Monthly Archives: May 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 151

Last day of May, and I have to head back to Anchorage tomorrow.  I am hoping my beer fridge is still running smoothly.  I can’t believe the last two weeks have gone by so fast.

The daily beer painting is of a collaborative project by Cigar City Brewing Company from Florida, and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Company, called the Lips of Faith Series.  This brew is made with Anaheim and Marash chilies.  Okay, so I admit I didn’t know this was a chili beer when I purchased the bottle.  I have to remember to always read the fine print, because, although I claim to love all beer, chili beer has never been my preferred option.  However, I do love Cigar City’s beer, but it’s another brewery that doesn’t distribute to Alaska.  I also really enjoy New Belgium beer, and because it does distribute here I was able to pick up this beer at La Bodega in Anchorage a few weeks back.

When reading the label, I learned that this beer was aged on cedar, similar to the Humidor IPA by Cigar City – a truly amazing beer.  Either the chilies overwhelmed the cedar, or the flavor mix wasn’t quite right, because I tasted chilies mixed with an earthy flavor in this one.  I guess I should read Beer Advocate’s reviews before I purchase beers, as this one only received a BA score of 79.  Basically, anything under an 80 isn’t going to be a great example of that particular style (thanks, Rich, for that tip).  Cigar City, please start distributing to Alaska.  We love your beer here!  I sampled a couple great examples at the first Culmination Beer Festival.

Big risks on a project like chilies in a pale ale may not be as well received as chocolate nibs in stout.  I guess chilies in beer are not for everyone.  Have to go for beer in chili I think.

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 Lips of Faith Series Ale by Cigar City and New Belgium Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.31. Lips of Faith Series Ale by Cigar City Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

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Year of Beer Paintings – Day 150

The daily beer painting is of Avery Brewing Company’s India Pale Ale.  “Hop freaks unite!”  I would have to say this is one of the better regular octane (6.5% ABV) canned IPAs available across the nation.  I bought this one at La Bodega, and wish I had gotten a six-pack.  It is smooth and highly drinkable, yet full of hop bounty.  This IPA is rich, piny, floral, with a citrus zest, and not lacking in malt body.  As Avery says, “Brewed by hop heads for hop heads.”

If you get lost when out on a beer stroll, just look at the map on the can, and if you have an imagination, you could figure out where you are from the mish mash jumble of pixels that make up the antique map.  So maybe you won’t be able to find your way home from this map, but you can trace the route around the tip of Africa.  Just follow the red line leading out of England all the way to India.  I bet the beer they brewed for the journey was nothing like the American IPAs we drink today.  I can only imagine how warm the beer must have been in Africa and India.  I doubt the ocean could keep the cargo holds cold enough in such hot climates.

This beer is a hop forward delight.  Colorado has great beer, and Avery is leading the way with this floral offering.  Cheers to hoppy beers!

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 Avery Brewing Co IPA Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.30. IPA by Avery Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 149

The daily beer painting of the day is of Burton Baton Oak Aged Imperial India Pale Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.  Thanks for mailing me such a wonderful beer, Rich!  If this were the only beer left on earth, I would be totally fine with that, as long as it didn’t run out!  This is a particularly fine offering from one of the world’s greatest breweries.  Oak-aged, and good for cellaring if you can keep your hands off it.  I didn’t even have to take a sip to start enjoying this beer.  My nose could sense the aroma of citrus and fruit, followed by a woody sweetness and hints of caramel and vanilla from the barrel aging.  The first sip was a bit surprising, as the beer didn’t taste as sweet as I had expected, but more oaky.

So why the Burton Baton name?  Who is this guy pictured on the bottle playing his guitar?  Well, this beer is named after the yeast that is in it — Burtons English Ale yeast, and baton is for the blend of brews used to make this beer.  It starts out as an English old ale that is heavily hopped and aged four months in French oak staves.  It is then blended with the 90-minute boil IPA, creating a 10 percent monster of an imperial IPA.  The label art is a painting of a symbolic cowboy by Jon Langford, lead singer of the English punk band the Mekons.  So, the label is actually a symbol of America created by an English guy; a blend of goodness, kind of like this beer.

When I fly to the East Coast, I am very excited to go to the tasting room at DFH because 120 minute IPA is on draft there, as well as many other tasty options.  Burton Baton?  I always love going to the pub tasting room at a craft brewery.  Seems to me that this is one of the characteristics of a craft brewery over a regular brewery.  Almost all the giant German breweries are huge industrial zones, but quality craft breweries, even giant ones like Stone and Deschutes, have great pubs.

Cheers to Dogfish Head!  You have crafted a melody of flavor, a symphony of brews! The Burton Baton is probably beer perfection!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Burton Baton Imperial IPA by Dogfish Head Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.29. Burton Baton Oak-Aged Imperial IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 148

The daily beer painting is of White Oak Ale by The Bruery in Orange County, California.  Fifty percent ale and fifty percent ale aged in bourbon barrels, this beer is unique and flavorful.  The large 25.4 oz bottle is shaped like a Pinot Noir bottle.  This beer is known as a wheat wine, which has a delicious, strong flavor of grains.  If there were a beer style called an imperial hefeweizen, this would be it.  At 11.5% alcohol, you should sip this beer like wine!

People have been aging beer in oak barrels since the dawn of beer, but only a few breweries do it today, most opting for a more modern style of fermenting in steel tanks.  The steel fermenters (used to ferment cheaper wines these days as well) allow the beer to ferment in a completely clean way, like in a glass carboy.  Traditionally, brewers had to ferment beer in oak barrels because that was all they had.  Fermenting beer in bourbon casks makes it pull a rich warm flavor right out of the oak into the beer.  Being a 50 /50 blended beer makes this one exceptionally smooth, as the oak is subdued, but still evident.  Vanilla and sharp fruit, followed by a light sense of oak makes this beer exceptionally pleasant to drink compared to other beers with the same potency.  I would have another of these if I had it.  This bottle was mailed to me from San Jose, California (thanks Josh)!

Cheers to The Bruery, a great brewery in So-Cal!  Who would have thought brewers would start stealing some wine glory in that part of the world to make grade A beer?  Keep it up!

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 White Oak by The Bruery Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.28. White Oak Ale by The Bruery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 147

The daily beer painting is of LaGrave Triple Golden Ale by Tröegs Brewing Company, a Belgian triple that is bottle-conditioned in a corked bottle!  This is the first product from a new corking machine Tröegs recently acquired.  I love popping the top of a fancy beer that has a caged cork!  It sounds like a celebration every time I hear the easily recognizable POP!  The beer was excellent, but I wish I could have cellared it for about a year, but then it would not have made it into the Year of Beer series.  Fruity and sweet, with Belgian yeast notes, this beer is very much a triple and not a Saison.  I tasted pineapple and a bready yeast flavor.

Tröegs makes great beer, and I’m glad I discovered this brewery through this project.  The first bottle of Tröegs beer I tasted was the Mad Elf that arrived in my first ever beer mail (thanks Rich)!  I was hooked after the first sip!  I have also enjoyed and painted Nugget Nectar and Tröegenator!  Will Tröegs bottle Mad Elf with the new corking machine?  A tall boy can would also be very cool like the Tröegenator.

Way to be Tröegs!  I wish I were there in Hershey sampling all the particularly nice offerings available in PA!  I hope your brewery continues to expand with awesome examples of beer like LaGrave!

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 LaGrave Triple Golden Ale by Tröegs Brewing Co Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.27. LaGrave Triple Golden Ale by Tröegs Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 146

The daily beer painting is of Dunegräs IPA by Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer, Michigan.  This brewery does not distribute to Alaska; however, if you have the right connections, you can get special beers delivered to you wherever you may be!  Dunegräs is an American style IPA full of hop flavor and delicious floral beer goodness, but without any dune grass whatsoever.

This is the first beer I have had from Greenbush Brewing Company, a relatively new brewery established in 2010.  The founders Scott Sullivan and Justin Heckathorn must know what they are doing, judging from this IPA.  I have consumed a lot of IPA in my day, and this one was a very good offering – slightly cloudy and a little tart.

Way to be Greenbush, and welcome to the Year of Beer Paintings!  I hope that you enjoy looking at my paintings as much as I enjoyed drinking the Dunegräs!  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 Dunegräs IPA by Greenbush Brewing Company Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.26. Dunegräs IPA by Greenbush Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 145

The daily beer painting is of Big Swell IPA by Maui Brewing Company.  I brought this beer all the way home from Hawaii, and I figured I better drink it sooner rather than later.  For some odd reason this beer tasted better here in the Alaskan Boreal forest than on the side of Mauna Loa volcano.  Maybe this was directly related to running a chainsaw for two hours prior to drinking this one.

The Big Swell IPA is brewed in Hawaii from grain and hops that are shipped to the island, fresh Hawaiian spring water, and packaged in cans that are manufactured on the island.  So this is the real Hawaiian deal, and pretty fresh too.  I hope if you are lucky enough to go to the island of Maui (or any of the islands), pick up a case of these, because good beer in Hawaii is hard to find and the freshness isn’t guaranteed.  Prevent mainland mentality when living on the island – eat island beef, island fish, island fruit, island vegetables, and of course, island beer.  Keep it local to the island, and keep your cost low and value high!

Bold, hoppy beer in Hawaii makes me happy!  Great work Maui Brewing Co!  I appreciate your awesome, fresh island beer!

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 Big Swell IPA by Maui Brewing Company Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.25. Big Swell IPA by Maui Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.