Happy Thanksgiving! I am a very grateful individual this year! I am thankful for the good fortune I have had with the Year of Beer Painting project, which allows me to work as an artist full time, and for the supportive craft beer community across the country that has made this year so much fun. I am also thankful for my good health that allows me to drink a different craft beer every day. The year has been in overdrive and I don’t want this to end, as it has been one of the most epic of adventures.
The featured beer painting for Thanksgiving is Deschutes Brewery’s Jubelale Winter Ale, a tradition at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. A favorite seasonal of both my brother’s and mine, this beer never fails to deliver. The label has been changing every year since 1988. The first seven labels were very similar with a wreath, and done by artist Ed Carson. Since 1995 a different artist has designed the label each year, and 2014 marks the 20th artist working on the Jubelale labels! Maybe one of these years the Deschutes marketing team will let me make a painting for the label, but I think only local artists in Bend can apply for that opportunity. I love this year’s artwork from Lisa and Lori Lubbesmeyer, a picture created using fiber art in the form of quilting. It really warms my heart. This piece depicts a winter scene of two people and their dog playing in the snow, riding a sled during the twilight of the early setting sun. In my painting the label has a wrap so you can only see one character and fewer trees. I hope you take the time to notice the stitch marks on the label, and to see the whole scene as you drink this wonderful beer at your holiday meal.
The beer is known as a special and festive winter warmer. Also referred to as a strong ale or a festive ale. It doesn’t really fit into any BJCP (Beer Judge Classification Program) category. I would say that it is a delicious brew! I used to think it was more like a dark IPA, because it has a nice hop finish, but then I thought maybe it is more like a Dopplebock, because of the malty backbone. But then I noticed it has a decidedly American yeast profile, so I came back around to just thinking the Jubelale is a special brew for sure, and the only way for a person to really know what it tastes like is to simply pick a few up at the store and to enjoy them. Do it soon as the hop profile changes quickly. I swear this year’s Jubelale, like the label, is a different formula than in years past, or maybe that is my palate changing. I don’t know, but I know I like this beer, and I eagerly wait for the winter seasonal beers as they are my favorite ales and lagers of the year!
Cheers to Jubelale, both the art and the ale! Great work Lori and Lisa! I love your version of the Jubelale label, and brewers, I think you nailed it again this year! Thanks for making JUBELALE!