Monthly Archives: November 2014

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 327

The featured beer painting is Pile -o- Dirt Porter, handcrafted by Crow Peak Brewing Company in the Black Hills in Spearfish, South Dakota. I couldn’t find a beer in Alaska from South Dakota, but am lucky enough to know people who were willing to contribute to this project by bringing this can in their luggage for me from their travels. So, this is the first beer I’ve ever painted from South Dakota, thanks to John and Carolyn! I am now only missing four states from the project: Alabama (should be arriving any day now), West Virginia, Tennessee, and Arizona. So, if you are reading this, and you can send, or bring me a beer from West Virginia, Tennessee, or Arizona, you can be a beer hero. I will send you something tasty from Alaska in return.

Pile -o- Dirt Porter is a nice, robust porter. It was foamy and friendly, and went down smoothly, like a good craft beer should. A porter is a great beer style, originally invented in England, and described as a dark bitter. True to style, although with decidedly American flourishes in the form of 2-row base malt and American hops, this beer was fresh and delicious. If I drank it anywhere in the world, I would be happy to consume it. So, maybe I will get a chance to brave the South Dakota beer-tasting environment and have a Pile -o- Dirt in its home state. I have a new goal, to visit every state and have a local beer there. So far, I’ve only been to eighteen.

Cheers to the Pile -o- Dirt! As the can says, “Peace, love, funk”.

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 pile o dirt porter by crow peak brewing year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.23. Pile -o- Dirt Porter by Crow Peak Brewing Company. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

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Year of Beer Paintings – Day 326

The featured beer painting of the day is of Racer 5 IPA by Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg, California. This West Coast style IPA is the brewery’s flagship beer. I found this bottle in Philadelphia, and brought it home, because I can’t buy it here in Anchorage, Alaska. Bear Republic’s Racer 5 has won a slew of awards, including the Gold medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. I decided to give it higher honors by putting the Borg-Warner trophy in the background of this painting. This beer is decidedly awesome at 7.5% ABV and 75 IBUs. It tasted exactly what I think a fresh IPA should be like – big piney and citrus flavors with a floral hop aroma. I hope you cherish every drop, and don’t try to win any racing awards when you consume this product. It is too tasty to waste in a chug-a-thon. All right IPA lovers, get your engines ready, make a pit stop, and keep on racing right along to the check-out-line. As the checkered flag waves, you’ll be back home watching the Indy 500 while sipping on cold Racer 5 IPA. Vroom!

Cheers to Racer 5, the beer that drives you to cheer for racing carnage! I hope you can get a hold of this particular brew. It’s mighty fine!

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 racer 5 ipa by bear republic brewing year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.22. Racer 5 IPA by Bear Republic Brewing Company. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 325

Wow! Back in Anchorage, Alaska after an epic brewery tour around the East Coast! We visited 16 breweries in 16 days. In Pennsylvania we went to Victory Brewing, Spring House Brewing, Tröegs Brewing, Tired Hands Brewing, Earth-Bread+Brewery, and Yards Brewing. As a bonus, at the Philly Museum of Art Craft Show we got to taste several offerings from new Philly breweries at a beer tasting event organized by Joe Sixpack: Evil Genius Beer Company, Neshaminy Creek Brewing, Saint Benjamin Brewing, and Broken Goblet Brewery. Thank you, Joe Sixpack, for inviting us to that event! Then we took a detour to Delaware, just to go to Dogfish Head Brewery, and then headed north to New York where we visited Brewery Ommegang. Then, on to Vermont, where we stopped by Fiddlehead Brewery, and Hill Farmstead. On our way to Maine, we visited White Birch Brewing in New Hampshire, and the following day went to Maine Beer Company. On the last day in Maine, we went to Allagash Brewing. Then we had to drive through New Hampshire again to get to Boston, so we stopped at Earth Eagle Brewings. Finally, in Boston we went to Trillium Brewing, and Cambridge Brewing. We could have added Harpoon Brewing to the list, but the off site brewery tasting room that was right at our departure gate at the Boston airport was closed at 7 AM.

We also visited some noteworthy pubs and taprooms that were superb, including McMenamins Tavern in Mt. Airy, Side Bar in West Chester, Blind Tiger Ale House in Manhattan, Tørst in Brooklyn, Farmhouse Tap & Grill in Burlington, Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, Novare Res Bier Café in Portland, and Row 34 in Boston! Phew! I painted live in one pub and seven breweries. I learned a lot on this trip, which was a very valuable experience.

So, let’s talk about today’s featured beer painting. We went to some amazing bottle shops on this trip, and Maria picked up this bottle of Edmund Fitzgerald Porter by Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio. This porter is legendary with flavors of smoky roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, complex hops and malt bitterness. This brew hits you on the front and back of your tongue, caressing your palate, urging you to take another small sip. The story of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is a tragic one. This steamer hauling tons and tons of iron sank in 1975. Since iron is a conductor, the ship was an electrical storm magnet. I can only imagine how fast it went down loaded with all that iron.

Cheers to the complexity of Edmund Fitgerald Porter – a beer that boasts a bold flavor, and won’t let you down. “The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down” – Gordon Lightfoot.

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 Edmund Fitzgerald Porter by Great Lakes Brewing Year of Beer Paintings scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.21. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter by Great Lakes Brewing Company. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

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″.