I'll be drawing, painting and signing posters at Hatter Days again this year. Stop by and say hi!
On Wednesday, September 16th, I will be hitting the road for the start of The Carhartt Woodsman Tour with New Holland Brewing and Carhartt. This is the second year we’re going on tour together and I can’t wait to see how this one shapes up!
I’ll be traveling with a few friends from the previous tour, The Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann, Drew Nelson, Nicolas Barron, and Laith Al-Saadi, as well as a bunch of new (to the tour) folks that I’ll meet once I get to Holland, MI on Wednesday night.
We’ll blast off on September 17th to Empire, MI, where we’ll start a series of shows and campfire get-togethers, all leading up to The Great American Beer Fest in Denver, CO.
At every stop I’ll be painting with beer. This year I’m planning on doing a few different and exciting things, so make sure you come out and see what’s up!
A list of towns and dates are below. Please check out New Holland’s website for more up to date information throughout the tour.
Wednesday, Sept 16th: Tour kickoff and beer tapping at the New Holland Pub on 8th, Holland, MI / 4 PM
Thursday, Sept 17th: Empire Hop Farm Wagon Tours, Empire, MI / 2-5 PM
Thursday, Sept 17th: Joe’s Friendly Tavern, Empire, MI / 7-11 PM
Friday, Sept 18th: Earthworks Harvest Gathering, Lakeview, MI / On stage 4-5 PM
Saturday, Sept 19th: Carhartt Store, Detroit, MI / 4-7 PM
Saturday, Sept. 19th: Hopcat Detroit, Detroit, MI / 8 PM-Midnight
Sunday, Sept 20th: Quinton’s, Columbia, MO / 6-9 PM
Tuesday, Sept 22: Camp Woodsman @ Bear Creek Lake Park, Lakewood, CO / 5-10 PM
Thursday, Sept 24th: Herb’s, Denver, CO with Funkilinium / 10 PM-1 AM
*Just an FYI, I will not be selling art on this tour. Everything that I produce will be sold for a charity that the tour will be supporting.
Samuel Adams is hosting their first major event in Chicago on Saturday, called For the Love of Beer, and they have invited me to come and do some live painting with beer. It’s an honor to be a part of their inaugural event here and I’m looking forward to meeting a ton of new people as well as trying some new and rare Samuel Adams beers.
Come see me paint a portrait of Jim Koch, the owner of Samuel Adams. I’ll be in a tent in the northwest corner of the fest, near the Sam Adams History tent. I’ll also be selling several beer paintings that I painted just for this event. Make sure to stop by!
This last weekend was a weekend of firsts for me. I drove up to Madison, WI to attend The Great Taste of the Midwest (GTMW) with New Holland Brewing. It was my first, and hopefully not last, trip to Madison and the Taste (as it’s called among regular attendees).
As I pulled into Madison on Friday afternoon I was impressed with the layout of the city, its architecture and overall charm. You can tell, even in the middle of summer, that this is a college town mashed up with the state capitol. There is an impressive energy that comes from so much tradition and history blending together with the younger population that passes through every year.
I checked into my hotel and headed over to the Tipsy Cow on King Street. This would be New Holland’s base of operations for the evening. We were there to hang out with fellow brewers, GTMW attendees, and locals, promoting the New Holland brand while having a good time. We spent the entire evening out on the patio raising our glasses to new friends and old.
I woke up early Saturday morning with more excitement that I thought possible after the late evening. I packed my supplies and met up with a bunch of New Holland reps to carpool over the festival set-up area. There was a lot of work to be done in the next couple of hours.
When we first arrived in Olin Park, tents were being put up, delivery trucks were coming and going in every direction, and police and festival organizers were directing the still sleepy crowd of brewers who were just now gulping down their coffee. Thankfully the coffee available on site was brewed thick and strong.
Over the next two hours the New Holland trailer and tents became an impressive Hollywood-themed bar, theater, lounge and art gallery. The crew dressed up as famous characters from some of their favorite movies, mine being journalist Hunter S. Thompson, who most people know from the movie and/or book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. As we finished up our preparations we could hear the crowd of thousands lining up at the front gate.
There is a moment at the very beginning of popular conventions and festivals where the gate first opens and it looks like Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls. There was a loud clamor not too far from our area, a bunch of shouting and then a stream of people racing into the festival to get to their favorite brewery as quickly as they could. The front of the crowd was on the hunt for rare or specialty beers that would be gone before the back of the crowd made it across the start line. Someone turned to me around this time and told me there were six thousand people flowing in as we watched. It was an impressive sight to see.
The rest of the day was a blur of conversations, tastings, and picture taking. I talked and painted into the late afternoon before taking a break to head out and try some new beers. Unlike my highly organized wife, who had printed out a carefully cultivated list of beers she wanted to try, I took the random scattershot approach and just meandered from tent to tent looking for things that sounded interesting.
A short list of my most notable beers:
New Holland Brewing: Incorrigible Reserve, El Nuevo Record, and Night Tripper
3 Sheeps: Bourbon Barrel Baaad Boy
B. Nektar Meadery: Raspberry Ginger mead
Central Waters: Bourbon Barrel Stout
Lexington Brewing: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout
Perennial: Suburban Revenge
Port Huron Brewing: Million Dollar Smoked Maibock
Spiteful: God Damn Coconut Pigeon Porter
Transient Artisan Ales: Blackberry Maigre
White Winter Winery: “Bold & Snappy” Black Currant
All day long I met a ton of interesting people and had a million great conversations. I was astounded by the response to Beer Portraits’ presence at the New Holland booth. Lots of people had kind and enthusiastic things to say, and I managed to sell out of all the paintings and drawings that I had brought with me.
At the end of the day, we closed up shop, struck the tents, packed everything away and headed back to our hotel to shower before a New Holland friends and family dinner later that night at Jac’s Dining and Taphouse. We ate a tremendous meal together and then wandered back to the hotel bar to share stories over drinks until the wee hours of the morning.
The next morning we took shifts rolling into the Blue Moon Bar and Grill for a New Holland brunch and a little hair of the dog. Shortly after that, several of us hit the road to head home and recuperate before getting back to work on Monday.
My first year at the Taste is definitely one I won’t forget. While tasting new beers was certainly fun, a lot of my enjoyment came from getting to know my New Holland family a little better, interacting with insanely enthusiastic beer fans, and just seeing how much love there is out there for craft brewing. I’m looking forward to the next fest already.
P.S. A huge thank you to my New Holland family and friends for having me in and making me feel welcome. Fred, Taylor, Kelli, Holly, Richard, Lou, Meagan, Nick, Natanya, Katie and Jake, you guys are the best!
Click on the pictures below to move forward through a slide show from my time at the GTMW.
Not long after Beer Portraits launched, my inbox started filling up with requests for interviews. In the beginning it was a bit overwhelming, but then became exciting. All in all, the months of June and July were an amazing but hectic time for me and for the site.
My friend, Phil Kuhl, who has been a big supporter since day one, put me in touch with Draft Magazine right after I launched the site. They loved the idea and quickly scheduled an interview with me. It was posted days later on their site, as well as on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Beer Portraits traffic jumped through the roof! It was tremendous!
Shortly after that first round of buzz, I was contacted by a variety of pro, semi pro, and amateur writers, all wanting to do interviews. Just last month I was interviewed on camera for Xinhua News Agency, the largest news agency in China. The site has been shared all over the web and in countries all around the world. Beerportraits.com is being talked about in France, Hungary, Brazil, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Canada, as well as all over the United States and Asia. I’ve been amazed and humbled at how far the internet hype machine took my site!
Due to the site’s increased visibility, I was able to get in touch with some big names in the worlds of beer, art, music, and comedy. I’ve lined up some new interviews and portraits that will explore all the different aspects of the community surrounding craft beer. I can’t wait to share these with you as I complete them.
Below is a short list of some of the more popular interviews and mentions of beerportaits.com. Thanks for joining me on this journey so far! I have a ton of cool projects in the works that I’ll be announcing over the next few months.
and my interview on camera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8xqlmC3hyQ
Wow! This last month has been intense! I've been traveling every weekend for the past four weeks, working on freelance gigs, doing interviews with various websites from across the world and trying keep up with all things Beer Portraits. Whew!
Hatter Days in Holland Michigan was a blast as usual. New Holland opened a fantastic new store next door to the pub called Sidecar. The store is packed with tons of great merchandise. They have pretty much anything you might want: shirts, hats, beer, candles, soaps, bottle openers, etc.
The people were great, the bands were fantastic, and the food and beer was incredibly tasty. We even lucked out with great weather once again.
A big thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi, buy art or just to get something signed. New Holland fans are some of my favorite people. They are always enthusiastic about not just the beer but the labels we put on them.
Below are a handful of photos from the day. Click on the picture below to view each photo. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for part 2: The media!
Spring is here, the tulips are showing their heads, and the fresh cut grass and grilling smells are wafting through the windows. You know what that means? It's almost time for New Holland Brewing Hatter Days!
Hatter Days is New Holland's birthday celebration weekend. There will be a massive party held at the brew pub in Holland, MI. and it's completely free and open to the public. There will be five different bands, games, face painting, every Hatter on tap, including a brand new Hatter being released that weekend!
You get all of that and yours truly painting with beer, signing prints, posters, labels, etc.
If you can get to Holland that weekend, stop by and say hi!
I will also be attending Hatter Days celebrations in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. Stay tuned for more info and dates!
I launched this site the day before “Smoke the Goat” and it was well received online as well as at the event. I handed out free prints of the labels I’ve worked on, courtesy of New Holland, and I also sold some new prints of recent beer paintings I completed of various Cubs legends. All of the art was a hit with the crowd at Sheffield's.
Getting a chance to hang out and chat with a bunch of fellow beer nerds was the highlight of my time there. I had so many inquisitive people asking about the art and the beer. I’m looking forward doing more of these events throughout the year!
Special thanks to Christopher Neseman for letting me use his photos here.
This coming Sunday, April 5th, I will be painting with New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk and Poet Stout at Sheffield’s Chicago for the Cub's Home Opener. I’ll be bringing along a handful of new paintings and prints created just for this event.
The annual “Smoke the Goat” party starts at 3pm but things really ramp up at 4PM with live art, music and entertainment from several local performers with special guest, blues man, Nicolas Barron. Get there early to get some of the delicious smoked goat, it sells out quick!
New Holland will have tons of fantastic beers on tap all day long:
Play 2 Collab
At 6pm there will be a pre-game raffle for a bunch of cool swag with a 7:05PM drawing. All proceeds will be going to the Green City Market LINK matching program.
Stop by and raise a glass with me!
On the Road is an ongoing travel blog about where Kyle has been and is going with his beer paintings. Kyle will be traveling to bars and beer festival across America, sketching, painting with beer, taking photos and writing about the people and places he comes across.