Hoppy National IPA Day! I love how IPAs are changing for the better. They are now less bitter with more aroma of floral, citrus and pine. You can thank breweries like The Alchemist, DogfishHead, Stone Brewing, and one of my new personal favorites Otter Creek for setting this trend. Brewmaster Mike Gerhart has changed Otter Creek for the better by introducing new hop-forward beers. The Backseat Berner IPA, Mike Gerhart’s favorite beer, is the first year-round IPA available from Otter Creek. Mike’s clementine Westfalia VW camper and his faithful companion Oslo, the Bernese Mountian dog are featured on the label. So, I painted a Bernese in the back of a VW camper to illustrate the story. I hope Mike and my viewers find this beer painting to be as interesting as I do. I loved the beer! My good friend Adam Johnson brought a six-pack home from his trip to the East Coast. I really hope I get another chance to drink it! Since it’s not being distributed to Alaska, I will have to see about getting a few more bottles on my next trip back East. I hope you get a chance to get out into the woods and drink a freshly hopped IPA today of all days!
Today is the last Thirsty Thursday of the year! I hope you had a good time checking in on Thursdays. I won’t promise to post every week in 2016, but I’m not saying that I won’t. We do have some cool stuff planned, like our first Beer Art Road Show (BARS) that will happen in the Fall in California, where there is a plethora of world-class breweries to visit like Stone, Ballast Point, Russian River, Lost Abbey, and the list goes on. The last time I was in California was in 2009, and I had just completed the 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall project. Now I am more aware of just how special California is for beer, whereas back in 2009 it was more known for wine.
So the last Thirsty Thursday beer painting for 2015 is of Sip of Sunshine IPA. This beer is so tasty! Lawson’s lives up to its name, it does make the “finest liquids”. I was surprised to read on the can that this beer is brewed by Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, CT. I wonder why it’s not brewed in Warren, Vermont, where LFL is located. Nevertheless, I feel lucky to get to try a fresh one all the way here in Anchorage, Alaska. A beer art fan in New Jersey mailed me this can. Although we get some seriously good IPAs here, none are 8% and served in a can. Bitter Monk by Anchorage Brewing is great, but at $10 for a 22 oz bottle, I only drink it occasionally. I wish the BARS tour was in Vermont in the near future, but since I was there in 2014, I guess I should go to Colorado first.
Cheers to the New Year, and stay tuned for more beer art in 2016!
Unfortunately, this painting is not available for sale, because Lawson’s Finest is the first brewery to send me a cease and desist notice for using an image of their beer in a painting. You can read about it in this blog post.
How many cans of Focal Banger IPA fit in an X-mas stocking? I guess it depends on how hard you try to find cans of this luscious liquid. I bet you could put half a case in the right-sized sock! I think that Focal Banger tastes pretty awesome, and I know The Alchemist of Waterbury, Vermont knows how to keep their beer fresh. One of the critical aspects of keeping an IPA in its beautiful floral condition is a short storage period. Long shelf storage can destroy a bright and lovely IPA, so long story short, don’t horde this delectable nectar. It says, “Drink from the Can” directly on each beer, because this practice not only prevents oxidation, but also prevents light contamination. I can only imagine how good this beer tastes on top of a Vermont ski mountain! I hope you get to live out my fantasy and sneak a tall boy into your ski parka for a sip of afternoon delight before heading down to the base of the mountain where you might consume more during an Après-ski session!
Cheers to the Alchemist, turning water, malt, yeast, and hops into liquid gold!