Tag Archives: belgian beer painting

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #32, August 6, 2015

Holy Grail of beer?  Dom Perignon?  Tom Dalldorf is a bit on the dramatic side when describing this unique Belgian Double IPA by Anchorage Brewing Company.  He wrote the verbiage on the bottle.  Don’t get me wrong, I dig the beer.  It’s great, and I don’t doubt the 96 rating on Beer Advocate.  Actually, I think it deserves a higher score, but calling it the Holy Grail may be a bit of a hyperbole.  This beer is unique, and not what you would expect from a regular 9% IPA.  First off, it has Brettanomyces added, and second, it was aged in Chardonnay barrels, imparting a unique flavor that very few breweries come close to.  There is a reason it is 10 bucks, or more for a bottle of this caliber.  It takes extra effort, and triple fermentation to brew something this special.  I can totally see an aging monk thinking about this beer continually, going to the cold storage room to check on the barrel, just making sure it is safe.  Why is this monk so bitter?  100 IBUs from Citra and Apollo hops would cause many people to make the bitter beer face, but not as bitter as if you were chaste as well.  Imagine a lifetime of chastity, at least certain monks can enjoy the fermented juice of the barley.  Think of the cold storage room and the entry by the special abbey key leading to a very special place where warmth is only provided by consuming the brew within.  Don’t be bitter, give this brew a try.  Its unique, delicious flavor will have you wishing you bought a case!

The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.

beer painting of bitter monk ipa by anchorage brewing by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #32 by Scott Clendaniel. August 6, 2015. Bitter Monk IPA by Anchorage Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel.



Year of Beer Paintings – Day 324

This is the last painting I did live at a brewery while I was traveling around New England. White Beer was painted en plein air at Allagash Brewing Company’s taproom on my last day in Portland, Maine. Allagash was founded in 1995. Founder, Rob Tod, noticed that, although there were many American and English style beers available in the United States at the time, there was a dramatic shortage of Belgian ales. So he started making some really awesome Belgian-style beers in Portland, Maine. I have wanted to visit Maine ever since I wrote a five-page report about it in fifth grade. Well, I finally got to visit, but for an entirely different reason than a fifth-grader would expect – to drink beer! The Allagash White Beer is a great brew made with wheat, and spiced with Curacao orange peels, coriander, and a secret ingredient! In my opinion there are only a few other Belgian white beers that compare to this great brew. The tasting room staff was very tight-lipped about the secret ingredient, but some folks on the Internet think it may be Chamomile. I find it strange that breweries are not required to disclose ingredients on beer labels in this day and age when there are so many allergies.

I was lucky to arrive during a rainstorm on a Monday morning when the tasting room wasn’t too busy. The staff was really helpful and brought me everything I needed. Special thanks to Annie and Matt for being so welcoming! The craziest thing is another Alaskan was at the brewery, Jason Bullen, who is the brewer of 49th State Brewing Company in Healy, Alaska. Meeting another Alaskan so far from home was really great, especially one who makes tasty beer!

Cheers to Maine’s beer, and to Allagash Brewing! Keep brewing great Belgians, and hopefully I will get to drink some of your beer soon. Keep up the good work!

The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print, or a custom beer painting at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of White Beer by Allagash Brewing Year of Beer Paintings Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 11.20. White Beer by Allagash Brewing Company. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 301

Today’s featured beer painting is of Delirium Nocturnum brewed in Melle/Ghent, Belgium since 1654. This beer makes me think of Timothy Q. Mouse and Jumbo Jr. (a.k.a. Dumbo) when they first sample the sudsy brew that the circus folk were enjoying. The musical number comes to mind with the big bass drum booming, “Boom, boom, boom, pink elephants on parade, pink elephants on parade!” The pink, or white elephant has had a mystique, dating back several centuries in the country of Siam, now modern day Thailand. The white elephant is considered a sacred animal because it is so rare. Only the King could own them, unless he chose to gift one to someone with gratitude. The gift recipient could not use the white elephant to do traditional work, like putting up circus tents, or as a pack animal. So the elephant would become a huge burden. A white elephant is only to be used on parade, to symbolize wealth, prosperity, and to represent a just, powerful King. Hence, the white elephant gift exchange.

The Huyghe family brewery that has been brewing at the old brew site since 1906 has used the pink (white) elephant as the symbol for the Delirium line of brews. Delirium Nocturnum translates to nighttime madness, and represents what happens when you drink too much alcohol. The hallucinations that ensue from such overindulgence are represented by the elephant on the bottle. You know you have been drinking way too much if you have this type of problem from drinking. But since it has been a tradition, I won’t get into it. The real reason for drinking beer is flavor, not drunkenness. Beer tasting, guys, not chugging. I sampled this one at my buddy’s 34th birthday dinner last night, and I am happy to say I did not see any pink elephants, except the ones in the painting. I am foremost a beer taster and connoisseur, not a beer glutton. The beer itself is definitely Belgian, with notes of sweet caramel and cloves, and a bit of sour flavor. This beer is overall a perfect example of a Belgian dark strong ale.

Cheers to Delirium Nocturnum! If you buy a bottle of this, you better share it with a few others, or you might be like Jumbo Jr. seeing pink elephants on parade, with the actual delirium accompanying your visions.

The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Delirium Nocturnum by Huyghe brewery year of beer paintings scott clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.28. Delirium Nocturnum by Huyghe Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 285

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.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Termination Dust Belgian Barley Wine by Midnight Sun Brewing Year of Beer Paintings by Scott Clendaniel

Year of Beer 10.12. Termination Dust Belgian Barley Wine by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 239

The featured beer painting of the day is of Chimay Pères Trappistes Ale, brewed at Scourmont Abbey and bottled by S. A. Bières De Chimay, Belgium. Also known as Chimay Red, one of the most popular Trappist beers, and the most popular Chimay offering. This is the first Trappist beer to include the Trappist name on the label. This abbey started brewing beer 152 years ago in 1862. In order to make a Trappist beer, the beer must be made by monks within the confines of a Trappist monastery, using proprietary Trappist Belgian ale yeast. The proceeds from the brewery are used to support the abbey as well as charitable projects. The unique yeast, isolated by Father Theodore, when combined with the highly protected pure abbey well water, produces a unique rich flavor that really is only available in Trappist style ale.

Chimay Red is a Belgian dubbel, weighing in at 7% ABV. This beer has a quirky aesthetic that pours with a mushroom cloud of foam. It smells like fruit, raisins and prunes with a hint of nuts. The flavor is more fruit caramel, honey, dark chocolate, and toasted bread. It is a sweet, but thin beer, and you would hardly guess it is 7%. If you like Belgian style beer, this one is not to be missed!

Cheers to Chimay! Combining a monastery with a brewery is a genius idea! God gave us the gift of fermentation! I hope Alaska gets the 11th Trappist brewery!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Chimay Red Trappist Belgian Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 08.27. Chimay Pères Trappistes Ale by Scourmont Abbey. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 231

The featured beer painting of the day is of Trappistes Rochefort 10.  This Belgian Quadrupel Trappist ale is amazingly good!  I have had some Belgian ales that are too sweet and taste like they are 50% candy fermented until they are a weird sticky conglomeration of beer that doesn’t really taste any better than a Bud Light Platinum.  Pours a little chunky, this beer has a flavor that is so incredible of dates, plum, sweetness and raisins.  From the Abbey of St. Remy in the town of Rochefort, this Trappist beer is not only rare, but so good, it is worth every penny.  If you are lucky enough to have it readily available at your beer shop, you better get one.  They are about seven bucks a bottle, but this liquid tastes better than any wine in my personal opinion.

In this painting the beer is depicted in front of the abbey, and the brewery is around the back.  I keep wondering why more churches don’t follow this model, combining a brewery with the place of worship.  I know I would go to church more if that was the case in my hometown.  God blessed humanity with the gift of fermentation, so why not celebrate it in a spiritual way?  The Europeans always have a cathedral in the town center and a brewery, so right after services you can stop in Sunday afternoon for a pint, or a half liter.  As a result, there are fewer alcoholics, because drinking beer is an accepted part of the culture.  The key is not to drink too much.  According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies in England, a man can drink three weak beers a day, and a woman two, before health problems arise.  Culturally speaking, that is what most Europeans drink.  In the words of a mentor of mine, “Drink better, drink less.”  This is a beer I would drink over any crappy beer, but I need to find a better source.  I think if I bought a six-pack, I would clean out every bottle in Anchorage!

Cheers to health, wealth and wisdom.  This beer is good for your soul, which is in turn related to your physical well-being!  I hope you drink one of these soon!

The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Year of Beer 08.19. Trappistes Rochefort 10 Belgian Ale by Abbaye St-Remy. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 08.19. Trappistes Rochefort 10 Belgian Ale by Abbaye St-Remy. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 222

The featured beer painting of the day is of Duchesse De Bourgogne by Brouwerij Verhaeghe. This is a Belgium beer that was brewed in traditional Flemish style. It is a blend of 8-month- and 18-month-old brews that are combined together, and then aged in oaken casks. This produces a sour, fruity beer with a lot of oak flavor that really is a unique taste.   If you are a hop-bomb kind of beer drinker this may not be for you; this is more of a Lambic style of beer, even though Lambic has to age for an extra year, and normally is not oaked.

This beer is named after the Duchess of York, later known as the Duchess of Burgundy after marriage. She was quite the lady, and lived about 500 years ago. Everyone wanted to marry the Duchess, and she expanded the duchy without conflict through close marital negotiations. Unfortunately, she fell off her horse, which fell on top of her, and killed her at the young age of 25.

Known as Mary the Rich, due to the extremely valuable burgundy land she possessed and managed, she was a favorite ruler. The beer named in her honor is as rich and valuable, and is a great example of a Flemish red sour ale. So different, yet so obviously delicious this beer will not disappoint anyone, but the sour fearing beer geek. Expectations can change one’s opinions about what a product exactly is, but this beer is a perfect example of what it is supposed to be, a sour red beer.

Cheers to staying on your horse! Don’t have too many of these beers if you plan to ride that day, and you will be fine! Cheers to the Duchess!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Duchesse de Bourgogne by Brouwerij Verhaeghe Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 08.10. Duchesse de Bourgogne by Brouwerij Verhaeghe. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.


Year of Beer Paintings – Day 214

The featured beer painting of the day is of Mikkeller Centennial, part of the single hop IPA series. Most breweries use hops that grow near the brewery and make the freshest, best ale they can for the dollar. Mikkeller doesn’t have a brewery; it contracts every batch of beer, which is a very cool idea that seems to be successful. Founded in 2006 in Copenhagen by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller, the company has since expanded to Bangkok, San Francisco, and Stockholm, recently producing bottled beers that we can even buy here in Alaska. Contract-brewing is an intriguing concept whose time has come. Keep your overhead low and your concepts strong, and the sky is the limit. This beer was brewed in conjunction with De Proef Brouwerij from Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

The Single Hop Project is showcasing 18 different styles of hops. All the beers are brewed with the same weight of hops for bittering, flavoring, aroma and dry hopping. The grain bills are identical, so the only variable is the hops, which are scientifically switched. The mission statement on the bottle says, ”This gives the consumer the possibility to smell and taste the unique characteristics of each variety, and will hopefully help to educate people about the wonderful world of hops.” With verbiage like that on the bottle it is obvious these guys are kings of marketing! This beer was good. Centennial hops are delicious, and I noted a bit less bitterness than in most IPAs. There are many different varieties of Centennial hops, and I wonder what the alpha rating is in this particular batch. It normally comes in between 8.5% – 11.5%, so a righteous hop for an IPA. Citrusy and piney, it’s a good hop variety for American style ales.

Cheers to Mikkeller, a brainy beer maker indeed! Keep it cerebral and keep it interesting. Good job on the 18 single hop IPA concept! I will try another please!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Mikkeller Centennial Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 08.02. Mikkeller Centennial. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 211

The featured beer painting of the day is of Hennepin Saison by Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY. When I first came to McCarthy, Alaska ten years ago, I was so taken with the beauty of the Kennicott and Copper River Valley that within three months of that first trip I had purchased ten acres. The following summer we came out on our first trip with a mission to build an outhouse. What we didn’t know is that under the thin layer of mossy soil, the ground is very rocky. My sister, my wife, and I took turns digging the hole in the woods with an old shovel that I had borrowed from my parents. After an hour, or two we estimated that we had dug down four feet, but I can assure you it was closer to two. Then, snap! The handle of the shovel broke off! So we looked around for a suitable replacement from a green willow tree, but no such luck. That was all the hole digging we could do on that trip! I built a plywood platform for the open-air outhouse, and set it on top of the hole. To christen the new improvement to our lot, we popped the cork on an Ommegang beer. Pop! We passed the bottle, as we hadn’t brought glasses. One of the highlights of that trip was cracking that bottle after a long day of digging in the hot sun, and I have always loved Ommegang ever since!

Father Louis Hennepin was the first European to see the Niagara Falls, so I should have painted that in the background (definitely not my outhouse), instead of the Cooperstown ball field. However, according to the Internet, Cooperstown is where Americans invented baseball. So I put the ball-field in the background. I am hoping to make a trip to see this amazing brewery when I head back east in November.

Cheers to popping corks in the woods! Thanks, Ommegang, for making a classy beer to enhance my life! Oh, and the beer was very good! I love a good, spiced saison!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Hennepin Saison by Brewery Ommegang Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 07.30. Hennepin Saison by Brewery Ommegang. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 173

The daily beer painting is of a really awesome brew known as Lindemans Geuze!  I learned that besides being a lambic beer made with spontaneous fermentation and aged hops, this beer is made from 25% three-year old brew, 50% two-year old brew and 25% one-year old brew.  The blend allows for just enough sugar to create a 6% bottle-conditioned beer.  I also learned that lambics contain a ton of wheat malt — at least 30% wheat, a fairly high quantity compared to other wheat styles.  Oh, and aged hops are used, which create a cheesy, and almost meaty smell that is musty and stale — just what this beer requires.  Stemming from generations of brewing tradition the reason why is lost (probably due to availability), but aging the hops is important.  This is very counterproductive to what we like here in hop-headed America.

I have been getting lucky drinking geuze as of late.  I was able to consume this bottle of Lindemans (pictured here in front of the beautiful brewing room), but later in the day I was at a fellow Great Northern Brewers Club member’s house for a BBQ and mentioned that I brought over a home-brewed saison but had a geuze earlier.  The host said, “Oh, I have tons of geuze in my cellar that I made a few years ago!”  He started to explain the process and finished by telling me that on a recent trip to Belgium he met the owner of the Boon Brewery, and shared a bottle of this beer with him.  My host said with a smug look on his face that the owner gave him the best compliment one can get: it was so good he would serve it to his family at dinner.  So I crawled into his cellar under the floor of his house (I wish I had one of these) to look for the geuze, and chocolate infused mead, and was amazed to see hundreds of bottles of different-flavored lambics down there, not to mention a few unopened bottles of Vertical Epic series (including a case of ’04) among other treasures.  The geuze was from 2006, meaning it was brewed in 2003.  I brought up the two bottles and sampled the geuze, and it was every bit as good as the Lindemans (which is an amazing beer) maybe even a bit more cidery.  Super good!  Way to be GNBC! I  love sour beers, especially lambic geuze!

Cheers To Lindemans Brewery!  Thank you for brewing a tart, spontaneously fermented beer that is so amazingly different than a generic lager!  I am tempted to brew a batch in the next three years.  Maybe I can collaborate with the GNBC!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.

View the complete Year of Beer Paintings gallery.

Beer Painting of Geuze by Lindemans Brewery Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 06.22. Geuze by Lindemans Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.