For a little break from the holiday seasonals, and to commemorate the antepenultimate day of Fall, we have Stillwater Artisanal Autumnal. This is supposed to be a malty German and French/Belgian Farmhouse bastard love child. Hopefully, the Germans and the French can behave themselves for once…Stillwater Artisanal, like Mikkeller, has no brewing home. Stillwater is Brian Strumke, who borrows brewery space off people to brew. (This probably makes for some zany Dagwood Bumstead/Herb Woodley moments when he fails to get around to returning the equipment.) I have heard good things about his beers, but they seem hard to find. So, I grabbed this little fella when I saw it, even though I don’t get that geeked-up over the styles it amalgamates.It pours a cloudy mahogany, with a sturdy off-white head. It smells malty, with a little hint of sour. The taste starts off like a big Marzen, with big malt and caramel, but not too sweet. It then moves to a little spiciness. Then suddenly the farmhouse kicks in. There is a definite barn funk. But it’s not overpowering…kind of like a barn that stores hay and caramel. They have those, right? Then it finishes clean.
I think I like it. This thing really is a well-executed malty-German and French/Belgian-Farmhouse bastard love child.
The Haybag: The only thing remarkable about it is the barnyard funk, and I don’t think I like that…I don’t care how much caramel they have in the barn.