerine citrus flavors and aroma. to pull this all together and to complete the 'cleansing' aspect of my

Stillwater Citrus Haze

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Classique

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Classique Imperiale / Evil Twin Collab

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Contemporary Works Vacuum

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Contemporary Yacht

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Critical Thinking

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Damiana

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Dank Dank

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Debauched

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Debutante

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Double Dry-Hopped Fast Fashion IPA

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Dry White Sour

Wild Specialty Beer 4.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Duck Sauce

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Dbutante

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Existent

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Existent

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Extra Dry

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Brewed with rice and designed to mimic the subtle and drinkable flavors of sake, this low alcohol saison is the softer side of Stillwater.

Stillwater Extra Dry Chu-Hi w/ Red Grapefruit

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Extra Extra

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Fast Fashion

American IPA 6.5% ABV 68 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Fear Of Ghosts

Wild Specialty Beer 6.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Folklore

Belgian Dark Strong Ale 8.4% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

12 oz. Belgian Strong /n Dark Ale

Stillwater Frond

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Fruit On The Bottom (Hoof Hearted Collaboration)

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 6.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater G-13

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater G13

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater G13 Harvest Saison

Wild Specialty Beer 6.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater G13 Wild IPA Aged On Cedar

Wild Specialty Beer 6.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater General Gose

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Give-Way

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Gnam Gnam

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Gose Gone Hopped

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

brewed w/ Amarillo, Citra & Simcoe hops, & salt

Stillwater Gose Gone Wild Phuket

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Gose Gone Wild Tijuana

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

This sour wheat ale is brewed with blackberries, hibiscus, lime, smoked agave and Mayan sea salt.

Stillwater Gose Gone Wild World Tour! Tijuana

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Gypsy Tears

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Holland Oats

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Hopvine Bling

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Collaboration with Hudson Valley Brewery (formerly Bacchus Brewery). Dry-Hopped Berliner Weisse with Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

Stillwater Hors D'Âge

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Hot Pink Rosé

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 4.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Hot Pink Sour

Wild Specialty Beer 4.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater I Miss The Old Kanye

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Insetto

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 5.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Dry-hopped sour ale with plum.

Stillwater Insetto For Summer

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 5.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Insetto sour ale w/ plum

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 5.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Inspired by a Fancy Chocolate Bar

Russian Imperial Stout 10.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Is Nothing Big Bunny Is Everything

Sweet Stout 8.0% ABV 32 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Imperial chocolate milk stout. Collaboration with Arizona Wilderness.

Stillwater Kung Pao

Russian Imperial Stout 11.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Imperial Stout brewed with Chili Powder, Ginger Powder, Sichuan Pepper, Sea Salt, and Peanut Extract.

Stillwater Last Daze of Disco

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Levadura

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Lower Dens

Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer 6.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Mainstream Pop Song

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Mango Dream

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 6.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Micro

American Pale Ale 4.5% ABV 25 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Midgal Bavel

Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer 6.7% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Migdal Bavel

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Brewed outside of Milan, Italy with our friend Sciggi at the Extraomnes Brewery. This is a crisp blond farmhouse ale brewed with Myrrh & Szechuan Peppercorns. The name represents the challenges of collaborating with language barriers.

Stillwater Money Tree$

Wild Specialty Beer 4.6% ABV 40 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Moneytree$

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Mono

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

A Galaxy dry-hopped pilsner.

Stillwater Nebuchadnezzer Remix

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Night Vision Sensory Series V3 Tennis

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Nordic Lean

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Nu-Tropic

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Nu-Tropic IPA With Mango And Passion Fruit

American IPA 6.0% ABV 40 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater O Trabalho

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 5.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Sour Ale aged in Brazilian oak

Stillwater Of Love & Regret

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

The base is German barley & wheat, with a touch of Belgian aromatic accented with grassy hops and an array of spring botanicals (heather, chamomile, lavender, & dandelion). Like a fresh meadow in spring.

Stillwater On Fleek

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Big, overhyped imperial stouts, amirite? This one on fleek tho. The most amazing collaboration ever with Casita Cerveceria.

Stillwater Oude Bae

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Password

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Pineapple Fields

American IPA 6.7% ABV 40 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Plant Based

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Please, Take A Number

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Premium

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Premium Postmodern Beer

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Premium Remix

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Premium Remix Omnipollo

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Project Premium

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Readymade: Projector

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

This Imperial Rice IPA projects an array of multidimensional hop flavor and aroma. Simcoe offers piney fruit while Centennial delivers a squeeze of lemon atop bright the tangerine citrus of Galaxy, laid upon a field of grassy Sterling.. and then some hippie comes by with a dank bag of Columbus.. This heady combination is backed by an extremely lean malt body thanks to the addition of flaked rice.

Stillwater Readymade: Vacuum

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

A complex blend various smoked, caramel and subdued roasted malts lay the base for a combination of piney, dank and (dark) fruity hops.. While there is a lot to contemplate with this beast, just be sure to enjoy it without getting too sucked into its enigmatic composition.

Stillwater Recess

Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer 5.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Red Wine Barrel Aged

Wild Specialty Beer 8.5% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Remix

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Rio De Sauvin

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

The boys at Against the Grain made a beer based on a fictional "sexy man" and uhh, his sheep friend… So sticking with the theme and the fact that we have been pending some time in Brazil lately, we decided to amp up the sexy and host a tropical orgy of fruit flavors, hops, malt, and yeast… umm, yeah.

Stillwater Rockstar Farmer

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Rule Of Thirds

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Saison X

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Self Destruct

American IPA 7.9% ABV 30 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Selfie Shtick

American Brown Ale 5.4% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Sensory Series V.1 - Lower Dens

Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Sensory Series V.2 - Small Black

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Sensory Series V.2 Small Black

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Shoegaze

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Distorted Farmhouse Pale Ale’ combines the elements of a soft and hazy IPA with a farmhouse ale back drop. Brewed with oats, spelt and lactose + hopped with Simcoe, Citra, Centennial and Pacific Gem.

Stillwater Small Black

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Spaced

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Spaced IPA

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater St. Somwhere - Stillwater Beached Wood Saison

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Stateside Saison

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stateside Saison pays homage to old world tradition while celebrating new world innovation. Naturally brewed with the finest European malts & fresh aromatic hops from the United States & New Zealand. It’s then fermented using a classic farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned to enhance stability. The outcome is a beer of unique design and exquisite taste, showcasing some of the best attributes of modern-day craft brewing.

Stillwater Stereo

American IPA 7.0% ABV 70 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater IPA?? WTF, right? Well truth be told we love a good IPA just as much as the next guy and besides, what's more contemporary then a American IPA? The lean base of Pilsner malt with the lightest touch of caramel support this high definition blend of 6 intricately layered hops gathered from around the world. Bright citrus, stone fruit, pine, earth, dank, crisp & fucking delicious.

Stillwater Stoufft Truffle Imperial Stout

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Strobe Lights

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Suggested For You

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Super Hop

American IPA 6.0% ABV 60 IBU

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Neo-tropic IPA with Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. Despite the tropical aromas, this beer possesses no fruit - only hops!

Stillwater Superhop

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

Stillwater Surround

Oak Smoked Imperial Wheat Stout 10.0% ABV

Stillwater Artisanal Ales Baltimore, MD

This massive stout overtakes your senses with flavor & aromas of dark chocolate, molasses, roast, smoke, earth & wood.


Top Five Music Beers Made and Sponsored By Rock Stars

Beer has been associated with the rock music lifestyle for as long as anyone can remember. Love songs have been written about it, punk rockers swear by it's powers, and–along with Jack Daniels (and possibly some illegal drugs)–it is today an integral part of any musician's rider, fueling many a raucous set and groupie encounter.

Most of the music industry's beer consumption, however, remains in the cheap-and-effective category–with few giving much thought to the brand or flavor of their chosen libation. But what happens when the rock stars themselves start slapping their names on bottles of beer to sell at shows? Or better yet, when members of a band collaborate with a microbrewery to create a one-of-a-kind signature brew?

]
Some companies offer a service where bands can choose a style of premade beer they like and pay to have a custom label (usually one with a punny name relating to a new album or song title) placed on it, But increasingly, these music-fueled beers are being made by well-known craft brewers not only in homage, but in affiliation with some of their favorite artists.

We drank through both basic and unconventional beers released recently in the name of music and found five that we thought best exemplified this indelible and growing connection. More than just beers that have a band or musician reference in the title (Auburn Ale House's ZZ Hop and North Coast Brewing's Brother Thelonious might top that list), this is a list of beers released by the musicians or labels themselves. They are brand-expansion projects, experimental beer concepts and soon-to-be fan favorites. Sorry ladies, Hanson's MMMHop IPA didn't make the cut.


5. Motörhead's Bastards Lager

Motorhead's Bastards Lager is a 4.7%ABV light beer that, according to the band testimonial blasted across their Drink Shop website is “distributed straight out of hell.” While the beer is actually made in Sweden, we still like to think that a band that released an EP called Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers wouldn't skimp on their own brew's quality. Not much else is known in the States about this beverage's flavor, though, as it is part of a series of Lemmy-approved alcoholic beverages–that includes a shiraz and rose wine as well as a forthcoming line of vodka–that is only available in Europe.



4. Kid Rock's Badass American Lager

In the last few years, “Bawitdaba” singer Kid Rock (neé Robert James Ritchie) has been getting active in his hometown of Detroit, using his clout as one of the city's finest (besides Eminem, of course) to help restore economic glory to the city. Though he has donated songs to tourism offices and appeared in commercials advocating for the city, the Badass American Lager (aka “Badass Beer”) is undoubtedly his most influential (and, dare we say it, “badass”) move. Distributed only in Michigan under Kid Rock's own Made In Detroit brand, the light (like I-drank-a-lot-of-water-pee light) beer was being contract brewed at Michigan Brewing Company until last June when the brewery abruptly closed. A blog post on Badass' website promises an imminent comeback of the beer Kid Rock himself said that premium beer drinkers would hate. And until the beer returns, you can always purchase baby onsies and do-rags emblazoned with the Badass brew's logo.

3. Stillwater Artisanal Ales' Sensory Series v.1 featuring Lower Dens

Stillwater is a craft brewery run by Baltimore native Brian Strumke, a gypsy brewer who leases out and works with other brewers' equipment. Though he has made adventurous craft beers all over the world, Strumke always seems to make his way back to Maryland, where he continues to push boundaries and generate new collaborations in American craft beer. Last August, Stillwater announced its Sensory Series, which will see the brewery teaming up with equally-as-edgy music artists to craft ales based on interpretations of their songs. The first, featuring Baltimore chillwavers Lower Dens, was a spiced, hibiscus Belgian-style saison released in December. In true digital-age fashion, it is meant to be drunk while watching the music video linked via the QR code on the bottle's label.
[


2. New Belgium Brewing's Clutch

Born out of a chance encounter between Clutch singer Niel Fallon and New Belgium brewer Eric Salazar at a Colorado sandwich shop, this dark sour stout made its debut in 2011 as a one-off bottle-and-keg release under the Fat Tire brewery's experimental Lips of Faith series. As the story goes (see video above), all the members of the Maryland rock band are craft beer fans and were stoked to have Salazar offer to make them their own signature release.

The band determined what style they wanted to make, what alcohol content they wanted and eventually handed over the idea for a roasted strong ale blended with some of New Belgium's sours that became the aptly named Clutch–a beer that looks like a Guinness, smells like a Duchesse and tastes (according to one brewery employee) “like an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove.”


1. Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales' Music Series (including Bitches Brew, Hellhound Ale, Faithfull Ale and Positive Contact)
If you watched the short-lived Discovery Channel TV show Brewmasters, then you're already familiar with Vermont Delaware brewing weirdos Dogfish Head and its enigmatic owner Sam Calagione. With an infectious sense of humor and an unrivaled spirit for beer adventure, Calagione has made everything from historical ales to high-ABV monsters, so it wasn't much of a surprise when Dogfish was approached by Sony Legacy to create one-of-a-kind beers for a few of its artists. Starting with 2010's Bitches Brew–a blend of African and American beer styles made to represent the global fusion nature of the seminal Miles Davis album–Dogfish's music series of beers have set a precedent for other breweries looking to translate musical concepts into liquid beverages.

Others in the series include: Hellhound on My Ale, a double IPA brewed in honor of bluesman Robert Johnson (lemon was added to reference Johnson's mentor Blind Lemon Jefferson) Faithfull Ale, a golden ale made for Pearl Jam's 20th Anniversary of the album Ten (hopped to 20 IBUs during 10 incremental additions) and Positive Contact, a cayanne and cilantro apple-cider-y beer made in collaboration with Dan the Automator of Deltron 3030. A Grateful Dead beer called “American Beauty” is forthcoming (its secret ingredient being nominated by Deadheads, themselves), further assuring that Dogfish Head remain the indisputable kings of musical beer.

Follow us on Twitter @OCWeeklyMusic and like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality.

Sarah Bennett is a freelance journalist who has spent nearly a decade covering food, music, craft beer, arts, culture and all sorts of bizarro things that interest her for local, regional and national publications.


Our 10 Favorite Beers From NYC Craft Beer Week

NYC Craft Beer Week: a citywide beer festival in all but name, craft beer lovers from all over the country flocked to this 10-day celebration to taste the best beers in NYC and the Northeast. There were beer dinners, brewers’ conventions and of course, a massive array of specialty beers on tap. Many were available only for the festival, like Speakeasy‘s keg of Black & White Cookie, made in honor of the iconic New York treat. One of the highlights of the week was seeing just how many different types of beer bars the city has to offer.

Beer pairs wonderfully with many classic New York foods like hot dogs, pizza and burgers, but what surprised us most was how many restaurants have taken to beer as a staple ingredient. No longer just for battering pub fare, we tasted beer in everything from hoppy pork marinades to tiramisu infused with stout. With so many styles to choose from, beer is holding its own as a truly versatile ingredient we’re sure to see more of.

While the beer food was great to try, at the centerpiece of it all was the drinking. If you were in attendance, we hope you were able to try some of these incredible beers too, but if not, make sure to look out for them on your next trip out east. Here are our top 10 beers of the week:


Maple Ridge has #craftbeer

Finding your favorite style of beer along the Coquitlam to Haney driving corridor is easy to do.

Finding a beer beyond the ordinary should have you visit stores like Firefly Fine Wines and Ales in MAPLE RIDGE, BC.

Firefly is located at : UNIT 1-21755 LOUGHEED HIGHWAY – MAPLE RIDGE, BC, V2X 2S2 or online visit them at http://www.fireflyfinewinesandales.com/Products/Beers to get a better understanding of what 500 choices looks like.

If you have interest to do so, call ahead and ask for Matt, Norm or Holly 604.467.1956. These folk take pride in knowing their stuff. And that may just be the key to discovering your inner beer geek. And um, ladies – that includes you too.

Firefly has long embraced the process of discovery… start with a style that suits you…look beyond the outside label and there is a whole other world to explore. Lager fans can rejoice to learn about the hidden characteristics of a good Schwarzbeir. And there is something to be told about the complexity of a stout beyond the idea of “heavy or winter”. That’s right, not all beer are created equal. And not all IPA are brutally bitter. In some ways, what some Brew Masters can do is quite unfair. They tickle and tease us with taste profiles sculptured to entice the curious. And then once they have you – they do it again. Enter here the cuisine of beer.

Let’s face it. Variety is the spice of life. Even if you have a tried and true all-time favorite you live by, go for a small indulgence once in a while. The good people at Firefly can guide the most novice beer drinker on their journey to appreciate the fine subtleties that is craft. Try Craft Beer from BC or Import Craft Beer or as some may say – Beer that’s out of this world.

Thank you Firefly for adding a little spark to beer buying not to mention the great handle you have on Wine and Spirits.

Firefly Store front Maple Ridge


Beer meets rock, right in the bottle

The label on the beer looks like an album cover, with a floating reptilian eye and two gray pyramids that bring to mind Pink Floyd. Scan its QR code with your smartphone and a music video appears: the Baltimore indie group Lower Dens performing their droning, nihilistic number “In the End Is the Beginning.”

The music, in a sense, is also in the bottle. A pour reveals a hazy orange beer called Sensory Series Vol. 1, brewed by Brian Strumke of Baltimore’s Stillwater Artisanal Ales. He had hoped to translate the song’s sound into aroma and taste. The result? A Belgian-influenced saison with berrylike depth and a hint of smoke.

Strumke’s new, esoteric project embodies an intriguing trend. Across the country, brewers have been making beers in collaboration with musicians or otherwise inspired by music, a phenomenon that sheds light on how rock, heavy metal and other styles have influenced the iconography and culture of craft beer.

“It’s cool that I’m seeing more projects like this pop up, because beer is artistic, or at least it can be,” says Strumke, who once roamed the United States and Europe as a professional DJ and wants to release three more Sensory Series beers this year. “The more we can bring other artistic elements into the world of beer, the more it is validated as being a possible art form and not just a manufacturing industry.”

Strumke is hardly the first musically inclined brewer to unite his two passions. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Sam Calagione — “I played sax a little bit in grade school and then fell in love,” he says, especially with punk rock and jazz — is well known for the beers in his Music Series, which he launched in 2010.

Those include Hellhound on my Ale, a double India pale ale that tastes like caramel and citrus peel and is a tribute to Robert Johnson, the blues guitarist who has been called “the grandfather of rock and roll.” Last summer, Calagione released Firefly Ale, the official beer of Delaware’s Firefly Music Festival, which was headlined by rock acts including the Killers and the Black Keys.

Locally, music influences Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock, the co-founders of DC Brau, who regularly spin records at U Street Music Hall and elsewhere as the Brothers Brau. Two weeks ago, they collaborated on a beer with Colorado’s Ska Brewing and the D.C.-based ska band the Pietasters. Eventually, they hope to brew beers with the punk band Regents and the heavy-metal group Darkest Hour.

The Pietasters collaboration, a German-style doppelbock laced with cold-brewed coffee, will debut in March, and DC Brau will donate the profits to a scholarship fund honoring Todd Eckhardt, the late Pietasters bassist, says Skall, DC Brau’s chief executive. The beer is called Taster’s Choice, a nod to the instant-coffee brand and a Pietasters song of the same name.

In fact, DC Brau often sneaks songs and lyrics into the names of its beers, Skall points out, such as the brewery’s Your Favorite Foreign Movie (a Steely Dan lyric), Ghoul’s Night Out (a punk song by the Misfits) and Thyme After Thyme (a Cyndi Lauper reference). Music has also shaped DC Brau’s branding in other ways. The winged skull on the label of its double IPA, On the Wings of Armageddon, for example, was inspired by the aesthetics of heavy metal.

Setting aside the brewery’s homage to the iconic performer of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” those decisions reflect a pattern that might, by now, be obvious. The music in question is almost always some sort of rock, also a touchstone for Strumke, Calagione and too many other brewers to count.

The rock-beer connection is at least partially based on demographics such as race and gender. According to data cited last year by the communications firm Beverage Media Group, 80 percent of craft beer, by volume, is ingested by white consumers, most of whom are between the ages of 21 and 44. And 75 percent of the total volume of craft beer is consumed by men. Meanwhile, according to the most recently published Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, conducted in 2008 by the National Endowment for the Arts, men and whites tend to like rock music more than women and members of other races. People in the 18-to-44 age bracket are also the most avid fans of contemporary rock.

It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that a new experiment by Tomme Arthur, director of brewery operations at California’s Port Brewing and its sister brand the Lost Abbey, was so successful. Last fall, beer geeks paid a whopping $450 for limited-edition “Ultimate Box Sets” of a dozen barrel-aged Lost Abbey beers, “Tracks” 1 through 12.

The bottles were packed in black vinyl road cases with aluminum edges and named for songs by the likes of Iron Maiden and Van Halen.

“The basic premise was a box that looked like it could be loaded onto the truck going to the next show,” Arthur says.

He adds, “If we’d come out with a classical-music set, I’m not sure it would have inspired the same kind of fervor.”


Brewers, musicians craft new collaborations

The label on the beer looks like an album cover, with a floating reptilian eye and two gray pyramids that bring to mind Pink Floyd. Scan its QR code with your smartphone and a music video appears: the Baltimore indie group Lower Dens performing their droning, nihilistic number "In the End Is the Beginning."

The music, in a sense, is also in the bottle. A pour reveals a hazy orange beer called Sensory Series Vol. 1, brewed by Brian Strumke of Baltimore's Stillwater Artisanal Ales. He had hoped to translate the song's sound into aroma and taste. The result? A Belgian-influenced saison with berrylike depth and a hint of smoke.

Strumke's new, esoteric project embodies an intriguing trend. Across the country, brewers have been making beers in collaboration with musicians or otherwise inspired by music, a phenomenon that sheds light on how rock, heavy metal and other styles have influenced the iconography and culture of craft beer.

"It's cool that I'm seeing more projects like this pop up, because beer is artistic, or at least it can be," says Strumke, who once roamed the United States and Europe as a professional DJ and wants to release three more Sensory Series beers this year. "The more we can bring other artistic elements into the world of beer, the more it is validated as being a possible art form and not just a manufacturing industry."

Strumke is hardly the first musically inclined brewer to unite his two passions. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Sam Calagione -- "I played sax a little bit in grade school and then fell in love," he says, especially with punk rock and jazz -- is well known for the beers in his Music Series, which he launched in 2010.

Those include Hellhound on my Ale, a double India pale ale that tastes like caramel and citrus peel and is a tribute to Robert Johnson, the blues guitarist who has been called "the grandfather of rock and roll." Last summer, Calagione released Firefly Ale, the official beer of Delaware's Firefly Music Festival, which was headlined by rock acts including the Killers and the Black Keys.

Music influences Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock, the co-founders of DC Brau, who regularly spin records at Washington's U Street Music Hall and elsewhere as the Brothers Brau. Two weeks ago, they collaborated on a beer with Colorado's Ska Brewing and the D.C.-based ska band the Pietasters. Eventually, they hope to brew beers with the punk band Regents and the heavy-metal group Darkest Hour.

The Pietasters collaboration, a German-style doppelbock laced with cold-brewed coffee, will debut in March, and DC Brau will donate the profits to a scholarship fund honoring Todd Eckhardt, the late Pietasters bassist, says Skall, DC Brau's chief executive. The beer is called Taster's Choice, a nod to the instant-coffee brand and a Pietasters song of the same name.

In fact, DC Brau often sneaks songs and lyrics into the names of its beers, Skall points out, such as the brewery's Your Favorite Foreign Movie (a Steely Dan lyric), Ghoul's Night Out (a punk song by the Misfits) and Thyme After Thyme (a Cyndi Lauper reference).

Setting aside the brewery's homage to the iconic performer of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," those decisions reflect a pattern that might, by now, be obvious. The music in question is almost always some sort of rock, also a touchstone for Strumke, Calagione and too many other brewers to count.

The rock-beer connection is at least partially based on demographics such as race and gender. According to data cited last year by the communications firm Beverage Media Group, 80 percent of craft beer, by volume, is ingested by white consumers, most of whom are between the ages of 21 and 44. And 75 percent of the total volume of craft beer is consumed by men. Meanwhile, according to the most recently published Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, conducted in 2008 by the National Endowment for the Arts, men and whites tend to like rock music more than women and members of other races. People in the 18-to-44 age bracket are also the most avid fans of contemporary rock.

It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that a new experiment by Tomme Arthur, director of brewery operations at California's Port Brewing and its sister brand the Lost Abbey, was so successful. Last fall, beer geeks paid a whopping $450 for limited-edition "Ultimate Box Sets" of a dozen barrel-aged Lost Abbey beers, "Tracks" 1 through 12.

The bottles were packed in black vinyl road cases with aluminum edges and named for songs by the likes of Iron Maiden and Van Halen.

"The basic premise was a box that looked like it could be loaded onto the truck going to the next show," Arthur says.

He adds, "If we'd come out with a classical-music set, I'm not sure it would have inspired the same kind of fervor."


Friday, December 13, 2013

New Beer Friday: I Snow What I Snow Edition (December 13)

Aman Park
I didn’t really have to shovel the driveway. I knew that our plow service would be coming to clear the lake effect snow that began falling in the morning and was still falling as the early December evening was approaching. But something I can’t quite explain what made me want to be outside in that snow storm.

When you’re young you don’t have to rationalize or justify doing mindless things outside in winter. No one thinks you’re crazy if they see you making snow angels, or when you’re throwing snow balls at a thick tree trunk, or when you’re running through the yard trying to catch big falling snowflakes with your tongue. If I hadn’t overcome the urge to do those childlike things I have no doubt that my neighbors and my wife would have stared out the windows at me in dumfounded amazement. So instead of playing in the snow I had to be content with shoveling it.

While I shoveled, I recalled long-past winters when our neighborhood gang would stay outside until our mothers implored, cajoled and finally demanded that we come in from the cold. I nostalgically remembered the igloo making and the snow ball fights. When we got older we would sled and toboggan for hours down John Ball Park’s hills and skate long past dark on its pond. What was it, I wondered, that made us impervious back then to the elements. Why is it that children are so easily able to forgive Mother Nature for the vagaries of her harshest season?

I leaned on my shovel and gazed up through the falling snowflakes at the bare branches of the backyard maples against the slate-grey expanse of the December sky.


Watch the video: Stillwater Artisanal Ales - Stateside Saison - HopZine Beer Review