Monthly Archives: April 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 120

Last day of the glorious month of April.  Yes!  I made it home safely to Alaska!  My packed beer paintings (and beers) from Hawai’i survived the trip.

The beer painting of the day is of Köstritzer Schwarzbier from the town of Bad Köstritz, and is famous for being the oldest schwartzbier!  First brewing this beer in 1543, this brewery has taken tradition to the next level, still utilizing the same beer recipe to this day.  Probably the most famous consumer of this beer over history has been Johann Wolfgang Von Geothe, who consumed this beer during the 19th century.  When he was unable to eat, this beer sustained him!

I love a great dark lager!  Auf Deutsch (in German), “Ich liebe Schwartzbier.”  This one is a good example, classic in form and flavor coming in at 4.8.  The flavors are roasted grain, chocolate and coffee aromas, but also the bready malt flavor of a lager yeast.  Velvety smooth, this beer goes down easily, even if it looks like a big tough dark beer!  If you are not a dark beer drinker, but are attempting to switch over to more hearty brews than simple lagers, here is one that will start you in the right direction.

Prost to a great German brewing tradition!  To Scwartzbier!  Ausgezeichnet Köstritzer, you have been producing an avant garde beer way, way, way ahead of its time!

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 koestritzer schwarzbier from germany year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 04.30. Köstritzer Schwarzbier. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.


Year of Beer Paintings – Day 119

The beer painting of the day is of Kirin Ichiban.  This is the oldest brewery in Japan.  “Ichi” means first, and “ban” means best.  The Beer Advocate community doesn’t think very highly of this beer, but I think it is a great refresher for a simple beer with simple meals.  Also, it may be fresher here in Hawaii than on the East Coast, probably due to the high turnover from the large population of Asians here on the Island.  This beer is normally pretty expensive, like Heineken or Bitburger, because it is considered an imported beer, but here on the Big Island this offering is affordable.  Unlike most Japanese beers that are brewed with rice, just like Budweiser, Kirin is a crisp, clear, all-malt beer!

Well, I fly home tonight.  I’ll be home painting new brews shortly.  Looking forward to drinking craft beer that isn’t heat contaminated.  Even Sierra Nevada Pale Ale tastes a little off here.  The hops just can’t hang with a five day sail.  Makes you wonder about the original IPA, and how much it must have sucked by the time it hit India.

Way to go Kirin!  Loving the crisp taste of the ichiban beer of Japan!  Especially here on the Big Island of Hawaii, which could totally use a few more craft breweries!

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 Kirin Ichiban from Japan Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 04.29. Kirin Ichiban. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 118

I head home to Alaska tomorrow.  Hawai’i, you’ve been great, but in the words of Dorothy, “There’s no place like home.”  I have been enjoying the magic of the Islands, but this can’t last forever.  Time to get back to my studio.

The beer painting of the day is of Latrobe Brewing Company’s Rolling Rock.  Latrobe, founded in 1893, didn’t start brewing Rolling Rock until 1939 right after the end of prohibition.  This beer has a lot of American history, and I also like the classic marketing with the horse, the name and the cool screen-printed bottle.  This is a great beer for the beach at only 4.4% alcohol, especially in a can.  It is an extra pale lager, for sure.  If you keep it cold, it is refreshing until the last drop.  If it warms up, well, you better like bready beer flavor.

All Rolling Rocks have the number 33 screen-printed on the back.  What is the mystery behind this number?  Nobody really knows, but many have guessed.  Here are a few of my favorite guesses!

  1. There may be 33 streams that meet up at Latrobe where the brewery gets the water for this crisp clean beer.
  2. The original founder bet on a horse named Latrobe #33 for $33, which is how he funded the brewery.
  3. Prohibition ended in ’33, even though Rolling Rock was introduced in ’39.  Maybe the founders wanted to celebrate being able to consume beer legally again.
  4. On each bottle there is a 33-word slogan explaining why this beer is great.
  5. Since this beer is an adjunct American Lager, maybe 33 degrees is the proper temperature for serving this brew.
  6. There are supposedly 33 steps from the brew master’s office to the brewing room floor, or maybe 33 steps in the process of making this beer.
  7. If you add up all the letters of the ingredients it is 33 letters.

Well, whatever it may be, 33 has a nice feel to it.  I wish I had put this one as the 33rd entry into the series, but then I wouldn’t have had it in Hawaii on the beach.

To Latrobe and the mystery behind the “33” on the bottle, ingredients, steps, racehorses, or whatever it may be that is part of the fun!  Thanks for brewing a great beach beer, and I hope you stay true to the original formula!

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 Rolling Rock by Latrobe Brewing Co Year of Beer

Year of Beer 04.28. Rolling Rock by Latrobe Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 117

Only two days left on the Big Island!  Have to go back to Alaska soon, but that is okay.  Although Hawaii has a couple brew oases, Alaska is in a different league!

The beer painting of the day is of an island familiar, known as Steinlager Classic.  New Zealand threatened to cut imported beer to the Island.  As a result, a European lager beer was brewed by Lion Nathan.  This beer, originally called Steinecker in 1957 after the tanks in which it was created, was changed to Steinlager in 1962 to establish brand identity from Heineken.  In 1973, the brewery established distribution to the United States and switched to a green bottle to be more in line with European-equivalent products (bad call as green bottles are more prone to light contamination).

Since I love Kiwis (New Zealand’s national bird and a slang term for New Zealanders), I put a big one in the background of this painting, eating bugs right behind the beer.  When I was on the cross-country running team in college I met several international athletes from NZ and learned how to drink beer.  Those young guys swilled the stuff down like it was going out of style.  They also taught me to sound like a Kiwi saying stuff like, “Gidday mate!  Put sausages on the Barbie, and a crate of Steinies in the chilly bin, bro, we’ll have a bugger sweet party.”  Translation, “Hello friend!  Let’s put some hotdogs on the grill and put a case of Steinlager in the cooler, we are going to have a damn good party.”

To all the Kiwis out there, here’s a toast to you!  Thanks for making a nice island alternative!  Steinlager, you are a unique brewery.  Producing international class lager!

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 Steinlager classic new zealand Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 04.27. Steinlager Classic. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 116

I remember the first time I drank an Asahi Extra Dry.  I was in a Tokyo hostel in 2010 and purchased a 500 ml can from a vending machine for 500 yen.  I think I had a second one, because I was relieved I had found the hostel in the dark and in pouring rain, which happened to be on the 18th floor of the tallest building in the area.  I could see for miles around, just like when I visited the Asahi tower the next day.  The Asahi tower looks like a beer glass with foam on top and the brewery next to it looks like a black, old-fashioned brew kettle with golden steam rising from it.  If you have never had an Asahi, it is the number one seller of beer and soft drinks in Japan, and better beer than most American domestics.  It sure tastes great with sushi. Surprisingly (heavy irony) I found the best sushi in Japan.  Not in Tokyo where I thought it would be, but in a beach resort town called Shirahama.  After riding the shinkansen (bullet train) out of Tokyo, I arrived at a minshuku (a Japanese B&B), and the host told me to go to his friend’s sushi restaurant, which had a great reputation.  I learned that sushi means finger food in Japanese.  Another amazing feature of Shirahama are the onsen (hot springs).  You can get hotspring water piped to your house in Shirahama.  Our host had three special baths: one for men, one for women, and one for families.  The best onsen bath was right next to the Pacific Ocean, naturally carved out of lava rocks.  Having separate sides for men and women, this place didn’t allow clothing. Drink up an Asahi Extra Dry at your next sushi gathering.  I prefer to roll mine at home.  That way I can drink whatever I want. Tosuto oishi Nippon biru!  To tasty Japanese beer!  Way to be Asahi, you are a big fish in a big pond, rockin’ your way all around the world!

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 Japan beer Asahi Extra Dry Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 04.26. Asahi Extra Dry. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 115

The beer painting of the day is of Bikini Lager from Maui Brewing Co.  This beer is 100% brewed in Hawaii on the island of Maui, only 75 miles away from where I am kickin’ it here on the Big Island!  The brewery’s catch phrase for this beer is, “Bikini Blonde Lager.  What the sailors really come to shore for.”  Maui Brewing Co. claims this is a German Helles Lager brewed with only malt and hops.  This beer is bready and has a slight hop flavor, making it a great beer for the beach!

Okay, lets talk about the fruit in the background.  I must tell you now that the best fruit in the world is the banana!  And one of the best varieties of bananas, known as apple bananas, grows in Hawaii!  These little neeners are so sweet, tart and firm, I am not sure if they are even from the same planet, let alone a relative to the regular, long, skinny, flavorless examples we normally get in Alaska!  These bananas are ono-licious (Hawaiian slang for very tasty).  Although they cost three times more, it’s well worth it.  Beautiful weather, wonderful beaches, classic helles lager.  These are all good reasons to visit Hawaii, but the bananas are worth moving here for!  Maybe when the Year of Beer is over I’ll buy a banana (and honey) farm here and move to the Big Island!

To Maui Brewing Co!  Making the Aloha come true!  Not only is your beer great, it is also 100% brewed on the island of Maui!  Sipping on this tasty brew, I never felt more at home here, except for maybe when eating a banana from the farmers market!

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 bikini blonde lager by maui brewing co in hawaii year of beer

Year of Beer 04.25. Bikini Blonde Lager by Maui Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 114

April 24th, and my trip to Hawaii is winding to a close.  Four whole days left and I’m headed to the Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea today!  I hear good things about it.  The beer painting of the day is Nooner IPA by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.  I feel bad buying beer from the Mainland while I am here in Hawaii, but the selection on this island has left a lot to be desired.  The Arrogant Bastards would say it’s full of big business, not true craft brew.  I am finding pockets of good beer here and there, but it is more of a scavenger hunt than expected.  This island needs more breweries!  Okay, back to Nooner, what a perfect beach brew!  This tiny IPA comes in at 4.8% and packs a nice flavor like Torpedo on a diet.  I can have one and a half and still feel safe to make it back to the rental house!

Joe Sixpack gave Sierra Nevada and the entire American brewing community some flack about putting IPA in front of the name of every beer.  Since IPAs are hot, naming beers an IPA makes the beer sell better.  He was comparing it to Irish beers, which were all the rage for the last thirty years.  Joe, let me know when you see an Irish IPA and I will paint it!

As I mentioned before I am on the Big Island and I have been overwhelmed with beautiful flowers every day!  The one in this painting is one of the most famous tropical flowers, Hibiscus.  Hawaiian Hibiscus is actually normally yellow.  Most Hawaiian flora and fauna are tamer than their mainland counterparts due to the lack of predators and their isolation.  This Hibiscus growing at our rental house is actually a Chinese Hibiscus and is considered a pest.  Live and learn – an out-of-state beer with an out-of-state flower.  Can’t get a more Mainland mentality than that.

To Sierra Nevada, creating a perfect beach beer!  Way to keep coming up with great beer and great marketing!

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 Nooner IPA by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Year of Beer

Year of Beer 04.24. Nooner IPA by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.