Monthly Archives: May 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 141

The daily beer painting is of Stone Brewing Company’s Imperial Russian Stout (2014 release).  If you have never had an imperial Russian stout, get down to the store, and if you are lucky enough to see Stone’s latest version, nab it now!  We were very pleased with our bottle last night, it was extremely delicious!  This is the kind of beer that cellars well, so consider buying a case and putting away a few bottles.

This beer style is like India Pale Ale (IPA) in that its formulation was invented by the English as an export product.  This one wasn’t going to India, but to the Russian courts in Moscow!  So if we call India Pale Ale an IPA, why don’t we call Imperial Russian Stout an IRS?

Whatever the name is, this beer was a delight to my taste buds.  Stone brewers are “arrogant bastard” for a reason; they really delivered on this one, as they do with many of their products.  Roasted barley, dark chocolate, coffee and a light caramel flavor are predominate in the overall taste.  The smell is amazing, and you can totally sense the high alcohol content (11%) right away!  We went for a walk after this one, but I should have just gone to bed.  I had a nice time, but it was a bit dreamy.  Maybe, as my friend Rich Morgan would say, this is a “nighty night beer.”

Great work Stone!  I wish I could drink this beer for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, alas I just don’t have the liver for it!  Keep up the good work; you deserve to be smug about it!

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 Imperial Russian Stout by Stone Brewing Co. Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.21. Imperial Russian Stout by Stone Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 140

The daily beer painting is of Estate Homegrown Ale from 2012 by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. I came across this particular bottle when my wife (and Business Manager) won it as a raffle prize at our local Great Northern Brewers Club meeting. I didn’t realize that it was already two years old until I opened it, while I was painting it, and noticed rust inside the cap, which had been preserved with a wax seal. Nonetheless, this bottle had righteous, thick foam, like a thick orange cheese. I still had remnants of foam on my last sip! The first sip had notes of butterscotch and caramel, and I thought that this beer had been aged too long, but as I let it sit and sipped it over a two-hour period, the taste improved, and the hop flavor exploded in my mouth with each sip.

This beer is brewed from ingredients grown at the Sierra Nevada Estate Farm, right there at the brewery in Chico, California. One hundred percent organic, the only other brewery I know that is growing its own organic ingredients is Rogue for its Farm Series.

Sierra Nevada, your brewery may be large, but it is not boring! I am always impressed by the way you use your imperial forces for good, not evil! Cheers! Keep up the hard work!

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 Estate Homegrown Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.20. Estate Homegrown Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 139

Safely made it to my shack in McCarthy at 2 AM in a rainstorm last night.  Looks like the cabin project weathered the harsh Wrangell mountains winter just fine.

The daily beer painting is of Singha Lager Beer from the Boon Rawd Brewery Company in the lovely country of Thailand.  Singha (pronounced Sing in Thai) is a Euro style pale lager brewed since 1933.  Originally brewing to supplement a growing interest in European imported beer, Boon Rawd is the first, and oldest Thai brewery.  The Singha, or garuda is the name of the lion creature pictured on the bottle.  Singha beer is the only beer allowed to have this royal symbol on its bottle, receiving the official government stamp in 1939.  Look closely at the stamp on the bottleneck and you will see that it says, “By royal permission”.

Another amazing thing about this beer is that it is an all-malt beer, which makes it a true Euro style lager.  American lagers have adjunct grains added, such as rice and corn, so for an Asian brewery to forgo the rice is noteworthy, and is obvious in the final product!

ขอขอบคุณและเป็นที่อร่อย

Translation: “Thank you! It is delicious!”

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 Singha Lager Beer from Thailand Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.19. Singha Lager Beer by Boon Rawd Brewery Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 138

Driving to my remote property in McCarthy today, right after I paint tomorrow’s beer painting.  Still gotta pack for a two-week trip, and shut down the condo, before the eight-hour drive.  Good thing the sun doesn’t set until… well, I’m note sure, I haven’t seen darkness in about a week.  I have to paint more in McCarthy than I did in Hawaii, so expect to see some paintings with backgrounds of logs and trees.  I am loaded up on tasty beers and am excited to put my outdoor studio back together.  I painted a whole art show out there in 2011.

The daily beer painting is of 1554 from New Belgium Brewing Co.  This beer is awesome!  I remember my first tasting of it, before New Belgium distributed to Alaska.  I was on a family ski trip in Sun Valley, Idaho and a cousin from Colorado brought a six-pack of this fine black lager back to our ski condo.  I was intrigued by the date and style, but not as impressed as I was with the flavor!  This beer is dark, but also smooth.  More bitter than a bock, but not too hoppy as it has a roasted barley chocolate taste.  The lagering process mellows out all the flavors.  Overall, a great one for ski après!  I am a huge fan of New Belgium Brewing and hope that it doesn’t meddle with this amazing beer, because it is as close to perfect as possible at this point, not too weak, yet won’t put hair on your chest.

I’m about to start painting more Colorado beers.  I recently connected with a gentleman from Colorado who is willing to mail me some tasty brews from the Centennial State in return for Alaska beer.  I also received some excellent input on reddit.com.

Three cheers for Colorado!  Hooray for Ranger!  Hooray for Fat Tire!  Hooooray for 1554, the be-ee-er of the day!

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 1554 black lager by New Belgium Brewing co year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 05.18. 1554 Black Lager by New Belgium Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 137

The daily beer painting is of Hofbräuhaus Original, one of the finest brews in the world!  Well, if you like a Munich Helles Lager, that is.  This really is the “King of Beers,” as it was originally the Royal Brewery founded by Duke Wilhelm V in 1589, and was built right in the spot where the Hofbräuhaus exists today!  During its heyday, way back when, only royalty and invited guests could drink at this amazing beer destination.  During this time period the brewers switched the beer from the traditional old style brown ale to Hefeweizen.  At this time in Germany, beer was considered liquid bread, and extremely good for your health.  Just another part of the Germans’ complete breakfast.  The ladies of the court were known to drink seven liters of the hefe per day!  Germans have historically cared about the quality of the beer they drink starting with the Reinheitsgebot Law of 1512, which is the first known legislation over food production.  Reinheitsgebot Law states that only water, malt, yeast, and hops are allowed in beer.

The Hofbräuhaus is still there right in Munich’s city center and has the largest tent at Octoberfest.  The Duke is no longer in control of the brewery, but it is still owned by the governing body of Bavaria.  There is seating for 5,000 inside the beer hall, and overflow outside in the beer garden.  Don’t sit at a regular’s table, or you may be asked to move to a different seat, or to the beer garden.  I went to the Hofbräuhaus when I was 20 years old in 2000.  I was studying abroad in Athens, Greece, and during the fall break I made a trip to Germany for some tasty beers.  I had been fighting a cold for about two weeks when I got there.  I was sitting outside in the beer garden next to my friend’s mother.  I thought a liter of helles lager should be enough, but when my friend’s mom ordered me a second one, I was concerned about my cold getting worse.  She exclaimed, “When will you be back at the Hofbräuhaus?  Drink up, you pansy!”  So I did as I was told.  She was right.  Although I have been back to Germany twice since then, I still haven’t been back to Munich.  Hmm… maybe it’s time for another trip to Germany.

Ein prost! Auf dem besten Bier in Bayern, Reinheitsgebot und mein Lieblingsbier Bayrisch!

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 Hofbrauhaus Original Munich Germany Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.17. Hofbräuhaus Original. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 136

The daily beer painting is of Portland Brewing Company’s MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale.  I don’t remember if I have told you how I go about painting a beer, but I start by painting the bottle first.  Then, before painting an outline of the glass, I put the beer back in the fridge so it will stay cool.  Next, I paint the background image, and finally, I open the beer and pour it into the glass and quickly examine the foam before it dissipates, and paint the beer while it’s still in its prime.  So I work from life, but also from different sources, incorporating a lot of personal images I have gathered over the last few years.  So when I cracked open this bottle I could smell my college years wafting back into my memory.  I used to drink this beer in Oregon, coming from Alaska before craft beer was as popular as it is today.  Alaskan Amber was my beer of choice back in those days, and since it was hard to find in the small town of Independence, Oregon, “Mac’s” was the alternative.

Rich, balanced, and roasty, I like this Amber ale, although I have developed a taste for hop forward beers since.  I love the cascade hop flavor you taste in this brew even if it only has 30 or so IBUs!  The craft beer scene has developed dramatically since 2000.  Portland, Oregon (the City of Roses) brews some of the best beer in the world.  Portland Brewing Company has been doing a great job since 1986!  Two years before the class of ’88, this brewery has been doing it longer than most craft breweries in the USA!  Now there are a slew of new brews available, and Portland Brewing hopefully will lead the way, making its classic styles and, some new ones, for generations to come!

Cheers to great craft beers! Portland Brewing Company, you did a “damn good job making Mac’s Amber Ale!

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 mactarnahan's amber ale by portland brewing co year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 05.16. MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale by Portland Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 135

The daily beer painting is of 120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.  At 18% alcohol by volume, I do not think this can be considered an IPA.  It tasted like an American style barleywine!  The brewery says it is pushing the boundaries of what beer should be.  I think they hit the mark on his one – it is decidedly pushing the envelope for booziness.  Oh, did I mention the one I drank was bottled in February 2009?  I tasted the age and the malt, but the hops had long since changed into fruity esters.  It reminded me of drinking world-class barleywine, one aged in whiskey or cognac barrels, even though this IPA never touched oak.  Thanks Rich, for mailing me such a unique and tasty brew!  I will do my best to send something back that will be very good.  I think you might win on this one though (not that it’s a contest, Alaska can’t compete with the Philly beer scene).

Dogfish Head, what lovely beer you produce!  Keep it up, and some to Alaska!

P. S. The hourglass pictured behind the beer in this painting is the prop from the Wizard of Oz, because after drinking this beer you might be thinking, “This ain’t Kansas anymore, Toto!”

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 120 minute ipa by dogfish head brewery year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 05.15. 120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 134

The daily beer painting is of Black House Coffee Roasty Stout by Modern Times Beer.  This is an oatmeal stout with a healthy dose of fresh roasted coffee.  That’s right, Modern Times, in San Diego, California has its own coffee roasting machine (pictured in the painting) and makes this beer all in-house, including roasting the coffee.  The brewery claims that since it does the roasting, it has complete control to select the best beans and varieties for this brew.  With 75 percent Ethiopian, and 25 percent Sumatran, this is a nice coffee beer.  I would have to say I am a coffee fan.  Tragically, I’m about to break into my last pound of precious Kona coffee.  I love the stuff as much as I love beer, so when this beer arrived in the mail from San Jose, I did a little happy dance!  Coffee beer has to be treated with respect, however, and I can’t say it is my “go to” brew of choice every time.  It can leave me in a sleepless state, depending on its potency of alcohol to caffeine content.  If I drink a coffee beer around 8 pm, and if the brewers achieved a good caffeine extraction, I won’t sleep.  I approach coffee beers as a transitional beer between coffee time and beer time.  I had this one at 4 pm right as I was putting the last strokes on the painting.

Cheers to Modern Times and its coffee robot!  What is its name?  Do you call it Roasty McBeanroaster?  I like the off-road wheels, perfect for getting around a coffee plantation.  Any chance you will put some Kona Coffee in an über special batch?

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 Black House Coffee Roasty Stout by Modern Times Beer Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.14. Black House Coffee Roasty Stout by Modern Times Beer. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 133

The daily beer painting is of White Mountain Porter from Big Island Brewhaus!  I carefully wrapped this beer and brought it to Anchorage in my luggage, because it was the most noteworthy beer I found on the Big Island!  The roasted coconut and the Hamakua coast coffee were the perfect match for re-tasting the Island after I returned to Alaska!  Not complaining about the 5.8 percent, for a robust porter that seems perfectly normal.  I wish all the Hawaiian brews were like this one, brewed with ingredients grown on the Island.  I have half a mind to move to Hawaii and start a brewery that produces only tropical, fruity beers.

The Big Island Brewhaus is in Waimea, which was a two-hour drive from where I was staying, but it was worth it.  The restaurant doesn’t look like much (nor does the brewery for that matter), but like most places on the Big Island, it’s the heart that counts, and these guys really are brewing up some serious Aloha!  I sampled every beer that was available on tap, 13 in all, and each one was delicious.  I would highly recommend making a trip to the Big Island Brewhaus if you’re on the Big Island!

Mahalo, Big Island Brewhaus!  You make ono-licious beer and bring the Aloha to the table!  I hope you succeed and that your success is received in a way that expands your ho’okipa!

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 Mountain Porter by Big Island Brewhaus in Hawaii Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 05.13. White Mountain Porter by Big Island Brewhaus. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 132

The daily beer painting is of Oberon Ale by Bell’s Brewery!  I wish I had the 5-liter mini keg of this beer sitting in front of me right now.  This highly hopped summer wheat ale is what Bell’s Brewery is all about!  Its proprietary yeast mixed with wheat malts and complex spicy hops makes this a fruity beer, with a smooth mouth feel. I had always believed Oberon to be an IPA, but I guess summer ale is a more appropriate name for this hop forward wheat ale.

It’s hard to get Michigan brews here in Alaska, even though there are many Michiganians living in Anchorage.  I’m always impressed when I get a sampling of Bell’s beer here, so if any of you are holding out on a special beer from far away that you think is equally great and should be included in the Year of Beer series, mail it to me and I will paint it and send you the number one print at no charge.

I painted this one in its home in the Mackinaw Forest sitting tall within the dense trees.  I think the orange label and the fruitiness of this beer pairs nicely with the green crispness of the forest.

To Oberon Ale!  A great beer only available half the year and to half the country… darn!  Here’s a request from Alaska, I am hoping Bell’s will distribute up here sometime soon!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings series.

Beer painting of oberon ale by bell's brewery in kalamazoo michigan year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 05.12. Oberon Ale by Bell’s Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.