Category Archives: Thirsty Thursday Series

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #151. Beer Please!

When I was decorating my first dorm room, I bought a beer poster called Beers of the World.  It was inspirational to me on a number of levels, and probably has led directly to this painting I am calling Beer Please.  These two simple words can bring so much when you are out traveling the world.  Nothing brings a smile to your server’s face faster than asking for a beer in the native language.  I made this painting in honor of beer around the world, and getting it served to you.
Foreign language is a bit tricky for me.  I always just skirted by in my foreign language classes.  After this last trip overseas, I have sworn to renew my efforts at learning other languages, and am currently spending an hour a day on Russian language lessons while painting in the studio.  Normally I listen to books on tape with exciting plot-lines, and the switch has made painting more tedious.  I always feel better when I have finished the lesson and then I am rewarded when I resume listening to the stories.
I urge you to raise your pint and celebrate international beers.  Believe me, the beer tastes great out there in other countries, but nothing tastes as good as your local favorites!

The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.  Contact me if you’re interested in licensing this image.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #151. Beer Please. 11"x14", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #151. Beer Please. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #150. Midnight Still Imperial Stout by Holy Mountain Brewing Co.

Holy Mountain Brewing is a fresh new Seattle brewery that has been leading the Emerald City to new heights and flavors in the craft beer community.  Colin Lenfesty and Mike Murphy opened their doors in 2014 (the same year I was painting a new beer painting every day), and were overrun with beer enthusiasts so much that they ran out of clean glassware.  Holy Mountain is the new type of brewery with a barrel aging program and amazing fresh pale ales and traditional styles that are often overlooked in the local beer scene in Seattle.  Midnight Still is a great barrel aged imperial stout.  I was lucky enough to be stationed next to Holy Mountain’s table at the Culmination Beer Festival hosted by Gabe Fletcher at Anchorage Brewing Company, and had a taster, or two of this amazing stout.  The Bourbon notes are delightfully blended with the robust, dark, coconut, vanilla, raisiny, plum-like flavors and aromas that this black dank brew encompasses.  As far as barrel aged imperial stouts go, you really can’t do much better than this.  Midnight Still is a perfect example of what BAIS should be!  This beer is hard to get, and I feel lucky to get to try it.  I got to meet the cool dudes from Holy Mountain at Culmination, working at the table, serving up beers and giving me a break so I could go around and sample the other great brews.
Cheers to Midnight Still!  When you drink this, your night will be tranquil for sure!  A beverage for those late night quiet hours to be enjoyed silently and with sophistication.

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

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #150. Midnight Still by Holy Mountain Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #150. Midnight Still by Holy Mountain Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #149. Beer Pint in Russia.

If you read Maria’s blog post about our latest trip, you know that I recently flew to Kamchatka, over the Bering Strait to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.  Then on to Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Amsterdam, and various spots in Deutschland before catching a direct flight back from Frankfurt.  I really enjoyed Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.  The main town on the Kamchatka Peninsula is a really cool place in the world, and it’s only a short 4.5-hour flight from Anchorage.  The town is surrounded by large volcanoes, and the place really has a feel of Alaska to it, even though it’s on a different continent, and everything is in Russian in the Cyrillic alphabet.  The public transportation is both cheap and convenient with busses arriving every 10 minutes.

One of the things I love about Russia is the relaxed laws about the sale of alcoholic beverages.  Pазливное (razlivnoye), or draft beer is readily available all over Russia.  The draft beer place will fill you a to-go plastic bottle of пиво (pivo), or beer in English, or you can have them pour it into a glass for you to drink on premise.  That’s right, you can drink beer in public in Russia as if it’s a soft drink.  Since they fill the plastic bottle first, that eliminates short pours and also limits the waste that happens at a growler bar in the States.  I always cringe when I see a bartender just pouring beer foam down the drain.  There is a lot of beer that gets thrown away that way.  Is this why growlers are often $18?  In Russia every cafe, and store, even the mini markets have an alcohol section.  It’s way cheaper than here in the States, assuming you don’t buy some ungodly expensive imported something.  Russian beer is about $.50 to $1 per half liter, and there isn’t a deposit as Russians are not really into recycling.  The quality is somewhere between a decent Mexican lager and a rot gut malt liquor, depending what you order.  Some of the dark beers, or the unfiltered white beers are actually quite a bit better.  What you will not find readily available is any form of good IPA.  I didn’t see any of that anywhere on this trip aside from what was marketed as IPA by Amstel (which is actually brewed in St. Petersburg by Baltika, which also produces Heineken and Hoegaarden).  Russians also don’t seem to refrigerate stuff as often as I would expect.  Most of the beers are served warm,  and have some strange off flavor, which I think I have discerned as Diacetyl.  Getting the pivo properly chilled seems to improve most of these less than crisp lagers.  The one pictured here was purchased on draft at a local snack cafe near the beach in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.  It was cold and refreshing, and I didn’t notice anything off about it.  Maria and I shared a shawarma, some fries, and watched people at the beach and the town square.  There were two gentlemen who appeared to be renting two battery operated toy cars to parents and their kids.  The Russians are becoming quite the entrepreneurs.  The sun was setting and it was a nice evening.  We then walked back to our hotel and prepared to leave to Irkutsk and Lake Baikal the following morning.

Cheers to cold beer all over the world!

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

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #149. Beer Pint in Russia. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #149. Beer Stein in Russia. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #148. Session EZ IPA by Full Sail Brewing Co.

Let’s take it EZ today with a bottle of Session EZ IPA by Full Sail Brewing Co. in beautiful Hood River, Oregon. I painted the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge, with Mt. Hood in this composition to put a local spin on this painting.  Brewed with Citra, Equinox, and Cascade hops, this unfiltered 4.8% ABV brew is just the ticket to avoid the afternoon brew coma.  A lazy day in the sun sipping IPA all day can lead to an early evening, unless you stick to low ABV sessionable versions of this highly hopped American style of beer.  IPA normally brings the buzz right to your brain, but when it has a lower ABV, it reminds me of a supped up version of light beer.  The taste is right, and the body is there thanks to the unfiltered process, but it just doesn’t goat-kick you to the head.  DIPA and imperial IPA still have their place, but if you want more than one or two, EZ IPA is your go to!  Have the conversation last a bit longer and the afternoon extend ’til twilight with this beverage.  Way to go Full Sail, you did it again!

I won’t be releasing new beer paintings for five weeks, because we’ll be traveling in Russia and Europe, and we’re not bringing oil paint, or a laptop.  But we will be sampling local beers whenever we find notable breweries and pubs, and we’ll post about our adventures on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.

This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.  Domestic shipping is free.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #148. Session EZ IPA by Full Sail Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #148. Session EZ IPA by Full Sail Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #147. The Experiment by Anchorage Brewing Co.

Watch out!  You might start experiencing an encounter of the third kind.  It could be Kang or Kodos attempting to infiltrate Earth with a stick with a nail in it.  Maybe Lrrr is after your human horn, or simply the cork trail will lead you to this open bottle of The Experiment, a sour ale brewed with wild Alaskan blueberries by Anchorage Brewing Company.  This iconic-looking beer has been turning heads around Anchorage, and everyone seems to love the decadent sour ale fermented in oak foudres that is hammered with 5 lbs of fruit per every gallon of this supreme malt beverage.  Almost more of a country wine than an ale, this beautiful brew is really something to “phone home” about, I assure you.  If you haven’t gotten your elongated fingers on a bottle of this, I hope you have something decadent to trade for one, as it will be well worth it!  Cheers to blueberries and beer, a wonderful mixture of flavor and color!

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

Thirsty Thursday #147. The Experiment by Anchorage Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday #147. The Experiment by Anchorage Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #146. PBR Tall Boy at an Alaska Baseball League Game

Alaska Baseball League games are great in the land of the midnight sun!  We have a wooden bat college league right here of our own.  If you show up to an Anchorage Glacier Pilots home game, you can watch the game from the Pilots’ beer garden, which has its very own bar with an impressive selection of craft beer on draft like Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewing, or Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing!  The best part is that a pint is only $6!  Where else can you get that kind of price on craft beer at a sporting event?  I chose to paint a tall boy PBR can in this painting, because the draft beer is served in a generic plastic cup, and wouldn’t add much to the composition, but PBR is one of the beers you can get at these games.  The beer garden is so close to first base, you have to really pay attention, or your beer may be knocked over by a foul ball.  So a can is a safer bet.
Alaska baseball has been showcasing some serious talent since 1974.  Famous players like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Randy Johnson, and a list of many others played here before going pro.  All got their start right here way up North.  If you are on a trip to Alaska, and you have a few extra hours, I recommend stopping by one of the four ballparks.  Every one of them is worth a visit if you are a diehard baseball fan!
Cheers to the truly all American game of baseball!  What could be better than a bag of peanuts, a cold brew, and hours of cheap, clean entertainment?

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

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #146. PBR at Alaska Baseball League game. 8"x10", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #146. PBR at Alaska Baseball League game. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Throwback Thursday Beer Painting – Pleasure Town IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

~ by Maria Benner

For the first time I get to write a post for Thirsty Thursday!  This weekend is Scott’s 20th high school reunion, for West High School’s class of 1998!  So, I told him not to worry about painting a new beer painting for this week’s release, but to spend as much time as possible with his friends who came to Anchorage for the reunion festivities.  We all know that our connections with our friends and family are the most important things in life.

So I decided to feature a painting that had not been posted on this blog.  I actually provided the inspiration for this piece.  My friend and I hiked Flattop Mountain one day, and I always bring a beer on all my hikes to drink on the summit.  This time I brought Pleasure Town IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co.  As we were sipping the brew and enjoying the view, a paraglider took off right in front of us.  So I parked my beer, and took a photo of him, the view from the mountain, and the beer.  I showed the picture to Scott, and he decided to turn it into a painting.  The name of it is High on Pleasure Town.

I hope you all had a fun and safe 4th of July celebration!  Next week Scott will be back with a brand new Thirsty Thursday beer painting for you.

This original oil painting, and limited edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.  The shipping is free!

Thirsty Throwback Thursday Beer Painting. High on Pleasure Town. 24

Thirsty Throwback Thursday Beer Painting. High on Pleasure Town. 24″ x 12″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #145. Blue Dot DIPA by Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.

One of my favorite places in Portland, Oregon is Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, and I go there every time I visit the City of Roses.  The taproom has an old school brewery vibe, but the brewery hasn’t stagnated, and continues putting out interesting beers, many of which are barrel aged.  I took a photo of the Blue Dot DIPA when I was there in February.  I love all the beers they make and the Blue Dot was exemplary.  We were walking back to downtown from the “brewery district” over there in East Portland.  I had just finished painting live at Cascade Barrel House, which was an extraordinary experience, and I was feeling celebratory.  Sitting at the bar at Hair of the Dog, we struck up a great conversation with a guy sitting next to us, who happened to be a homebrewer, and a member of the local homebrewing club.  He told me to join the American Homebrewers Association (and I did), and about the big homebrewing convention called Homebrew Con, America’s largest homebrew gathering, that is taking place in Portland this weekend.  Hence the timing of this beer painting, released on the first day of Brew Con.  I propose a toast to great beer, homebrew, or commercial!  I hope your pint is full and your libations fruitful!

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

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #145. Blue Dot DIPA by Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #145. Blue Dot DIPA by Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #144. Solstice in McCarthy, Alaska.

On this Thirsty Thursday I am lucky enough to be in McCarthy, Alaska celebrating summer Solstice.  I painted the Ma Johnson’s Hotel with a Sockeye Red IPA that I was drinking on the deck of the Golden Saloon.  I took a bit of creative license when I made this one to show off more of the experience than what you can only see in one direction.  I love that Neil Darish, the owner of the hotel and bar, bought a Model T Ford for the lodge, it really makes the place resemble its 100 year old origins.  When I bought this Midnight Sun Brewing beer I thought it would be perfect for the Solstice Thirsty Thursday painting, because of the sun logo, and the brewery’s name.  What’s in a name anyway?  Actually a lot, especially when it is backed up by 23 years of brewing experience.  I hope you all have a beautiful Solstice tonight and enjoy the midnight sun.  Tonight sunset is at 11:16PM, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop partying!  Cheers to the longest day of the year!  Grab plenty of beer to last you the whole day.

The original oil painting sold.  Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #144. Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. at the Golden Saloon in McCarthy, Alaska. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #144. Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. at the Golden Saloon in McCarthy, Alaska. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #143. Homebrew in Humpy Cove, Alaska.

“Life is Short, Drink Good Beer.” That’s quality advice printed on my steel pint cup.  You might not always get a great beer, but the least you can do is try.  This little painting tells a story.  For three years now I have been trying to correlate a time to go with my collectors and friends, the Kirkpatricks, to their cabin in Humpy Cove on Resurrection Bay.  After totally missing it for two summers in a row I finally nailed down a time when I wouldn’t be in McCarthy, dip-netting, or flying to a wedding somewhere out of State.  Alaska summers are nuts, but also a blast.  I try to just relax and let the insanity flow around me without letting it disturb my inner peace.  This is hard to do when the midnight sun is pulling you to do more and rest less.

Our trip to the cove was amazing!  After loading up the boat we stopped right outside Seward’s boat harbor to watch a pod of Humpback whales.  We actually saw whales every day on this adventure.  Then after arriving to the cove in the fast red boat we hung out on the dock and sipped delicious keg beer from our steel pints, while soaking in the sun.  After Taiya the Siberian Husky attacked a porcupine, and had to have a dozen quills pulled out of her paw and snout (could have been much worse), we went for a hike up the hill where the bay vistas were unbelievable.  Then Taiya went swimming and I got to play lifeguard, and got an armful of shivering wet husky.  Good thing I didn’t spill my beer!  I had to be careful around that pooch, because she likes to drink beer, so if I set my pint on the deck, it was likely to get the dog tax.

We went fishing and caught a halibut about the size of a chicken.  Maria got one that was so small, we all agreed it was the size of a large keychain.  After fishing I sat on the dock and made this painting while the boat took guests back to Seward, and Maria and Colleen went kayaking.  Yes, I drank some beer while I painted.  Overall a very noteworthy trip!  Whales, waterfalls, bluebird skies and three draft beer options made for a very exciting weekend!  Resurrection Bay is one of those places in Alaska that is definitely beautiful!  I left this painting at the cabin as a gift to our hosts for being so gracious!

Plein air oil painting of Humpy Cove in Resurrection Bay, Alaska.

Plein air oil painting of Humpy Cove in Resurrection Bay, Alaska. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.