I have been painting the beers from Kenai River Brewing since I started the Year of Beer Paintings project in 2014. I’ve done a painting of each of the canned beers, four total, and every one of them went to the private collection of Doug Hogue, the founder and owner of this great Soldotna beer oasis. Kenai River Brewing has been brewing up some avante-guarde styles like XPA, Black IPA, Honeymoon Heffe, and a Gummy Bear Belgian Triple, as well as some style-perfect traditional ales like the Peninsula Brewers Reserve Blonde, Skilak Scottish, and Sunken Island IPA. All I can say is this brewery is a gem.
Soldotna is on the way to Homer, and I was driving there to attend our friends’ wedding celebration, so I planned ahead and brought my painting kit so I could paint live at the brewery. This was my first visit to the new building, which now has a restaurant and a large dining room. I ordered the bacon cheeseburger (see picture below), and set up my painting station outside in the back. I should have included the colossal burger in the painting, which is as good as the best burger I’ve ever had. Half a pound of fresh beef, with a great bun, pepper bacon and crispy fries on the side. I think a brewery should have classic pub fare and KRB does this perfectly. Food and beer coming together in a great establishment with easy to access service, making this place a near perfect example of what a brewery should be! If you haven’t visited this stop when you are on the Kenai, you are missing out! You can get a taster paddle with four 3 oz tasters, made from local burl wood. I chose to paint my taster paddle because it looked like a work of art to me and showed off the dedication to detail that KRB consistently exhibits.
Doug found me outside while I was painting, and bought the painting. I took it back to the studio in Anchorage, so it could dry, then varnished it and framed it. I delivered the painting to Doug at the brewery while I was driving to go dip-netting at Kasilof, and we shared a bottle of my homebrew. I got a picture of Doug and I with this painting out back. I will be returning to KRB next time I head to Soldotna!
Cheers to great Alaskan beers, good food, and a beautiful place to enjoy it all! Way to go KRB!
The original oil painting sold, but limited-edition art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Finally, the little ski town of Girdwood has a brewery! My prayers have been answered by Girdwood Brewing Company! Beer and skiing go together like bread and butter, and now, at the end of a day on the slopes, we can stop for pints of fresh brew. Last week I visited the tasting room for the first time. I sampled 3 of the 4 options, and all were solid. The coffee stout with K-Bay Coffee from Homer, Hippie Speedball, was noteworthy, as was the East-Coast-style IPA, No Woman No Cryo. I chose to paint the IPA because it showed off the printing on the glassware better. This place has some serious Girdwood-Alyeska ski culture as well as the yeasty variety. The walls have some cool skis on them, the menu board is made up of old skis and there’s a ski fence forming outside, as well. They even have an old red ski-lift chair hanging from the ceiling. For a brand new brewery, this place is going strong already. The only thing missing is food, but occasionally a food truck stops by. Cheers to local breweries! Be sure to visit this place next time you’re in Girdwood.
This painting will be on display, and available for sale at my art show at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. during the month of June. The art show kicks off on First Firkin Friday, June 2, 5-8PM. I’ll be tapping a firkin of Panty Peeler cask-conditioned with pineapple at 5PM. Hope to see you there!
This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
During the Year of Beer Paintings (2014), I posted Pacifico Clara as the beer painting of the day for Cinco De Mayo. Oy, happy 5th of May! Pacifico got me thinking of surfing. As I sat with an Icy Bay IPA in my hands, I realized I hadn’t painted it in the can. I also realized that Icy Bay IPA by Alaskan Brewing Co. has become a go-to beverage for me when I want a reasonably priced IPA. I was going to buy a half rack of PBR, but when I saw for 3 bucks more I could bring home the green cans, I just couldn’t buy PBR. Not to mention that Icy Bay IPA is definitely tastier than PBR (even-though I do have a soft spot for the hipster red, white and blue can).
For an Alaskan beach party Icy Bay IPA from Juneau, Alaska is a perfect choice, just watch your intake as a 6.2% IPA is not that sessionable. Consider having your beer after riding the waves, as nothing is a worse buzz kill than getting the US Coast Guard to save you. Keep your head as clear as the crisp refreshing taste of this IPA when you are rocking the icy waves on your longboard! Cheers to an Alaskan May 5th! Get out and celebrate the end of winter, by hitting the beach with a cooler full!
This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Hello beer hunters, connoisseurs, and hop-heads. I am glad to release a new beer painting that I finished just a week ago. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an über fresh can of Lines Imperial IPA, a collaboration between California’s Monkish Brewing and our famous local favorite Anchorage Brewing. This beer is delicious! At first it was very mellow, but as it warmed up, a floral and citrusy hop flavor became very evident, yet not overpowering. I was able to bend the ear of Gabe Fletcher while sipping on this delectable brew. He divulged that this was a zero IBU IPA dry hopped with lupulin powder, the secret ingredient in this fine beer. This batch of lupulin powder was a blend of Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe hops that had been flash frozen to extract the most potent part of the hop, the Alpha acids. I was surprised he was selling it for 10 bucks a can, but when you consider how far a schlep to LA is from Anchorage, and how long I would have to stand in line to get this beer down there, then it’s a steal of a deal.
The name Lines has two meanings to me. One is evident from the label, since the powder reminded the brewers of another kind of powered substance, but the second meaning may be a reference to the fact that every time Monkish releases a new canned offering, beer nerds line up for hours to get it. I stepped up to the bar as soon as I walked into Anchorage Brewing and Gabe himself poured me the beer strait from the can. On a side note, that’s when I found out that the tall tulip glasses at Anchorage Brewing hold 14 oz when filled to the rim. I was surprised that only 2 oz remained in my cool shiny can.
I am fond of the shiny cans. So far I have not been let down by one. Every time I have bought or tasted one, it has been worth the price… They always seem to be somewhere around $4 a can for offsite consumption. So at a bar in Alaska 10 bucks is a deal. Breweries use these cans for very small releases, because they can just slap a sticker on them, and don’t have to order thousands of pre-printed cans. Word is that Gabe plans to brew this again, and will can it when his new canning line is operational, so more people will get a chance to try this tasty brew!
Cheers to Lines, but not the kind I have to stand in!
This original oil painting, and 30 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Kenai River Brewing has bottled another beer, and it’s a great session-able brew. I’m glad it’s not another IPA. Don’t get me wrong, I love big, bold beers and session IPAs, but it’s nice to get a good beer that is highly drinkable that is a little bit different. With 45% wheat malt, the Honeymoon Hefe Ale is a true marriage between flavor and refreshment. This fine fermented beverage would be great out on the river and even late at night around the campfire. Not only is it delicious, the yellow can perfectly compliments the cool blue of the Kenai River, won’t get lost easily, and the cans are easy to pack out.
I included a pair of Rufous Hummingbirds in the painting to emphasize the honeymoon part of the name of this beer. This mated pair is completely in love with each other, and this beer. As long as we’re talking about honey and birds, I also had to include Fireweed, one of Alaska’s truly amazing flowers, and of course Alaska’s official State flower, the Forget-Me-Not. So grab a sixer of this tasty beer, and head out to the Kenai to really have a good time recreating! This beer is a perfect accompaniment to the Alaska outdoors.
Cheers to drinking the best beers in the Last Frontier!
The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
This time of year Alaskans start getting fed up with winter, but luckily, just before we all lose our minds, the annual winter festival in Anchorage called Rondy begins, and we all have something to do, and much to celebrate. If you are in Anchorage, come down to 4th Avenue and watch the dog races, the Running of the Reindeer, and stop by our downtown studio, which will be open both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, as well as Saturday, during the start of the Iditarod next weekend.
I love living in an amazing little-big town like Anchorage. We have all the benefits of living in a big city without all the congestion too many people bring with it. If I get stuck in cross-town traffic I am still home in 20 minutes. One of my favorite places across town is Anchorage Brewing Company. Every year Gabe Fletcher from Anchorage Brewing makes a tasty malt beverage called Rondy Brew. This year it is a single hop IPA made with Nelson Sauvin hops, which is a delicious treat. This bottle is a collectors edition because it celebrates ten years of the Running of the Reindeer! So, of course I painted it with a reindeer enjoying the brew. I imagined how much rowdier this pronged beast will be after getting a snootful of this hoppy stuff. A double bottle serving of rowdy Rondy brew should bring this beast to its best form for the running. Looks like this reindeer is chugging it too, only letting a little fall into the 4th Avenue snow. I hope you contain your beast and remember to savor every sip of this delectable beer. A bottle is $6 at the brewery, so stop in and have a glass and then Rondy with the rest of us! Just remember to be “slick” it’s careful out there!