Whenever I get a chance to taste a brew from Prairie Artisan Ales, I take it! I picked up this lovely saison when I took a speedy road trip across the country with a good friend from Philadelphia. Although I was in Ohio when I purchased this bottle, I was stoked! I look forward to the day when I set up my painting kit at either the Prairie Ales taproom, or at the brewpub, and make a painting live! I have never been to Oklahoma, but when I do go I will be drinking Prairie artisan ales the whole time, and I plan on returning home with a suitcase full of this delectable brew! Cheers to the brewers that bring a smile to my face!
So I finally found out the history behind the iconic windmill on Spenard Rd. Originally it was erected on east Fireweed in 1961, and was used as an advertisement for a liquor store called the Kut Rate Kid. Owned by Byron Gillam until the 1980’s, the liquor store was a financial success. Gillam would sell cases of directly imported beer for a small 2 cents per case profit, eliminating wholesalers and picking up sales of ice wine and liquor all at regular inflated Alaskan prices. Gillam passed away, and the business sold. The windmill then represented a pizza business that moved in, owned by a man named Mafia Mike. Due to the economic downturn in the 1980’s, the windmill had to be moved from Mafia Mike’s pizza place, so it was given to Chilkoot Charlie’s to put in the parking lot there. “Koots” is a crazy place, and inebriated clientele there threatened the structure by climbing it. Consequently, the structure is now surrounded by a 6 foot fence with barbed wire at the top to prevent lawsuits and unexpected damage.
Chugach Session Cream Ale is a brainchild of Broken Tooth Brewing, a conglomerate of the Moose’s Tooth Pizza restaurant group, including Bear Tooth Theatre Pub located about a block from the windmill. Cream Ale is a traditional American style of ale, similar to American lager in flavor and drinkability. It seemed like an obvious choice to put in the foreground for this composition.
Cheers to Spenard! One of Anchorage’s most historic, diverse, fun and interesting districts.
Cynosure Brewing is one of the newer breweries in Anchorage. If you haven’t been there yet, go check it out. Cynosure is a term that originally denoted the constellation Ursa Minor, or the star Polaris that it contains. I enjoyed a spontaneous live painting session there yesterday. The owners, Clark and Cynthia, have been working really hard putting this beautiful brewery together right in the middle of Anchorage. Clark used to be the head brewer at Broken Tooth Brewing, and does all the brewing himself. Last night there were ten beers on tap! Although a couple of Clark’s Belgian beers have high original gravities, the majority of the brews are sessionable and won’t put you to bed after one glass. I grabbed a glass of the Wit (pictured in this painting), which has always been a favorite style of mine, and this one is true to style, one of the best Alaskan brewed witbiers. Be sure to sample as many of these beers as you can. A few I found noteworthy were the Schwartzbier, or black lager, the Clouds (a dry hopped lager), and the cherry sour. You won’t find a hop-bomb IPA at this brewery.
When we go out to Kincaid park, we like to stop here on the way home, as it is directly en route. Not only conveniently located to visit after biking, or skiing, it also has the right kind of beer for Après-ski. Every time I go to this place I feel extremely welcomed. This is a true hometown brewery, built with heartfelt attention to detail. I hope you get in before it becomes too busy and, God-forbid you have to wait in a long line for the very affordable ($5 glasses and $12 growlers) delicious offerings available.
Cheers to Cynosure! A family owned brewery that makes you feel like you belong.
I didn’t get to watch much of the World Series due to conflicts in my traveling schedule. The only nights I was free to watch it, there were no games. I have been a Houston Astros fan since I was a Little Leaguer, even though I have never been to Texas. I’ve been doing a bit of research about Houston and am planning a trip there now. Houston has a ton of breweries, Karbach Brewing is the only one I have sampled beer from. I would have chosen one of these brews for this painting, but I didn’t know which one to pick. I went with a classic Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Bock, which I know from experience is a good choice for overall consistency, and is an easy drinker to pair with sports. I eagerly look forward to a trip to Texas. Maybe a birthday trip in April.
Cheers to the new World Series champions! Houston should be proud!
This week I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit La Cumbre Brewing’s tasting room in Albuquerque, New Mexico! We set up a live painting session ahead of time, and I worked outside in the beer garden right up until it was getting too dark to paint. I decided to paint one of the brewery’s flagship beers, Elevated IPA. This beer is aggressively hopped, and tastes just like advertised at 100 IBUs. La Cumbre is Spanish for peak, and the brewery is at 5,313 feet altitude, so its tag line, “Get Elevated” is right on target. This was the first beer I drank after we landed in New Mexico, and it seemed to be everywhere we went. A very enchanting beer from the Land of Enchantment. This brew pairs well with street tacos, burritos or enchiladas. Whatever it is that you are doing, I recommend pairing it with a great IPA. Goes well with hiking, biking, or warming up around the fire! Cheers to the Elevated IPA! A beer that takes it to the next level!
Have you ever wanted to just “Hop on a Plane”? This pilot is a hop head, and I painted him flying over Denali. Good thing he’s flying a Super Cub, because those planes are considered the best bush planes. Owners of these planes make upgrades called mods. Lots of mods means lots of STOL, or short take off and landing. A good plane is like a good IPA, you have to have lots of late additions of good stuff. This pilot is thinking about getting back to Talkeetna to grab a Twister Creek IPA, or even better, a Big Dipa DIPA — both good dry-hopped brews from Denali Brewing Co. The more hops for this hop head the better. Maybe after this remarkable flight he will be on his way to F Street Station, a pilot themed bar in Anchorage. F Street is a great place to grab a Morning Wood IPA from Kassik’s Brewery. I know plenty of pilots who love hoppy beer, and I love witty puns, so here is my most recent painting Hop on a Plane.
Cheers to the Alaskan in all of us! Get out and get hoppy!
Happy Thirsty Thursday, beer and art lovers!This week’s new beer painting is of Luponic Distortion Revolution IPA No. 007 by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, CA.I have been enjoying this hop revolving revolution IPA with Southern Hemisphere hops from Australia.At 5.9% ABV with a fierce hop aroma, and flavor, I can hardly notice any of yesteryear’s hop bitterness. This is truly a new form of IPA, one that hardly resembles anything that ever came out of England. I wonder if the Brits would have called a beer that was hoppy and strong going to Australia, an Australian Pale Ale. Brings new meaning to the acronym APA.I have been waiting to paint this beer, and I thought I would showcase the Australia element by having a kangaroo drinking it. I figured this character is thirsty, so I gave her a couple extras in her pouch for reserve. Anyway, if you haven’t been enjoying the hop showcase that Luponic Distortion is offering, get down to your local beer shop and pick up a can, or 12 of this luscious nectar. Luponic is right, these hops are working!Cheers to the Distortion!