The featured beer painting of the day is of Russian River Brewing Company’s Supplication – a wild American brown ale that is fairly hard to find, especially on tap at a small bar in Pennsylvania. Joe Sixpack, Philly’s beer writer, suggested meeting for a beer, and a live painting session at one of his favorite bars in Mt. Airy. I was surprised to see this beer on tap, and savored every bit of my 6 oz serving. Russian River beer is not found every day, so when I saw it on the menu, I knew it was the one I was going to paint. I met the owner of this tavern and he told me that his grandfather opened it in 1939. He is very humble about his establishment, and wants to keep the bar stools available for locals, so he doesn’t boast about the amazing selection he offers on tap. We joked that I shouldn’t even mention the name of his bar in my blog, but to just say that it’s next to the oldest Lutheran church in the country. Going to a bar with Philly’s beer writer definitely has advantages. Not only did I get to meet the owner who came over to talk to Joe, but he also called the bar ahead of time to ask if I could paint live there. The previous evening we attended a craft beer tasting event that Joe had invited me to at the Convention Center during one of the nation’s best craft fairs. He introduced five new breweries and their craft beer to the beer enthusiasts who attended the tasting event. Thanks Joe Sixpack for making it possible for me to experience the truly local beer scene in Philly!
Russian River Supplication is a great beer, and rates 100 on Beer Advocate. Brown in color with a nose full of cherries, flavors of Pinot Noir oak, Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, and Lactobaccillius. This beer is complex in flavor and aroma. I spent several minutes just smelling it before I even had my first sip. No surprise, but Maria and Joe both ordered the same beer. My journey of sour beer tasting continued that evening when I attended Sam Magdovitz’s beer-themed birthday celebration and beer tasting, which included sours from Anchorage Brewing Company and even two Cantillon bottles. There were several bottles from Cascade Brewing from Portland, Oregon including an apricot and an elderberry lambic, and three bottles of Eclipse imperial stout each aged in different casks. As I mentioned the next morning to Sam at breakfast, that was the most epic beer tasting of my life, as it should have been, considering it was his 60th birthday party!
Cheers to Russian River’s Supplication! A fantastic cherry sour brown that only the best bars would have on tap! Thanks Joe Sixpack for the great recommendation!
The original painting sold. You can purchase a different painting, and prints of this beer at my Etsy shop, RealArtIsBetter.
Year of Beer 11.11. Supplication by Russian River Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.