Monthly Archives: October 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 294

The featured beer painting of the day is of Extra Pale Ale by Summit Brewing Company, located in St. Paul, Minnesota! This is a classic from St. Paul, and is perfect for almost any occasion. My friends Petr and Lisa brought this one for me from their travels to Minnesota this summer. Last night I paired it with some amazing pizza that my wife made, and I wish I had more than one, because I had to share with my dinner guests, but my homebrew seemed to be a big hit as well. Everything about Summit Brewing is pretty classy from its slick golden label showcasing the St. Paul skyline, to the embossed bottle with decorative grains. Not to mention the amazing copper brew kettles. I love the dry hopped flavor of this delicious brew. Nice and bready with a fine after bite of hops. I think it might be my favorite Minnesota beer at this time. Minnesota is now on my “to visit” list. Maria and I are taking a trip to the North East this year, but next year we might just load up our truck and swing around the states on a tour, or a series of shorter trips like the upcoming trip to PA, MA, NY, DE, VT, NJ, and ME. Our new mission is to make it to all 50 states, and I have been to about 13 so far. At least we have the hard ones (AK and HI) covered already.

Cheers to beers from Summit Brewing! Can’t wait until I am sitting in St. Paul sipping on a fresh one.

The original oil painting sold, but you can purchase a limited-edition print, or commission a custom beer painting at my Etsy shop.

Year of Beer 10.21. Extra Pale Ale by Summit Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 10.21. Extra Pale Ale by Summit Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 293

The featured beer painting of the day is of F5 IPA from COOP Ale Works located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma! Thanks, Amy, for bringing this beer home in your luggage all the way from Oklahoma! This project has been such a learning experience for me, and not just about beer. I never knew about the scale for measuring the strength of tornadoes — the F Scale named for Theodore Fujita who developed the rating at Chicago University in 1971. The F5 IPA is named after the strongest of all the twisters, so strong that it levels houses off foundations, sends automobile-sized missiles flying through the air, and debarks trees. It is a truly incredible phenomenon. I guess when wind speeds reach over 300 mph the universe starts to work in unexpected ways.

This beer was unexpected, showing up from a client who ordered a painting of her favorite bicycle, and she chose very well. This beer has a rating of 91 on Beer Advocate! Nice and bitter, not like the IPAs you sometimes get that are too malty, because the brewers try to get the balance right, but fail on the first hop addition, resulting in a nice smelling, but entirely too sweet IPA. This one had an unusual hop bill with Columbus and Falconer’s Flight. I don’t think I have ever used them in a home brew before. The beer was piney, with notes of spicy citrus. If you can get your hands on the F5 IPA, buy it and enjoy!

Cheers to Oklahoma beer! Great job COOP Ale Works on your F5 IPA, a nice addition to the Year of Beer Paintings series!

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 F5 IPA by COOP Ale Works Oklahoma beer year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.20. F5 IPA by COOP Ale Works. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 292

The featured beer painting is of Redoubt Red Ale by Baranof Island Brewing Company located in Sitka, Alaska. I have never been to Sitka, but I do want to go. Alaska is a huge state, and there are many places that are on my list such as Cordova, Yakutat, Barrow, Kodiak, and the Brooks Range, among many others. Most of them are only accessible by plane. This beer is named after Redoubt Lake, which is a popular fishing destination for Sockeye (Red) Salmon. It’s a meromictic lake, which means that it has two layers of water: a warmer layer on top and a colder layer underneath. The word Redoubt means “a fortified place,” and is also the name of an active volcano not far from Anchorage. Unlike Redoubt Volcano, the one that towers over Sitka’s boat harbor, Mount Edgecumbe, is dormant. So I painted Redoubt Volcano exploding in the background, so that this painting would be a tribute to all things named Redoubt in Alaska: the lake, the volcano, and the beer.

The Redoubt Red Ale is a great beer, and one of the best offerings from Baranof Island Brewing. It is more of an Irish-style red ale, rather than a red IPA. More malty and sweeter than its IPA cousins, this beer still has a nice hop bite, however it is subdued in comparison. Not light on the alcohol by European or American standards coming in at a solid 6%. I tasted all the brews this brewery brought to the Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine festival, and look forward to watching this brewery grow and develop its style.

Cheers to all things Redoubt. I need to make it to Sitka, even though there’s no road to Baranof Island. Good thing there’s a brewery there – a major attraction for me.

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 Redoubt Red Ale by Baranof Island Brewing Year of Beer Paintings scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.19. Redoubt Red Ale by Baranof Island Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 291

The featured beer painting of the day is of Hop Ride India Pale Ale from Tenaya Creek Brewery in Las Vegas, Nevada! Sometimes what is brewed in Vegas, doesn’t stay in Vegas. My friend Josh was thoughtful enough to bring this bottle from Vegas to Anchorage in his luggage, because he knew I needed a beer from Nevada for this series. When I went to Vegas for the first time, about fifteen years ago, I was astounded at how amazing it was, especially off the Strip where we mountain biked for two days near Boulder City. I got to ride the Girl Scout Trail on an independent drive train, full-suspension tandem bike with my wife. I wanted to ride the whole Boy Scout Trail on the tandem, but since I was piloting and Maria was stoking, she vetoed from the back seat due to white knuckles. Evidently, riding in the back down switchbacks isn’t as exhilarating as piloting, and she was ready to ride her own bike.

I’m used to hopping over obstacles on my bike such as curbs covered in snow and ice as I brave the urban wilderness of the Anchorage landscape. I’ve never had to hop over a rattler though, as the label on this bottle depicts, and what this beer is named for. This beer inspires me to ride Bootleg Canyon. I bet after a long ride up to the top of the mountain the Hop Ride IPA never tasted better. It was pretty good here after a long day of painting. Nice and hoppy, a little malty and bitter, but overall a very good beer. It is a long way from home, so an IPA is a fitting brew to bring from Nevada to Alaska. I wonder if I will get another chance to ride at Dirt Demo day like I did a decade and a half ago. Well, if I do, I will make sure that afterwards I go to the Tenaya Creek Brewery to enjoy a fine IPA!

Cheers to hopping the rattler on your latest ride! You know you earned that IPA when you nearly escaped death on your bike!

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 Ride IPA by Tenaya Creek Brewery Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.18. Hop Ride IPA by Tenaya Creek Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 290

The featured beer painting of the day is of Zee Lander IPA by Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah, Iowa! The brewery is nestled away in a small Norwegian-American town of 8,000 people, surrounded by farm fields. The best part about the town is the small brewery, which is rapidly expanding, and makes a noteworthy IPA single-hopped with New Zealand hops. The New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hop pack a punch, but is not overwhelming. Flavors of citrus are confronted by hints of earth tones and flowers making this bright-tasting IPA completely note-worthy. Somehow this beer manages to be a big and bold IPA with an alcohol content of only 5.5%. With a 96 rating on Beer Advocate, this beer is considered world class.

My new friend Keith, who is an avid beer-trader, brought this one over from a recent beer trade, and I am very appreciative that he chose to share this nectar with me. Many people have been instrumental to my goal of drinking and painting at least one beer from every state for the Year of Beer Paintings project. I am still looking for, but have leads on, Arizona, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, New Jersey, and DC. I still do not have leads on West Virginia and Maryland. If I receive these few remaining beers I will have met my goal, which in turn increases the Year of Beer’s chance to showcase beers to a larger audience, hopefully spreading my love of beer to all corners of the nation.

The best part about this project has been learning about these tiny beer hotspots. Living here in Alaska, I am a little sheltered when it comes to beers available in different sections of the USA. I have had just about every brew that is noteworthy that is distributed here. I am especially tuned into the Alaskan craft beer scene, but the beers that don’t come way up North are a different story. For example, I never knew about Tröegs in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but was sent a couple Mad Elf beers for a commission, and I was immediately hooked on seeking out new and tasty brews from across this vast country. America has strange and complicated beer laws, so I trade in order to find the most interesting new beer flavors. It has become a hobby and a quest all in one. The renaissance of craft brewing needs to be celebrated. That is the end aim of this project, to seek out new bold craft brews, capture them in oil paint and share the story they inspire.

Cheers to Toppling Goliath! One stone throw and the little guy comes out on top. Great job with your Single Hop Series! I wish I could try every one of them, especially the one with Citra Hops.

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 Zee Lander IPA by Toppling Goliath Brewing Co Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.17. Zee Lander IPA by Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 289

The featured beer painting of the day is of the Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout from Spring House Brewing Company in Conestoga, Pennsylvania. The only other peanut butter beer I’ve tried was Sweet Baby Jesus Porter by DuClaw Brewing, and it had too much imitation flavoring added, but tasted good with ice cream. The amazing thing about the Big Gruesome is the lack of any flavoring, it has only legit beer ingredients: two types of chocolate malt and vanilla beans, with real peanut butter added throughout the whole brewing process. This brew was excellent paired with a chocolate cupcake. If this product were locally distributed, I would consider buying a bottle to share with my mom who is not really a beer drinker. Although, I am willing to bet a person like my brother would not really be into it, because he is not a chocolate candy guy, sticking to sweets with coloring and flavoring. I have had to give up candy like Skittles, Jelly Bellies, and M&Ms because they have so much food coloring, which may be harmful to humans. I am not scared of sugar, glutens or alcohol, so I still get my treats. I wish breweries were required to list ingredients on every bottle, just like all other beverage products. Well, as a good friend always says, “Moderation in all things, including moderation.” I painted the Big Gruesome tossing a peanut butter and chocolate cookie into his mouth. Wait, he doesn’t seem to have a mouth. Poor guy!

Cheers to the Big Gruesome, an amazing beer flavored with dark chocolate malt, vanilla beans and a truckload of peanut butter! What a delicious dark ale!

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 Big Gruesome by Sprint House Brewing Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.16. Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout by Spring House Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 288

The featured beer painting of the day is of Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Company. The label on this beer is from a 1922 poster for a German silent film called Nosferatu. This adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was completely illegitimate, because the producers did not have the rights to produce a version of the Dracula story. So they changed the name from Dracula to Count Orlock, and vampire to Nosferatu. However, in a court decision, they were forced to cease and desist, and destroyed all but one bootleg copy of the film, which has become an influential masterpiece. I watched most of this movie in fast forward (it’s available through Amazon Prime). I think it must have been difficult to produce considering the technology of the day, and still gives me the creeps despite the lack of high tech special effects. Simple shadowing techniques and gloomy lighting can give you the creeps as much as geysers of fake blood.

This beer is a killer Halloween beer because of the creepy label. I don’t know if I would hang this painting all year round, but it sure is cool to have hanging right now during Halloween season. The beer is very good and deserves the 92 rating on Beer Advocate. Mellow for the 8% ABV content, and the hops must have been swallowed up in the malt, because this beer is very balanced and not what you would expect from the description of “highly hopped”. It is rich with flavor and very delicious, but I would compare it more with Irish red ales instead of IPA reds. The color is a beautiful amber, a perfect vampire’s drink. Not only is the label representational of German cinema, but this beer is also reinheitsgebot.

Great Lakes Brewing, you guys are awesome! Every beer I have had from your brewery has been world class, as classic as this 1922 movie!

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 Nosferatu Red Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.15. Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 287

The featured beer painting of the day is of Alaskan Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Porter. I would have to say that pumpkin beer is the right ale to be drinking at this time of year. A Pumpkin Porter is a great Halloween beer and I am getting in the spirit of the next upcoming holiday. The dark grains in this beer remind me of the fall harvest in Alaska, and what a bountiful harvest it was! At my local farmer’s market I bought tomatoes, kohlrabi, beautiful spices, and carrots, but I didn’t see any pumpkins. I wonder why, because I know they grow well in Alaska, and some of them get enormous, like the cabbages. Twenty-four hours of daylight and rich volcanic soil can do that. The pumpkins can get so big that they have to be transported to the Alaska State Fair using a forklift! If you look at the label on this beer, you’ll see a truck carrying a colossal pumpkin. I bet this truck is hitting its payload! This year’s blue ribbon pumpkin at the Alaska State Fair was 1,235.5 lbs! That is one big gourd! The world record was broken this year in Mainz, Germany with a behemoth that weighed 2,096.6 lbs! The question that arises is what do you do with a pumpkin that large?   I am imagining a huge brewing operation, a whole batch of pumpkin beer from the pulp! Or, if 1,000 homebrewers showed up, they could make a 1,000 five-gallon batches, and still have enough for everyone to have 1-2 lbs per batch. That’s a lot of pumpkin, really!

Cheers to Fall, and the great harvest that ensues on this side of the world! I hope you get some of Alaskan’s Pumpkin Porter — one of the best pumpkin beers I’ve had yet!

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

Year of Beer 10.14. Pumpkin Porter by Alaskan Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 10.14. Pumpkin Porter by Alaskan Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 286

The featured beer painting of the day is of Elephant Beer made in Copenhagen by Carlsberg. This beer was inspired by a gate commissioned by the brewer in 1901, which has four concrete elephants as the decorative main support foundation. Carlsberg has used the elephant as its trademark icon, even naming its export beer “Elephant Beer” since 1955. Elephant beer is the stronger, bigger brother to the normal lager at 7.2% ABV. This beer was on my Beers of the World poster that I had in my first college dorm room. I had to put it in my Year of Beer Paintings series, because I wanted to paint Sera, the baby elephant, consuming one. This beer gets bad reviews on Beer Advocate, and I don’t really understand why. The beer tastes like any euro style lager, and if you can get a fresh one, considering it comes in a green glass bottle, it is as tasty as any beer I had in Germany, or Holland of the same style, except it is way stronger. What makes a beer good? Is it the grain, the hops, the water, or simply the alcohol? The packaging is important too. I notice that people will be a lot more stoked about drinking a beer I homebrewed if I take time to put it in a bottle with a custom label. If it has a catchy name, it seems better than a generic beer. I had all kinds of thoughts about what I would put into the Elephant Beer painting. The bottle is cool looking, but the old label (the one that I had in my dorm poster) is way cooler than the new embossed bottle.  The painting is more about the elephant than the beer today, but if an elephant were to drink some beer, I’m sure it would want it to be Carlsberg Elephant Beer, otherwise it probably wouldn’t even notice it was drinking beer, unless it was something that cost dramatically more, like a barley wine. If an elephant got into my barley wine collection, I bet it would turn pink and start singing Elephants on Parade.

Cheers to Elephant Beer, a strong Lager! Not for the weak of heart, but a robust drinking beer. If you are only going to have one beer for the night, consider an Elephant 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 Carlsberg Elephant Beer Year of Beer Paintings Elephant drinking a beer scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.13. Carlsberg Elephant Beer. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 285

Way up north in Alaska, and still waiting for snow here at sea level in Anchorage. It will come soon, because the termination dust is on the mountains, and won’t be going anywhere until spring. I am eagerly awaiting a killer ski season this year, and I have a good feeling it is going to be a good snow year. “Termination dust” is the first snow of the season on top of the mountains, while it continues to rain at lower elevations, hence terminating the summer/fall season and entering into the lustrous winter stage of the year. I love winter, which is a good thing, since I live in a northern state.

This beer brewed by the team at Midnight Sun Brewing Company: Lee Ellis, Davey, Sean, Matt, Gavin, Chelsea, Nick and Kevin, is some of the best beer I have had from the brewery in five years. I think Termination Dust Belgian Barley Wine will age to be as good as the notorious 10th anniversary barley wine, M, that marked the 1000th batch of beer in 2005. A bottle of M can sell for over $1,200 between beer traders today. I was lucky enough to get a pretty hefty sample of that glorious beer when I showed my first beer paintings at MSBC in 2011. I think in a few years people will be trading Termination Dust for well over $300 a bottle, if not for way more, just because this barley wine aged in High West bourbon barrels is that good. Also, very good news is that the CoHoHo Imperial IPA is probably the best batch of CoHoHo I have had in five years. Not to mention the greatness in every bottle of Bar Fly Smoked Imperial Stout. The brew crew has worked out any kinks that come from switching up brew staff, and the beer is probably better than it has ever been before!

Cheers to MSBC, the world-class brewery putting out the best beers I have ever tasted, right in front of the Chugach Mountains! Bring on the Termination Dust! Alaska is ready for winter!

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 Termination Dust Belgian Barley Wine by Midnight Sun Brewing Year of Beer Paintings by Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.12. Termination Dust Belgian Barley Wine by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.