Tag Archives: california beer art

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co.

I remember the first time I ever drank an Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout on Thanksgiving Day in 2002 at my friend Morgan Brown parents’ house in Corvallis, Oregon.  They have this amazing property just outside of town with several acres, and a creek running right by their big farm house.  We drank a couple of Old Rasputin’s on a walk around the property, and I don’t think I had ever had an imperial stout before — I was only 22 years old.  Needless to say, the decadence of this beer blew my mind!  

Fast forward 16 years (no I am not bringing Old Rasputin to the table today), but last week I drank the 22 oz bottle pictured in this painting with Maria in McCarthy, Alaska.  I had a flashback when I was walking around the ten acres out there that took me right back to Corvallis.  A bit different weather, as I remember blue skies and yellow leaves in Oregon, while in McCarthy we had snow and freezing rain.  I also thought about what to include in the painting to show off the Russian qualities.  Rasputin was in favor with the Czar living in St. Petersburg, but he was victim of a nasty coup and was poisoned, shot and drowned. This reminded me of this iconic cathedral known as the Church of the Savior Built on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg.  Last year I went on a tour of this building, which is spectacular inside and out.  It has a ton of history: the square it is built upon is a historic site where Alexander II was blown up in his carriage in 1881.  His son commissioned this amazing cathedral designed by architect Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, and it was built from 1883-1907.  Completed by Nicholas II.  So when Gregori Rasputin was hanging out with Nicholas II in 1916 when he was murdered, this cathedral was probably an important spot for the religious mystic.  

Russia is a fun, but dangerous place.  Watch yourself when you are hanging out in St. Petersburg.  The same level of safety consciousness we are used to here in America just doesn’t exist in Russia.  For example, the Metro car doors slam shut with no warning, and could easily break your arm. Also when crossing the street use extreme caution as a crazed driver might just be driving on the sidewalk.  You just never know what might happen in Russia!  

Cheers to Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, keeping the memory of Rasputin alive.  As the label on the bottle says in Russian, “A bosom friend is not born suddenly.”

The original oil painting sold.  Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

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Lines Imperial IPA by Monkish Brewing Co. and Anchorage Brewing Co.

Hello beer hunters, connoisseurs, and hop-heads.  I am glad to release a new beer painting that I finished just a week ago.  I was lucky enough to get my hands on an über fresh can of Lines Imperial IPA, a collaboration between California’s Monkish Brewing and our famous local favorite Anchorage Brewing.  This beer is delicious!  At first it was very mellow, but as it warmed up, a floral and citrusy hop flavor became very evident, yet not overpowering.  I was able to bend the ear of Gabe Fletcher while sipping on this delectable brew.  He divulged that this was a zero IBU IPA dry hopped with lupulin powder, the secret ingredient in this fine beer.  This batch of lupulin powder was a blend of Mosaic, Citra and Simcoe hops that had been flash frozen to extract the most potent part of the hop, the Alpha acids.  I was surprised he was selling it for 10 bucks a can, but when you consider how far a schlep to LA is from Anchorage, and how long I would have to stand in line to get this beer down there, then it’s a steal of a deal.

The name Lines has two meanings to me.  One is evident from the label, since the powder reminded the brewers of another kind of powered substance, but the second meaning may be a reference to the fact that every time Monkish releases a new canned offering, beer nerds line up for hours to get it.  I stepped up to the bar as soon as I walked into Anchorage Brewing and Gabe himself poured me the beer strait from the can.  On a side note, that’s when I found out that the tall tulip glasses at Anchorage Brewing hold 14 oz when filled to the rim.  I was surprised that only 2 oz remained in my cool shiny can.

I am fond of the shiny cans.  So far I have not been let down by one.  Every time I have bought or tasted one, it has been worth the price…  They always seem to be somewhere around $4 a can for offsite consumption.  So at a bar in Alaska 10 bucks is a deal.  Breweries use these cans for very small releases, because they can just slap a sticker on them, and don’t have to order thousands of pre-printed cans.  Word is that Gabe plans to brew this again, and will can it when his new canning line is operational, so more people will get a chance to try this tasty brew!

Cheers to Lines, but not the kind I have to stand in!

This original oil painting, and 30 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Lines Imperial IPA by Monkish Brewing Co. and Anchorage Brewing Co. Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. Oil on panel. 8"x10".

Lines Imperial IPA by Monkish Brewing Co. and Anchorage Brewing Co. Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. Oil on panel. 8″x10″.

 

Blind Pig IPA by Russian River Brewing Company

If you walked into a speakeasy during Prohibition and asked for a “Blind Pig”, you may have received a beer.  I should have painted the pig drinking from a blank Mason jar, as that is the way beer would have been served during those times.  A pint jar was known as a pig, and a blank one was known as a “Blind Pig.”  Ironically, the first time I drank Blind Pig IPA by Russian River Brewing Company was not in California, but in Philadelphia at Monk’s Cafe.  I ordered it thinking that it was probably the best thing on the extensive menu, called the Beer Bible, and I was not let down.  I drank it again at the Russian River brew pub in Santa Rosa, and came back the next day, nearly emptying my bank account, and making a generous addition to my beer cellar.  All I have left is a couple bottles of the barrel sour ales now.  Looks like I will have to make another trip to Santa Rosa to refill my private stock.  If you do get your hands on this treasured ale, don’t hoard it, but drink it.  IPA is best fresh!  So share and enjoy!  Don’t let your cool pet pig get ahold of it.  Once they have gotten the taste, they will never be satiated!   Cheers to the “Blind Pig” — the best pig for drinking!

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

Blind Pig IPA by Russian River Brewing Co. Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. 14"x11", oil on panel.

Blind Pig IPA by Russian River Brewing Co. Oil painting by Scott Clendaniel. 14″x11″, oil on panel.

Down to Earth Session IPA by 21st Amendment Brewery

What happens when you send a reluctant chimp into space and then let him return to Earth?  The answer is one happy monkey chillin’ at the beach sipping on session-able IPAs.  21st Amendment Brewery has been making a great session ale for years, but when I stepped into its San Francisco pub and saw that the Bitter American has returned to Earth, I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor the delicious taste on my tongue.  I have a love for simians of all kinds: apes, monkeys, chimps.  There is something primal about watching the animal that we are most closely related to.  I feel that humans often reject the instincts that our tree-swinging cousins embody.  The simple joys in life are what makes life worth living.  Having a cold brew, or three on the beach is one of those things that I simply do not want to skip.  A nice cool dip in the Pacific Ocean followed by a refreshing sip brings you Down to Earth in a way that this monkey finds simply refreshing!  I hope you enjoy this painting and have a cold one for me in the heat of the sun!

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

Down to Earth Session IPA by 21st Amendment Brewery. Oil on panel, 8"x10", by Scott Clendaniel.

Down to Earth Session IPA by 21st Amendment Brewery. Oil on panel, 8″x10″, by Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #74, May 26, 2016, Where’s Waldos’ Special Ale?

Where’s Waldo? is a super fun book series I enjoyed when I was growing up.  When we had library day I was always surprised that Where’s Waldo? was allowed, considering that reading is not a required skill for enjoying these books.  In 1986 UK illustrator Martin Hanford invented Where’s Wally?, which is known as Where’s Waldo? in the US and Canada.  The concept was to create a character with an obvious focal point who hides in a super busy illustration, to create a picture book that caused the viewer to search for the main character.  It was instantly a huge artistic success selling over 43 million copies in 33 different countries and 22 different languages.  In-fact most countries have their own name for Waldo, including Willy in Norway, and Ghouoli in Greece.

The beer that inspired this beer parody painting is The Waldos’ Special Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company.  The beer was brewed in honor of completely different Waldos, however.  The Waldos that Lagunitas is referencing in this remarkable ale, is a group of hippies that stem from 1970s Northern California.  They were the first to create a connection between cannabis and 420, and were all about goofing around and having a good time, trying to get out to the “Mystery Spot” for a bit of good surfing, but also just to hang, throw the football around, and be a group of cool cats.  The Lagunitas website can lend you a lot more information about these Waldos.

The thing about the Waldos’ Special Ale is that it was kind of hard to find, just like Martin Hanford’s illustrated character.  I had to go to two different shops to get my two bottles, which is unusual for Anchorage!  Like the illustrated book character, it is also not to be missed in a group of regular beers.  This special ale, coming in at 11.5% with over 100 IBUs is not a session IPA!  This beer will melt your brain after only one serving.  I guess that is why Lagunitas put it in its OneHitter series!  I propose a toast to finding The Waldos’ Special Ale!  If you have one in your beer fridge, bust it out now as this one should be enjoyed while still fresh!   

The original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop, RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #74 by Scott Clendaniel. Inspired by Where's Waldo. May 26, 2016. 20"x16", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #74 by Scott Clendaniel. Inspired by Where’s Waldo. May 26, 2016. 20″x16″, oil on panel.

Waldo's-Detail-1

Waldo's-Detail2

Waldo's-Detail3

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #73, May 19, 2016, Grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point Brewing Co.

The painting for this week’s Thirsty Thursday is of a beer known as the Grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point Brewing in San Diego.  The brewery started distributing to Alaska just a couple weeks ago, and Alaskan craft beer enthusiasts welcomed the beer with open arms and wallets.

Germans have been flavoring their beer with lemonade and lemon-lime sodas for many decades, making a product called radler bier (cyclist beer), or a shandy.  Leave it to the West Coast Americans to make a beer that tastes like candy but hits hard with a 7% kick and serious hop character.  The lesson is learned, don’t feed this one to your wine-cooler swilling friends.  It sounds like they will like it, but save this one for yourself, you alpha-loving hophead.  Grapefruit and beer sounds like a terrible, mad dog beverage invented to get 16 year old high-schoolers drunk, but it’s actually a match made in heaven.  The twangy bitter-sweetness of the citrus fruit pairs perfectly with the 70 IBUs of Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA.  As Ballast Point’s marketing department declares, “Grapefruit is a winter fruit, but Grapefruit Sculpin tastes like summer!”  Cheers to innovative craft breweries!  Hoppy American Craft Beer week!

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition fine art prints are for sale at my Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #73 by Scott Clendaniel. May 19, 2016. Grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #73 by Scott Clendaniel. May 19, 2016. Grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #56, January 21, 2016, Parabola Imperial Stout by Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Deep black mahogany, as black as soot, with a flavor that won’t quit, but makes you want to come back for more. Barrel aged in whiskey barrels, nothing has quite the same flavor as a whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout. Firestone Walker’s Parabola is not one to be missed if you get lucky enough to find one. I was at Brown Jug Liquor Store in Anchorage, Alaska and I saw the fancy FW box being handed over to a gentleman. I inquired where I might also find the special liquid from the back basement cellar storage room. He went and brought me up a special bottle and I was surprised to find that the FW barrel aged ales were only $15 a bottle! For 14% beer that has been barrel-aged, that’s a good deal! Especially when it tastes as good as this one does! I opened this bottle on New Year’s Eve, and I believe it was a good choice.

I painted it with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, because the landmark is between Firestone Walker’s two restaurants and tasting rooms. The Golden Gate Bridge is also the largest parabola that I have ever seen. The Eiffel Tower also has a sweet parabola at the base of it, but I figured it wasn’t Californian enough, and also much smaller. If you ever get a chance to buy a bottle of Parabola, I would highly recommend enjoying it as a picnic item on the rocks overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Cheers to Firestone Walker! An award winning, stellar brewery that distributes to Alaska!

The original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop, RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #56 by Scott Clendaniel. January 21, 2016. Parabola Imperial Stout by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 11"x14", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #56 by Scott Clendaniel. January 21, 2016. Parabola Imperial Stout by Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel.