Beer and Pavement

Indie-Craft Interview #1: Stillwater’s Brian Strumke

Posted in Beer, Indie-Craft, Interview by SM on April 17, 2012

This blog focuses on the intersection of indie rock, craft beer, and other independent and/or artisinal industries. I’ve tried to raise awareness of indie and craft industries while defining what constitutes “indie” and “craft” as best I can. The idea of indie-craft has been bouncing around in my skull for a while. However, it’s been tough for me to pinpoint what I want to say about it. With the indie-craft interview series, I’d like to get the perspective of those who actually produce all these great consumables and share those thoughts here.

Brian Strumke is the gypsie brewer who produces the delectable Stillwater Artisanal Ales in his hometown of Baltimore as well as in various breweries around Europe. His take on the Saison has been a real kick to the craft beer scene, challenging convention while creating a great deal of success for himself. It’s been a quick rise to the top of the craft beer universe for Stillwater as Brian has reached the top of many lists, is in the process of establishing his own pub, and even getting his own distribution truck wrap.

After running into Brian on a couple of occasions, I figured that I could bug him to be my first indie-craft interviewee. Luckily, he agreed. The results are below…

1. Describe your craft(s).

Artistic interpretations in the form of beer.

2. What’s the importance or benefit of remaining indie?

Freedom is paramount, I am very adamant on doing things my way especially because my art is an expression of myself and maintaining the control of my art is what is most important to me.

3. How does your craft contribute to society?

Working with beer is about sharing good times with people. I produce a product that is designed for enjoyment and also use that product to make people question what beer actually is… Nothing we do is straight forward and I enjoy creating intrigue within my consumer base.

4. What other indie-craft products inspire you?

Anything that is backed by a good philosophy and executed well.

5. What is your dream of success?


If you would like to try some Stillwater Artisinal Ales, move to one of these places or petition your local distributor to bring Stillwater to your neck of the woods. If you want to see what I’ve had to say about Brian’s beers in the past, go here.

Be on the lookout for more Indie-Craft interviews. I have chocolate makers, filmmakers, music makers, and possibly more beer makers lined up (or potentially lined up) for future interviews. If you have a suggestion for someone I should badger with the five questions above, let me know.

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