Tag Archives: belgian beer

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.

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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 223

It’s Beer Camp time!  Okay, so for those of you in-the-know, you must be as excited as I am when I see the Beer Camp mix-pack from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in stores.  In the past, Sierra Nevada has held a home-brewer video challenge and the winners got to attend Beer Camp in Chico, California where they brewed their favorite recipes with the Sierra Nevada brewmasters.  This year Sierra Nevada opened a new brewery in Mills River, North Carolina and I guess they wanted to take a road trip between the two breweries.  Instead of hosting home-brewers, SN invited their favorite breweries to collaborate at the closest SN headquarters (Chico, or Mills River) to brew up a collaboration Beer Camp beer.  The program was to make the beer, and then host the longest road-trip beer fest ever hosted by an American brewery.  They didn’t come to Alaska (grump!) but Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse just hosted a tasting event last week.  I unfortunately missed it as I was at the Alaska Sailing Club enjoying Beer Camp beer in a boat.  I bought two packs, so I still have a few left.

The featured beer painting of the day is of Beer Camp Myron’s Walk – a collaboration by Sierra Nevada and Allagash Brewing Company of Portland, Maine.  I chose this particular Beer Camp beer because it talks about the Appalachian Trail right on the bottle, and because I haven’t found a Maine beer here in Alaska as of yet.  Myron Avery, the name sake of this beer, was the founder of the Appalachian Trail (AT).  The AT spans the entire East coast, and it takes most of a year to walk the whole thing.  This is a great concept for a beer’s name, and although I know they say these are a one-time only release, this one would be a good one to re-release.  The beer is a Belgian-style pale hopped up in true SN style with whole cone Citra and Mosaic hops.  I don’t think there are many Belgian beers that actually have this much hop content.  At 38 IBUs, I think they might be a little underscoring this one, or maybe it is the coriander playing off the bold American hops that perfectly compliment each other, creating a piney, citrusy flavor.  Then Allagash’s proprietary Belgian-style yeast was addded, which I might add is bready and delicious, making a great beer that I wish was a permanent offering available here in Alaska!

Cheers to Beer Camp!  I have represented all but three of these collaboration breweries so far this year.  All of these have been delicious!  Nothing like drinking Beer Camp at a campsite!  Whether that is on the lake, near the ocean, or in the mountains!

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

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Beer Painting of Beer Camp Myron's Walk by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Allagash Brewing Co. Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 08.11. Beer Camp Myron’s Walk by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Allagash Brewing Co. 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.

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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″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 142

The daily beer painting is of Monk’s Mistress Belgian-Style Special Dark Ale from Midnight Sun Brewing Company.  I depicted this beer under consumption in the brewery room.  I don’t think the MSBC brewers normally drink Monk’s Mistress during the workday, but if they did, it would look like this, but with a few more glasses.  I pulled this image of Monk’s Mistress sitting on a barrel from my huge amount of digital photos I took in 2011, when I had the whole brewery at my disposal for a photo shoot.  We were drinking all kinds of brews that probably should have been left in the bottle.  Even a giant bottle of Sloth was brought out.  It was one of the most memorable days as a beer painter.

This beer is noteworthy!  An 11.5% ale, aged in oak bourbon barrels, it has a fruity sweetness that ends with a little bit of hop bitterness.  A bit boozy, but it is complemented by the flavors produced by the oak.  I requested this beer for the firkin at my upcoming show at MSBC in June.  To kick off the art show on June 6, I will be hammering a tap through the wooden bung of the firkin.  I was talking with Davey, a brewer at MSBC, and we discussed putting blueberries in the MM firkin.  I hope he does, because that sounds Alaskan and delicious!  If you are in Anchorage, Alaska on June 6th, stop by MSBC at 5 PM!

Cheers to MSBC!  My favorite place to show my beer paintings!  Four years running, this will be my sixth show at MSBC!  Thanks for being the best hosts every time!

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

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Beer painting of monk's mistress by midnight sun brewing year of beer paintings

Year of Beer 05.22. Monk’s Mistress Belgian-Style Special Dark Ale by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 111

The beer painting of the day is of Blanche de Chambly by Unibroue in Quebec, Canada.  Unibroue beers are spendy, but worth every penny.  If you want to try a perfect example of a Belgian wit, you don’t have to fly all the way to Hoegaarden, just pop the top of this easy drinker, and you will be taken there by sheer flavor.  This was the first beer I sampled at the Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival.  I was particularly impressed, so much, in fact, that I decided to include this one in the Year of Beer series!  I can’t emphasize how important a champagne cork is to raise the aesthetic value of a beer.  I will easily pay a few more dollars for the satisfying pop of the cork rocketing out of a big 22 oz bottle.

Brewed since 1992, this beer has been surprising since it’s conception.  I recommend serving it in a tulip glass.  This tall one in the painting is one of my favorite tulip glasses because it complements the bottle and holds up to 12 oz – a perfect Belgian glass in my opinion.  The beer tastes like oranges and spice, and has a note of bitterness that dissipates to sweet flavors of bread and yeast.  This one is highly drinkable and won’t leave you toasted at only 5% ABV.  I always know I am in for a treat when I pop open a Unibroue bottle.

To Unibroue!  A wonderful brewery from Alaska’s closest neighbor, Canada!  I would have to say this Canadian brew is classic!

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 Blanche de Chambly by Unibroue in Quebec Canada Year of Beer Paintings

Year of Beer 04.21. Blanche de Chambly by Unibroue. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 104

Today’s beer painting is of a Belgian ale known as Piraat by the Brouwerij Van Steenberge.  It is a strong Belgian pale ale that some have even called a Belgian IPA.  Although there are more hops in this beer than in the Duvel (a strong Belgian golden ale), it is hard to classify this one as a hop-forward beer when it has that underlying sweetness.  Don’t get me wrong, I really like this brew.  It has that fruity spicy yeast and a decided Belgian flavor, and yes, it is much hoppier than most Belgian beers.

This brewery is pretty cool, it makes several different brews that all have that Belgian yeast spicy flavor.  This is not the hoppiest version of Piraat, there is a triple hopped version as well.  Has the hop revolution finally hit Europe?  I would love to get my hands on a bottle of the triple-hopped, but haven’t seen it at La Bodega.  It feels right to write about a beer named after sea-going criminals while chillin’ on an island in what feels to me like a remote stronghold.

Yeehaarrgh!  To Piraat, a fine Belgian Ale, full of flavor, and it’s pretty strong too.  Enjoy this one in the salty air, and you will find it to be very pleasing!

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

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Beer painting of piraat ale belgian ale year of beer

Year of Beer 04.14. Piraat Ale by Brouwerij Van Steenberge. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 101

Hold on to your seats, East coasters, the beer painting of the day is Golden Monkey Belgian-Style Tripel by Victory Brewing Company.  This one is brewed with imported two-row malt and hops.  The spiciness is attributed to the yeast and grain, but also Coriander seed.  Watch out, this is a sipper at 9.5 percent.  Either drink out of small cups, or maybe consider cutting yourself off after a couple.  No hangover is worse than a strong ale overdose, so enjoy responsibly.  Moderation in all things, including moderation.

This beer is distributed to Alaska!  I can buy a whole case, if I felt so inclined, which I may do when I am done with this project as this is one of the better beers one can buy in Alaska that is not brewed here.

To the dudes back East, with the longest brewing history in the country!  Victory Brewing, you’re a winner in my book with a good strong Belgian- Style Tripel Ale!

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 Golden Monkey Belgian Style Triple by victory brewing pennsylvania year of beer

Year of Beer 04.11. Golden Monkey Belgian-Style Tripel by Victory Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 77

I bet Bavik Belgian Premium Lager would be awesome after a sporting endeavor, rather than after sitting in my studio, painting.  Actually, it was refreshing nonetheless.  When I cracked open this Belgian can of beer, memories from bicycling across Europe sprung into my head.  I started to appreciate pilsner beers during that trip.  I had always liked them, but often passed them by for IPAs or bigger, more flavorful brews like porter and stout, or anything imperial.  Although Budweiser and Miller market their American concoctions as pilsner, they aren’t anywhere close in flavor to a true pils.  I learned to love that smell of the aroma hops that Americans forget to put in their yellow fizzy counterparts.  Bavik’s version was fresh, aromatic, and thin.  A perfect hydrating beer.  I drank this beer before I could legally drink in America.  I was 20 years old and living in Athens, Greece.  I bought a sixer of Bavik mostly because it was half the price of Heineken.  I didn’t even know the name of it back then, I just asked for Bira! This one hit the spot.   

Living in Greece in my early adulthood, then bicycling across the European continent just a few years ago, hydrating on pilsner the whole way, really opened my mind to the Euro yellow beer flavor that really doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.  Although craft American pilsners are also very good, they are decidedly different.  To brew a Euro pilsner you really aught to be in Europe, buy European hops and grain and use European water.  When I arrived in New York City after that European odyssey, I immediately drank an American IPA, but somehow immediately missed the European beer flavor.

To memories lagering in the depths of my mind!  Finding a good pilsner in Alaska is a true treasure, but in Europe finding anything else might lead to an adventure!  To differences across the world!  Sit back and enjoy a brew thinking about life, time, and what the next flavor should be!

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

Year of Beer 03.18. Bavik Belgian Premium Lager. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 03.18. Bavik Belgian Premium Lager. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 38

Duvel Moortgat Brewery produces this über popular strong golden ale and has been making beer since 1871.  This particular style was created to celebrate the end of the first World War.  It was originally called Victory Ale, but became known as Duvel, due to its high alcohol content. The word Duvel in Bartbantian- Ghand and Antwerp dialect translates to devil.  This brew tops in at 8.5% so it is not to be taken lightly, and having several during a football game could be disastrous if not shared properly.  Be forewarned, this is not a session beer!

It tastes strongly of adjunct Belgium sugar and some noble hops.  It pours a pale golden as seen in the painting.  The light lacing of foam was tricky to capture in oils because it disappeared almost instantly.  When I paint a beer from life, like I did this one, I start with the bottle and glass outlines, fill in the background and then paint the label.  I finish by opening the bottle and pouring the beer, then hustling to capture the foam before it dissipates.

A toast to Duvel, a favorite of many, and a great way to cop a buzz without getting filled up!  Just don’t drink too many, or you may develop a devil of a headache!

You can purchase this painting, or limited-edition prints at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.07. Duvel. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.07. Duvel. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.

Year of Beer Paintings – Day 31

Today’s Year of Beer painting is of La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue.  Translated from French to mean “the end of the world”.  Unibroue, a Canadian brewery, makes delicious Belgian style beers that are fun to open on a special occasion due to the champagne cork!  I love to hear the sound of the cork popping out of the bottle.  They are also good for cellaring because they have high alcohol content.  I wouldn’t save this beer until the end of the world, because it would be a shame if it was left corked when the fire and brimstone sets in.  It needs to be kept in a dark place with even temperature though, or you could find that your delicious beer you were saving is past its prime.  I hate to make a toast to the end of the world, but I like to close my blog entries with a toast!  Here goes.  A toast to La Fin Du Monde, live every day like it is your last, drink up!

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

Year of Beer 01.31 La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 01.31 La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.