GRAND MOUND, Washington – For more than a dozen years, Stillwater was the face of the “nomadic brewing” movement, brewing its innovative and eclectic beers at dozens of facilities around the globe. Now, founder Brian Strumke has dropped anchor in western Washington, where Stillwater has for the first time concentrated its production at one location under Strumke’s oversight and control.
This shift is the product of a unique partnership between Stillwater and Chehalis Tribal Enterprises, which owns the Talking Cedar brewery, distillery, and gastropub in Grand Mound, Wash. Opened in 2020, the 35,000-square-foot complex houses a state-of-the-art brewery with a 60-barrel brew house, 120-barrel fermenters, and large oak foedres. The distillery, which Strumke plans to utilize to make Stillwater spirits, is thought to be the largest west of the Mississippi River.
“I love having the ability to create quality beers in a region where people really know and appreciate great beer. At the same time, it’s great to help the Chehalis tribe by making full use of their excellent facility,” said Strumke.
Following almost a year of pilot testing and fine tuning, the first wave of Stillwater offerings were packaged in Grand Mound late last week. They include Filson Rustic Gold IPA and Filson Maritime Gose, two beers commemorating the 125th anniversary of Filson, the iconic Seattle-based apparel and outdoor goods manufacturer. Parties showcasing the co-branded releases are planned in Seattle and New York City this October. Three more anniversary beers – Filson Charred Timber Stout, Filson Huntsman Amber, and Filson Classic – will arrive during 2023.
Other Stillwater beers rolling off the line include classics like Extra Dry sake-inspired saison, Insetto Italian plum sour ale, and Yacht premium lager. Ever restless and forward looking, Strumke is also reimagining past Stillwater favorites, such as the Wavvy double IPA series (now fermented with a proprietary blend of Nordic kveik and wine yeasts) and Shoegaze distorted farmhouse pale ale. All releases feature the finest, hand-selected Pacific Northwest and Southern Hemisphere hops.
Products will be distributed across Washington state by Browar Polska and Kendall’s Pioneer, both which are part of Corwin Beverage Co. The company had a hand in connecting Stillwater® and the Chehalis tribe after Strumke relocated to Seattle at the end of 2018.
“With Stillwater, we now have one of the craft beer and spirits industry’s most creative minds at work in our backyard,” said Sam Madrid, COO of Corwin Beverage Co. “Beer enthusiasts should ask their local retailer to bring in their favorite Stillwater® beverage because many consumers don’t know their voice matters.”
The core Stillwater team is rounded out by Sales Director Samantha Morin and Head Brewer Ryan Myhre. The brewery expects first year production to top 6,000 barrels with the majority of its product distributed within the state of Washington. Broader national and international distribution is envisioned over time.
Led by former DJ and electronic music producer Brian Strumke, Stillwater is one of the most influential and acclaimed breweries of the last two decades. From the modest origins of Strumke’s Baltimore basement, Stillwater was conceived as a collaborative beer project without a fixed address, one whose inventive and style-bending recipes could be produced anywhere around the globe. Thirteen years of “nomadic brewing” later, Strumke’s modern classics have been made across five continents and fundamentally changed how other breweries approach and present their beers. Now, Stillwater has permanently planted roots in the Pacific Northwest, where the company operates on Native Land in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis.
About Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing and Browar Polska
Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing and Browar Polska are specialty distributors that provide high-quality craft beer, import beers, wine and cider products to retailers, bars and restaurants across Washington state. Kendall’s Pioneer serves clients between southwest Washington and Yakima while Browar Polska serves clients in the Seattle-Puget Sound area and points in eastern Washington. Both are business units of Corwin Beverage Company, a fourth generation family-owned business that has distributed refreshments in western Washington since 1941.
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