Stillwater Artisanal Existent and the Original Hipster Twit: Nietzsche

Next up, Existent, from Mr. Strumke’s Stillwater Artisanal:

Existent has a picture of, and attributes part of its philosophical underpinnings to, philosopher-twit, Friedrich Nietzsche. History will show that Nietzsche’s biggest legacies are (1) extended-adolescent, existential, hipster angst; and (2) his last name, although physically unpronounceable, gets you at least 23 points in Scrabble (What? No proper nouns!?). Also, one of Nietzsche’s best known ideas is that Western society has moved beyond God as the basis of meaning and reality, and thus, “God is dead.” Of course, the fatal weakness in his argument was right under his nose…

I can fathom wind and water masterfully etching the majesty of the Grand Canyon over the course of a billion+ years. I’m down with the Big Bang. Evolution? OK, at times, my behavior is not far removed from that of primates. But nobody will ever convince me that Nietzsche’s mustache could be conceived by anything other than the Divine Hand of a Higher Being.

The beer pours an impenetrable dark brown, almost black…as soul-sucking as a realization that life has no true meaning. It has a lovely, tan, frothy head that hangs around for a bit, but as with many things beautiful in this world, it is transient and leaves you…alone. The head recedes to a film with isolated, foam islands and a substantial ring that leaves some lacing. The smell has no true will to power, but it is definitively chocolate, coffee, and roast, and char. I can also pick up a little farmhouse, almost like a horse blanket. And you can tell it’s dry, like the desert – perfect in its absence of crippling pity and compassion. It starts out with coffee and hints of chocolate, along with a bready and nutty character. Then roast, smoke, and a slight farmhouse-funk kick in at the end. Some style-nazis will lament the roast character in a Farmhouse/Saison, but lamentations about style rules and consistency are the desperate morality of the weak in an attempt to transvalue the power of successful risk-takers. I find it interesting and tastefully done. It is well-carbonated, but not overly so. And as it warms, some earthy hop character emerges, and some hop bitterness comes out in the finish, much like a…ahh whatever. What’s the point?

Not my favorite Stillwater ever, but good nonetheless. Different (but not over the top), interesting, tasty, and skillfully executed.

The Haybag: It’s decent. Generally, I’m not fond of saisons (I am not down with funk and lots of carbonation), but I think this one is interesting.

Note: To avoid a religious brushfire, I should note that I’m not saying the age of the Earth, the Big Bang, or Evolution rule out the existence of God. Besides, I’m Catholic. We’re down with that shit anyway…heck, Mendel and Lemaître were priests.


Brian Strumke Can Come to My House and Drink My Beer…All of It.

The Curmudgeon
Brian Strumke, who is the brewer, chief executive, president, receptionist, janitor, mailroom clerk, etc., for Stillwater Artisanal Ales, held a recent email interview with After an in-depth discussion of Stillwater’s Premium Post-Prohibition Style Ale, they move on to miscellaneous topics such as Strumke’s thoughts on the state of session-strength beer at the moment. His reply:

I personally really enjoy lower ABV beers for their refreshment and drinkability. I think there is a time and place for beers of all strengths and don’t want to turn the concept of producing moderate weight craft beers into a trend, I just think the idea of session beers becoming popular again is rubbish.. 90+% of beer drinkers have been and do drink beers between 4-5%. I just think that ’session beer’ hype came as a backlash to the popularity of heavyweight extreme beers that took the scene by storm, and while I love to get down with a case of Prima Pils, I also like to session with Orval (6.5%) when I am in Belgium, but that’s how I roll.”

Then for the rest of interview, Strumke uses the term “session” with quotation marks. Beautiful. That’s how the beerbecue household rolls, too (except we don’t need to be in Belgium to “session” with 6.5%). In fact, some of his thoughts are strikingly similar to beerbecue’s thesis on the ridiculous “session” morass: What is a Session Beer? Who the F$%k Cares?

I enjoy Stillwater immensely, when I can actually get my grubby biscuit snatchers on it. And I have heard anecdotal evidence that Brian Strumke is a cool guy. However, I may now have officially lost all capacity for objectivity with respect to Stillwater and Mr. Strumke (as he will hereafter be known on beerbecue). In fact, Mr. Strumke, you can come over to my house and drink all my beer if you want to. If I am low, I will make a beer run just for you. And you can rest assured, Mr. Strumke, that the word “session” will ne’er be uttered, save in scorn or jest. ;7