I’m calling this painting Light Struck. A glass full of beer looks so amazing in direct sunlight, but unfortunately the UV light causes catastrophic changes to your beer. Have you ever opened a green, or clear glass bottle of beer that stank like a skunk? Of course, your beer is past its prime, but how did it get like that? Sunlight caused it, and don’t think that beer packaged in brown glass is immune. It’s just a little better than the complete lack of protection from green, or clear glass vessels. In just one minute of direct sunlight, in a few minutes through a window, or in a few days under a fluorescent lightbulb the flavor is changed chemically. Hop molecules called isohumulones start to break down, bonding with sulfur molecules, and creating a chemical similar to the spray from a skunk. Even one part per trillion of this chemical will ruin a beer. Germans invented the beer stein, an opaque, clay drinking vessel with a metal lid. This vessel, although originally designed to keep black-plague-carrying flies out of beer, also protects from light contamination. If you are planning on sipping your suds in a direct sun environment, a steel pint glass with a coaster on top should work as well. Maybe drinking that IPA directly from the can is a good idea. Better keep it cool too, add a koozie! Cheers to the beauty of beer!
This week the beer deemed worthy of being immortalized in an oil painting is the Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout brewed by Epic Brewing in Salt Lake City, Utah. Batch No. 57 with Blue Copper coffee, cacao nibs, and 100% aged in whiskey barrels! If you are lucky enough to get your hands on these limited edition strong ales, do it, do it now! This bottle was sent to me directly from Salt Lake City by a very good beer art patron. Thanks Christine! I have to admit that I had never heard of Epic Brewing until receiving this choice bottle in the mail. Epic Brewing brews in both Salt Lake and Denver, but the original concept spawned from Salt Lake with a game plan of making strong ale in the middle of Utah, a state with fairly harsh beer laws. You don’t have to please everybody, and I am sure some 3.2% yellow fizzy beer lovers are going to hate the serious flavor profile that the Big Bad Baptist brings to the table. The beer is big, it’s black, and it has this lacing in the dark foam that looks downright oily. Its flavor is exactly what you would expect, chocolate and coffee, fruit and black licorice, with a whiskey warming sensation and aroma with some serious oak influences. I mean, it’s complex and delicious. A major palate pleaser! Last time I was in Utah I drove straight through on my way to Colorado. Next time I will make a stop to see what’s cookin’ at Epic Brewing! And I’ll stop again when I hit Denver! This big bad brew showcases different craft coffee roasters in different batches. I had batch number 57, which had dark roast coffee from Blue Copper Roasters of Salt Lake City. New to the coffee scene, Blue Copper opened its doors in 2013. What better way to showcase their product than to collaborate with Epic Brewing?! I wish I could try this particular batch of coffee straight. Coffee is another one of my favorite beverages!
Cheers to Epic Brewing Company, brewing up epic beverages in the Crossroads of the West! May your ales stay strong, and your barrels be plentiful!
The original oil painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print, or order a Custom Beer Painting at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Today is the last Thirsty Thursday of the year! I hope you had a good time checking in on Thursdays. I won’t promise to post every week in 2016, but I’m not saying that I won’t. We do have some cool stuff planned, like our first Beer Art Road Show (BARS) that will happen in the Fall in California, where there is a plethora of world-class breweries to visit like Stone, Ballast Point, Russian River, Lost Abbey, and the list goes on. The last time I was in California was in 2009, and I had just completed the 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall project. Now I am more aware of just how special California is for beer, whereas back in 2009 it was more known for wine.
So the last Thirsty Thursday beer painting for 2015 is of Sip of Sunshine IPA. This beer is so tasty! Lawson’s lives up to its name, it does make the “finest liquids”. I was surprised to read on the can that this beer is brewed by Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, CT. I wonder why it’s not brewed in Warren, Vermont, where LFL is located. Nevertheless, I feel lucky to get to try a fresh one all the way here in Anchorage, Alaska. A beer art fan in New Jersey mailed me this can. Although we get some seriously good IPAs here, none are 8% and served in a can. Bitter Monk by Anchorage Brewing is great, but at $10 for a 22 oz bottle, I only drink it occasionally. I wish the BARS tour was in Vermont in the near future, but since I was there in 2014, I guess I should go to Colorado first.
Cheers to the New Year, and stay tuned for more beer art in 2016!
Unfortunately, this painting is not available for sale, because Lawson’s Finest is the first brewery to send me a cease and desist notice for using an image of their beer in a painting. You can read about it in this blog post.
Whistler’s Mother, or Arrangement in Gray and Black was originally painted by James McNeill Whistler in 1871. The original painting is quite large at 56 x 64 inches. My parody with beer is 11 x 14 inches. The original painting is considered one of the best examples of American Victorian paintings done outside the USA. Whistler’s original painting is displayed and held in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, France where it has lived since its purchase in 1891. This painting has been described as an American icon, as well as a Victorian Mona Lisa.
Whistler describes it as a composition of grays and form. He mentioned, of course, that since it is a painting of his mother, he has different emotions about it considering the content, but due to his formalist outlook on his painting he figured that other people would only be able to view it as a painting of grays and shapes. Ironically this image is looked at as an important icon for the adoration of parents, which is far from what the artist expected. It is such a strong icon that Americans have recreated it hundreds of times. It has been in three Simpsons episodes, as well as made into a postage stamp, and is also a larger than life sculpture at the Mother’s Memorial in Ashland, PA. I hope you find it humorous to see Whistler’s mother enjoying a pint while she rests. Obviously she is a huge fan of beer in my interpretation, as she also is the proud owner of a beer painting hanging on her wall.
Cheers to mothers everywhere! I think she’s drinking a glass of Mother Ale from Denali Brewing, or perhaps Mama’s Little Yella Pils from Oscar Blues. Or you can imagine it to be your mother’s favorite brew.
The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are available for sale at my Etsy shop.
This week’s Thirsty Thursday painting is a parody of Gustav Klimt’s world-famous painting The Kiss. I have always been drawn to the work of Klimt, but I had problems emulating it before. He used a large amount of gold paint, which I was forbidden to use in college classrooms until I went to UAA, where it was encouraged. Now I use gold paint in every painting as an under-layer, and you can see it when light hits my paintings at a certain angle.
Klimt painted The Kiss between 1908-1909, during the height of what art history calls his “Golden” period. Austrian, Klimt painted in an Art Nouveau style and was considered a Symbolist. The Kiss is considered his most popular painting, and is now on display in Vienna at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum. It is much larger than my interpretation, which I am dubbing The Sip. Mine is 11 x 14 inches, while the original is 5‘11’’ square. I hope you find this to be humorous and light.
The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.
Rainier Beer! How does a Rainier Beer taste? Like American adjunct lager, but it goes down smooth when you are in the mountains. Lighter than Budweiser, or even Pabst Blue Ribbon, this West Coast classic beer is a mere 4.6%. The iconic red R has been in use since the turn of the 1900s, and to this day frames an image of the mountain that people jokingly say was named after the beer.
I found this can at the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum. The President set it aside for me to treasure. I said I would return it, but she said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. We are drowning in these old bottles and cans.” Along with the Rainier there is a German Budweiser bottle, a classic Pabst Export can, and some steel Budweiser cans. We also found a capped bottle of Guinness that is still half full of a dark liquid. We assume it’s beer, but don’t really want to find out. I guess someone was saving it for later. I was trying to find out what date this can is from, but I guess it could be as old as 1911, or as young as 1950, or so. Not much activity in the area after that, until cans were aluminum and didn’t require a can opener. Anyway, we thought this can has character, so I made a painting of it. I hope you enjoy the mild flavor and choicest ingredients of this classy beer container.