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The Beer Painter

Beer is Art: The Beer Painter

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For the first time in history, small and independent American craft brewers’ beers represent over 10% of our nation’s overall beer market. While you are right in the assumption that craft beer reaching double-digits in the marketplace is still quite small, the achievement is enormous–especially considering that just over 30 years ago, there were less than 100 breweries in the U.S.

Had the trend of consolidation continued, American beer lovers might never know beer as anything other than a commodity; to be supplied without a “qualitative” difference where all options are regarded as equal. This description is quite the departure from the over 3,400 small and independent craft breweries in existence today that represent an array of different brewing techniques, styles, flavors, aromas, colors and interpretations of the art of craft beer.

Speaking of art, what better way for the Brewers Association (publishers of to help highlight that departure from the unimaginative world of commoditization than to commission art created with beer.

The Brewers Association (BA) recently commissioned Karen Eland, The Beer Painter, to create two paintings for their offices in Boulder, Colo. To create the paintings (one of which you can watch in the time-lapse below) Eland used an imperial stout brewed by BA staff. You can also find her work on Etsy.

Andy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association's acting editor-in-chief for Andy is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Westminster, Colorado where he is an avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.