Tag Archives: craft beer

Zip Kombucha Taproom Review

~ by Maria Benner

I try to find places to hang out before they get discovered by everyone else, and become too crowded for my comfort.  Mostly because I dislike waiting in line (like a typical Alaskan), and prefer less noisy environments where I can easily communicate with my friends.  The Zip Kombucha tap room is one of those places that is still mostly under the radar.  I shouldn’t even tell you about it, but at the same time, I want it to prosper.

I prefer brewery taprooms over bars, because they offer a comfortable setting without the meat-market/sketchy vibe that most bars have.  This taproom is unique in that it offers draft beer in a brewery-taproom setting, but can stay open past 8pm.  It can also have live music and games.  The craft beer selection is really top-notch.  Last week it was the only place in Anchorage that had No Woman No Cryo IPA by Girdwood Brewing on tap.  The price is a very reasonable $5 per pint!  For those who don’t want to drink alcohol, or are gluten-free, kombucha is on tap in several delightful flavors like blueberry, ginger, or mint.  Wine is also on the menu.  Delicious and healthy food is available as well.  Recently, Glacier Bowl teamed up with Zip to offer poke bowls.  Several nights a week there is live entertainment including open-mic night, and music by local musicians.  The large space in the brewery even has enough room for dance lessons.  The taproom also exhibits art by local artists.  In April the featured artist is Scott.  His oil paintings and limited-edition prints are on display and available for sale through Zip until May 2nd.  This place has it all!

What is kombucha?  It’s a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria.  It tastes sweet and sour at the same time, but the flavors are not overwhelming.  The yeast eats most of the sugar, so this beverage won’t rot your teeth, and it’s loaded with probiotics.  Added flavors like ginger, berries and mint really shine in this clear and fizzy drink.

So next time you’re looking for a quiet, yet hip space to meet your friends where you can get food, craft beer, and non-alcoholic, gluten-free beverages, along with entertainment, and art, check out the Zip Kombucha taproom at 3404 Arctic Blvd.  The location in midtown is convenient, with plenty of parking.  Open every day 4-9pm.

Kombucha and draft beer menu.

Live music in the Zip Kombucha taproom.

Ahi poke bowl by Glacier Bowl.

Mint kombucha.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #29, July 16, 2015

The Skilak Lake is a popular destination on the Kenai Peninsula. If you go, don’t forget to bring the Skilak Scottish Ale from Kenai River Brewing Co. Skilak is one of the biggest lakes on the Kenai and is easily accessible from Soldotna and Anchorage. The fact that it’s a popular destination makes sense, because there are two campgrounds and square miles of beautiful crystal blue water to enjoy. The views are nice too.

Skilak Scottish Ale pours with a robust creamy head that is more than ample. The aroma is of licorice and smoke. This is a very malt-forward beer that finishes with a hint of piney hops. The taste is robust of licorice candy and caramel dark grain. It is sweet and satisfying. A nice dark amber beer with a hint of peat. The mouth feel is a bit boozy even at only 5.3% ABV, and this beer is creamy and smooth. Overall, highly recommended for drinking during out of town adventures, preferably by a lake.

Cheers to Kenai River Brewing, a great Alaska brewery producing unique brews! Keep up the good work!

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Beer oil painting of skilak scottish ale by kenai river brewing by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #29 by Scott Clendaniel. July 16, 2015. Skilak Scottish Ale by Kenai River Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #24, June 11, 2015

This week’s Thirsty Thursday beer painting is a throwback to the Year of Beer Paintings project, being in the same format and size as those paintings. For those of you who missed it, I painted a new beer painting every day last year, and posted them on this blog. You can see them all in the Year of Beer Paintings section. A couple weeks ago I mentioned that my friend John brought me a delicious homebrew from St. Louis, brewed by Kevin Cummings. Well, I also received a delicious beer called the Schlafly Pale Ale, brewed by the largest independent craft brewery in St. Louis – The Saint Louis Brewery. Schlafly Pale Ale is a delicious example of an English Pale ale brewed in America with American malt, a hop bill of Kent Golding, Pilgrim, Northdown, and London Ale yeast. It is a great beer that won’t leave you wasted. Too many craft breweries have been making beer that is too strong. Well, at 4.4% ABV the flagship beer of the St. Louis Brewery won’t leave you hung over, it will just be a tasty treat. I wish I had more than one. It’s always great to get beer that is not distributed to your home community, and most times all you get is a small taste. This was true as I shared the 12 oz bottle with my wife and Business Manager who agreed this was a worthy beer to paint! The impressive thing is that it survived the drive all the way from St. Louis to McCarthy, Alaska, and still tasted great! This is the first craft beer I’ve ever painted from St. Louis!

Cheers to St. Louis Brewery, the independent brewery with the good stuff. Thanks John rice for driving it thousands of miles all the way to Alaska! Hand delivered to McCarthy, of all places!

The original painting sold, but you can purchase a limited-edition print, or commission a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Schlafly Pale Ale beer painting by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #24 by Scott Clendaniel. June 11, 2015. Schlafly Pale Ale by The Saint Louis Brewery. 8″x10″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #21, May 21, 2015

René Magritte (1898-1967) is a well-known Surrealist painter known for his pieces that made people think. This piece is modeled after a painting entitled, “The Treachery of Images” (1928-29), consisting of a pipe with perfect cursive writing beneath it that says, “Leci n’est pas une pipe,” which in French means, “This is not a pipe”. Magritte is referring to the fact that it is an image of a pipe, not an actual pipe itself. Because he was a very exacting painter, this made sense. I didn’t even attempt to make the painting seem as lifelike as Magritte would have, but I had other motives. I was visiting Brandon Yanoshek, checking the inventory of his late father’s brew equipment, and looking into what was needed to get Brandon up and running. Brandon is an avid pipe smoker and loves to show off his pipe collection. He received a new pipe in the mail that day, a real beauty. Too bad I gave up tobacco a while ago. I still enjoy the smell of pipe tobacco. Later at home I was watching his YouTube video on how to load a pipe and this Magritte painting came to mind.   This painting has another meaning, referring to the fact that most “pint” glasses we use today are actually 13 ounces to the brim, a full 3 ounces short of a full pint, hence “This is not a pint.” If you want to see Brandon’s images of his pipes, follow him on Instagram at @thearcticpipe, and his YouTube channel if you need advice on how to fill your new corncob beauty. Cheers to beer! Check back next week for another Thirsty Thursday beer-themed painting.

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Beer pint poster print painting by scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #21 by Scott Clendaniel. May 21, 2015. Leci n’est pas une Pint. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #17, April 23, 2015

The Sistine Chapel ceiling mural is a fresco painting that was painted from 1508 until 1512 by Michelangelo.  Frescoes are large paintings utilized as architectural decoration often covering the entire walls.  The paint is laid into the plaster, or wet lime as it dries, which creates a painting that is an integral part of the wall.  The earliest known frescoes are from around 1500 BC, and can be found in the archeological sites on the Island of Crete.  The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was created nearly 3,000 years later.  Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is considered to be the pinnacle of Renaissance painting.  I sampled the famous scene where God is creating Adam and inserted beer into God’s hand.  I call this painting God’s Gift.  I have never been to the Sistine Chapel, but intend to get there sometime in my life.  Maria has been, and she was the instigator for this painting.  I found it difficult to emulate the style of Michelangelo, not only because he was a very gifted artist, but also because there is a difference in medium as well, and making my style of oils look like a plaster painting was interesting.  Not to mention, hands are very challenging subject matter… thanks Maria.  I hope you don’t find this painting offensive due to the change in its meaning, however I think our founding fathers would approve.  “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!”  -Benjamin Franklin

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

Sistine Chapel God and Adam touch hands Michelangelo painting beer

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #17 by Scott Clendaniel. April 23, 2015. God’s Gift. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #15, April 9, 2015

This week’s beer painting is of Sockeye Red India Pale Ale — a beer that Anchorage has grown to love since 1995 when it was first brewed for Humpy’s Alaskan Alehouse by Midnight Sun Brewing Co.  Mark Staples and Billy Opinsky teamed up 20 years ago to make a hop-forward red ale that is now classified as a Northwest style India Pale Ale.  I have been loving this beer since I discovered it over a decade ago.  Now available in cans, it is a lot easier to procure than buying it only at Humpy’s, like you used to have to in 1995.  “Determined and bitter, but amazingly balanced, Sockeye Red IPA is gnarly enough to take you hook, line and sinker.” – Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Alaskans take salmon seriously, that is why Sockeye Red IPA is close to many Alaskans’ hearts.  It is a bold beer for bold people.  One of the things we bold Alaskans like to do is go fishing.  What do you do with a big fish harvest?  You can it!  This painting is a play on canning.  I placed the Sockeye Red IPA from an aluminum can into a canning Kerr jar.  If you go out fishing and catch 20 Sockeye Red salmon, you are going to have to throw one heck of a salmon bake, or invest in a second freezer, or dump everything you had, including the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to make freezer space.  The other option is to can the fish.  Jars are the way to go if you want to be eating this year’s salmon until you can harvest again next year, or even five years later.  It’s shelf stable, baby!  Even the best freezer bags will go funky in about 9 months, so Alaskans are big fans of the glass mason jar.  These jars are also great beer-drinking glasses, as they are true pints!  Have you noticed that the pint glasses at some bars are getting smaller and smaller?  Last time I measured, my “pint” glass held a measly 13 oz to the top!  If you get a Sockeye Red in a pint jar without any foam, you know you are getting a full pint.

Cheers to the upcoming fishing season, and to good brews to keep us happy on the beach!

The original oil painting sold.  You can purchase limited-edition prints, or order a custom painting at my Etsy shop.

Beer Painting of Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing in Anchorage by Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #15 by Scott Clendaniel. April 9, 2015. Sockeye Red IPA by Midnight Sun Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #14, April 2, 2015

This week’s Thirsty Thursday painting is inspired by an artist known as the Mother of American Modernism, Georgia O’Keeffe. Her most recognizable works are oil paintings of New York skyscrapers from her early career, close ups of flowers from her mid career, and Southwest landscapes in her late career.  The most famous pieces of her long career (she died at the age of 98) are the large-scale flower paintings. People would compare the similarities in appearance between the flowers and the female genetalia. Fifty years later, in the 70’s, a group of feminist artists came to the same Freudian conclusions that critics did during the mid 1920’s. O’keeffe, however, denied that this was ever part of her intentions and refused to associate with these groups.  She painted a series of Hawaiian flowers and landscapes sponsored by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole Foods), but her heart was really in the Southwest images she created. She purchased a property there in 1940 after spending part of every year there since 1929. She moved permanently to New Mexico in 1941 after the death of her husband Alfred Stieglitz (her main tie to NY), who was 20 years her elder. She lived out her days in New Mexico, and despite macular degeneration for the last ten years of her life, still continued to be a productive artist, making hand-built pottery and water color paintings until her death in 1986. She truly is an inspirational artist!

So I thought, “Why not represent my favorite ingredient in beer, the hop flower, in Georgia O’Keeffe style?”  So, I made a close-up image of the flowering hop with the Hop bines in the background. I call this one simply Hop Flower. I hope you like hops as much as I do!  Cheers!

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

hop flower oil painting by scott clendaniel inspired by georgia o'keeffe

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #14 by Scott Clendaniel. April 2, 2015. Hop Flower. Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe. 11″x14″, oil on panel.