Whenever I get a chance to taste a brew from Prairie Artisan Ales, I take it! I picked up this lovely saison when I took a speedy road trip across the country with a good friend from Philadelphia. Although I was in Ohio when I purchased this bottle, I was stoked! I look forward to the day when I set up my painting kit at either the Prairie Ales taproom, or at the brewpub, and make a painting live! I have never been to Oklahoma, but when I do go I will be drinking Prairie artisan ales the whole time, and I plan on returning home with a suitcase full of this delectable brew! Cheers to the brewers that bring a smile to my face!
So I finally found out the history behind the iconic windmill on Spenard Rd. Originally it was erected on east Fireweed in 1961, and was used as an advertisement for a liquor store called the Kut Rate Kid. Owned by Byron Gillam until the 1980’s, the liquor store was a financial success. Gillam would sell cases of directly imported beer for a small 2 cents per case profit, eliminating wholesalers and picking up sales of ice wine and liquor all at regular inflated Alaskan prices. Gillam passed away, and the business sold. The windmill then represented a pizza business that moved in, owned by a man named Mafia Mike. Due to the economic downturn in the 1980’s, the windmill had to be moved from Mafia Mike’s pizza place, so it was given to Chilkoot Charlie’s to put in the parking lot there. “Koots” is a crazy place, and inebriated clientele there threatened the structure by climbing it. Consequently, the structure is now surrounded by a 6 foot fence with barbed wire at the top to prevent lawsuits and unexpected damage.
Chugach Session Cream Ale is a brainchild of Broken Tooth Brewing, a conglomerate of the Moose’s Tooth Pizza restaurant group, including Bear Tooth Theatre Pub located about a block from the windmill. Cream Ale is a traditional American style of ale, similar to American lager in flavor and drinkability. It seemed like an obvious choice to put in the foreground for this composition.
Cheers to Spenard! One of Anchorage’s most historic, diverse, fun and interesting districts.
Cynosure Brewing is one of the newer breweries in Anchorage. If you haven’t been there yet, go check it out. Cynosure is a term that originally denoted the constellation Ursa Minor, or the star Polaris that it contains. I enjoyed a spontaneous live painting session there yesterday. The owners, Clark and Cynthia, have been working really hard putting this beautiful brewery together right in the middle of Anchorage. Clark used to be the head brewer at Broken Tooth Brewing, and does all the brewing himself. Last night there were ten beers on tap! Although a couple of Clark’s Belgian beers have high original gravities, the majority of the brews are sessionable and won’t put you to bed after one glass. I grabbed a glass of the Wit (pictured in this painting), which has always been a favorite style of mine, and this one is true to style, one of the best Alaskan brewed witbiers. Be sure to sample as many of these beers as you can. A few I found noteworthy were the Schwartzbier, or black lager, the Clouds (a dry hopped lager), and the cherry sour. You won’t find a hop-bomb IPA at this brewery.
When we go out to Kincaid park, we like to stop here on the way home, as it is directly en route. Not only conveniently located to visit after biking, or skiing, it also has the right kind of beer for Après-ski. Every time I go to this place I feel extremely welcomed. This is a true hometown brewery, built with heartfelt attention to detail. I hope you get in before it becomes too busy and, God-forbid you have to wait in a long line for the very affordable ($5 glasses and $12 growlers) delicious offerings available.
Cheers to Cynosure! A family owned brewery that makes you feel like you belong.
I didn’t get to watch much of the World Series due to conflicts in my traveling schedule. The only nights I was free to watch it, there were no games. I have been a Houston Astros fan since I was a Little Leaguer, even though I have never been to Texas. I’ve been doing a bit of research about Houston and am planning a trip there now. Houston has a ton of breweries, Karbach Brewing is the only one I have sampled beer from. I would have chosen one of these brews for this painting, but I didn’t know which one to pick. I went with a classic Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Bock, which I know from experience is a good choice for overall consistency, and is an easy drinker to pair with sports. I eagerly look forward to a trip to Texas. Maybe a birthday trip in April.
Cheers to the new World Series champions! Houston should be proud!
This week I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit La Cumbre Brewing’s tasting room in Albuquerque, New Mexico! We set up a live painting session ahead of time, and I worked outside in the beer garden right up until it was getting too dark to paint. I decided to paint one of the brewery’s flagship beers, Elevated IPA. This beer is aggressively hopped, and tastes just like advertised at 100 IBUs. La Cumbre is Spanish for peak, and the brewery is at 5,313 feet altitude, so its tag line, “Get Elevated” is right on target. This was the first beer I drank after we landed in New Mexico, and it seemed to be everywhere we went. A very enchanting beer from the Land of Enchantment. This brew pairs well with street tacos, burritos or enchiladas. Whatever it is that you are doing, I recommend pairing it with a great IPA. Goes well with hiking, biking, or warming up around the fire! Cheers to the Elevated IPA! A beer that takes it to the next level!
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.
Happy National Drink Beer Day, or as I call it, business as usual! Today is also Thirsty Thursday, which means I’m releasing a new beer oil painting.
When I think of Iowa, I think of Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. I have only had a few offerings from TGB, but I think it’s one of the best, and I would like to go to Decorah, Iowa to sample the beers fresh at the brewery. My first TGB beer was Zeelander IPA, loaded with fresh Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. I painted that one during the Year of Beer Paintings. Check it out here. I was lucky enough to get to try a couple 2 oz pours of the 2016 Assassin Killer Barrel Aged Imperial Stout at the Culmination Beer Fest here at Anchorage Brewing Co. Because this barrel aged imperial stout is 12% ABV, it is definitely a killer! I liked the purple wax used on the 2016 vintage, and I can’t recommend this beer enough. I’m stoked I got to try this whale of a beer. I remember it coating my glass with an oily residue, it was so thick that it required several rinses to be ready for more regular beers. Not that any beer is regular at Culmination, but this one really stood out in my mind.
Cheers to drinking the best beer! Assassin is one of the great beers of America! Keep your glasses filled, and pour me some too! Thanks Toppling Goliath for making superb brews!
This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at myEtsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #107. Assassin Killer Imperial Barrel Aged Stout by Toppling Goliath Brewing. By Scott Clendaniel. 8″x10″, oil on panel.