Category Archives: Beer Paintings

I Paint What I See

My job as an artist is to document life and to make art that people like to look at.  I paint beers, because I am into beer.  I also paint trucks, planes, trees, mountains, and animals, because that is what I am surrounded by.  If you release a product out into the world, and I run into it, I might decide to put it into a painting.  

A pretty famous California brewery recently told me I am no longer allowed to sell paintings of their beer.  They told me they want to keep anything with an image of their product strictly under their control.  I understand this and respect their decision, even though it frustrates me that they decided to let me know after I have already made 6 different paintings (all original compositions) of their beers.  I even painted live at their brewery’s taproom with their permission.  Now that it has been revoked, I feel a little cheated.  It’s hard to describe, because I don’t really feel like I have done anything wrong, but I do feel like something negative has happened here.  I don’t intend to stop making paintings of beer, but I also don’t intend to drink any more of that brewery’s product, which is fine, because it is actually pretty hard to get, especially in Alaska. 

I will continue to make commissions of any beer you want (excluding the breweries that forbid it).  I like to tell a story when I make a painting, and a successful painting causes a response from the viewer.  I want to evoke positive responses.  Normally, beer paintings make a viewer thirsty for that beer, bring up a memory of a good time, or simply bring joy to the person who is looking at it.  That is all I really want to do.  I never want to offend.  

I hope there aren’t many more unpleasant messages that come my way, telling me to stop doing my work.  I will continue with the exercise of documenting life, and telling visual stories with my artwork.  The good news is that there are a lot of small breweries and 99.99% of them value my work.  So, I will work with the ones that like what I am doing.

So, a toast to positive future vibes, and I hope you all continue to view, purchase, gift, and enjoy my art, as I intend to continue making it.                

Montucky Cold Snacks Beer Painting

Montucky Cold Snacks is a light and refreshing beer, just like a good “adventure” beer should be.  For this painting I imagined three white horses prancing around a Montana ranch, while a cool farm hand stands watching by the property’s fence, sipping on a Cold Snacks at the end of a long day of ranchin’.  It is this type of dream of Montana that inspired this beer to be made, and inspired me to paint this composition.

I love a good, cold, American-style lager. It is the perfect beer for after a long, hard, sweat-filled workday, or a grueling play day.  I would drink it on a box, I would drink it with a fox. I would drink it here, I would drink it there! Basically, I could drink Montucky Cold Snacks anywhere! The cool thing about this beer, is the brewery donates 8% of its profits back to local causes.  Remember, the first two are for hydration. 

The original oil painting, and signed prints are available at my Etsy shop.

Montucky Cold Snacks Beer Painting by Scott Clendaniel. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

 

Yuengling Traditional Lager at Citizens Bank Park

When I was growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, my parents were saving every penny so they could help pay for all four of us to go to college.  We used to shop at thrift stores, and we played a lot of baseball.  My brother found this Phillies fan jacket and he instantly became a fan. I indirectly also became a fan, because he wore it all the time. 

During 2014, I worked my little tail off making a beer painting every day. This is when I went from being a beer fan to a straight-up beer nerd.  I had heard of Yuengling, the oldest brewery in America, but it doesn’t distribute to Alaska. I picked up a following in Pennsylvania during my Year of Beer project, and one of my followers mailed me a can.  I was impressed, since the beer was different than the regular pre-prohibition style lager I expected it to be.  During 2014 I made over 365 paintings, and some of them were more inspired than others.  I wish I had made this Yuengling painting at the Citizens Bank Park back then. 

In 2017, I took my second trip to Philly and I spent some time tasting beers there. My great friend Sam Magdowitz (a local Philadelphian) has season tickets to the Phillies, so I got to go to a game!  Thanks Sam!  He is a huge MLB fan, and has been to every ball park in the country! I was telling him about my history with the Phillies when we parked, and took the train on in.  This is Sam’s secret plan to avoid the traffic; park at a train station a ways out, and ride the train 10 minutes to the stadium.  Ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing, way less time stuck in traffic. I had been beer tasting all day with Rich Morgan that day, another great beer drinking friend whom I met during my Year of Beer, and I am glad I wasn’t behind the wheel.  I did make it until the game went into extra innings and was on my second wind when Sam suggested leaving early since he had to work in the morning.  It was after 10pm, so I was on board.  I watched the Phillies win back in his kitchen while sharing a bottle of Denali Brewing’s Louisville Slugger sour ale with Sam’s wonderful better half, Tamar.  Sam crashed out for the night. Great experience, thanks Sam and Tamar! 

Brad Lewis is a local Anchorage Phillies fan, originally from Philadelphia.  He brought me this can of Yuengling with the Phillies logo on it!  I was stoked to finally get another taste of this iconic brew and finally capture my experience with Sam at the stadium!  Cheers to a little help from our friends! Without so many great people in my life I would not have been able to put this painting together! Go Phillies! Drink a Yuengling, if you are lucky enough to get one!

This original oil painting, and signed prints are available at my Etsy shop.

Yuengling Traditional Lager at Citizens Bank Park, by Scott Clendaniel. 14″ x 11″, oil on panel.

Rainier Bear 2.0

In 2016 I was inspired by a news story to paint one of my most popular beer paintings, called Rainier Bear. In addition to selling the original oil painting, I had also released 52 limited-edition prints of the image. I sold the original, and all 52 prints. This is only the second time I’ve sold out of a limited-edition run! Now that all 52 are sold, I won’t sell that image as a signed print again (stickers are available though). So, I decided to paint a new version of this bear, because I just really like him, and Rainier beer is so iconic to me, since I was born in Washington. So, here you have it, Rainier Bear 2.0!

Cheers to these cute trouble-makers!

This original oil painting, and signed fine-art prints are available at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Rainier Bear 2.0, 14″x11″, oil on panel by Scott Clendaniel

“Oh Geez, Rick!” – Morty

“Oh Geez, Rick”,  is a painting I made because I am a home-brewer and a huge fan of the show Rick and Morty.  Every home-brewer loves to brew in the garage. Since I don’t have one, I decided to pretend to have the most amazing garage ever, Rick’s garage from the show.  Every time I make a batch of beer, I pitch the yeast into a big glass fermenter like the one pictured here in Rick’s garage laboratory.  I always think about the life that is being cultivated inside the glass universe in the carboy.  Sealed with an airlock to keep the culture clean, it reminds me of our planet.  We are like the yeast, and the wort (unfermented beer) is like our natural resources.  As the yeast bubbles, and ferments the wort into beer, it is like our planet living out its days.  Once in a while I will double down on a batch of beer and pour fresh wort into the leftover yeast slurry from a previous batch. When I do this, I think how awesome it would be if we were able to buy more time for humanity on planet Earth by just brewing up some more clean air, water, and sunlight.  

The lifespan of any life-form is limited by its resources.  So my question is: if the planet is like a beer fermenter and the garage is like space outside our universe, is there some giant being that wants to eat all our garbage and breath our CO2 to catch a relaxing buzz?  Rick would know, he probably was teasing it with his portal gun.  

Cheers to life! Although it may be fleeting, make sure it is a fun ride!

This original oil painting, and signed art prints are available at my Etsy shop. You can see this painting in person at my art show at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. June 4 – July 1, 2021. I will kick off the show this Friday at 5pm by tapping a pin (small keg) of a wit beer with key-lime, cask-conditioned on Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans and graham crackers!

“Oh geez, Rick!” 11″ x 14″, oil on panel

The Secret Ingredient in Pliny the Younger Triple IPA is Revealed

An anonymous source recently revealed to me that he found out the secret ingredient that makes Pliny the Younger Triple IPA taste so amazing! He requested that I do not reveal his name, because he doesn’t want to be banned from Russian River Brewing for disclosing this information. He was lucky enough to score a permit to Yosemite National Park during Feb. 12-24, when the phenomenon known as “Firefall” occurs. During this time of year only, and during just the right time at sunset, the sun hits the water of Horsetail Falls just right, making the waterfall look like bright red flowing lava! After taking many pictures, he looked down at the bottom of the waterfall and saw something very strange. There was a man filling large containers from the waterfall! He couldn’t believe his eyes! So, he had to find out why the man was doing this, and walked over to talk to him. Turns out, the man was one of the brewers at Russian River Brewing, and he needed the water from that waterfall just at that precise time when it looks like lava, in order to brew Pliny the Younger according to the super secret recipe. We are all in shock that the man shared this sensitive information with my friend, but since that water is so difficult to find, this beer recipe is incredibly hard to duplicate. So, next time you enjoy a sip of that delicious IPA, just remember that it was brewed with extremely rare water from a phenomenon that only happens for two weeks once a year at one of the world’s most beautiful places! That really explains why Pliny the Younger tastes so incredible! This story inspired me to paint this new beer painting of Pliny the Younger in front of the “Firefall”.

This original oil painting, and signed art prints are available at my Etsy shop.

Pliny the Younger Triple IPA in front of “Firefall” in Yosemite National Park. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Pelican Brewing in Pacific City, Oregon

During my college days, studying art at Western Oregon University, located in Monmouth, Oregon, I spent a lot of time at the local bike shop.  The shop was really cool! Located in a former gas station, it barely had enough space inside to store all the bikes.  It was called Jon’s Bicycle Station. I met Jon the first day I arrived in Monmouth.  The town wasn’t really that big, and I was, and still am, bicycle crazy.  We became great friends!  The shop was so cool, because Jon made it that way.  Since he worked 6 days a week, and home-brewed every Sunday, we would ride every Tuesday at nighttime. We used powerful headlamps to go way up into the mountains, then turn them off and gaze at the stars. The rides were great, sometimes 23 miles long, and often just Jon and I.  We would always meet at the shop, do a quick tune to the bikes, then have espressos, and load the bikes into his old 1970’s Ford F-250, driving a few miles to the logging area on the east side of the coastal range. After the ride Jon pulled out homemade burritos from an insulated cooler where he kept them warm.  These were my favorite times in the Willamette Valley area.  

My grandmother is from Newberg, Oregon, just up Route 99W from Monmouth. When I was a child, the whole family would often fly down from Alaska to meet up with the rest of the clan at the Oregon coast for a family get-together. We would normally stay in a rental house at Rockaway Beach, so I was no stranger to the Oregon coast. I think it is a really beautiful place on this planet! When Jon invited me to go to Pacific City to ride bikes and celebrate New Years Eve in a big rental house, I jumped at the chance. He would always get these incredible houses and invite all his riding buddies. Since I was a broke college student he didn’t ask much from me. I just had to show up and go for long road rides on Highway 101. Afterwards we would go to the Pelican Brewing brewpub. One time for spring break, Jon got this amazing house directly on the beach in Pacific City. It had a hot tub and a sauna, and 17 beds! The bunk room was impressive, with two levels of stacked beds with room for everyone. My roommate at the time brought his girlfriend’s whole family! We filled that house! I remember running to the ocean from the hot tub — it was so awesome! The Pelican Brewing brewpub was only about 1/2 mile down the beach from that house. Back in the day, the brewery only bottled beers in bombers. I remember buying as many as I could afford and taking them back for a big beach fire party! I did a couple of paintings at that house. The place was called the Wind Jammer on the rental listings. I don’t know if you can still rent it, but I do recommend getting some Pelican beers and walking down the beach!

Nowadays, the Pelican has a production facility in Tillamook, and the beers come in huge cans, six-packs, and still a few 22oz bombers.  It’s not quite the same, but my love for Pacific City is still strong.  If you happen to be in the area, the Grateful Bread Bakery is a good breakfast place, just get there early, as the cinnamon buns are all gone if you sleep in!  Haystack Rock, and  Cape Kiwanda Dune are really cool local geological features making this place stand out!  I heard the surfing is as good as Oregon has to offer.

Cheers to Pacific City, The Pelican Brewpub, Jon’s Bicycle Station, and the Oregon Coast! You don’t have to go to Hawaii to have a great time on the beach!

This original oil painting, and signed prints are available at my Etsy shop.

Pelican Brewing IPA, 11″x14″, oil on panel

Giants Baseball Game at AT&T Stadium

Before the pandemic, going to a baseball game in a crowded stadium was possible. We used to also have weddings, and sometimes we even left our home state to go places.  I went to a wedding in California to see my cousin get hitched back in 2017. Then we went to an amazing baseball game at Oracle Park (a.k.a AT&T Stadium) in San Francisco. I bought myself a Giants ball cap from a street vendor and my uncle had procured tickets for the whole family.  My brother-in-law, and sister met us for pre-game beers at a local brewery called Cellarmaker.  I always wait until the 7th inning stretch to buy a beer at a ball park, because they are kind of expensive. I can milk the abnormally large beer for the rest of the game, even if it goes into extra innings. I think I paid about $20 for my 20 oz beer, so that’s $1 per oz.  This is not a particularly good price, but the selection was excellent. Lagunitas, Anchor, and 21st Amendment were available back when I was there. The Internet tells me that Local Brewing, and Russian River are on the menu now, or will be when we are all allowed back in the park.  We had a great time, and I was really impressed when foul balls went into the Bay, and when gulls were dive bombing for hotdogs.  The Giants didn’t win that game, but everyone wins with a 20oz brew and great live entertainment in the sun.  I hope you get to go to your favorite ball park soon! I have a good feeling the 2022 baseball season will be closer to normal.  In the meantime, buy the cardboard cutout for yourself, and make sure you have a beer in your hand to show how much fun you are having!

Cheers to getting back to normal, and in the meantime, live abnormally well, when you can!

This original oil painting, and signed prints are available at my Etsy shop.

Beer at a Giants Baseball Game at AT&T Stadium. 11″x14″, oil on panel, framed.
Maria and I stoked about seeing a Giants game!

The Paintings That Got Censored

You may have noticed that a lot of my beer paintings portray beer labels, which are often registered trademarks, protected by copyright laws, or whatever the legal terminology is. Most breweries are flattered by my paintings, and many of them have bought one, or more, but a few select businesses have decided to hold the letter of the law against me. Well, I haven’t actually been sued (yet), I’ve just received many “cease and desist” notices, and one phone call.  The offended entities include, Heineken, a motorcycle group of thugs (I’d rather not mention its name), Dogfish Head, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and Naturdays.  New Glarus Brewing called me to let me know they’re on to me, but said I could keep selling prints of Spotted Cow as long as I didn’t go too far. To be fair, when I met Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head, he told me he loves my Year of Beer Paintings series, so I think the “cease and desist” had nothing to do with Sam, and came from one of the brewery’s lawyers who had nothing better to do that day. The motorcycle thugs talked about litigation, after I questioned why they asked Etsy to take down my painting of Midnight Sun Brewing’s Fallen Angel only because one of the tags (SEO keywords) mentioned the group’s name. So they extra suck. I deleted the keyword, and renewed the listing.

Art should not be censored!  The art I make with beers from breweries actually helps the breweries sell more beer. It is free and positive advertising. I write a blog post gushing over the brewery whenever I release a new painting. I have to like the beer to spend hours of my time making a painting of it, so of course my review will be positive. Many people who have purchased a beer painting from me have told me they buy way more of that specific beer after they hang the painting. It’s sticklers for the rules that just make life a lot less fun. 

I only have one original oil painting left of the “censored” paintings. The rest all sold before they were discovered by lawyers. This Heineken painting (see below) is 12″ x 24″, oil on panel, framed in a natural wood frame. If anyone wants it, I’ll sell it to you for $195, and domestic shipping is on the house.

I hope you are staying safe, eating right, and drinking quality craft beer!  I toast to the breweries who are supportive of the arts and know that partnerships and collaborations are the way to go!

Heineken in Holland, 12″ x 24″, oil on panel.

Beer Pac-Man

Ready Player One!  Grab your beer and steal those laundry quarters from your roommate for a couple rounds of beer Pac-Man!  This classic yellow hungry fellow wants to go all in and have a few pints.  The Ghosts are stoked because they never have to hide from a drunken Pac-Man.  The corner dots don’t work in this video-game-inspired painting, instead they have become special power-up beers.  Pac-Man thinks he is suave and debonair once he swills a few of these down, but after a six-pack of the yellow fizzies, he is slow and unresponsive.  Not quite a “Game Over,” but definitely a “Bed Time” is happening soon.  Another factor is that after a few of these digital pints Pac-Man thinks Ms. Pac-Man is a perfect 10!

This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are available at my Etsy shop.

Beer Pac Man by Scott Clendaniel

Beer Pac Man, 8″ x 10″, oil on panel, by Scott Clendaniel