What is the official Alaska State tree? The Sitka Spruce, which is also the source of the critical ingredient in Alaskan Brewing Company’s Spruce IPA, a beer brewed with Spruce tips. This IPA is a must-drink! I know New England IPAs are all the rage. “Have a milkshake,” people are saying. “Try this coffee-infused IPA, it has never been better.” I will, and have tried all these varieties. The flavor Alaskan Brewing put out in its Spruce IPA is unique. IPA is rapidly becoming the largest style with the most variations.
“I made this weird beer, it has a lot of hops in it, but I don’t know what to call it.”
“Dude, it has lots of hops, call it an IPA.”
This seems to be the most common solution to these unique beers and I can’t really say the hop-forward Spruce IPA is any different, but it is different, and that is the problem. What do you do with these avant-garde beer styles that do not fit any of the specific BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) style guidelines? Craft beer is evolving too rapidly for the BJCP to keep up. The answer is easy, just drink the tasty beverage and quit complaining about the name.
Cheers to Alaskan Brewing Spruce IPA, a great ale that brings a smile to my lips!
There is a darkest time of year, and for that time we need beer. Not a golden, effervescent, belly-filling swill of a brew, but a dark, dank, barrel-aged libation. As black as midnight on the longest night, and robust enough to warm even the weakest of souls. Add coffee to combat the instinctual hibernation that is inevitable at this time of year. You may find this in Java Cask Coffee Bourbon Stout, or Speedway Stout. If you are an Alaskan you should drink Anchorage Brewing Company’s Darkest Hour Imperial Stout with coffee. Happy Winter Solstice, the light begins to come back tomorrow!
Cheers to return of the light! Celebrate Solstice!
Last summer I sold one of my 8 ft x 4 ft paintings, View from the Hammock, which left a big empty wall in our condo. My wife was sad to see it go, but I was excited about painting a new one. I prefer to work on large paintings, but storage is an issue, so I have to wait until one sells, before making another one. I built the birch panel support for this new one in our condo, which took up the entire living room. Luckily, Maria was out of town! I finished the edges with oak, and then coated the entire support with two coats of white primer, sanding between each coat. I do this to smooth out the wood texture as much as possible. Then I applied a coat of colonial red, and a final light layer of gold paint. As soon as we moved into the new studio, I started painting! I decided to paint from a photo I took in McCarthy at our neighbor’s cabin during a sunset, when the setting sun created a surreal glow in the dark aspen forest. Then a customer who stopped by the studio suggested that I paint an owl, and I thought that would be a nice addition. White owls have a lot of significance. They represents wisdom, the ability to see past illusions, and are considered to be guides in the underworld.
Overall, I worked on this painting for about two months. You are welcome to see it in my studio at 333 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 4. The photos don’t really do it justice. It will be part of my art show in June at the Loft at Midnight Sun Brewing Co. The price is $4,800. I released 500 limited-edition prints of this painting, and am selling them in my studio and online at my Etsy shop.
Happy Black Friday sales hunting, but save some money for the annual Holiday Studio Sale and Open House at the Maury home happening next Friday, Dec. 5. If you want the best selection of pottery, jewelry and my paintings and prints, I recommend showing up at opening on Friday at 11 AM. I have made seven new non-beer themed paintings, and when they are gone, I will unveil some of the newest Year of Beer originals. Then come back at 5 PM on Friday, because I will be tapping a keg of my homebrewed honey ginger beer!
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We celebrated with a total of thirty people at my brother’s house this year – a record! My wife and I didn’t stand a chance at the annual doubles ping-pong tournament. I started the party by popping the cork of this bottle of Whiteout Wit Bier with Brett brewed by Anchorage Brewing Company. The old label had a beautiful wintery spruce forest scene on it, but I like the white owl more because it makes me think of Athena, goddess of war and wisdom. Get it? Wit. The beer was the perfect table beer for our feast. My brother married into a Vietnamese family, and his mother-in-law brings the most amazing egg rolls to Thanksgiving. We also had turkey, a duck, prime beef, and a ham, so I made a meat sandwich from all the offerings and washed it down with Gabe Fletcher’s beer. Overall, a feast to remember!
Cheers to the Whiteout Wit on Black Friday! I hope your shopping basket is full of great beers this year!
You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at myEtsy shop.