The Skilak Lake is a popular destination on the Kenai Peninsula. If you go, don’t forget to bring the Skilak Scottish Ale from Kenai River Brewing Co. Skilak is one of the biggest lakes on the Kenai and is easily accessible from Soldotna and Anchorage. The fact that it’s a popular destination makes sense, because there are two campgrounds and square miles of beautiful crystal blue water to enjoy. The views are nice too.
Skilak Scottish Ale pours with a robust creamy head that is more than ample. The aroma is of licorice and smoke. This is a very malt-forward beer that finishes with a hint of piney hops. The taste is robust of licorice candy and caramel dark grain. It is sweet and satisfying. A nice dark amber beer with a hint of peat. The mouth feel is a bit boozy even at only 5.3% ABV, and this beer is creamy and smooth. Overall, highly recommended for drinking during out of town adventures, preferably by a lake.
Cheers to Kenai River Brewing, a great Alaska brewery producing unique brews! Keep up the good work!
The original oil painting sold. You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.
This week’s Thirsty Thursday painting veers from the pattern of famous paintings turned into beer-themed art, because I got a call on Tuesday morning from a reporter from Channel 11 News who wanted to do a story about my art. She asked if she could film in my studio, but because my studio is really small, I suggested filming at one of my favorite local breweries, Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewing Co., because I have several paintings hanging there, the beer is great, and on Wednesdays (and Fridays) growlers are only $5! I also do chalkboard art at this place, so I spend quite a bit of time there. I haven’t painted live in a brewery since November, and I missed doing it, so I suggested doing the interview while I paint a beer. I painted this pint of Urban Wilderness Pale Ale by Sleeping Lady Brewing Co. on the railing of the deck, because this pub has the best deck in town that is packed on sunny days in the summer. This beer is mostly true to its style, but is more hopped than standard pale ales.
I was flattered to be interviewed by Heather Hintze from KTVA. I always worry whether I sound intelligent when speaking about my beer paintings, but figure it will be better to say something about them than nothing at all. Hopefully Heather will edit out all the stupid things I may have said. Painting and talking in front of a camera at the same time is more challenging than you may think. If you live in Anchorage, tune in tonight at 6 PM to Channel 11 News to see my segment.
If you have not visited “The Goose”, I highly recommend it. Keep in mind that if you’re drinking your pint on the deck in high sunlight, move your beer into the shade, or cover it. Direct UV light can damage a beer in just a couple minutes, and will make it taste “skunky”. Thanks to Gary Klopfer, Greg Mills, Dion, Dave, and the rest of the fabulous crew at the Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewing! May the restaurant prosper and stay true to its beer-centric roots!
You can purchase this painting, or limited-edition prints at my Etsy shop.
The featured beer painting is of Redoubt Red Ale by Baranof Island Brewing Company located in Sitka, Alaska. I have never been to Sitka, but I do want to go. Alaska is a huge state, and there are many places that are on my list such as Cordova, Yakutat, Barrow, Kodiak, and the Brooks Range, among many others. Most of them are only accessible by plane. This beer is named after Redoubt Lake, which is a popular fishing destination for Sockeye (Red) Salmon. It’s a meromictic lake, which means that it has two layers of water: a warmer layer on top and a colder layer underneath. The word Redoubt means “a fortified place,” and is also the name of an active volcano not far from Anchorage. Unlike Redoubt Volcano, the one that towers over Sitka’s boat harbor, Mount Edgecumbe, is dormant. So I painted Redoubt Volcano exploding in the background, so that this painting would be a tribute to all things named Redoubt in Alaska: the lake, the volcano, and the beer.
The Redoubt Red Ale is a great beer, and one of the best offerings from Baranof Island Brewing. It is more of an Irish-style red ale, rather than a red IPA. More malty and sweeter than its IPA cousins, this beer still has a nice hop bite, however it is subdued in comparison. Not light on the alcohol by European or American standards coming in at a solid 6%. I tasted all the brews this brewery brought to the Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine festival, and look forward to watching this brewery grow and develop its style.
Cheers to all things Redoubt. I need to make it to Sitka, even though there’s no road to Baranof Island. Good thing there’s a brewery there – a major attraction for me.
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
Way up north in Alaska, and still waiting for snow here at sea level in Anchorage. It will come soon, because the termination dust is on the mountains, and won’t be going anywhere until spring. I am eagerly awaiting a killer ski season this year, and I have a good feeling it is going to be a good snow year. “Termination dust” is the first snow of the season on top of the mountains, while it continues to rain at lower elevations, hence terminating the summer/fall season and entering into the lustrous winter stage of the year. I love winter, which is a good thing, since I live in a northern state.
This beer brewed by the team at Midnight Sun Brewing Company: Lee Ellis, Davey, Sean, Matt, Gavin, Chelsea, Nick and Kevin, is some of the best beer I have had from the brewery in five years. I think Termination Dust Belgian Barley Wine will age to be as good as the notorious 10th anniversary barley wine, M, that marked the 1000th batch of beer in 2005. A bottle of M can sell for over $1,200 between beer traders today. I was lucky enough to get a pretty hefty sample of that glorious beer when I showed my first beer paintings at MSBC in 2011. I think in a few years people will be trading Termination Dust for well over $300 a bottle, if not for way more, just because this barley wine aged in High West bourbon barrels is that good. Also, very good news is that the CoHoHo Imperial IPA is probably the best batch of CoHoHo I have had in five years. Not to mention the greatness in every bottle of Bar Fly Smoked Imperial Stout. The brew crew has worked out any kinks that come from switching up brew staff, and the beer is probably better than it has ever been before!
Cheers to MSBC, the world-class brewery putting out the best beers I have ever tasted, right in front of the Chugach Mountains! Bring on the Termination Dust! Alaska is ready for winter!
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
The featured beer painting of the day is of Denali Brewing Company’s Single Engine Red, which is an Irish-style red ale. Even the brewers in Talkeetna know that if you don’t get a chance to fly around Denali while you are here in Alaska, you are going to have to make another trip back. My wife, Maria, made four trips this summer, landing three times on the Ruth Glacier. She claims it is the highlight of the trips she guides during the summer here. I have not gotten to land on a glacier on Denali yet, although this summer I flew to St. Elias in a smaller private plane that was probably way more exciting. My friend, who pilots a juiced up Piper Cub, let me open the window to get better pictures, but said we don’t have the power to execute backcountry landings, more importantly the takeoffs. Flying around the big one would be a dream job for him. An old hand with the mountain, he says he is tired of walking up the mountain as a guide. I can understand why, as the success rate for making the summit is 50%. Flying seems like a way better option for me. I don’t like being stuck overnight, huddled in a tent on the side of glaciers. Warm, snug woodstoves and a big thermal mass of logs appeal to me. On our trip to St. Elias we only flew halfway around the pyramid pinnacle, as we didn’t want to enter Canadian airspace. So for the next trip you book to Alaska, really consider a flight seeing trip around the Great One in one of the little red planes pictured in this painting! When you make it back to Talkeetna, the Single Engine Red will taste incredible.
Cheers to the Single Engine Red, and to Alaskan pilots!
The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
The Hefewiezen by King Street Brewing Company here in Anchorage, Alaska is a spot on Hefe! Great job, boys! Your beer is rocking the house! I have drank beers from around the world, and you nailed a great Bavarian-style Hefeweizen! I love your brewery, and think you are a great asset to our community. I mailed a King Street IPA to a friend in Philly and he tasted it along with other noteworthy IPAs and said he liked it very much!
The banana yeast flavor and slight Bavarian-style hops are the perfect combination to make for a delicious summer Hefeweizen. This beer is hazy and yellow, but you can’t see that when it’s in the can. Also, a great way to transport this precious product, in the can! Thank you King Street Brewing for making such a delicious brew!
Cheers to King Street Brewing — not only King of the perfect IPA, but King of the Hefe as well!