Monthly Archives: September 2016

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #92, September 29, 2016, Summit Hop Necessity IPA by Levante Brewing Co.

Today’s Thirsty Thursday beer painting is of Summit Hop Necessity IPA by Levante Brewing Company of West Chester, Pennsylvania.  I painted this live at the brewery.  Levante (La•vant•tay) is a relatively new brewery, having just completed its first year producing craft beer.  Finely crafted beer it is, too.  The brewery’s tagline is “Elevate your Craft,” which these guys are doing.  Sounds like they are expanding their craft as well.  I heard from an inside source that the place is growing and may be getting a bottling/canning line.  But that is mere speculation.  Growth for Levante is eminent, however, just where it is going, I don’t know.

Getting to Levante in West Chester was easy, I just hopped in my buddy’s car at Tired Hands in Ardmore, and he drove me there via McKenzie Brewhouse.  Getting back to Mt. Airy via SEFTA before my hosts went to bed on a work night was a bit more trying.  I started my journey at Side Bar in West Chester at 7:00 PM.  I considered having a meal as I had been tasting beer all day, but felt full of good cereal grains, and opted to just hammer home.  According to Google Maps I could do it in just about two hours.  It is only about 40 miles.  Unfortunately, the way SEFTA works doesn’t make it easy to go from one neighborhood to another.  It is set up to get you in and out of the City Center.  Busses require exact change.  Trolleys have to be payed in advance. On the regional line, the big trains, you pay the attendant.  I learned all of this by blundering along.  I got on the first bus, and even though it said there was only one stop from West Chester to 69th Street station, it was more like 49 stops.  Little to say, I sounded like an idiot when I asked if we were there yet after only one stop.  The bus driver informed me 69th Street was the end of the line.  An hour later I was figuring out that the icon on Google Maps that looked like a bus was actually a small train called a Trolley.  It is a good thing it came every 10 minutes, because I missed the first one.  The Trolley from 69th Street to 30th Street in City Center was a little bit sketchy.  The gangsta-looking dudes riding the train looked at me with respect cause of my huge beard.  I was thankful for my beard the whole time, actually.  Since I missed the first trolley, my regional train wasn’t coming for 40 minutes.  I realized I wouldn’t get to Mt. Airy until 10PM.  Oops, kind of late on a work night for my hosts.  I booked it from the station to the house in Mt. Airy and arrived just in time to have a delicious bowl of frozen bananas!  Would not have been good to set off the alarm had I gotten there just a few minutes later!  So the word is that public transportation is good in Philadelphia, but West Chester is a long ride away from Mt. Airy! 

Elevate Your Craft, and expand your horizons!  Take a train home, because it’s the small adventures in life that make it great!  

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #92 by Scott Clendaniel. September 29, 2016. Summit Hop Necessity IPA by Levante Brewing Co., 8"x10", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #92 by Scott Clendaniel. September 29, 2016. Summit Hop Necessity IPA by Levante Brewing Co., 8″x10″, oil on panel.

 

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #91, September 22, 2016, High Road Double IPA by Tired Hands Brewing Co.

It’s Thirsty Thursday again, and I am on a little beer trip across the nation!  Just arrived to California through Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Purchased beer from some amazing stores across the nation along the way.  I would have liked to stop at a few breweries, but this was a beer transport and purchase mission.  The two fellows I was with, and I made strategic strikes at different retail establishments in various local distribution zones.  We made an efficient trip across the country in four days.

Before the drive, I spent four days in Philadelphia, a city that loves beer.  I visited the Tired Hands Brewing Fermentaria and painted this piece live right there.  How fitting that at the end of a road trip I get to release a painting of a beer called The High Road, considering we drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado, a mere 11,115 feet above sea level.  The High Road DIPA from Tired Hands is a delightful beer.  I drank one last night after our crew drove 900 miles from Grand Junction, CO to Paso Robles, CA.  It was warmer than most would suggest for the serving temperature, but I think it may have been the best beer I have ever consumed, probably due to the thirst that driving for 13 hours creates.  I was slightly chilled, as it was about 55 degrees outside and windy, and I was dressed for Las Vegas heat.  Our road trip is over today, and we safely delivered several cases of terrific beer to Monterey for the wedding party.  One of the driver’s sons is tying the knot in Pebble Beach this weekend.

Right when I finished painting live at Tired Hands Brewing Company's Fermentaria in Philadelphia, PA.

Right when I finished painting live at Tired Hands Brewing Company’s Fermentaria in Philadelphia, PA.

Thank you Tired Hands Brewing Company for making such a delectable beer, which perfectly commemorates this trip.  What a long trip it has been!  Now I get to enjoy the beach for a couple days, before flying back to Anchorage, where I hear it is storming.  Hoping that all the beer I bought along the way will make it to Alaska safely in my luggage.  I’ll need it for future beer paintings.

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #91 by Scott Clendaniel. September 22, 2016. High Road Double IPA by Tired Hands Brewing Co., 8"x10", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #91 by Scott Clendaniel. September 22, 2016. High Road Double IPA by Tired Hands Brewing Co., 8″x10″, oil on panel.

Talkeetna Brew Fest 2016

~ by Maria Benner

Well, Scott is on the opposite end of the continent right now, but started the long drive today from Philly to Monterey, CA with two buddies.  They are carrying precious cargo in a rented mini-van for one of the friend’s son’s wedding — six cases of beer from his cellar, and are planning to stop along the way to buy more beer.  One bottle has unfortunately already exploded mere hours after the journey began.  Evidently, the Brett in the bottle of Galaxy IPA by Anchorage Brewing Co. created too much gas over the years in the cellar, and finally popped in the rental van.  Luckily, the spill was quickly contained, and no other bottles were damaged from this incident.  Take heed, bottles conditioned with any yeast are likely to pop eventually, so don’t cellar them too long.

Anyway, while Scott is traveling, I’m batching it here in Anchorage.  I realized that the two weeks that Scott is gone will be the longest time I’ve ever lived alone.  Shocking.  So I’m learning a bit about my self, and so far I can conclude that I’m not an introvert, and not a hermit.  Yesterday is a perfect example.  I signed up to volunteer at the Talkeetna Brew Fest, which is a fundraiser for the Northern Susitna Institute, and one beer festival that I have never been to.  Who doesn’t love the quaint town of Talkeetna, especially when it hosts nearly every Alaskan brewery for one day?  Even the new cidery was there, Double Shovel Cider Co.  If you’re into cider, check out their tasting room in Anchorage.

What can I say about the beer at this event that you don’t already know?  We can all agree that Alaska has an impressive selection of excellent brews to offer, considering our small population, and lack of local hops and grains.  There were a number of beers that did have local Alaskan ingredients like spruce tips, and berries.  My favorite brews were Sitka Spruce Tip Ale by Baranof Island Brewing, Statny Statny Stout by Kassik’s Kenai Brew Stop, and of course Berserker by Midnight Sun Brewing.  Drinking two pours of that to cap off the event was not my smartest move last night.  Whenever my glass was empty, I would ask whoever I was talking to at the time what was the best beer they had tasted so far, and was steered in the right direction most of the time.  I really enjoyed the low-key atmosphere at this event.  It was not too crowded like most beer fests, and there was an outdoor area with fire pits and picnic tables.  The organizers didn’t skimp on the food, which is an important, and responsible thing to have at such an event.  There was plenty of fresh-baked bread by Mountain High Pizza Pie, and a generous spread of cured meats, and artisan cheeses.

After the four-hour fest, some of us headed to the bank of the beautiful, and currently over-flowing, Susitna River to watch the sunset.  Then somehow there was always a beer in my hand for the rest of the night as we danced to a righteous band at the Fairview Inn.  I have vague memories of a friend buying me a reindeer hot dog, which was a life-saver, around 10 PM.  Good thing I had that for a late dinner, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have had the mental capacity to find my bed.

I’m back in Anchorage now, and Scott already made it to Ohio.  Eight more days of batching it, and I’m planning on attending one more beer festival before Scott gets back.  Bodega Fest is next weekend, and tickets are still available for this party, celebrating La Bodega’s 10th Anniversary!

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Sunset over the Susitna River in Talkeetna.

Sunset over the Susitna River in Talkeetna.

After-party at the Fairview Inn.

After-party at the Fairview Inn.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #90, September 15, 2016, Topcutter IPA by Bale Breaker Brewing Co.

The beer painting of the week is of Topcutter IPA by Bale Breaker Brewing Company in Yakima, Washington!  This IPA is top notch!  No wonder.  A brewery in Yakima, where 77% of the United States hop crop is grown, has access to the freshest hops!  Luckily, I randomly picked up a six-pack of this beer last October when I was driving around the Pacific Northwest.  There is a reason that this beer rates 91 on Beer Advocate.  This IPA is clean and fresh, especially around this time of year as the new hop harvest is coming in.  Expect a solid grapefruit and citrus flavor explosion, followed by pine and hop floral loveliness.  I drank one sip of this beer and wished I had bought a case.  The best thing is that this beer is affordable.  This is not your $4 dollar a can boutique IPA, this is a regular, working man’s offering at about $8.00 a six-pack.  I wish it was distributed to Alaska, but I will buy this again next time I am in Washington for sure.

I looked at the last three Thirsty Thursday entries and realized that they have been IPA heavy.  Well, right now I’m in Philadelphia, and I painted live today at two different breweries, and will be posting those paintings in the future.  Hope you all like IPA, but if you don’t, stand by, I’ll try to mix it up a bit.  I love touring to different breweries around the country, and on Sunday I will be embarking on an epic journey.  My next post will be written as I travel across the country with my buddy Sam, hopefully buying as many tasty brews as I can afford along the way.

Cheers to great beers found along the journey!  May your next beer be an undiscovered gem just like Topcutter IPA!

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #90 by Scott Clendaniel. September 15, 2016. Topcutter IPA by Bale Breaker Brewing Co., 8"x10", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #90 by Scott Clendaniel. September 15, 2016. Topcutter IPA by Bale Breaker Brewing Co., 8″x10″, oil on panel.

 

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #89, September 8, 2016, Alien Church IPA by Tired Hands Brewing Co.

This week’s beer painting is of Alien Church IPA by Tired Hands Brewing Company in Ardmore, PA.  Jean Broillet IV, the brewer/owner/founder of Tired Hands is knocking it out of the galaxy with this one.  I got a chance to chat with him and his wife, Julie Foster, at Culmination Beer Fest, hosted by Anchorage Brewing, and I tasted for the second time the deliciousness of the Alien Church India Pale Ale.  This IPA really brings a lot of serious dry hopped flavor, but is smooth and fruity at the same time.  The freshness is probably the best thing about canned beer, just like a brand new keg every time you open one.  I tried several other Tired Hands brews at Anchorage Brewing, including a collaboration beer brewed by Jean and Gabe Fletcher, called Works of Love, which was fabulously sour and fresh.  To me it was a work of art.  When I made this painting, I put the can of Alien Church inside an alien cathedral in front of alien stained glass.  I think that Jean and his crew were imagining beer made by alien monks when they came up with the recipe.  I can’t wait to go to the new Fermenteria in a couple weeks during my short trip to PA, followed by a cross-country drive in six days with my friend who is going on an epic beer run for his son’s wedding in CA.  I am hoping to make a cool painting inside this great new Tired Hands location, which I have heard so much about! 

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

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #89 by Scott Clendaniel. September 8, 2016. Alien Church IPA by Tired Hands Brewing Co., 8"x10", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #89 by Scott Clendaniel. September 8, 2016. Alien Church IPA by Tired Hands Brewing Co., 8″x10″, oil on panel.

The Personal Nature of a Commissioned Painting

~ by Maria Benner

One of the most unique, personal and unexpected gifts is a commissioned oil painting.  So we get to learn a lot of personal information about complete strangers, such as their hobbies, their past travels, their pets, family, etc.  Most commissions are ordered online from far away places, so we rarely get to meet the customer, or the person/people that the paintings are for, but we end up knowing a lot about them.  People send us photos of their babies, dogs, and other things that they love.  Sometimes we end up exchanging over 20 e-mails back and forth, talking about their lives, and how to incorporate the most important things tastefully into one painting.  The best part is being in on the secret.  One customer was working out the details for a painting for her father who owns a store in Anchorage.  Scott had to coordinate with her a time when her dad wouldn’t be there so he could stop by and take photos of the store front.  She had to be sneaky, because she couldn’t just ask her dad when he would be gone from the store, without raising suspicions.  And when someone orders a custom beer painting, the customers have to scheme to find out what the gift recipients’ favorite beer is, and we give them suggestions for what questions to ask.  We love being in on these secrets, and learning about people’s lives, because that is such a personal part of our business.  Making that connection with customers makes the paintings that much more special.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #88, September 1, 2016, Stacks on Stacks IPA by Other Half Brewing Co.

Stacks on stacks of those C-notes!  Hopefully, that’s what Other Half Brewing Co. is bringing in with its über-tasty, super-fresh, Brooklyn-crafted brews.  I was lucky enough to be tasting these beers at the Culmination Beer Fest here in Anchorage.  They brought some amazing barrel-aged offerings, including Neighborhood Flock and Forgot About Drie.  I also sampled a beer called Topical Depression, a zero IBU IPA (all in the whirlpool, baby) with 400 lbs of Passion Fruit!  But I think the Stacks on Stacks Imperial IPA was the offering that stood out at the event, which was dominated by sours and imperial stouts.  Tasted like a fresh IPA from Vermont, and this was brewed within the buzz of NYC.  Other Half is following the formula that makes a world class brewery: growler fills, can releases of diggity dank IPAs, bottles of barrel-aged sour beer, that is what makes this place cutting edge.  They not only have emulated a great Belgian brasserie, but have assimilated the best of American craft beer culture as well.  Brooklyn just got a lot hipper in my opinion.  Not that it wasn’t my favorite borough of NYC already, but a place just gets better when a bad-ass local brewery springs up.  Like a forest full of beautiful mushrooms, moss, and lichen, cultural establishments such as handcrafted breweries and bean-roasting coffee shops improve an urban environment.  Other Half Brewing is bringing a lot of craft to its neighborhood.  I always stay in Brooklyn when I am visiting NYC, and next time I will bring my paint to work live at Other Half.    

Cheers to Other Half and the details that make life go from great to near-perfect!

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

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #88 by Scott Clendaniel. September 1, 2016. Stacks on Stacks Imperial IPA by Other Half Brewing Co., 8"x10", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #88 by Scott Clendaniel. September 1, 2016. Stacks on Stacks Imperial IPA by Other Half Brewing Co., 8″x10″, oil on panel.