Tag Archives: scott clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #127. Kriek Ale at Cascade Brewing Barrel House.

Last week when I was in Portland, Oregon, I was lucky enough to be granted permission to paint live at the Cascade Brewing Barrel House.  A few years ago I was introduced to Cascade barrel-aged sour beer at my friend Sam’s birthday dinner in Philadelphia, and I was impressed from my first sip.  Sam is an avid collector of fine beers, so I was able to try not only the Kriek, but the Pêche Fumé, the Elderberry, the Blueberry, and the Cassis, among others.  Yes, the tasting was that remarkable!  Cascade offers a perfect blend between fruit, oak and fermented barley that is simply exquisite!  I chose to paint the Kriek in the taproom, because it is probably the most famous of the Cascade offerings.  I have painted live at breweries many times, and my experience at Cascade exceeded expectations!  The beertender made sure I tasted the most notable beers on the extensive menu.  The staff was amazing, and the beers… well they speak for themselves!  If you haven’t been to the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, you must make a pilgrimage to this beer Mecca, home of the best American sour beer!
Cheers to inventive and creative breweries!

The original oil painting sold. Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #127. Kriek painted live at Cascade Brewing Barrel House. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #127. Kriek painted live at Cascade Brewing Barrel House. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel


Fur Rondy and Iditarod Open Studio Events

In less than a week, our favorite events begin just in time to help us get through the toughest part of winter — Fur Rondezvous winter festival and Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  Fur Rondezvous has been an annual tradition in Anchorage since the mid 1930s when the town started organizing fun activities to coincide with the miners and trappers coming to town with their yield.  Iditarod is the most famous sled dog race in the world, attracting mushers and spectators from around the globe.  Downtown Anchorage will be transformed into a playground with a carnival, contests, snow sculptures, and a sled dog trail running down 4th Avenue.  Our studio happens to be on 4th Avenue, and we will be open during the busiest times of the festivities.  There will also be a craft fair inside our building — the 4th Avenue Market Place.  Stop by and check out the view of the carnival (hopefully Denali will be visible as well), to see the newest oil paintings and prints, and to have some home-baked cookies while you warm up between events.  We are located in Suite 4 of the 4th Avenue Market Place, which is in the NW corner inside the building.

When: February 24-25, Saturday and Sunday, 11-6pm AND March 3, Saturday, 11-6pm.

Where: 4th Avenue Market Place, 333 W 4th Avenue, Suite 4.  Inside the building in the NW corner.

Iditarod sled dogs racing downtown anchorage alaska

artist studio Scott Clendaniel Alyeska Resort girdwood painting


Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #123, and Homebrew Recipe for Good to the Last Drop Coffee Stout.

AK Beer Week is over, and I am thinking we need to have an Alaska Homebrew Week!  Drinking homebrew is a great way to enjoy some of the rarest, smallest, most tasty batches of beer in the word.  I brew beer, and I feel it is pretty good, but then I taste some of my homebrew club members’ offerings and I am blown away!  I am like, “You made this?!  WOW!  It is so good!”  I often learn new tips and tricks to improve my own homebrew in the process.  One of my favorite ways to share homebrew is after a bike ride.  I’ll bring a few bottles and give all my riding friends a little sample of my most recent creation.  This beer depicted in this painting of us riding our fat bikes is a coffee stout.  I started calling it “Good to the Last Drop”.  It turned out great, which is why I shared it with my friends.  Sometimes I will get a questionable brew, and I will simply drink it at home, and normally it is better than your average crappy domestic beer.  When I brewed this coffee stout, I was attempting to clone a version of Stone Brewing’s Americano Stout, a 9% coffee-infused brew.  Mine turned out a bit weaker at 7.5%, but the coffee which I procured from K-Bay roasters just shined through.  The secret to my stouts is the specialty malt from Weyermann, a malting company from Bamberg, Germany.  I will give you the recipe for a 5 gallon batch of GTTLD Coffee Stout at the bottom of this blog post.


But first, a bit about fat biking!  We just got seven inches of new snow, which to some is good news!  Skiers and fat-bikers are glowing about this recent weather change.  All beer week it was icy and getting a little dingy around the city.  The snow helps reflect the light and also cleaned up the whole city.  Driving is a disaster, but fat-biking is a joy!  On ice, studded skinny tires are faster and more efficient, although a little more squirrelly.  When there is snow on top of ice skinny tires are a dangerous proposition.  You need the stability of the fat tire (with studs) to ensure a safe ride.  On a fat bike it’s fun plowing through snowbanks and ripping around corners.  Not to mention the fat-tire-only trails!  And what better way to end a session on Anchorage’s unique single tracks, than popping the top on a delicious homebrew?!


Good to the Last Drop Coffee Stout Recipe
by Scott Clendaniel
5 gallons Anchorage Water (similar to Munich, Germany)
1056 American Ale yeast
12 lbs Maris Otter (or 7lbs malt extract)
1 lb Weyermann Bamberg type 3 malt (you can use Chocolate malt if you can’t get the imported grain)
1 lb Weyermann Bamberg type 4 malt (you can use Black Patent malt if you can’t get the imported grain)
1 oz Willamette hops (or you can substitute in any noble hop)
3/4 lbs La Amistead single source K-bay Coffee coarsely ground.


So I mash all the grains at 150 degrees for 75 minutes (or you can mini mash the dark grains for 30 minutes if using malt extract)
Boil 90 minutes, after 30 minutes add 1/2 oz Willamette hops
After 85 minutes add the other 1/2 oz Willamette hops
Cool to 65 degrees, pitch yeast, and ferment for a week, then rack to secondary
After the fermentation is complete add the coffee direct to secondary into the carboy
Wait four more days, then cold crash for 24 hours to drop all sediment and coffee to the bottom
Bottle condition, or keg.  I prefer bottles as a 5 gallon keg of coffee stout is a bit much.
Cheers, and happy brewing and biking!


This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #123. Earning Your Pint. By Scott Clendaniel. 18"x9", oil on panel. Fat Biking

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #123. Earning Your Pint. By Scott Clendaniel. 18″x9″, oil on panel.

Aspen Trees in Fall custom oil painting. 36"x18", oil on panel.

Commissioned Paintings for Holiday Gifts 2017

Every holiday season I get many requests for commissions, and this year was no exception.  By now I know what to expect, and how to get ready for the holiday rush.  As always, each painting had a special story behind it, and I loved being in on the surprises.  My favorite painting this year was the view of looking up at aspen trees in the Fall (Maria wanted to keep it).  The best response was from a customer in Texas about the Shiner Bock painting, “OMG THIS PAINTING IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! You’ve officially made me cry! Today has been an absolutely horrible day and you’ve made it so much better. Thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it!”  Messages like this make me happy about being an artist.

We take a picture of every painting that leaves the studio, so here is a slideshow of the paintings I made this holiday season (click on the pictures to view a slideshow).  They are all oil paint on wood panel, framed in a natural ash wood frame. I prime my paint supports red and gold before applying the oil paint, so you can see the gold paint shining through gaps in the oil paint.  This is my signature technique, and one way you can always recognize a Clendaniel original.

If you’d like to commission one, just let me know, or you can read Maria’s blog post about how to commission a painting.


Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #117. Slow Down Brown by Denali Brewing Co.

Every year the sunsets come earlier and earlier, the leaves turn golden and the air becomes crisp.  The hectic schedule Alaskans experience all summer begins to slow down.  Autumn, the fore-bearer to winter, is a time that all Alaskans start to prepare for the winter experience.  In the animal kingdom it is referred to as hibernation.  I might not sleep like a black bear, which forgo drinking and eating while hibernating.  I just take it easy.  Sleeping more, doing less.  During the summer it’s a get-it-done-while-you-can attitude. There is road construction, fishing, building, and recreation that can take up to 20 hours of the day.  People hardly stop to rest.  In the winter we experience what Alaskans call “down time”.  Time to hone the tools, do indoor projects, fix the fishing nets, eat, sleep, and well… sleep some more.  The fall is what we call the shoulder season and we begin to slow down.  The brewing geniuses at Denali Brewing Co. made a seasonal beer to honor this phenomenon called Slow Down Brown.  It is a spiced brown ale that has a bit of a kick at 6.1% ABV.  Sri Lankan spices and chocolate malt make this a precursor to a winter warmer.  I last drank this around a campfire and it was the perfect complement to the dark skies and early snowfall this year.  If you are an Alaskan, or just love things AK, I urge you to seek out a Slow Down Brown and to take it easier.  It’s a good idea to rest up for the craziness that will ensue shortly after the spring equinox rolls around.
Cheers to taking it easy with a Slow Down Brown!

This original oil painting, and 52 limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #117. Slow Down Brown Ale by Denali Brewing Co. 8"x10", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #117. Slow Down Brown Ale by Denali Brewing Co. 8″x10″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #115. Chugach Session Cream Ale by Broken Tooth Brewing Co.

So I finally found out the history behind the iconic windmill on Spenard Rd.  Originally it was erected on east Fireweed in 1961, and was used as an advertisement for a liquor store called the Kut Rate Kid.  Owned by Byron Gillam until the 1980’s, the liquor store was a financial success.  Gillam would sell cases of directly imported beer for a small 2 cents per case profit, eliminating wholesalers and picking up sales of ice wine and liquor all at regular inflated Alaskan prices.  Gillam passed away, and the business sold.  The windmill then represented a pizza business that moved in, owned by a man named Mafia Mike.  Due to the economic downturn in the 1980’s, the windmill had to be moved from Mafia Mike’s pizza place, so it was given to Chilkoot Charlie’s to put in the parking lot there.  “Koots” is a crazy place, and inebriated clientele there threatened the structure by climbing it.  Consequently, the structure is now surrounded by a 6 foot fence with barbed wire at the top to prevent lawsuits and unexpected damage.
Chugach Session Cream Ale is a brainchild of Broken Tooth Brewing, a conglomerate of the  Moose’s Tooth Pizza restaurant group, including Bear Tooth Theatre Pub located about a block from the windmill.  Cream Ale is a traditional American style of ale, similar to American lager in flavor and drinkability.  It seemed like an obvious choice to put in the foreground for this composition.
Cheers to Spenard!  One of Anchorage’s most historic, diverse, fun and interesting districts.

This original oil painting, and limited-edition, signed prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #115. Chugach Session Cream Ale by Broken Tooth Brewing Co. By Scott Clendaniel. 9"x18", oil on panel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #115. Chugach Session Cream Ale by Broken Tooth Brewing Co. By Scott Clendaniel. 9″x18″, oil on panel.

Important Dates for Real Art Is Better this Holiday Season

~ by Maria Benner

For those of you who are considering ordering gifts from Real Art Is Better this holiday season, here are some important dates to keep in mind.


  1. First Friday Annual Holiday Open Studio Event
    1. What: we will transform our studio into a pop-up shop for the evening. Complimentary refreshments included.  Receive a free 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall poster with every purchase of $20 or higher!  Enter a drawing for a Clendaniel art print of your choice.
    2. When: December 1st, 5:30pm – 7:30pm.
    3. Where: Real Art Is Better Studio. Inside the 4th Avenue Market Place in Suite 4. 333 W 4th Avenue.
  2. Winter Maker’s Market
    1. What: 30 of Alaska’s most talented artists and crafters will set up shop at the Church of Love in beautiful downtown Spenard. Complete your holiday shopping all in one place.
    2. When: December 2nd, 12pm – 5pm.
    3. Where: Church of Love Spenard, 3502 Spenard Rd.


The last day to order a custom painting is Friday, December 8th if the painting needs to be mailed, and December 14th if you’re picking it up at the studio.


When you order from us online, your order will be shipped within one business day.  Here are the last days that your package can be shipped in order for it to arrive by December 25th.