Monthly Archives: August 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 233

The featured beer painting of the day is of Scape Goat Pale Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company in Missoula, Montana.  It’s a pretty great, easy-drinking English-style pale ale.  Sometimes you don’t want a malt bomb, sometimes you don’t want a hop bomb.  Sometimes you are just thirsty for a great craft brew that will leave you ready to climb to the top of a mountain.  I imagined the Scape Goat climbing high into the icy mountains of Montana in search of a fresh cold beer when I painted this one.  Atop the highest peak in the area, the lone goat finds his holy grail — a Pale Ale in a can.  Do goats like beer?  Horses and cows do, so I would guess, yes.

This beer is crisp and clean, made with the finest pale and crystal malts, Kent Golding, and Crystal hops.  The malt body is smooth and the hop edge is narrow, but decidedly apparent.  This beer would pair well with anything, and drinking it outdoors in a mountain setting would be best.  As I was sipping it at a BBQ, some of the other options were barley wine, double IPA and strong Belgian saison.  I mentioned to my new beer-drinking friends that the last time I drank barley wine was near the top of a cliff, and after a few sips I climbed up the rocky scree to the top.  Well, maybe I should consider having pale ale instead, for such endeavors.  It might increase my chance of survival. 

Cheers to the Scape Goat!  Remember when scaling icy cliffs to always have a way out!  

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 Scape Goat Pale Ale by Big Sky Brewing Co Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 08.21. Scape Goat Pale Ale by Big Sky Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 232

The featured beer painting of the day is if Monkey Fist IPA from Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine.  Everything I know about Maine I learned from doing a report about it in fifth grade.  I learned that there’s skiing and sailing, as well as a smaller population compared to other east coast states, and I can thank the World Book Encyclopedia for that information.  This was pre world wide web, and nobody was Googling things yet.  Today Wikipedia tells me that Maine has 1.3 million people, and ~200,000 live in the Portland area.  Maine is the fifth best state for microbreweries in the USA.  Rocky coastlines, forested interior, and seafood is the description in a nutshell from Wikipedia — the new people’s encyclopedia. 

Shipyard has been brewing since 1994, so this year is the 20th anniversary!  Next year the brew kettle can go out drinking on its own.  My particular bottle of Monkey Fist wasn’t as fresh as I hoped it would be.  When a brewery from the other side of the country distributes its product all the way to Alaska, its beer probably won’t be the best example of freshness.  But now I get to check Maine off the list (the goal is to paint a beer from all 50 states).  This beer was very good despite it’s age.  I don’t know if I would suggest cellaring it, but IPA was originally designed to ship all the way from England to India, so this may be in-line with the traditional flavor.  It was hoppy, but the hops were offset by a unique flavor that I could only describe as a caramel malt flavor — citrusy, but sweet, this was a unique beer.  The Monkey Fist is a sailing knot that sailors used to throw ropes around.  It’s heavy, so it helps prevent tangling. 

Cheers to Monkey Fist IPA making it all the way to Alaska!  

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 Monkey Fist IPA by Shipyard Brewing Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 08.20. Monkey Fist IPA by Shipyard Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 231

The featured beer painting of the day is of Trappistes Rochefort 10.  This Belgian Quadrupel Trappist ale is amazingly good!  I have had some Belgian ales that are too sweet and taste like they are 50% candy fermented until they are a weird sticky conglomeration of beer that doesn’t really taste any better than a Bud Light Platinum.  Pours a little chunky, this beer has a flavor that is so incredible of dates, plum, sweetness and raisins.  From the Abbey of St. Remy in the town of Rochefort, this Trappist beer is not only rare, but so good, it is worth every penny.  If you are lucky enough to have it readily available at your beer shop, you better get one.  They are about seven bucks a bottle, but this liquid tastes better than any wine in my personal opinion.

In this painting the beer is depicted in front of the abbey, and the brewery is around the back.  I keep wondering why more churches don’t follow this model, combining a brewery with the place of worship.  I know I would go to church more if that was the case in my hometown.  God blessed humanity with the gift of fermentation, so why not celebrate it in a spiritual way?  The Europeans always have a cathedral in the town center and a brewery, so right after services you can stop in Sunday afternoon for a pint, or a half liter.  As a result, there are fewer alcoholics, because drinking beer is an accepted part of the culture.  The key is not to drink too much.  According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies in England, a man can drink three weak beers a day, and a woman two, before health problems arise.  Culturally speaking, that is what most Europeans drink.  In the words of a mentor of mine, “Drink better, drink less.”  This is a beer I would drink over any crappy beer, but I need to find a better source.  I think if I bought a six-pack, I would clean out every bottle in Anchorage!

Cheers to health, wealth and wisdom.  This beer is good for your soul, which is in turn related to your physical well-being!  I hope you drink one of these soon!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Year of Beer 08.19. Trappistes Rochefort 10 Belgian Ale by Abbaye St-Remy. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 08.19. Trappistes Rochefort 10 Belgian Ale by Abbaye St-Remy. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 230

The featured beer painting of the day is of LTD Lager, recipe number 03 from Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River, Oregon.  One of the sad things about drinking beer in the United States is that our macro brews suck.  In Germany the beer is boring, but spot on, clean and beautiful pilsner lager.  In the Czech Republic the beer has more bite, but is the same yellow fizzy beer as in Germany.  A good pilsner hits your palate way back on the end of your tongue, and it is the aftertaste that really notifies you that, “Hey, this beer doesn’t suck!”  When was the last time you had a Coors, or a Bud?  As it warms up, it tastes like old cereal.  When a good pilsner is served right at cellar temperature, it has this golden glow in the flavor and you feel like you truly are drinking a king of beers.  That is the sensation I had when I drank the LTD Lager 03.  I noticed that this beer has 2-row American malt in it, and Sterling hops, so it’s decidedly American.  In order to truly brew a bohemian pils you need Czech pilsner malt, and Saaz hops.  The lack of corn, or rice is why this beer is a great one.  Good job, Full Sail!  I painted kite boarders in the background of this painting, because Hood River is a popular place for kite boarding, and I bet this beer would taste great after a day on the Columbia River.

Cheers to American craft beer, and to quality ingredients!

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 LTD Lager by Full sail brewing year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 08.18. LTD Lager by Full Sail Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 229

The featured beer painting of the day is of India Pale Ale by BridgePort Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon.  Brewed since 1995, Bridgeport IPA is as cool as Sockeye Red, or Lagunitas IPA (both started the same year).  This beer was ahead of the hop revolution, leading by five full years.  Remember the Super Bowl commercials fighting back?  “Avoid bitter beer face!”  Showing a big beer dork swilling a flavorful beer and his mouth going inverted due to the actual hop content.  True, it takes a while to develop a palate for IPAs, but in my mind, it is worth the battle.  Once you love the hop flavor, most other beers are slightly ruined, just because they lack flavor.  I would rather have a proper sour beer (kind of a new flavor in the popular brewing world) than drink a slew of boring pilsners.  I always tell new home brewers that if they make a 5-gallon batch of beer and don’t like it, because they missed their mark, to get over it.  By the time a homebrewer consumes all five gallons, he/she will develop a taste for the flavor of the particular funky brew in question.  So what if your Belgian wit tastes like a Flemish sour?  So what if your Dopplebock has an English brown caramel flavor?  Of course you won’t win any awards, but the beer is inherently good.  In the words of Charlie Papazian, the author of the Complete Joy of Homebrewing, “Don’t worry, have a homebrew!”

The BridgePort Brewing Company is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!  Cheers to their beer!  Thirty years is a long time, and these guys are so cool, they are going to be the family brewery in Portland for a long time.  Sometimes at Costco I have bought a case of this stuff for around $23 dollars here in Alaska!  That is less than a dollar a beer, you can’t even buy PBR most of the time in Alaska for that!  A great product, at a great price!  The beer is a nice, citrusy IPA with the yeast at the bottom of the bottle.  Also, a sessionable brew at 5.5 percent, this is not the gut bomb like a Sierra Nevada Torpedo.  Deliciously refreshing, I would drink this one after a hard day of chainsawing.  I wish it was available in cans.  The bottles are refreshing and beautiful, but hard to pack on a backcountry adventure.

Cheers to 30 Years!  This flagship brew is worthy of immortalization in oil paint!  

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 bridgeport ipa year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 08.17. India Pale Ale by BridgePort Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 228

The featured beer painting for the day is of Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen from Frankfurt, Germany.  When we fly to Europe, we fly on Condor over the North Pole from Alaska to Frankfurt, which is one of the biggest cities in the EU, and is centrally located.  It is one of the most modern looking cities, with many skyscrapers.  Due to its beautiful skyline, it has been called the Manhattan of Germany.

German breweries make the best hefeweizen.  The German-style hefe from your local brewery will probably taste fresher, but just to see if the brewers are on target, try a true German one from time to time.  A great example is the Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen, so buy a six-pack just to keep your palate grounded in reality.  The Germans have two summer beers, hefe and pilsner. Pilsner is a little boring most of the time, but sure is refreshing.  The hefe, on the other hand, has a lot going for it.  Not a hop bomb, but fresh and citrusy, with malt and yeast flavors of cloves and banana.  When traveling around Germany, tasting hefe in different cities, you’ll notice that the flavor changes based on the location.  Steeped in tradition, almost every German brewery has over 150 years of experience, and they don’t fix what isn’t broken.  The beer recipes are like treasure, and tradition is as important as making sure there is beer on the table for dinner.  So the beer tastes the same time and time again.  These guys keep it as close as possible to the recipe their great grandfathers were brewing!

Cheers to traditional German bier!  What would the world come to if you couldn’t buy a bottle of Schöfferhofer in Alaska?

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 Schöfferhofer hefeweizen from frankfurt germany year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 08.16. Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen from Frankfurt, Germany. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 227

The featured beer painting of the day is of Shiner Ruby Redbird from Spoetzl Brewing Company in Shiner, Texas.  The directions on the can are, “Serve ice cold on hot days.”  Unfortunately, it is raining today here in Anchorage, which is typical for August.  Well, I have never been that good at following directions anyway.  This beer tastes great in the rain to me!  I can imagine how good it would be after a big day of yard work, that’s pulling stumps and removing fire danger brush for me.

The Ruby Redbird is a great beer, recommended to me by a local Texan who summers in McCarthy.  Thanks, John!  I brew a ginger beer here in my kitchen in Anchorage, and I shared a few around the campfire and heard good things about this hard-to-get, amazing summer shandy called Ruby Redbird.  So, I got a few and haven’t regretted it.  Sweet and fruity, with a nice sharp, tart bite, this beer is unique.  I am glad they can it now, as I believe it is fresher that way, and inherently easier to carry around in a backpack.  At 4.01%, you can easily use this as a hydration beer on a hike, or bike ride.  I am a fan!  Great work, Spoetzl!

Cheers to the Ruby Redbird, an easy-drinking summer brew that surprisingly tastes great even in the rain!

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 Shiner Ruby Redbird by Spoetzl Brewing Co. Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 08.15. Shiner Ruby Redbird by Spoetzl Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 226

Another day, another beer painting.  This one is at the top of the pinnacle — ACME California IPA by North Coast Brewing Company.  I really like North Coast Brewing; every type of beer I’ve had from there has been delicious, so when I saw that this IPA was from North Coast, I had to nab it.

This beer was good, fresh and juicy.  Not a hop bomb, but a balanced joy of an IPA to drink.  I think it would be good for people who normally steer away from IPA, as a trainer IPA.  Dry is the word.  I am looking for not too much bittering, or flavoring hops.  This beer was all smell.  You can taste the aroma in the beer; it is fresh and floral .

So I painted this Anvil of a beer on the edge of the roadrunner’s cliff.  I feel the poor coyote deserves a beer after having 50 lbs of wrought iron dropped on his head.  I hope it doesn’t break on the way down.  I have a thing for anvils, and I hope some day I get to start a small blacksmith foundry for making hand wrought iron tools and parts.  The heart of the blacksmithy is the foundry and the anvil.  You can’t work on iron without a proper anvil.  But I need to graduate from my log building status first, then I have to build a sauna, a proper studio, a dome oven, a guest cabin, and then maybe I will get onto the blacksmithy.  I’ll be fifty by then, but fifty is the new thirty anyway.

Cheers to ACME IPA from North Coast Brewing Co!  I know this brewery is top of the form.  Nailing the freshest tastiest brews time after time!  Oh, and by the way, the Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout painting is still available (one of my paintings I’m most proud of).  I always think of the Tetris song when I look at 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 ACME California IPA by North Coast Brewing Anvil Year of Beer Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 08.14. ACME California IPA by North Coast Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 225

The featured beer painting of the day is of Alaskan Brewing Company’s Imperial Red Ale.  While I was at the Alaska Sailing Club last weekend, hanging out around the campfire in Pirate Cove, someone suggested the Imperial Red as a good option for a future beer painting, so I decided to look into it.  When I saw the Imperial Red while shopping for beer at La Bodega, I grabbed a bottle based on that recommendation.  Since the label has a King crab on it, my wife suggested painting the crab fishing boat, the Time Bandit, in the background from the popular reality TV show, The Deadliest Catch, which is about Alaskan crab fishermen in Dutch Harbor, so I went with it.

The beer itself was really delicious, so the recommendation in Pirate Cove was a good one.  A little bit earthy, piney, hoppy, with a good malt backbone.  Although not an IPA, it slightly reminded me of the Sockeye Red IPA… with a bit of tree bark flavor.  I bet it would taste great with crab.  Look at these associations drummed up just from the label.  Humans are a very subjective animal.  It seems expectations make up nearly 90% of perception.  That being said, it was a solid product with a great package that produced an overall winner!

Cheers to Alaskan King crab!  Last time I had it was at my wife’s birthday dinner (yes, I did share).  Next time I will pop out a bottle of this, as I think it will be the perfect addition to the meal.  Great work, Alaskan Brewing Company!  Your Pilot Series is flying high!

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

Beer Painting of Imperial Red Ale by Alaskan Brewing Time Bandit the Deadliest Catch Alaskan King Crab Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 08.13. Imperial Red Ale by Alaskan Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 224

The featured beer painting of the day is of Unibroue’s Don De Dieu — a triple wheat ale brewed with spices.  The Don De Dieu, or “Gift of God”, was a French sailing ship from 400 years ago that sailed the Atlantic to North America in exploration of this great continent.  Explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived on this ship to found Quebec in 1608.  Unibroue, which happens to be in Quebec, commemorates this fantastic feat of generations past with a fabulous corked, bottle conditioned ale that is hard to beat.  Making this painting was a dream due to an exciting day of truck shopping, interviewing with Indie Alaska, delivering paintings, meeting about a new commission, and even shopping at Costco in between everything else.  This one flowed off the easel in a half “art”tentive release of tension, and only my subconscious brain was actually focused on the work at hand.  I had a college professor who said his best work was created in this circumstance, although he was oil painting in a barn with many other students.  His studio-mate was too cheap to buy thinner and was using white gas as a brush cleaner and paint additive.  He was also chain smoking, so my prof’s thoughts were on the impending explosion as he watched the glowing end of the smog (cigarette) dangle ever closer to the open container of flammable material.  His professor walked by and complimented his work, and he looked up and realized it might be his best painting of the year.

This beer is like my professor’s painting, a really really good one.  I have always loved all the Unibroue products, and this one follows suite.  Fruity with scents of vanilla and fruitcake, flowers and honey.  It has a smooth complex flavor of nuts and fruit, bread-like yeast and hints of unfiltered sake.  I liked this beer, and sharing it with John Early from Indie Alaska and my wife after my interview was a highlight of my day.

Cheers to the big-old French boat, the Don De Dieu, and to the great beer with a great package, and a great taste!  Good work, Unibroue!

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 Don de Dieu by unibroue year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 08.12. Don De Dieu by Unibroue. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.