Monthly Archives: March 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 90

Today’s Year of Beer painting is Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewing Company, which is now available year round.  This beer hasn’t won any awards (at least none to my knowledge, as of yet) but that is because this one is so fresh, it just hasn’t competed in any contests yet!  This beer wasn’t quite the hop explosion I was expecting, but it was fresh and floral with a zesty citrus taste, which is why I painted a citrus mosaic in the background.

I was pleasantly surprised by this IPA’s almost session-able alcohol content of only 6.5%.  This also means it isn’t a palette killer.  Just a really nice, slightly unbalanced, single IPA (no IPA is ever balanced).  There is a homebrew recipe for this brew on the Deschutes website!  I will give it a shot, I love the hop lineup: Nugget, Citra and Mosiac in the ingredient list.  I will brew once more this year at the Great Northern Brewers Club brew-a-thon.  Watch my Instagram account for photos of that crazy brewing party!  I won’t be attempting an IPA, I will be brewing up a 14 gallon batch of Drippy Hippy, the honey ale I spice with ginger root.  I promised my sister I would brew up a special Drippy Hippy batch for her wedding this summer.  I am mostly done brewing for the year as it gets too hot in the summer for really fermenting properly, and I have already filled every fermenter in the house!  Next year, however, I will be brewing IPA all winter long, and maybe even give a shot at some lagers.

Great job yet again, Deschutes!  Your beer never ceases to amaze me!  Then you go ahead and freshen it all up again, keeping the creative juices flowing!  Cheers!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewing Bend Oregon Year of Beer

Year of Beer 03.31. Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.


Year of Beer Paintings – Day 89

Sto·chas·tic adjective: randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely.

Stochasticity Project’s Grapefruit Slam IPA is a new Stone Brewing Company beer that is even more nerdy than the regular collection.  The project aims at making extra nerdy beers and is pushing the boundaries with unique beer ingredients.  This is an experiment, and no one knows what is going to happen!  The Grapefruit Slam IPA in particular is playing with the thought that certain types of hops taste and smell citrusy.  In response to this reaction the brewers added a load of fresh grapefruit peel to an already high alpha brew.  This made for a delightfully bitter, yet refreshing 8.2 percent IPA that I would say is an imperial grapefruit ale! IGA!  I wonder if that will be a new division of beer in the future.  The label looks futuristic enough to make me believe this beer is straight out of the DeLorean, and “Doc” brewed it in Mr. Fusion out of grapefruit peels.

Where Art of Beer Meets the Chemistry of Brewing, would be a great tagline for this project.  This beer is catering to beer nerds who, I guess, are not “arrogant” enough for the brewers at Stone, so they are brewing up this special beer that is more scientific than the rest of their brews.  Well, they got this beer nerd.  I found this beer to be delicious.  A bit more floral than I was expecting at 95 IBU’s.  I was thinking it would be extra bitter, but I guess I have already been “ruined” (Ruination IPA reference) and this one was very palatable.  The grapefruit became more pronounced after about half an hour of the bottle sitting on the counter as I slowly sipped on this strong ale.  I have to give the Stochasticity Project a thumbs up!  What will be the next part of this project?

To artistic beer!  To utilizing the scientific method to brew unknown beers, to boldly going where no brewer has gone before, to artfully discovering the best ingredients in beer other than barley, hops, water and yeast!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA by Stone Brewing Co Year of Beer

Year of Beer 03.30. Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA by Stone Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 88

Today’s Year of Beer painting is of Odyssey Imperial IPA from Sly Fox Brewing Company!  I cracked this can with my friend Jay from Philly, mailed to me by my friend Rich from Philly.  It was cool drinking PA beer with a guy from PA.  He was stoked to have a little taste from home, as we slaved in the kitchen making a home-brewed batch of cream ale.  Making beer that won’t go far, while drinking beer from afar!  What a life, eh?  The Sly Fox Odyssey is tasty and is a good example of a double IPA with fun graphics on the can.  I wish I was able to brew IPA well (hoping with my next brew kit upgrade to do it right).

The more I read about beer-related events in Philadelphia, the more I want to go there to experience the beer scene first hand.  I see a trip in my near future.  Sly Fox has a Maibock Fest with an annual goat race!  How cool is that?  Right in line with the Running of the Reindeer here during Fur Rondezvous in Anchorage, Alaska.  They name the year’s Maibock after the goat that wins the race, so the last two years the beer has been called Peggy.  I like the name of the first goat that won, Weird Beard!  Coincidentally, the barley wine at Silver Gulch Brewing Co. in Fairbanks is also named Weird Beard.  I wonder if there’s a connection.

Cheers to a successful brewery known as Sly Fox!  I wish it distributed to Alaska!  Maybe we can have our own goat (or REINDEEER!) race… maybe on King Street, or at Arkose?

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Sly Fox Odyssey IPA Pennsylvania beer

Year of Beer 03.29. Odyssey Imperial IPA by Sly Fox Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 87

Today’s beer painting is of HooDoo Brewing Company’s IPA!  Be forewarned, this 7.2% IPA should be enjoyed responsibly.  I was responsible enough to leave my car at the hotel and make the 10 minute short walk over to the brewery.  When I arrived to the new Fairbanks hot-spot known as HooDoo, I was blown away with the cool outdoor ice bar that was about to melt in the above-30-degree weather, which was also a pleasant surprise!  A crowd of thirsty beer lovers was already crowding the tasting room!  I got situated, tasted all the on-draft offerings, and realized my favorite was the IPA, and got to work making this painting.  This was my first onsite beer painting in a brewery.  I have done photo-shoots at breweries before, but painting live was a first for me.

Fairbanks is so cool now that it has HooDoo right there in town.  Silver Gulch Brewing Company in Fox has been a favorite of mine since I first visited it over five years ago, but making a 20 mile round trip drive just for fresh beer seems like a bit of a schlep.  Nonetheless, after driving 350+ miles to Fairbanks, we checked into the hotel, and drive straight to Silver Gulch.  There is totally room for another brewery, or three in the Fairbanks area — a hub of a pretty large Alaska community.

HooDoo was founded by Bobby Wilken, a local Fairbanksian, who started home brewing in college in Montana.  He found his passion for craft beer, graduated with a business degree, left for Germany to study the art of brewing in München, traveled extensively in Europe honing his palette, and returned to Fairbanks to build HooDoo in 2011.

I enjoyed painting this beer as I was surrounded by its loyal consumers!  I also found it to be a spot on IPA, even though it is not very session-able.  Those pints felt large, too!  Seemed more like 20 oz than 16, but those engineers in Fairbanks always give a little wiggle room!  It is floral and delicious, more of a double than a single, which is my normal octane.  I was on overdrive as I finished this piece up and having a blast!

To HooDoo, you are fine hosts in our central Alaskan hub!  Bringing fine beer culture to a great Alaskan destination!  Cheers!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of HooDoo IPA Pint in Fairbanks Alaska Year of Beer

Year of Beer 03.28. IPA at HooDoo Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 86

Today’s beer painting is of my favorite homebrew of all time known as the SPR, Scott’s Private Reserve.  All great beers have three-letter name acronyms: IPA, ESB, APA, PBR, and now SPR.  I named my favorite beer after myself, because I wanted people to know that I made it.  This is the first beer recipe I made 100% on my own, and I am constantly monkeying with the formula, mostly because I try to keep my homebrew affordable, and I use ingredients that are freshest and readily available.  Large doses of dark grain and hops make this dark beer more of a porter than a stout.  I brewed this particular dark ale with California ale yeast #5 from White Labs, the liquid yeast that comes in a vial.  This yeast produces a fruity quality in the brew.  I used exclusively Simcoe hops, which is one of my favorites.  Normally utilized as a bittering hop, this high alpha hop does the trick nicely.  Simcoe has a piney citrus aroma that will knock your hat in the creek!  I brewed three batches in a row, each with different hops and yeast.  The dark grain is always delicious with any combination of yeast and hops to go along with it.  This is a session beer that is not too strong.  I hate hangovers and I brew this one to be consumed during the long dark winter when people gather and have deep conversations in Alaska.  I keep the beer light in alcohol, but high in flavor to enhance the moment.

Here’s to homebrewing!  A fun hobby with great results!  If you haven’t had an SPR, stop by and I’ll pour one out for ya!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer painting of homebrew stout in mason kerr pint jar year of beer

Year of Beer 03.27. Scott’s Private Reserve Homebrew. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 85

Today’s Year of Beer painting is of Karbach Brewing Co’s Mother-in-Lager, which is a Munich Dunkel lager!  To me it tasted like a Bock, not too hoppy.  Actually, my mother-in-law would love this brew!  She is always after a sweeter, maltier option!  So the story goes that this brew was invented to provide the patience required to deal with a visit from your mother-in-law.  Its dark color is perfect for stealth drinking, coffee cups anybody? I received this can in the mail from Karbach Brewing directly from Houston, Texas!  I was really excited to see a lager in the batch, but I was surprised when I poured a mahogany dark liquid from the can.  Then my second impression was, duh, just because it is lagered doesn’t mean it has to be yellow and fizzy!  I was also stoked on the name.  Great marketing Karbach!  Who wouldn’t have this around just to tell friends, uh oh, I got a case of the Mother-in-Lager, she’s on her way!  Basically, this beer rocks.  What else can grease the ease of impending judgement than a fresh dark lager? To Houston’s beer scene!  I wish distribution to Alaska was possible, because I would keep a case of the Mother-in-Lager on hand!  It’s a seasonal, so stock up now!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting Mother in Lager karbach brewing houston texas year of beer

Year of Beer 03.26. Mother-in-Lager by Karbach Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 84

Today’s beer painting is of Beard Beer by Rogue Ales!  Started in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon by founder Jack Joyce, the brewery moved to Newport, Oregon to start a second facility in response to prompting from restaurant owner Mo Neime.  Mo met John Maier, the current head brewer in Newport, at an airport the year the brewery was to be opened, and he has been working there ever since.  The wild yeast strain used to ferment this beer was found in his beard by White Labs, a premier company in yeast cultivation.  White Labs plucked seven hairs from John’s beard, and propagated what is described as a mix between the proprietary strain of yeast Rogue uses in most of its brews, Pacman yeast, and a wild yeast strain.  Since John has kept the same beard since 1989 and has brewed over 15,000 batches before the beard beer was conceived, no wonder a totally viable yeast variety was alive in John’s beard.  In the background of this painting, I painted a likeness of yeast cells.  How is that for news of the beard!

Alaska has a beard fetish.  Most men either consider sporting a beard, have one already, or are experiencing beard envy.  The ladies… well, they put up with beards.  I am currently growing mine back after shaving it for a rowdy mustache competition at Midnight Sun Brewing Company.  Ironically, I didn’t win, but my wife did (in the faux division).  When my friend Rob, who has a dark, luxurious, full-facial beard brought out a bottle of the Beard Beer, I had to taste it.  I am a long time home-brewer and the thought of cultivating yeast from a beard in a mega batch that Rogue made didn’t bother me at all.  In fact, contrary to what the reviewers of Beer Advocate thought of this particular brew, I thought it was delicious.  To me it tasted like an American pale ale with Belgian ale yeast.  My wife was hesitant to try it, but agreed that it was pretty tasty.  Even the White Labs guys couldn’t believe how viable this yeast is.  After tasting the Beard brew, they thought they may have accidentally switched the petri dish for the regular Pacman yeast, which I will tell you is not quite as funky.  This yeast produces a tartness that is absent from regular ales I have had from Rogue.  I have sampled many of them, as I love Newport and have visited the brewery several times!

To Rogue Ales!  PLEASE keep making a great product, keep trying to integrate with our communities, and keep creating unique thunder!  GO ROGUE!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Beard Beer by Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. Year of Beer 3.25 Day 84

Year of Beer 03.25. Beard Beer by Rogue Ales. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 83

Today’s Year of Beer painting is the Tröegs brothers’ winter seasonal Nugget Nectar Imperial Amber.  First off this beer is delicious!  Any hop-minded individual will find this to be the most divine brew!  I was lucky enough to get this beer sent to me all the way from Hershey, Pennsylvania!  I took it to the GNBC (Great Northern Brewers Club) meeting where it was a big hit.  Several people mentioned that it was a perfect example of what a hoppy imperial beer should be like!  I was glad to share such a special offering, as normally I serve up home-brew to my fellow club members and they try to tell me what I have done to create such weird off flavors.

The Trogner brothers named the Brewery Tröegs because it is a combination of their last name and Kroeg (Dutch for pub).  They started brewing in 1997, and recently moved from Harrisburg to Hersheys, PA, tripling the size of their operation.  I really look forward to making a trip to Pennsylvania to taste all these amazing brews!  This is the first posting of hopefully more Tröegs beers!  Stay tuned around Christmas for my interpretation of the Mad Elf winter warmer with cherries and honey added!  It is soooo GOOD!

To brews from Pennsylvania where beer hit America!  Americans may not have a 5,000 year old history of brewing, but brewing started in PA.  Tradition speaks, but Pennsylvania beer screams drink me!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Nugget Nectar by Tröegs Brewing Co. Year of Beer 03.24. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 03.24. Nugget Nectar by Tröegs Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.



Year of Beer Paintings – Day 82

Keep Calm and Carry On!  Get spicy, get ready, keep that ostrich head out of the sand,  because the Chivery has hired Resignation and Redhook breweries to brew this uniquely amazing “contract brew.”  To me this brew tasted like a Redhook product,  but I was also reminded of Alaskan Amber, the malt base and yeast must be similar.  Although it is a lager, I didn’t notice any pilsner qualities in this dark beer.  It is more like a German bock.  For a more detailed description, read Dr. Fermento’s review of this brew. As an artist, I like to see the intellectual end of the creative process.  I invent and reinvent breweries in my mind all the time.  Each one getting more elaborate and far-fetched as I go.   The fun for me is in the day dreaming.  I keep telling my wife these crazy ideas, mostly involving the amazing tap room that would also be my painting gallery space.  She balks, overwhelmed because the pathway there is not easy.  When I see groups like the Chivery making a successful product like KCCO Black Lager, I feel encouraged. To starting out, using your resources and being smart about what you do!  If you Keep Calm and Carry On, everything will work out!  CHEERS KCCO!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Painting series gallery.

Beer Painting of KCCO Black Lager. Keep Calm and Carry On.

Year of Beer 03.23. KCCO Black Lager. Keep Calm and Carry On. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 81

The beer painting of the day is Moscow Imperial Russian Stout by Midnight Sun Brewing Company in Anchorage, Alaska!  “Alaska’s Most Wanted!”  This Russian Imperial Stout brewed with rye is a fantastic beer, one worth cellaring.  I have a couple of bottles tucked away for a rainy, or special day.  The rich flavor of chocolate and the bitterness of the rye are apparent without even drinking a sip of this fine brew, it’s all in the aroma.  The flavor brings up thoughts of Catherine the Great rolling around in her super fine carriage sipping rich imported brew from London.  This beer emulates that same brew that the Russian Court loved to order all the way to Moscow.

I love MSBC brews, and this is one of the brewery’s finer offerings.  Amazing that a small kettle makes such a big beer.  It is one to linger over, one to sip and savor, a beer that should not be gulped.  Find a nice, big, comfy chair, fill your glass and relax, contemplating what has made your life so rosy!

To Moscow and the Kremlin, the richest fortress government cathedral!  So much power in one citadel.  MSBC, you captured that same type of power and put it in a bottle!  За здоровье! (to your health!)

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

View the complete gallery of the Year of Beer Paintings series.

Beer painting of Moscow Russian Imperial Stout by Midnight Sun Brewing Company. Year of Beer 03.22. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 03.22. Moscow Russian Imperial Stout by Midnight Sun Brewing Company. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.