We recently visited Austin and Dunham to meet the teams behind the beers we love.

Oh man, we are STOKED!

What’s Dunham?

Dunham is a brewery based in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. It used to be an unremarkable brew pub until Sébastien Gagnon from (the amazing Montreal bar) Vices & Versa bought it and brought in the insanely talented Eloi Deit (formerly of Cheval Blanc) to brew. Now they win awards left right and centre by brewing beers that push the envelope. They could brew an easy beer that would sit on the shelves alongside the other blonde, blanche and rousse beers of Québec, but instead they brew experimental beers that make you say damn when you bring the glass to your nose. From some of the juiciest, most complex IPAs anywhere, to mixed-fermented, barrel-aged sours and saisons, blended expertly and carefully bottle conditioned, these guys are doing everything right, and with a spirit all their own. When you mention Dunham to beer fans who know, their eyes light up.

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Head brewer Eloi pours us some Assemblage No. 1

You can read a great article about Dunham here:

Jester What?

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Jester King co-owner Jeff Stuffings tells us about their dedication to terroir in beer.

Jester King, out of the Texas Hill Country, are clobbering their category in the US, and globally. They brew experimental beers that have a serious dedication to place, using ingredients almost entirely from the sprawling (and beautiful) farmstead upon which they’re located. When you say “farmhouse ale” in 2015, 99% of what is on the market is a pale beer fermented with a single strain ordered from one of the two major yeast labs with some hops thrown in. What Jester King does is they look at the very best traditional Franco-Belgian farmhouse breweries still surviving and adapt their old-world techniques to the land they have in Texas. Yeasts are always a blend, focusing on those harvested from the fruit and flowers around their brewery; hops are aged carefully above an old horse stable; fruit, flowers and other ingredients harvested from the fields around them, or from a close-by grower. When we met owner Jeff Stuffings, he pointed at the tanks in his brewery and remarked how in a traditional brewery, each one would ferment a beer in 7-10 days, and then be refilled. At Jester King, some of these fermenters harbor a gestating beer for six months or more, and that’s not even considering their barrel program. These are advanced, complex, boundary-pushing beers, yet each one smells and tastes like something you want to drink all night (if you’re that lucky).

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A bottle of Equipoise we enjoyed at Ratinaud’s The Kitchen Table. The beer was a collaboration between Jester King and Austin chef Paul Qui.

More about Jester King, here:

And for the truly geeky: a great brewing podcast featuring Jester King’s head brewer Garrett Crowell & barrel program head Adrienne Ballou:


Now, the event:

In a wonderful bit of serendipity, Dunham happened to visit Jester King to do a collaborative beer right around the time we visited both breweries, about six month ago. Now the beer is ready, and Jester King are returning the visit to Quebec to brew with Dunham, and to celebrate the release of this beer. Part of that celebration will happen at Stillwell, on Sept.1, when we host the brewers from both breweries and drink copious amounts of their beer!

If you’re a fan of food and drink and this sort of thing sounds like a good time, you can join us for the party. We will be doing a short, ticketed tasting session, from 6 pm until 8 pm, then we’ll host an afterparty to drink up the leftovers. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, August 14th, at noon. Spots are limited, and the beers we’ll have are also very limited (many will go in the tasting session).

Watch our Twitter account (@barstillwell) at noon this Friday when we’ll post the link to the Eventbrite page.

Here’s what we’ll be pouring:


1) Saison du Pinacle

Belgian-style saison hopped with Citra, Simcoe, Topaz and Sylva. 6.5%

2) Tropicalia IPA

Brett IPA with mango, guava, passion fruit and tangerine. 6.2%

3) Cyclope Bêta IPA

IPA with Amarillo and Equinox. 5.7%

4) Leo’s Early Breakfast IPA

IPA brewed with Earl Grey tea. 6.2%

5) Assemblage No. 1

A blend of Propolis (saison with honey) and American Pale Ale aged in zinfandel barrels with brettanomyces. 5.5%

6) Assemblage No. 2

A blend of Triple XXX (hoppy tripel) and Imperial India (DIPA) aged in various red wine barrels with brettanomyces. 9%

7) Assemblage No. 5

A blend of Cyclope Alpha (IPA with mosaic and lemondrop) aged in red wine barrels with brettanomyces, and Gouden Meyer (Belgian golden ale with meyer lemon) aged with brettanomyces in chardonnay barrels. 6.6%

8) Kekreik

Sour wheat ale with local sour cherries added. 6%


1) Saison du Pinacle

Belgian-style saison hopped with Citra, Simcoe, Topaz and Sylva. 6.5%

2) Saison du Pinacle Réserve

Pinacle aged in pinot noir and cab sauv barrels with brettanomyces. 6.5%

3) Assemblage No. 1

A blend of Propolis (saison with honey) and American Pale Ale aged in zinfandel barrels with brettanomyces. 5.5%

4) LaPatt

Robust porter hopped with Centennial and Golding. 6%

5) Leo’s Early Breakfast IPA

IPA with Earl Grey tea and guava; a collaboration with Anders Kissmeyer. 6.2%



Note: All beers brewed with Jester King’s untreated well water and a blend of brewers’ and native Texas Hill Country yeasts and bacteria. All beers are bottle conditioned.

-Atrial Rubicite

Mature barrel-aged sour beer refermented on raspberries. 5.8%

-Bière de Syrah

Approx. two year-old barrel-aged sour ale refermented with Syrah grapes. 7.3%

-Nocturn Chrysalis

Ale refermented in oak barrels with Kiowa blackberries. 5.9%

-Bière de Miel

Wild ale with local wildflower honey added at several stages during brewing and packaging. 5.8%

-Provenance Lemon/Lime

Farmhouse ale fermented with the juice and zest from lemons and limes. 5.7%

-Provenance Orange/Grapefruit

Farmhouse ale fermented with the juice and zest from oranges and grapefruits. 5.5%

-Hibernal Dichotomous

Farmhouse ale brewed and fermented with typical Texas winter produce: orange zest/juice, beets and thyme. 4.9%

-Vernal Dichotomous

A blend of a 2012 beer brewed with rosemary, lavender, and spearmint, and a young beer refermented with kumquats. 5.4%

-Das Wunderkind!

Mature, barrel-aged farmhouse ale blended with fresh, dry-hopped beer before bottling. 4.5%

-Black Metal

A marriage of the farmhouse and English imperial stout styles. 9.3%

-Le Petit Prince

Jester King’s most crushable, LPP is a simple table beer expressing their house blend of yeasts and saaz hops.



Jester King & Dunham’s collaborative beer, Amicis Mortis. The beer was brewed with coconut, chilis and sweet potato and allowed to ferment slowly with JK’s house blend of brewers’ and wild yeasts. Cask conditioned. 4.2%


Tickets for this event here: [NOTE: Tasting Session SOLD OUT]

We will be hosting an afterparty from 8 pm.. help us drink the leftovers!





Stillwell X NS Craft Beer Week Update



We’ve got a few things on the go in May for NS Craft Beer Week. Here’s an update!


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Big Spruce, Propeller, and Tatamagouche breweries did a triple collaboration and we’re debuting it a noon on Saturday, May 9. The beer, an IPA called “Cerberus” is described thusly by our pal and Big Spruce brewfeller (and birthday boy today) Jeremy White:

“Cerberus is the 3 headed hellhound of Organic American style India Pale Ales. It has been conspired by the brewers at the 3 Nova Scotian Craft Breweries producing Certified Organic Craft Beer: Big Spruce Brewing, Propeller Brewing and Tatamagouche Brewing. Abundantly bitter, and deeply aromatic, Cerberus combines late addition Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe and Zythos hops in copious, lip smacking quantities for a balanced complexity that will have you craving more. Hasten your return. Cerberus is a single batch, limited release Conspiracy Series IPA, and Hell hath no fury like a hophead that misses out….”

On top of that beastly beer, we’ll be pouring exclusively beers by the three breweries that made this thing all afternoon. All promise to bring out their best one-offs and rarities and we’ll be rotating them all day. Tasty tastes, friends.


2) THE 2015 STILLWELL OPEN: Sunday, May 10 … read on for the list of participating breweries!

Considering the afternoon portion of this event sold out in a day and a half, I’m going to assume you already know about it!

BUT: did you know that the sold-out portion of the event is just the afternoon, and that there’s a SECOND SESSION, starting at 5 pm, that is open to the public?

It breaks down like this:

Session ONE: 1 pm – 5 pm, ticket holders c’mon in and for their ticket they receive some delectable BBQ treats from our kitchen, along with their first pour. Beers are served blind, and judging cards and wee golf pencils will be strewn about the bar. Judging will continue until the first beer is gone, or until 5 pm; whichever comes first. Once that happens, we begin eliminating/revealing beers every half-hour, until the winner is announced (if no kegs blow before 5 pm, we’ll start this at 6 pm and reveal the winner at midnight). For those who start at 1 pm, you may have to follow that action on Twitter from the comfort of your bed, or leave for a bit and come back.

Session TWO: 5 pm – Midnight, interested beer fans who did NOT get a ticket are encouraged to stop by at any time throughout the evening to get in on the action. The food menu will remain awesome (BBQ classics), and you’ll get to try some beers blind (and tell your friends which ones are good), and you’ll get to see the beers are they’re revealed (and the eventual winner). This should be fun, especially because you will have guessed what some breweries are correctly, and probably many incorrectly (this blind tasting stuff is hard).

So: Who’s in? What breweries are submitting RARE, ONE-OFF and/or DEBUT beers for The 2015 Stillwell Open?

  1. Boxing Rock
  2. Propeller
  3. North
  4. Tatamagouche
  5. Big Spruce
  6. Garrison
  7. Spindrift
  8. Good Robot
  9. The Gahan House
  10. Homebrewer Jason McDougall (brewed at Boxing Rock)
  11. Homebrewer Chris McDonald (brewed at Good Robot)
  12. Homebrewers Kyle McKenzie + Liam Sellers (brewed at Good Robot)

The beers will not appear in this order, of course, and alcohol by volume will be the only information provided!

What else? Our friend Geordan Moore of The Quarrelsome Yeti designed and hand screen-printed some beautiful posters for this event. We only have a few numbered editions, and they will be for sale at the event for $30. Very frame-able.


Hot off the press!



We’re not just putting on events for NS Craft Beer Week, we’re also attending them! You’ll catch many of us drinking at (at least) the Full House Craft Beer Fest at the Olympic Centre on May 16, and (before) the Discovery Centre Science of Beer May 14. And although it’s not officially part of “NS Craft Beer Week”, Bad Apple Brewhouse is doing a multi-day feature at Tom’s Little Havana that promises to offer that hoppy thing we all love. See y’all there!

Announcing: The 2015 Stillwell Open

The 2015 Stillwell Open!

Alright folks, this one should be hot.

In connection with the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia‘s Craft Beer Week, we’re hosting a friendly little showdown we’re calling The Stillwell Open.

It goes like this: The best and brightest breweries from Nova Scotia will go head-to-head on our wall on Sunday, May 10. We provide the challenge—this year, it’s “Brew your best backyard BBQ beer”, an intentionally broad theme that should see a variety of styles on the wall—and Nova Scotia brewers who want to step up to the plate take their best stab at it. We’ll accept 12 breweries/brewers, and then, on the day, serve those beers blind (only numbers on the wall, no names) for one ticketed session where the drinking public gets to judge and vote. Doors then open to the public at 5 pm, voting continues, and then from 6 ’til midnight, we write eliminated beers up on the wall one at a time, every half-hour, until we write the final beer up, at midnight, which will have been chosen by you as the champion of the 2015 Stillwell Open!

(The real winner will be, of course, the beer drinker.)

This non-serious competition will encourage thoughtful beer tasting. As Budweiser would say, these beers will be fussed over! This is also an opportunity to get together with beer fans and brewers in one room and have a party. For breweries, it’ll be a good chance to have your beers evaluated, blind, by your drinking public.

In the kitchen Graeme Ruppel & his crew, true to theme, will be putting out a special menu of backyard BBQ classics all day (and you already know that will be good).

Head over to to get your tickets for the afternoon (first beer and first bite included in the ticket price), and/or stop in after 5 pm on Sunday, May 10, to try some amazing new beers!