Monthly Archives: November 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 324

This is the last painting I did live at a brewery while I was traveling around New England. White Beer was painted en plein air at Allagash Brewing Company’s taproom on my last day in Portland, Maine. Allagash was founded in 1995. Founder, Rob Tod, noticed that, although there were many American and English style beers available in the United States at the time, there was a dramatic shortage of Belgian ales. So he started making some really awesome Belgian-style beers in Portland, Maine. I have wanted to visit Maine ever since I wrote a five-page report about it in fifth grade. Well, I finally got to visit, but for an entirely different reason than a fifth-grader would expect – to drink beer! The Allagash White Beer is a great brew made with wheat, and spiced with Curacao orange peels, coriander, and a secret ingredient! In my opinion there are only a few other Belgian white beers that compare to this great brew. The tasting room staff was very tight-lipped about the secret ingredient, but some folks on the Internet think it may be Chamomile. I find it strange that breweries are not required to disclose ingredients on beer labels in this day and age when there are so many allergies.

I was lucky to arrive during a rainstorm on a Monday morning when the tasting room wasn’t too busy. The staff was really helpful and brought me everything I needed. Special thanks to Annie and Matt for being so welcoming! The craziest thing is another Alaskan was at the brewery, Jason Bullen, who is the brewer of 49th State Brewing Company in Healy, Alaska. Meeting another Alaskan so far from home was really great, especially one who makes tasty beer!

Cheers to Maine’s beer, and to Allagash Brewing! Keep brewing great Belgians, and hopefully I will get to drink some of your beer soon. Keep up the good work!

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

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of White Beer by Allagash Brewing Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.20. White Beer by Allagash Brewing Company. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 323

The featured beer painting of the day is of a collaborative brew called Double Dose IPA made by Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Vermont. This beer was so good, with a floral aroma, flavors of sweet citrus and grapefruit, and notes of pine. I hope these two breweries join forces to make it again and again and again! These guys know how to distribute. I was able to buy this bottle right from the bottle shop without standing in line, which is saying a lot in Vermont if you want an excellent beer, and it was so fresh!

Lawson’s Finest Liquids is a hilltop operation that keeps the brewery private, similar to the Alchemist, and I am okay with that. Who says anybody should be able to walk right up to a brewery and buy growlers? Breweries that want to concentrate on brewing should leave the tasting room out of the equation. Leave it to the pub down the street to satisfy thirsty beer drinkers. When I was touring in Germany I would seek out breweries in hopes of drinking the beer right at the source, but almost always, I was directed by a security guard at the big gate to a pub in the town’s main square.

Otter Creek seems to be the coolest brewery in Vermont. The VW bus, and the tie-dyed bandana that Mike Gerhart is wearing on the label remind me of my younger days. Like Mike, I also started home brewing in high school, but my parents didn’t know, because my friend and I brewed at his house. When we got caught by his parents, hilarity ensued. Our beer was horrible, hence why I am still a home brewer and not a pro.

Cheers to Double Dose IPA! When I think of a perfect brew, I think of a DIPA like the Double Dose! Way to make a beer that is so perfect from the bottle’s label to the last drop!

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 Double Dose IPA by Lawson's Finest Liquids and Otter Creek Brewing Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.19. Double Dose IPA by Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Otter Creek Brewing. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 322

The featured beer painting of the day is of Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, California. I loved San Diego when I was there five years ago at the end of our epic tandem bicycle tour down the West Coast. My wife and I rode 2,000+ plus miles together from Vancouver, BC, and I am glad we did. We use the same skill-set we developed on that ride to make the art business run smoothly. At the beginning of the ride we would trade off being driver and stoker. Turned out, I was a bad stoker, and we kept getting lost, since the person in the back was the navigator. Maria was a good driver, but I was not getting full leg extension in the back, so we went slower. We figured out our proper positions and rocketed down the road. Same thing for our art business, she takes care of marketing, sales, shipping and the business end. A good business needs both, a fine product and smart business sense. I had been struggling with the business end for several years before Maria took over as my Business Manager, and now I feel we are like a well-oiled machine.

The Sculpin is a great example of a West Coast IPA. Ironically, my friend Rich, gave me this can the night we arrived to Philadelphia two weeks ago, so this is a well-traveled can. But hey, Ballast Point doesn’t distribute to Alaska, so this was a good chance to nab a Sculpin. Although, Alaskans would be all over this one. This is my second painting of a Ballast Point brew. I liked the Sea Monster so much, that I decided to paint two beers from this brewery. I have been drinking East Coast IPAs for two weeks now, and this West Coast IPA was a refreshing change, because it was more fruity. Hopped five different times during the boil, this beer turns out as perfect as an IPA can be. The flavors of tropical fruits including pineapple, mango, peach, and lemon make you feel like you just had a picnic at the beach. At 7% ABV this is no session ale, so watch out for the sting of the Sculpin, as it is a strong-biting IPA! Hope you are lucky enough to get your hands on a few of these, as it is worth the effort!

Cheers to the Sculpin! An excellent IPA, finely crafted in San Diego, California!

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 Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.18. Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 321

The featured beer painting of the day is of Arthur Farmhouse Saison by Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, Vermont. This beer is a world-class saison! Tart, spicy, and peppery with a bit of Brett to make it just funky enough. This beer is unique and amazing, and is a perfect dinner saison, one that you would be proud to serve at a Thanksgiving dinner. At 6% ABV, it isn’t too strong, nor too weak. Light yellow in appearance with a nice heady foam that dissipates very slowly.

Prior to my visit, I called the brewery, and Shaun Hill answered the phone. I asked if I could paint live in the tasting room and he said that he wouldn’t mind if I painted outside. I thought it was too cold to paint outside, and replied that I’d prefer to work inside. Little did I know, that there are no tables at this unique and crowded brewery. I was surprised when I arrived after such an amazing experience at Brewery Ommegang, an orderly establishment that was very welcoming, to find a line almost out the door at Hill Farmstead that was looping around a barn-like tasting room. We arrived about ten minutes after opening, and asked if there was a special release today, but one of the regulars replied that, “It’s always like this.” There were two lines: one for growler fills and tastings, and one for bottles. I slipped into the much shorter bottle line and bought this bottle of Arthur, but was told not to consume it on premise, which is understandable. So I asked if I could see what the beer looks like when poured into a glass so I could paint it, but was told that I needed special permission, which I felt I had, but I didn’t press the issue. My wife decided to wait in line for tasters while I worked outside, and asked me in a low voice, “Are you sure you want to paint here?” I replied that this was my only opportunity to paint at this world-class brewery, and reminded her that I have painted in worse conditions in Alaska. She just looked at me like I was crazy, as I took my bottle of Arthur outside into the 28-degree weather.

It was snowing outside, so I decided I could paint under the roofed keg storage facility, and attempted to bust a painting out as quickly as possible. My fingers were half frozen before I got halfway through the painting. The mild gusts of wind kept blowing away all my paper towels that I use for wiping brushes, into the field. So, several times, I had to set down the painting and scurry after them feeling like a complete idiot for even attempting to paint in this circumstance. I completed the painting and went back inside nearly an hour and half later, and was surprised to see that Maria had advanced only halfway through the line. At least she got far enough to order some tasters. So she handed me her glass over the cattle rope, and I eagerly accepted it. Thirty minutes later, Maria had tasted all four offerings, but she was still far from the front of the line, so she stepped out, and we bought a bottle of Sue, an oaked pale ale, and left.

Standing in line for beer that is distributed in small quantities was a common theme during our visit to Vermont. All the good beer was a limited release, available only at a certain place, at a specific time. I think a better solution would be printing an expiration date on the bottles and cans, so people know how fresh the product is, instead of controlling the releases so tightly. Hill Farmstead definitely needs to change the process in the tasting room. Get rid of the cattle line, get some tables, and hire at least one more person to serve tasters and fill growlers. I am lucky to live in Anchorage where I can buy Midnight Sun Brewing and Anchorage Brewing beer without standing in line, and any time I feel like drinking it. I feel sorry for Heady Topper and Hill Farmstead fans, having to try so hard to get their favorite 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 Arthur Rustic Farmhouse Saison by Hill Farmstead Year of Beer Paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.17. Arthur Rustic Farmhouse Saison by Hill Farmstead Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 320

Wow, day 320! Only 45 more entries until I meet my goal, but don’t worry, I won’t quit painting beers in 2015. I plan on releasing a new beer painting on Thirsty Thursdays. I have to admit, the commitment has been huge, and I have also loved it every step of the way, but it will be nice to have more time to work on larger pieces.

The featured beer painting for the day is of the Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA by Flying Dog Brewery located in Frederick, Maryland. I remember living in Colorado in 1999 when this brewery was located in Denver, CO. I was surprised when I was tracking down a great MD brewery that Flying Dog was the beer to buy. Flying Dog started in 1990 in Aspen, Colorado by George Stranahan and Richard McIntyre. The brewery is named after Stranahan’s attempt at climbing K2 in 1983. This is a long story, which you can read on the brewery’s website http://flyingdogbrewery.com/about-us/the-flying-dog-story/ . Here’s the condensed version: after having to bail on their daredevil trip, they saw an amazing painting of a hunting dog, which looked like it was flying. The image stayed in Stranahan’s memory, and hence, became an important icon in his life. He also named his ranch after it. I should also mention that Stranahan is a PhD of Astrophysics, a photographer, a philanthropist, a rancher and a writer. He also started three schools. You can learn more at www.georgestranahan.com .

The artwork on Flying Dog labels may be familiar to you, because the artist, Ralph Steadman, illustrated Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Thompson and Stranahan met on their nearby ranches in Colorado. Due to popular interest in beer and shooting, they struck up a long-term friendship. Thompson introduced the world-famous illustrator to Stranahan. I remember seeing Steadman’s posters and books when I was still drawing pictures of Ninja Turtles and Disney cartoon characters. The labels really pop, and make the beers feel extra special. I think the brewery’s success should be partially attributed to this amazing artist who created such unique characters for each beer.

This beer is very good, and I would highly recommend this spicy Belgian IPA. The hops are strong, and fresh, which is not surprising, since the brewery is situated on a hop farm. Choosing a Belgian yeast strain is very avant-garde, just like the beer name, and label design. This brewery used to distribute to Alaska, but that is, sadly, no longer the case.

Cheers to a great product, the Raging Bitch Belgian IPA! This beer has the whole package: great taste, awesome label, and interesting story!

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 Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA by Flying Dog Brewery Year of Beer Paintings by Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.16. Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA by Flying Dog Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 319

The featured beer painting of the day is of the Rare Vos Amber Ale by Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York. Rare Vos was the first Ommegang beer I had ever tasted several years ago, and I was hooked from the beginning, so I chose to paint this one. Ommegang opened in 1997 just when craft beer was still in the infancy stage in America. All craft breweries should look to this one as an example of how the business side should be handled. Steve Body just reamed 10 Barrel Brewing in Bend, Oregon for selling out to InBev, the world’s largest beer producer. Ommegang, on the other hand, was more discreet in choosing a larger investor. The brewery was purchased by Duvel Moortgat, the leading producer of Belgian beer worldwide, and also one of the best large craft breweries. Most people didn’t seem to notice the change in ownership. Here is an example of how to expand without losing creative control. This brewery uses its facilities to host some of the best events such as a cyclocross race, and an amazing music fest, pairing two fun things to make memories that last!

Let me tell you how awesome it is to arrive to Brewery Ommegang. First, you will see beautifully crafted signs guiding you for the last few miles of rolling hills in a rural section of beautiful upstate New York. Then, you come upon a wonderful arched farmstead crafted after Belgian farmhouse breweries, and you feel like you are entering into a beer wonderland. The tanks glisten, and the rampant lion and diamond crest identifies the place as distinctly Ommegang. When you walk into the gift shop you have two options, to enter the tasting room, or the café. Yes, that’s right, you can get amazing food at this brewery. Allison Capozza, the Publicity Manager, was very welcoming and made my visit and live painting session pleasant! I painted for about two hours while munching on complementary French fries, beef wellington bites, and cookies, and savoring tasters of every beer available in the tasting room. Thank you for making me feel so welcome!

Rare Vos is a perfect Belgian amber ale. It has an overall rating of 91 on Beer Advocate, but rates a 98 by the bros. I suggest buying a bottle of the Rare Vos to check it out for yourself. The pop of the cork, and the aroma of this sweet, malty beer will have you from the beginning. Go ahead and buy a case, as this beer ages well, mellowing over the years.

Cheers to Brewery Ommegang! I always buy your beer for a celebration! Thanks again for being such wonderful hosts, and for distributing your beer all the way to Alaska. I will always remember my visit whenever I pop the cork from one of your bottles!

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 rare vos by brewery ommegang year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.15. Rare Vos Amber Ale by Brewery Ommegang. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 318

The featured beer painting of the day is of The Corruption India Pale Ale by DC Brau Brewing, LLC in Washington, DC. This IPA was very delicious! The brewers involved must have some sort of crooked deal set up with the hop growers in order to receive such a glorious amount of hops to produce this excellent 6.5% ABV single IPA. Exclusively brewed with Columbus hops, this beer is superbly unbalanced at 80 IBUs.

My wife suggested that I paint the Congress building in the background as it seems to be the most corrupt branch of our government at the moment, but I think the White House is more iconic. Besides, there has been plenty of corruption within its walls as well. Think of Nixon, or even Obama. Who knows what he’s talking about during those direct calls to Putin? She conceded on that note, although she speaks with authority, as she did spend four months in DC working as an intern for Alaska’s Senator Ted Stevens. As I took a closer look at this beer can, I read a “Corruption Fact” right on the back of it, about the Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, forging a coalition that secured the White House for John Quincy Adams.  In return, Adams named Clay as his Secretary of State in what became knows as the “Corruption Bargain”.

Cheers to the Corruption IPA, the beer with the tasty Columbus hops! I hope you can get a hold of this beer, even if you have to bribe your mailman to get it delivered straight to your house.

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 the corruption india pale by dc brau brewing year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.14. The Corruption India Pale by DC Brau Brewing, LLC. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 317

The featured beer painting of the day is of Exit 4 American Trippel by Flying Fish Brewing Company in Somerdale, New Jersey. This is the first beer I’ve drank and painted from a brewery in New Jersey, and the coolest thing is that I drank and painted it in New Jersey! I really liked this beer. It’s nice and sweet, with a slight hop essence. Hoppier than its Belgian brothers, this beer still has the same type of yeast, but is brewed with American 2 row malt and American hops. I have no idea how old this bottle is, as it only has a “use by” date of 2/10/15, which is strange, because the website says it gets better with age. I pulled it out of a cooler in Delaware at a liquor store claiming to be the best liquor store in the world, so at least it has been properly stored, if it is older. I bet this American trippel was fairly hoppy in its earlier days, and it aged to become mellow and beautiful. Our host for the evening, who is my wife’s friend from high school, is a wine drinker, but I convinced her to try a small glass of this beer, and she thought it was good!

Cheers to the Flying Fish Brewing Company! I think that you make a quality craft brew, and you should be proud to say that it’s made in NJ! Welcome to the Year of Beer Paintings.

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 exit 4 american trippel by flying fish brewing year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.13. Exit 4 American Trippel by Flying Fish Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 316

The featured beer painting of the day is of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s cask-conditioned 75 Minute Boil IPA, painted live at the brewery’s pub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I painted this particular beer, because I wanted to depict one that I could only get at the brewery, and it also came in the classic cask ale glass, so I thought that would look cool in the painting. I was having so much fun painting and tasting the samples Maria ordered, while trying to get the reflection just right on the glass. As I was putting the last touches on the painting, the two women who were sitting at the table next to us commented that they had been watching my progress from the start and really liked the outcome. Turns out they had gotten married in Rehoboth Beach the previous day, and the Best Person in their wedding was really into the beer that I was painting, and they asked if they could buy my painting right then. I was taken aback and started to tell them that the paint had to dry for two weeks, and that I could mail the painting to them. Maria cut me off, because she noticed that the pub had to-go pizza boxes that were just the right size, so we packed the painting in one of those, right after I wrote a special message on it. Often my oil paintings sell before the paint is dry, but this was a new sales speed record.

That evening, after a short walk to the beach, we headed back to the pub for the Ancient Ales beer dinner with DFH founder Sam Calagione, and Professor Pat McGovern. Sam walked around to every table to meet people, and told me that there were other Clendaniels in the room. When he went back to the front of the room, he found out that the other Clendaniels own one of my paintings! I walked over to meet them, and we were amazed at how tight-knit the beer community is. The couple at our table, Mike and Marcia, became our Facebook friends, because we had such a great time sharing beer stories. This is the kind of trip I will never forget! Thanks Dogfish Head for being the coolest brewery outside of Alaska I have ever visited!

Cheers to the Cask Conditioned 75 Minute Boil IPA! A delicious cask beer that turned out to be the fastest sale of my life! I hope that the new couple’s marriage stands the tests of time and that my painting makes it home to Virginia safely!

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 75 minute ipa by dogfish head brewery year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.12. 75 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

 

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 315

The featured beer painting of the day is of Russian River Brewing Company’s Supplication – a wild American brown ale that is fairly hard to find, especially on tap at a small bar in Pennsylvania. Joe Sixpack, Philly’s beer writer, suggested meeting for a beer, and a live painting session at one of his favorite bars in Mt. Airy. I was surprised to see this beer on tap, and savored every bit of my 6 oz serving. Russian River beer is not found every day, so when I saw it on the menu, I knew it was the one I was going to paint. I met the owner of this tavern and he told me that his grandfather opened it in 1939. He is very humble about his establishment, and wants to keep the bar stools available for locals, so he doesn’t boast about the amazing selection he offers on tap. We joked that I shouldn’t even mention the name of his bar in my blog, but to just say that it’s next to the oldest Lutheran church in the country. Going to a bar with Philly’s beer writer definitely has advantages. Not only did I get to meet the owner who came over to talk to Joe, but he also called the bar ahead of time to ask if I could paint live there. The previous evening we attended a craft beer tasting event that Joe had invited me to at the Convention Center during one of the nation’s best craft fairs. He introduced five new breweries and their craft beer to the beer enthusiasts who attended the tasting event. Thanks Joe Sixpack for making it possible for me to experience the truly local beer scene in Philly!

Russian River Supplication is a great beer, and rates 100 on Beer Advocate. Brown in color with a nose full of cherries, flavors of Pinot Noir oak, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, and Lactobaccillius. This beer is complex in flavor and aroma. I spent several minutes just smelling it before I even had my first sip. No surprise, but Maria and Joe both ordered the same beer. My journey of sour beer tasting continued that evening when I attended Sam Magdovitz’s beer-themed birthday celebration and beer tasting, which included sours from Anchorage Brewing Company and even two Cantillon bottles. There were several bottles from Cascade Brewing from Portland, Oregon including an apricot and an elderberry lambic, and three bottles of Eclipse imperial stout each aged in different casks. As I mentioned the next morning to Sam at breakfast, that was the most epic beer tasting of my life, as it should have been, considering it was his 60th birthday party!

Cheers to Russian River’s Supplication! A fantastic cherry sour brown that only the best bars would have on tap! Thanks Joe Sixpack for the great recommendation!

The original painting sold. You can purchase a different painting, and prints of this beer at my Etsy shop, RealArtIsBetter.

Beer Painting of supplication by Russian River Brewing Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.11. Supplication by Russian River Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.