On Tap is a regular column featuring our recommendations on the most unique new draft beer offerings from local pubs.
Our Recommendation: Stillwater Artisanal Ales’ Stateside Saison
Where: Side Bar & Restaurant, 10 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380
On a muggy Saturday afternoon while watching the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium, we decided to sneak into Side Bar for a summer libation. Checking over the extensive beer list, my eyes fell onto the Stillwater Stateside Saison. In the heat of the summer, a saison seemed like a refreshing choice.
This saison poured orange with a beautiful frothy head in the tulip glass. At 6.8% ABV, it has a bit of a kick. The beer is vibrant, with fruity notes and a citrus finish. According to the Stillwater Ales website, the saison is made with hops from the United States and New Zealand and bottle conditioned. It’s a hearty beer, as bold and colorful as the racers we were watching through the window.
I had not heard of Stillwater Stateside Saison before, and some research revealed this is the first and flagship beer for a new venture out of Maryland called Stillwater Artisanal Ales. Started by former DJ Brian Strumke, his goal is to collaborate with some of the best brewers in the world. This ambitious effort has led him to be labelled a “Gypsy brewer.” Check out an interview with Brian below.
Strumke has also started a new joint venture (with Ted Stelzenmuller of Jack’s Bistro) in Baltimore called “Of Love and Regret – Pub & Provisions,” which is a dining and drinking establishment with a gourmet food shop on the second floor. I sense a road trip in my future!
In the meantime, if you catch sight of this beer at Side Bar, it’s definitely worth ordering a pour. This may be the best saison I’ve tried to date.