Natty-McNatty-Naturdays! I had a few of these strawberry-lemonade-light-lager-shandies when a friend brought them up to our cabin. Very refreshing and a nice lower ABV option to swill between double IPAs and imperial stouts. I love the pink can with the flamingo motif, which is why I chose to put this can in the Flamingo Hotel’s Flamingo Habitat in Las Vegas. It actually is a pretty good version of a shandy, not as sweet as you might imagine. For that matter, regular Natural Light is okay, just do me a favor and don’t ever buy the Natural ICE, it tastes like acetone. Cheers to friends, pink cans of beer, and the love of Saturday! Get natural this weekend and have a Naturdays!
I love traveling, and one of the best things about going to new places is seeking out new beers. Utah is one of my favorite destinations, but for skiing and mountains, not for the beer. There is some good beer to be found, but the strict alcohol rules make it difficult to purchase, or consume at most establishments. Luckily, last year they finally upped the percentage a bit, and now you can find 5% beers on draft. I have been asked to paint the Polygamy Porter for a long time, but until I actually went to Salt Lake City, I had a hard time coming up with a concept for the painting. When I finally went there last year, we visited Temple Square, where the Salt Lake Temple is located, and took a picture of the monumental temple with the intention of using it for a painting of Polygamy Porter. This beer is made as a tongue and cheek brew. The motto for the beer is, “Why have just one?” This painting is also made to be tongue and cheek, please don’t take it too seriously. When I was painting it, I was totally concerned that I might offend people, so my answer is please don’t be offended, it’s just a joke.
Cheers to Polygamy Porter! May the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints take my ribbing and Wasatch’s porter the right way, in good humor, if not in good “spirits.”
The original oil painting sold, but limited-edition prints are available at my Etsy shop.
The saying goes, “Strike while the iron is hot!” That’s exactly what we’ll be doing this weekend, as thousands of people arrive to Anchorage for the Iditarod start this Saturday. The ceremonial start of the race will begin at 10am sharp, on 4th Avenue, right in front of the building where out studio is located. So we decided this would be a good time to turn the studio into a pop-up gallery for the day, and invite people to visit. There will also be a craft fair inside the building, making it an amusing place to warm up. After the Iditarod start, one of the most popular Fur Rondy events is happening — Running of the Reindeer at 4pm. Our studio will be open 10 – 5pm. Stop by for a home-baked cookie, and check out my art, not to mention our great view of the carnival (and maybe Denali).
This week is First Friday, and I’m having an art opening at Turnagain Brewing Company, which is a new-to-me venue. I created four large splatter beer paintings inspired by Jackson Pollock for this art show. I’ll be there 5 – 8pm this Friday, March 1. If you haven’t been to this brewery yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you like sour beer. If that’s not your thing, the brewery also offers traditional beer styles in a cozy atmosphere. Click here to see the Facebook event.
Well, today is day 4 of my semi-Sober October. Normally I just roll through life drinking as much beer as I feel like without getting horrendously drunk. I find I am successful at not driving under the influence and also not making a fool of myself most of the time. My doctor said for my weight and stature I should not be consuming more that 14 regular, 5% ABV, 12oz beers per week, which is 2 per day. I think I average about 3 per day, just because most of the beer I drink comes in pints, or has a higher ABV and, well, I am Alaska’s Beer Artist. So I feel a cutback is necessary to allow my liver to regenerate, and I found from past experience that October is a good month for sobriety. Technically you can still experience Oktoberfest, since it starts at the end of September, and then there are no real beer holidays until Halloween which is on the 31, so by then you are ready to go. It really isn’t that hard this time around. I guess I’m not that addicted to alcohol. As I stated before, I am going semi-sober this October. The 14 beers are cut to 4. The intent is not to drink during weekdays, without binging on weekends. The end goal is to have superb health throughout my life and enjoy beer until I am ancient…right.
So this Thirsty Thursday beer painting brings an important lesson. Mario and Luigi toasting Oktoberfest beers. I call this painting Course Clear. My Mario performance has been enhanced without the beer. I am playing better, getting farther and beating more bosses when I drink sparkling water instead of IPA, my favorite beverage. Who would have guessed? Not surprisingly this makes gameplay more fun. So if you have to take a break, whether self-imposed as in my case, or for whatever reason, and you find yourself wondering what to do if you have to take an alcohol break, consider playing video games. I’m sure your gameplay will be enhanced.
So I propose a toast to Mario Brothers (yes, I am raising my cup of green tea)! The Japanese game about Italian plumbers eating magic mushrooms, and tasting pretty flowers. Cheers!
The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
What is the official Alaska State tree? The Sitka Spruce, which is also the source of the critical ingredient in Alaskan Brewing Company’s Spruce IPA, a beer brewed with Spruce tips. This IPA is a must-drink! I know New England IPAs are all the rage. “Have a milkshake,” people are saying. “Try this coffee-infused IPA, it has never been better.” I will, and have tried all these varieties. The flavor Alaskan Brewing put out in its Spruce IPA is unique. IPA is rapidly becoming the largest style with the most variations.
“I made this weird beer, it has a lot of hops in it, but I don’t know what to call it.”
“Dude, it has lots of hops, call it an IPA.”
This seems to be the most common solution to these unique beers and I can’t really say the hop-forward Spruce IPA is any different, but it is different, and that is the problem. What do you do with these avant-garde beer styles that do not fit any of the specific BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) style guidelines? Craft beer is evolving too rapidly for the BJCP to keep up. The answer is easy, just drink the tasty beverage and quit complaining about the name.
Cheers to Alaskan Brewing Spruce IPA, a great ale that brings a smile to my lips!
The original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop Real Art Is Better.
This original oil painting and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Happy Thirsty Thursday, beer connoisseurs!
A new, “modern” Pilsner is available from our local favorite brewery Midnight Sun Brewing Company — a brew known as Wolf Pack! I think it may be one of the best pilsners available in the city. It’s been my libation of choice lately when I go to Crush Wine Bistro to check on my current art show there, which will be up for the month of October. MSBC is known for brewing bold, big beers, but this one is a bit more on the normal side. Still a very hop forward version of Pilsner, but only 5% ABV, and compared to an IPA, not a hop bomb. More balanced, yet still hop forward. This beer is true to Pilsner style with more hops on the bittering end, and less in the aroma. It drinks like an aggressive Czech, or dry-hopped German Pils. Beers that come to mind when drinking it are Bitburger, Budvar, Pilsner Urquell, and one of my all-time favorite pilsners Berliner Pilsner. So now when I get a hankering for the Euro flavor, but don’t want to travel halfway around the world, I’ll save the airfare and just buy a 12 pack (coming soon) of the Wolf Pack Modern Pilsner.
Midnight Sun has a beer for just about anyone, and if you are a pilsner fan, this is a good example of a not boring version of this classic style. Thanks MSBC for not only making huge beers like Termination Dust (I’m a fan), but making great classic session-able styles as well! You can actually drink this beer at the brewery and still drive home safely.