Happy Thirsty Thursday! I am on the road tracking down tasty beers in the Pacific Northwest for the next two weeks. Although I am in the PNW, I am posting a painting of a recent acquisition from Pennsylvania – Cuvee Du Soleil by McKenzie Brew House. This is a lovely multigrain Grisette, lightly spiced with orange peel, ginger, grains of paradise and a dose of exotic Jaggery sugar. Barrel aged in a Chadds Ford cask, this beer is light and refreshing with complex flavors that intrigue the palate. McKenzie Brew House has three establishments in Pennsylvania. If the food there is as good as this example of brew, I will be sure to visit on my next trip to PA. Rich Morgan, my BEER N.E.R.D friend from West Chester has been communicating with the brewer who sent me the reference material for the backdrop in this painting. I eagerly await the barrel-aged quad that will be coming out next! Great work McKenzie Brew House!
Rainier Beer! How does a Rainier Beer taste? Like American adjunct lager, but it goes down smooth when you are in the mountains. Lighter than Budweiser, or even Pabst Blue Ribbon, this West Coast classic beer is a mere 4.6%. The iconic red R has been in use since the turn of the 1900s, and to this day frames an image of the mountain that people jokingly say was named after the beer.
I found this can at the McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum. The President set it aside for me to treasure. I said I would return it, but she said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. We are drowning in these old bottles and cans.” Along with the Rainier there is a German Budweiser bottle, a classic Pabst Export can, and some steel Budweiser cans. We also found a capped bottle of Guinness that is still half full of a dark liquid. We assume it’s beer, but don’t really want to find out. I guess someone was saving it for later. I was trying to find out what date this can is from, but I guess it could be as old as 1911, or as young as 1950, or so. Not much activity in the area after that, until cans were aluminum and didn’t require a can opener. Anyway, we thought this can has character, so I made a painting of it. I hope you enjoy the mild flavor and choicest ingredients of this classy beer container.
The original oil painting, and limited-edition prints are for sale at my Etsy shop.
For this painting I decided to just put the paint down with a palette knife. Sometimes my palate is overwhelmed by thirst and the beer disappears. Did you catch that play on words? I haven’t worked with only a knife for a while now, but it feels good to watch the thick impasto go down. Like being thirsty, palette knife paintings take a lot more paint than traditional brushwork. Since I have upgraded my paint to the highest grade I can find, which seems to be 400% more expensive than the student grade paint, yet only 25% better, I have steered away from such thick work. But I just felt like splurging, and wanted to make this painting. I had fun working with so much medium. Unfortunately, I have been paying for it in more than just more expensive paint. The thicker the paint, the longer it takes to dry. I painted this piece in McCarthy, 310 miles from my studio in Anchorage, and I have been cleaning purple paint off a lot of things as a result. The painting spread some purple paint all over a stainless steel growler, as well as the keg hose. I was glad it didn’t get all over the inside of my truck. It rode home on the dashboard after I realized it was falling over in the back seat, thanks to the McCarthy road being so bumpy! I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I enjoyed making it! Cheers!