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Beer Matters: Stillwater Ales founder visits Buffalo, Ebenezer events

Stillwater founder Brian Strumke visits Buffalo
5 p.m. Feb. 3
Blue Monk
727 Elmwood Ave. (882-6665)

And:

5 p.m. Feb. 4
Moor Pat
78 E. Spring St., Williamsville (810-9957)

Stillwater Artisanal Ales owner/founder/brewer Brian Strumke will visit two Mike Shatzel owned establishments-- Blue Monk on Elmwood Avenue and Moor Pat in Williamsville-- on two consecutive nights.

"This will be my second visit to Buffalo, a town that surprised me with its vibrant night life," Brian Strumke said.

"Mike Shatzel has been a big supporter of my beers since my beginning," Strumke continued. "I'm looking forward to my return to share my creations with everyone."

Stillwater Ales is based out of Baltimore, Md., but Stillwater and Strumke have carved a niche in the craft-beer market by producing a variety of beer using esoteric ingredients, most notably saison and farmhouse ales like Cellar Door, Stateside Saison and Classique.

The beer category saison/farmhouse ale is a complex and diverse style, and many beers are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. These ales are also marked by prominent yeast tones, significant spice additions and medium bitterness.

Stillwater’s Cellar Door is the brewery’s most popular beer. This beer is crafted with a base of German wheat and pale malt and accented with a blend of Sterling and Citra hops to provide a blend of herbal grass and citrus flavors and aroma. The ale is finished with a touch of white sage, lending a mild spice character to the beer.

Moor Pat Beers (photo Kevin Wise)

A round of beers at Moor Pat in Williamsville. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

Stateside Saison is another farmhouse ale brewed with European malts and hops obtained from the United States and New Zealand. This beer is fermented with a farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned with an additional small amount of yeast.

Classique is unique in that this beer is constructed with alternate grains such as corn and rice, which complement the pilsner malt.

Other hard-to-find Stillwater Ales that will be available at the two locations include O Trabalho (an Amazon inspired wild ale aged on Amburana wood), Damiana (American Pale Ale), Moneytree$ (Gose-style India Pale Ale), Gose Gone Wild (Gose), Stoufft (a Chocolate Stout made with black truffle) and Selfie Shtick (Brown Ale, produced in collaboration with Nomada Brewing Company).

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Tröegs Nugget Nectar Ale First Squeeze
6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 1
Ebenezer Ale House
4348 Seneca St., West Seneca (674-2337)

Ebenezer Ale House will have a tapping of Tröegs Nugget Nectar, made by Tröegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, Pa.

Troegs Flight (photo Kevin Wise)

A flight of Tröegs beer from the brewery in Hershey, Pa. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

Nugget Nectar, a 7.5-percent alcohol by volume red ale, is best tasted when fresh because of the large amount of hops used to brew it. Hop varietals Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops are used to create a beer packed full of pine, resin and mango aromas and flavors.

Other Tröegs ales will be tapped at the event, including a couple of “scratch ales," which are test batch and limited release beers made by the brewery and are not part of the yearly or seasonal rotation. Scratch #212 is a chocolate stout, and scratch #218 is a double Imperial Pale Ale.

Also available will be Tröegs mainstays Perpetual IPA and DreamWeaver wheat.

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Second annual big stout event
4 p.m. Feb. 3
Ebenezer Ale House
4348 Seneca St., West Seneca (674-2337)

Feb. 3, 1959 is remembered as a dark day in music history, as Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper all were lost. Ebenezer Ale House commemorates "The Day the Music Died" by featuring dark beers.

A peek around Ebenezer Ale House in West Seneca. (Kevin Wise/Special to The News)

The American Double/Imperial Stout category, inspired by the Russian Imperial Stout, are dark roasty beers often infused with coffee or chocolate. The alcohol ranges tend to be quite high and American stouts tend to possess higher hop levels.

Ebenezer Ale House will be showcasing 10 of the highest-ranked Imperial Stouts available:

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy (10.5 percent)
Dark Horse Plead the 5th (11 percent)
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (15 percent)
Goose Island The Muddy (9 percent)
Dogfish Head Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (9 percent)
Evil Twin Christmas Eve At A New York City Hotel Room (10 percent)
Great Divide Yeti (9.5 percent)
Founders Project Pam (10.8 percent)
Founders Imperial Stout (10.5 percent)
Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb! (13 percent)

These stouts range from 9 percent to 15 percent, thus representing the higher end of alcohol by volume found in beers.

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Tap on the Shoulder

Big Ditch Brewing Company is hosting a shuffleboard tournament on Jan. 31.

Unfortunately, the event is sold out, and 16 teams of two people will be competing for gift cards and merchandise. The shuffleboard table can be found on the upper level of the Big Ditch taproom. Spectators are welcomed to stop by and cheer on the competitors.

Big Ditch_shuffleboard (picture from Big Ditch)

A shuffleboard tournament will be happening at Big Ditch (via Big Ditch Brewing Co.).

Kevin Wise, Ph.D. is a professor of Biology at Trocaire College who maintains a blog on beer science and beer reviews and can be reached at: www.buffalobeerbiochemist.com; Twitter: @BuffaloBeerBio; Untappd: @BuffaloBeerBiochemist

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