Monthly Archives: July 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 212

The featured beer painting of the day is of Gone Fishin Mild Ale by Beer Valley Brewing Company of Ontario, Oregon. This beer is a low alcohol, low hop beer, so it’s perfect for just about anything. The style is an English dark, mild ale, which this brewery captured perfectly. I was in England in 2011, and found that most of the brews there are session ales. I had to try really hard to find a beer that was even comparable to an American IPA. So funny that the style of IPA is derived from an English tradition, but hardly anyone makes a true English IPA these days. Nobody is really drinking an IPA in England, everybody is drinking a beer comparable to this one. And by the pint! An English pint is notably larger than a regular pint here in ‘Merica. A British imperial pint is 20 oz, and you might actually get that much too, as the English don’t over-carbonate their beer!

This beer was caramel-malty smooth, refreshing, yet flavorful. Just like an easy drinking beer from England, you could swill down several of these, especially while fishing. When you are operating a boat floating down the Kenai River, you need to have your wits about you, and an American IPA at 8%, or so, is a bad idea, especially with all the hops involved. So steer clear of a hop bomb and drink a smooth, easy, almost thin beer like this one — the mild ale from Beer Valley!

Cheers to being Gone Fishin! I go dipnetting, the dude in this painting is fly fishin’, what’s your way? Spear fishin’ in Hawaii?

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 Gone Fishing Mild Ale by Beer Valley Brewing Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 07.31. Gone Fishin Mild Ale by Beer Valley Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 211

The featured beer painting of the day is of Hennepin Saison by Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY. When I first came to McCarthy, Alaska ten years ago, I was so taken with the beauty of the Kennicott and Copper River Valley that within three months of that first trip I had purchased ten acres. The following summer we came out on our first trip with a mission to build an outhouse. What we didn’t know is that under the thin layer of mossy soil, the ground is very rocky. My sister, my wife, and I took turns digging the hole in the woods with an old shovel that I had borrowed from my parents. After an hour, or two we estimated that we had dug down four feet, but I can assure you it was closer to two. Then, snap! The handle of the shovel broke off! So we looked around for a suitable replacement from a green willow tree, but no such luck. That was all the hole digging we could do on that trip! I built a plywood platform for the open-air outhouse, and set it on top of the hole. To christen the new improvement to our lot, we popped the cork on an Ommegang beer. Pop! We passed the bottle, as we hadn’t brought glasses. One of the highlights of that trip was cracking that bottle after a long day of digging in the hot sun, and I have always loved Ommegang ever since!

Father Louis Hennepin was the first European to see the Niagara Falls, so I should have painted that in the background (definitely not my outhouse), instead of the Cooperstown ball field. However, according to the Internet, Cooperstown is where Americans invented baseball. So I put the ball-field in the background. I am hoping to make a trip to see this amazing brewery when I head back east in November.

Cheers to popping corks in the woods! Thanks, Ommegang, for making a classy beer to enhance my life! Oh, and the beer was very good! I love a good, spiced saison!

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 Hennepin Saison by Brewery Ommegang Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 07.30. Hennepin Saison by Brewery Ommegang. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 210

The featured beer painting of the day is of Gigantic IPA by Gigantic Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon. When I grabbed this one off the shelf I was impressed with the cool graphic design of the label. I spent several years in the Portland area during my college years, and there was no sign of this beer at that time because the brewery opened in 2012. I wasn’t into beer painting back then, nor had I developed a taste for IPA yet. I was stuck in the land of Alaskan Amber and Guinness trying to convince my friends to quit drinking Coors Light, eventhough it did enhance our beer pong game (due to the high water content). I have now come around to IPAs, and I must say I loved the Gigantic IPA! Great art, great beer! What more do you need in a 22 oz bottle?

This beer has Cascade, Centennial, Crystal and Simcoe hops, making it a hop bomb for sure. I sipped it all day long, finishing it about five hours after opening the bottle. It was good ‘til the last drop, and I am glad I paced myself and shared with my wife, as it comes in at 7.3%. Floral and citrusy, and not much in the grain bill. Seems to be mostly pale and Munich malts. I love complex grain recipes, but this one is about the hops, and what a hoptacular beer it is! Good work Gigantic, you deserve a beer!

Gigantic cheers to IPA from Portland, Oregon! A place that is so cool, it is hard to stand out in a crowd of leaders! Lead the way to your brewing success, Gigantic Brewing Co!

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 Gigantic IPA Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 07.29. Gigantic IPA by Gigantic Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 209

The featured beer painting of the day is of Naked Elf by Tröegs Brewing Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This Belgian-style strong ale is a version of the winter warmer, Mad Elf, which is brewed with honey and cherries, minus the honey and cherries. Dark gold in color, this beer is beautiful, and tastes great too! Rich malt fills your mouth with a sweet, yet slightly roasty flavor. The Belgian yeast is bready and delectable.

In July it must be hot at the North Pole for an elf. That’s why skinny-dipping in the ice lake, which melted due to climate change, is a perfect sport for the naked elf. Santa is gone on a road trip in his Winnebago with Rudolf and Ms. Claus and the elves are getting crazy. Santa won’t be gone for long, so grab this beer before it is sold out. Cellar a whole case, so you can compare it with the Mad Elf at X-mas time. According to Rich Morgan, who is a Mad Elf expert and the guy who mailed me this beer, the version with honey and cherries really takes it up a notch, but I was plenty content to sip on the Naked Elf in the middle of the Alaskan mountains during an intense rainstorm.

Cheers to the Tröegs brothers, and cheers to the Naked Elf! A great example of a Belgian style strong 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 Naked Elf by Tröegs Brewing Co. Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 07.28. Naked Elf by Tröegs Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 208

The featured beer painting of the day is of Thank You Hefeweizen by Anchorage Brewing Company. I have never gotten a better thank you “note” than this bottle of beer from my new brother-in-law, Kevin, for making all the beer for his and my sister’s wedding. The Thank You beer was brewed by Gabe Fletcher, founder of Anchorage Brewing Company, as a thank you to Gary Klopfer, the owner of the Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewing Company, for renting Gabe the space for his new brewery. Gabe is now building a new building for his brewery in Anchorage! I can’t think of a bigger thank you than a dedication of a beer like this!

This German style Hefeweizen is one of Gary’s favorite styles of beer, but Gabe put his own twist on it by fermenting it in oak foudres (huge upright barrels) with German yeast and Brettanomyces. I don’t think Gabe will ever make a beer without Brettanomyces as his foudres are made from oak and naturally crawling with the little critters. It is an interesting smell and flavor that Brett brings to a beer, and I would have to say that I have never had a German hefe with this particular smell or taste. It reminds me of a saison style of beer. When I was traveling in Germany I stopped at many breweries, and the really old ones had enormous barrels that were obviously retired to be replaced with steel fermenters and kegs. I bet that the original hefe that 300 or so years ago tasted just like the Thank You beer does. I think it would be great if Gabe brewed this one as a regular offering but changed the name to Tank You, because the foudres play such an important role in the flavor profile. I feel this one is a winner with its historical flavor profile.

Cheers to Gary, Gabe, Kevin, and Gloria! Thank you for being so awesome! Oh, and Gary, your painting of the copper brew vessels is ready to hang in your pub!

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 Thank you German Hefeweizen by Anchorage Brewing Co Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 07.27. Thank You German Hefeweizen by Anchorage Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 207

The featured beer painting of the day is of Hop Crisis Imperial IPA by 21st Amendment Brewery. Watch out, this beer is strong! I remember when I tasted the first batch in January, 2009 at the Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival. Correct me if I am wrong, but that beer was different than what we have in our hands today. It originally was a full 10% and was a wet hop IPA. Today’s Hop Crisis is aged on oak spirals, which has significantly changed the flavor from what I remember tasting five years ago. I like the oak addition, and I like the high IBU strong ale. It is a solid contender. I should age a couple cans to see if this IPA will do similar things that the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA did after five years.

Fruity, oaky, and highly hopped, this beer has a booziness that is covered by the intensity of the flavor. It is supposed to be a hop bomb, but I just don’t get that from the way it tastes, because it has so much malt and oak, and actually tastes very well balanced! I painted hops in the background because the name is about the hops. I hope Nico and Shaun have no problem breaking out of Alcatraz. I heard there are a number of monsters living there, so they better bring some Hop Crisis to help combat the creatures for a battle of monster IPA versus ghostly ghouls of the incarcerated! I bet Hop Crisis comes up on top and those bros will be surfing to victory on their ironing boards (you’ll need to read the text on the can to figure out what I’m talking about).

Cheers to another fine product from 21st Amendment! Good work guys! I love your 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 hop crisis ipa by 21st amendment brewing year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 07.26. Hop Crisis Imperial IPA by 21st Amendment Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 206

The featured beer painting of the day is of Triomphe Belgian Style India Pale Ale by Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I received this beer from my Beer Club offerings at La Bodega in Anchorage, Alaska. I find Belgian ales to be great, but I really enjoy Belgian IPAs. I traveled through Belgium, and finding a Belgian IPA there is not impossible, but harder than you would expect, especially in a can. Brewery Vivant is inspired by small farmhouse breweries in southern Belgium and northern France, and cans its beer to decrease its impact on the environment.

Triomphe was fruity up front, with the Belgian yeast being very evident. The sweet flavor of the yeast muted the hops, so this is not your average American-style IPA. The biscuit-like malt flavor is very much like Belgian amber ale, but with the hop characteristics of an IPA — a match that is, well, triumphant! I know this arch in the background of the painting is from Paris, not Belgium, but I immediately thought of it when I was planning the background for this beer. On the border between Belgium and France is where I found an IPA that satisfied my hop lust. So I put the iconic Arc de Triomphe in the background even though Grand Rapids, Michigan is a far distance a way. The spirit of Europe is there and I wanted to depict it as so.

Triomphe! May all your endeavors at Brewery Vivant be triumphant! I know your Belgian Style IPA is a big hit, and I hope you “can” keep it up! 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 Triomphe Belgian style ipa by Brewery Vivant year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 07.25. Triomphe Belgian-style IPA by Brewery Vivant. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.