How often do I paint live in breweries? Not that often. I think there are still under ten paintings that I have managed to create in a tasting room. I recently made a trip to the Midwest of our lovely North American continent. I spent a few days in Chicago, enjoying the delicious beer there, as well as catching a Cubs game at Wrigley field. Maria enjoyed a Goose Island 312 during the game, I held out to sample a fresh IPA from the local GI taproom in Wrigleyville. After Chicago we left to Wisconsin for a wedding. I definitely enjoyed my share of Spotted Cow. Thanks Adam and Kara for getting two kegs of delicious New Glarus brew.
We figured that a trip to the Midwest wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Michigan. Actually, my grandmother was born in Michigan so I have some extended roots there, and I definitely have friends who live in Michigan. First, we went to Grand Haven and enjoyed some Odd Side Ales, swam in Lake Michigan and explored the dunes. We then drove to Grand Rapids, known as Beer City with big hitters like Founders, Brewery Vivant, and Perrin. Not to mention Harmony, Rockford, B.O.B., and Mitten. Grand Rapids is a very beer-forward town. On our way there from Grand Haven we detoured on a special trip to Kalamazoo, MI to go to the world famous Bell’s Brewery, where I painted live for an afternoon at the Eccentric Cafe. The beer I painted is the double black IPA, called Uranus, part of the planet series. Brewed in homage to Gustav Holst, the composer best known for his musical suites entitled the Planets. The food was also really good and the service was excellent. I hope I get a chance to return to the Eccentric Cafe, it seemed like my kind of place. Great art was everywhere adorning the interior, including some amazing stained glass windows with relief sculptures, as well as mosaics on the floor. I finished this painting, and then got to drink the beer. Two more days of beer enjoyment in Grand Rapids completed out the trip, and I had a very full ten days in the Midwest!