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!
Each year several thoughtful gift-givers commission me to paint custom oil paintings for holiday gifts, and so far I’ve always finished them all on schedule to be delivered several days before December 25th. This year most of the paintings were dog portraits, and sadly two of those were of loved pups that had recently gone to doggy heaven. No one ordered a cat painting. Hmmmm. One person really liked one of my existing float plane paintings, but wanted a smaller version, so I painted one for him. I’m always impressed with the concepts that my patrons develop for these pieces, and my favorite part is finding out the stories behind each one. I hope all the recipients liked their gifts. I did receive a couple photos of smiling people holding their custom Clendaniel originals.
Click on each one to see it in more detail. All paintings are framed in a natural wood frame, with hanging hardware installed. The turnaround time is 2-3 weeks. You can order a custom oil painting at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter, or by contacting me at info [at] realartisbetter [dot] com.
Solid Gold — ice cold! I don’t know if I can call this the holy grail of beers, that distinction is reserved for barrel aged brews with an ABV over 10%. The Solid Gold Premium Lager by Founders Brewing Co. in Michigan is way better than any other beer you can buy at this price point. When I get done doing yard work here at our log cabin in McCarthy, Alaska, I don’t want a whale of a beer to quench my thirst and ice my aching hands. I‘m looking for a traditional American premium lager, something that is thirst-quenching and not too strong for the after workday libation. The first one goes down in about 10 minutes and that’s if I try to sip and savor. If I were to start with something stronger, I might have a good time, but won’t be good for much, except rolling around in the moss giggling to myself. This lager tastes as good as any premium Mexican lager, but at a much lower price point.
Founders opened its doors in 1997 right about the time craft beer was still called microbrew, and discerning Americans were still drinking wine. In 1997 ice beer was all the rage, and thank the heavens that Founders started to show the world that beer can be classy, should be drank from a glass, and should be valued rather than looked down upon. I say if you are a macro domestic lager fan and are tired of supporting the Clydesdale of brewing, give Solid Gold a try. A win-win — stay a bit less drunk and keep some extra money in your pocket. Your friends will thank you at the next backyard bbq, when you show up with a case of the SG when they can still drive home after dominating the corn hole pitch. A perfect brew for pong or any game that requires dexterity. Try new beers, but keep drinking this premium lager as new brews are silver but this one is Solid Gold!
This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are available at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Every year during the holidays I get a surge of requests for commissioned paintings by customers who are very thoughtful gift givers. Arguably, a custom oil painting is one of the most unique, personal, and thoughtful gifts one can receive. My favorite part about working with people on commissions is hearing the stories behind each painting concept. This year I didn’t get as many commissions as in previous years, because after the earthquake on November 30th people had other things on their minds like cleaning up trashed homes, broken glass, and fixing cracks. Earth picked a bad time to shake us all up, and I think many retailers and artists felt the economic impact of decreased sales during that time. Nevertheless, I completed seven paintings in time for Christmas, and they were all gratefully accepted by their recipients. Now that they are no longer surprises, I can show them to you. Click on each one to see it in more detail. All paintings are framed in a natural wood frame, with hanging hardware installed. The turnaround time is 2-3 weeks. You can order a custom oil painting at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter, or by contacting me at info [at] realartisbetter [dot] com.
It’s that time of year when people go nuts, wear strange clothing, dress their dogs as goldfish and hit the streets to beg for candy while threatening to vandalize their neighbor’s property. Also known as Halloween. I chose Russian River Brewing’s Damnation Ale for this week’s beer painting release for obvious reasons. Damnation is a damn good version of a Belgian golden strong ale. Rocking in at 7.75% ABV, it is aptly named. I know many barleywines are much stronger, but you can easily taste the booze in them. This beer will get you when you don’t realize it, good thing it comes in a 375 ml bottle. This is pretty much a great example of the style. With esters of fruit and pear and peppery overtones, Damnation is a poster child for Belgian golden strong ale. Yet it is made right here in the USA. Sadly, I am completely out of my Russian River stash of bottles that we brought back from our trip to CA two summers ago. I was just thinking it’s time for another trip there. I painted a wildfire in the background of this painting as that is the closest thing to hell I can think of. I give solid respect to all of our forest firefighters, you are doing one hell of a job. I can’t think of a more physical and mentally challenging career.
Cheers to the Damnation, one damn good brew! Great job, Russian River Brewing, you are one of the best breweries out there!
Only one original oil painting, and a limited number of prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.
Let’s take it EZ today with a bottle of Session EZ IPA by Full Sail Brewing Co. in beautiful Hood River, Oregon. I painted the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge, with Mt. Hood in this composition to put a local spin on this painting. Brewed with Citra, Equinox, and Cascade hops, this unfiltered 4.8% ABV brew is just the ticket to avoid the afternoon brew coma. A lazy day in the sun sipping IPA all day can lead to an early evening, unless you stick to low ABV sessionable versions of this highly hopped American style of beer. IPA normally brings the buzz right to your brain, but when it has a lower ABV, it reminds me of a supped up version of light beer. The taste is right, and the body is there thanks to the unfiltered process, but it just doesn’t goat-kick you to the head. DIPA and imperial IPA still have their place, but if you want more than one or two, EZ IPA is your go to! Have the conversation last a bit longer and the afternoon extend ’til twilight with this beverage. Way to go Full Sail, you did it again!
I won’t be releasing new beer paintings for five weeks, because we’ll be traveling in Russia and Europe, and we’re not bringing oil paint, or a laptop. But we will be sampling local beers whenever we find notable breweries and pubs, and we’ll post about our adventures on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.
This original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter. Domestic shipping is free.
Lucybelle from Sante Adairius Rustic Ales is a wonderful brew that is worth the effort to find. I was lucky enough to get a bottle in the mail from a patron who commissioned an oil painting of his wedding day in Monterey Bay, and wanted this beer in the painting. It might be easier to stay at home and drink your generic regular beer, but a trip to the coast is always worth the money, the effort, and the time. Looking west over the Pacific Ocean, a beautiful sunset on a perfect beach. A crisp, delicate, dry ale served in a classy tulip glass making the perfect accompaniment to the departure of the sun. A trip to find Sante Adairius beer is definitely rewarding. With a tasting room at the brewery in Capitola and a great pub in Santa Cruz, the destination is worth the trip, not to mention the delicious ales you’ll taste when you get there! Lucybelle is a great Saison, not that bubblegum sweet beverage some breweries call a Saison. This is a real, crisp, slightly sour, and refreshing version with a lower ABV so you can remember the night, and be ready for some late night fun!
Cheers to the California beaches, and beers like Lucybelle, a real Saison brewed the old fashioned way!