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!
The featured beer painting of the day is if Monkey Fist IPA from Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. Everything I know about Maine I learned from doing a report about it in fifth grade. I learned that there’s skiing and sailing, as well as a smaller population compared to other east coast states, and I can thank the World Book Encyclopedia for that information. This was pre world wide web, and nobody was Googling things yet. Today Wikipedia tells me that Maine has 1.3 million people, and ~200,000 live in the Portland area. Maine is the fifth best state for microbreweries in the USA. Rocky coastlines, forested interior, and seafood is the description in a nutshell from Wikipedia — the new people’s encyclopedia.
Shipyard has been brewing since 1994, so this year is the 20th anniversary! Next year the brew kettle can go out drinking on its own. My particular bottle of Monkey Fist wasn’t as fresh as I hoped it would be. When a brewery from the other side of the country distributes its product all the way to Alaska, its beer probably won’t be the best example of freshness. But now I get to check Maine off the list (the goal is to paint a beer from all 50 states). This beer was very good despite it’s age. I don’t know if I would suggest cellaring it, but IPA was originally designed to ship all the way from England to India, so this may be in-line with the traditional flavor. It was hoppy, but the hops were offset by a unique flavor that I could only describe as a caramel malt flavor — citrusy, but sweet, this was a unique beer. The Monkey Fist is a sailing knot that sailors used to throw ropes around. It’s heavy, so it helps prevent tangling.
Cheers to Monkey Fist IPA making it all the way to Alaska!
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy shop.
“If you’d been rocketed into space against your will, you might be a little bitter too.”
~21st Amendment Brewery.
Today’s Year of Beer painting is Bitter American from 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, CA. It is the brewers’ tribute to “unsung, unwitting heroes everywhere.” I love this craft brew not only because it has a space monkey on the label, but also because it tastes like a serious IPA without making me loopy in the brain. I prefer craft brew in cans because the beer is safe from light and oxidation in a can, and the can is less likely to break than a bottle.
“To Infinity and beyond!”