Monthly Archives: February 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 49

The daily Year of Beer painting is Hop Devil American IPA by Victory Brewing Company.  This full flavor IPA has traveled a long way from Pennsylvania to reach my tasting station here in Anchorage, Alaska.  I am very glad to receive a little taste of Philly way up north here in AK.  Alaska has great beer, but so does Philadelphia, probably way more.  There is something about drinking a beer from across the nation or even overseas that makes that brew feel exotic.  Maybe it’s that I have never been to Pennsylvania, but many of my friends and family members have, so I feel a kinship to these guys.  I wonder what the craft beer culture is like in PA?  Here in Alaska beer love is big, but the core crowd is a tightly knit group of homebrewers, professional brewers and beer collectors daring each other to make and taste bolder beers.  I’m looking forward to the monthly Great Northern Brewers Club meeting tonight.

I put the American flag in the background to symbolize victory!  As we all know Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 American colonies, so if you count them all, I put 13 stars and 13 stripes on this one to represent a little American history.  This beer pours out an amber gold and really gives many lesser IPAs a run for their money.  I think this brewery has a fairly large following here in Anchorage because this bottle seemed nice and fresh.  It helps to shop for it at La Bodega where many beer people go to buy their bottles.  Having permission to mix your own six-pack is very convenient for tasting many different beers.

To American craft brew!  A fine place to live and drink beer.  To American victory in 1783, without which we would have to drink Newcastle or Fuller’s beer!

The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

Year of Beer 02.18. American IPA by Victory Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.18. American IPA by Victory Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 48

Today’s Year of Beer painting is Redhook ESB (Extra Special Bitter).  To me this English-style beer seems more malt forward than the name suggests.  I picked this beer because is has been a beer staple in my family since I started drinking.  My older brother brought it to my attention when he became a small investor during Redhook’s first public stock offering.  Redhook was founded in 1981, so it’s only one year younger than me.  When they started making ESB in 1987, my family had just moved to Alaska from Spokane, Washington.  When I think Redhook, I think Seattle, Washington, because this beer originates from Woodinville, WA.  When I think Seattle, I think Seahawks, especially this year!  Who was the strongest player in the NFL this year?  It was the beer drinker in the crowd getting rowdy!  The roar of the 12th man!  The Seahawks felt that spirited energy all the way from Alaska as they dominated the Superbowl this year!  Alaska is not guaranteed to be on Seattle sports side of the game, but it seemed that the majority of people who didn’t have ties to Colorado seemed to favor the Seahawks, and the screaming must have transferred back through the TVs because it was a domination this year!

Drink craft beer while watching football!  Support the little guy!  Get beer from the growler fillin’ station down the street and keep it green, aggressive sports sea green!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.17. Redhook ESB. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.17. Redhook ESB. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 47

The daily beer painting is of Negra Modelo!  Enjoy this Mexican dark beer on the beach, or just when you are thinking about being at the beach, like I am right now while staring out my window at a snowstorm.  I can even hear the sea birds… wait, no, that’s just a raven getting into the dumpster outside.

To Negra Modelo, a fine dark lager.  Enjoy this one thinking about Mexico, our southern neighbor, brewing up some tasty cerveza!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.16. Negra Modelo. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.16. Negra Modelo. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 46

The daily beer painting is of Warsteiner Premium Verum, a delicious export German beer that I used to overlook due to its generic yellow fizziness, but then I spent some time drinking German pilsner.  Now it is obvious to me when I drink a perfect clean all-malt pilsner.  It just tastes better than an American style lager filled with adjunct sugar and grains.  Hundreds of years of brewing heritage has its advantages.  This brewery is in the Arnsberg Forest Nature Park, outside of Warstein.  The Cramer family has been brewing beer since 1753, and the brewery has been owned by Catarina Cramer since 1978.

I depicted this particular brew in the forest near its brewery.  Many Germans come to this park to hike, or mountain bike.  I think beer not only looks better in the trees but tastes better too.  To drinking beer in the woods, a place beer has been drank since the first brews were concocted!  To the history and consumption of delicious malt beverages, and to the trees which fired the first brew kettle at Warsteiner!

The original painting sold.  You can purchase a limited-edition print, or order a custom beer painting at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.15. Warsteiner Premium Verum. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.15. Warsteiner Premium Verum. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 45

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!  I hope you have a bottle of Love Buzz from Anchorage Brewing Co. in your fridge saved for tonight!  This spicy saison is worth every penny you shell out to bring the right brew home to your sweetheart (it’s probably cheaper and healthier than that heart-shaped box full of embalmed chocolate).  The packaging is beautiful and your celebration will start the instant you hear the sweet pop of the cork!  Pepper spice and fruity Brettanomyces will strike your palette, and it finishes with the essence of roses.  I like the screen-printing of the rose on the bottle.  Totally a Valentine’s beer if I ever smelled one!

May your sweetheart share your love for fine ales and beer, may your glass be full and your mind enhanced, may your decisions be prudent and your actions modest, may your love be long, and your life full and fruitful!  Catch a Love Buzz!

The original painting sold. You can buy a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.14. Love Buzz by Anchorage Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.14. Love Buzz by Anchorage Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 44

Can you feel “The Love” tonight?  This beer from Starr Hill Brewing Company in Virginia fits the mood of Valentine’s Day so well that I had to include it in this series.  This hefeweizen is a German style, cloudy beer, with notes of banana, cloves, and citrus.  True to its style, but hey, why over-analyze a beer that captures Valentine’s Day!  I would have painted Modern Romance by Midnight Sun Brewing Co., but it won’t be bottled for a few more weeks.  I was in that brewery yesterday seeing the chocolatification process.  The centrifuge was in overdrive pushing the chocolate sludge back out of the beer.  The brewers were excited and confounded by the gallons of chocolate sludge that was left over at the end of the process.  I was going to take some home to make a batch of Valentine’s brownies, but I forgot, because I was carrying too much beer.

To America and our craft beer Renaissance!  You won’t be finding a German hefe called the Love in Germany, only Weizen and old family names.  I love our marketing and unique avant-garde brewing practices, and not being constricted by centuries of long-practiced traditions, but paving the way to unique new flavorful brews!

The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print, or order a custom beer painting at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.13. The Love by Starr Hill Brewery. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.13. The Love by Starr Hill Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 43

Today’s Year of Beer painting is of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California.  First, let’s just say that this beer is neither Russian nor a stout; it is actually strong London porter invented before people used the term “stout” and was never brewed in Russia, but has become a colloquial term for this rich style of dark beer, because it was Catherine the Great’s favorite import brew.  According to Pintwell.com, the original 1851 recipe of this Imperial Stout calls for 63.6% pale malt, 23% brown malt, 10.8% amber malt and 2.6% roasted malt for an original gravity of 1.085 and a hop rate of 9 lbs per barrel.  That would give you a possibility of 9.8% alcohol by volume.  9 lbs per barrel is more hops than most American IPAs.  Let’s just say this was one strong ale!!!

So how does Rasputin come into the picture?  Gregori Rasputin (1869-1916) was neither a saint nor a monk, but a pilgrim from Siberia, regarded as an elder by the Imperial court of Russia.  A faith healer and mystic, Rasputin was hired to heal Tsaravich Alexei who suffered from Hemophilia.  Rasputin became very controversial with the Russian court due to his religious affiliation and his influence over the Empress.  The beer label says in Russian, “A sincere friend is not born instantly.”

The murder of Rasputin has become a legend, there are very few facts, but according to Wikipedia, the story goes like this: first he was poisoned, then he was shot, then strangled, shot two more times, then clubbed severely to make sure the deed was done.  Then he was driven to the middle of the city and dumped into the river from a bridge.  The body was found and hell was to pay, as the court knew that foul play was evident.  Basically, Rasputin was nearly impossible to kill and has become an icon for being nearly superhuman.  How much is true, I don’t know.  But I know this, North Coast Brewing has made one hell of a brew.  If you have not sipped on this particular Russian Imperial Stout go out and buy a four-pack tonight.  To Rasputin and his ability to heal, may you discover the joy of Russian Imperial Stout in its finest form!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.12. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.12. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 42

Today’s beer is IPA from Stone Brewing Company!   I could write a whole paragraph about this beer, but Stone already did on the bottle, so why bolster the “arrogant bastards'” swagger?  We know it’s good.  I finished a 2000+ mile bicycle tour of the West coast in San Diego, and I went strait to Stone Brewing in Escandido, had a pint, then drove to Costco to buy a case of this particular brew.  San Diego is awesome!

I propose a toast to Stone Brewing Company’s IPA, a benchmark of hop bitterness and bold ‘Merican beer!  Cheers!

The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.11. IPA by Stone Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.11. IPA by Stone Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

Year of Beer paintings – Day 41

Today’s Year of Beer is Total Domination India Pale Ale by Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, Oregon.  This brewery was founded in 2006, and is named after the ancient Sumerian goddess of brewing.  This IPA is one of the freshest, best IPAs I have tasted so far in the Year of Beer series.  I like the Ninkasi green and black beer labels and I have yet to be let down by this IPA-forward brewery, being a hophead myself.  The stone carving in the background of this image is actually an ancient Sumerian beer recipe.  Sorry if my Cuneiform is incorrect as you attempt to clone the ancient recipe Ninkasi uses.  Here is a hint for learning Cuneiform, the inverted triangle with dashes through it is the symbol for beer.  To Ninkasi, may the goddess look favorably upon this Eugene brewery and everyone’s home-brewery as well!  Good luck deciphering the recipe!

The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.10. Total Domination IPA by Ninkasi Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.10. Total Domination IPA by Ninkasi Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer paintings – Day 40

Today’s Year of Beer painting is 333 Premium Export Beer from Saigon Beer Company in Vietnam.  This export beer known as Bia Ba in Vietnamese, or “beer three” has a lot of personal importance to my family.  My brother married into a Vietnamese-American family, and recently made a trip with the whole family to Vietnam to celebrate his father-in-law’s 60th birthday in Saigon with the uncle-in-law’s family who lives there.  My distant uncle in-law owns a chicken fertilizer company in Saigon.  The beer glass in this painting is a promotional item for his company with the business logo on it.  The chickens have a dual significance.  You may know that rubber chickens have a special place in beer lore.  Phil Farrell, self proclaimed beer ambassador, has made rubber chickens an icon at beerfests across the nation.  Some would even say that the rubber chicken is a universal beer festival mascot.

So my brother brought me home a couple of tasty beers from Vietnam including a 333, which I might add is quite refreshing, and I have painted this one as if it was poured out at a family dinner in the family’s house in Saigon.  I think that chicken and noodles would pair nicely with this yellow fizzy Asian beer!  Cheers to family and chicken!  I hope your next bowl of pho noodles is accompanied by a Bia Ba!

The original oil painting sold, but you can purchase a limited-edition print, or order a custom beer painting at my Etsy Shop RealArtIsBetter.

Year of Beer 02.09. 333 from Saigon Beer Company in Vietnam. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.09. 333 from Saigon Beer Company in Vietnam. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.