by REGINA HEFFINGTON, the jax brew bitch
Ever wonder how the term “Craft Beer” came into being?
Wikipedia contains information that the American Brewers Association defines a “craft brewery” as “small, independent and traditional”, and gives a production size of less than 6,000,000 US beer barrels (700,000,000 L) a year and can not be more than 24% owned by another alcoholic beverage company that is not itself a craft brewery … *sigh* … talk about stepping all over themselves (the ABA) to miss a point!
Now, look up “brewing” in Wikipedia … go ahead, I’ll wait … see? … WAY too much science jargon; however, the fact that it IS a science is important to remember. But that’s not all it is in the microbrewery world.
“Craft Beer” is brewed by microbreweries and requires not only the obligatory science but something more – the ART to create a tasty and marketable brew. Keeping in mind that “Craft” is an art, trade or occupation requiring special skill, it logically follows that “Craft Beer” is a tasty creation brought about by the application of art and pertinent science by talented individuals.
Art not only takes a part in the genesis of “Craft Beer” but follows along happily in the bottle design, can or bottle graphics, marketing and drinking glass selection at your local taproom or brewpub.
The next time you visit an establishment with visible tap handles, take a close look at these works of art and skillful marketing. If you are ordering a can or bottle, enjoy the artistically created and visually-appealing labels and logos – all results of talented minds displaying what is uniquely housed in their artistic souls. It would make a great coffee table book! (I call “keepers” on this idea)
In our community, we have five phenomenal local microbreweries:
Bold City Brewery
Intuition Ale Works
Pinglehead Brewing Company
Engine 15 Brewing Company
Green Room Brewing Company
Aardwolf Brewing Company
Sun Dog Brewing
Of course, the talents of the brewers at these locations speak for themselves. But the “Craft Beer” centric community in the Greater Jacksonville area doesn’t stop there – we have brewers, bartenders and servers who have other artistic foci in areas of painting, singing, ceramics and audio/video production.
The following is just a small sampling of the creative artists we have here in Jacksonville immersed in, figuratively and otherwise, in the ever-expanding craft beer culture.
Andy Natwick – his art is videos. Andy explained that sometimes they are beer-related and sometimes – he just drinks beer while he creates them. About five years ago, he bought a video camera and started experimenting. Although Andy studied art in college, everything video related he learned on hos own – from trial and error.
Take a look at his two beer-related videos:
You can see Andy’s other creations on his youtube page:
Dallas is an artist and a bartender at Engine 15 Brewing Company in Jacksonville Beach. Dallas reports he enjoys a pint or two of craft beer to get him in the zone and sets the mood before he paints.
Check out Dallas’s website:
Robin Rütenberg is one of the fabulous ladies of Intuition Ale Works. Those familiar with Robin also know she is an accomplished musician and performer, having recorded many of her musical creations.
Robin explained that she has been playing since she was a child and actually performing for the past eight years.
What was your motivation to get into it?
I asked her what had been her artistic motivation. She responded,
“Music has always been a part of me, it was acknowledging this and nurturing my talents that really propelled me to perform in front of others. Even if I weren’t a performer, I would still be a player, which is why there is so much passion within the music for me.”
“Music can be woven into and is beneficial in every other endeavor I’ve ever put before myself. In my current job at Intuition Ale Works, I arrange a weekly music night that showcases local talent. Every Tuesday we have a Jax band come and play a few sets, which creates a perfect, low-key atmosphere in the Tap Room. Intuition has also been a huge supporter of my own music and has donated their old van for my band’s use and has helped us in other ways. We also held our record release party in the brewery last January with great success!”
So, how does beer play into her art?
“Beer is the perfect catalyst for my art form. It brings the band together during writing and practice sessions, helping us loosening up and relax into our creative grooves. It is also the most desirable beverage for playing live, as it gives the right amount of warmth and looseness without overdoing it.”
Robin is both self-taught and classically trained on multiple instruments. She also mentioned that she studied economics in college, but the field was certainly helpful in her decision to become a musician. It was the frustrations that she encountered there that inspired her “to use music and performance as a liaison towards a greater cause”.
Asked if she has a mentor or muse, Robin said, “Thoughtful and conscious artists and creators are my mentors”
An amzing young woman with phenomenal talent, pklease visit her two websites:
www.fourfamiliesmusic.com (band); and,
Bold City Bandits
Direct from the sallyport of the finest Duval County Resorts of Incarceration comes the Bold City Bandits! Performing exclusively for the benefit of our own local Bold City Brewing Company, the Bandits’ mail is pre-screened and internet access is minimal and monitored, so I buried a list of Bandits-related questions into a legacy box of Hostess Twinkies and hand-delivered the collection of threatened sweets. The answers were airlifted to me via paper airplane “over the wall”. I regurgitate them for you here:
Q: How long have you been playing music?
A: Forever. We were born with instruments (rough deliveries) and immediately started playing shows.
Q: What was your motivation to get into it?
Q: Have you tied your art into your career or current job?
A: We’re “Bandits” – what part of “Band” do you not understand? … plus, we’ve made serving time an artform in itself.
Q: How does beer play into your art?
A: We sing about it and drink it while we play. Our shows get more “creative” as the evening progresses.
Q: Did you study this in school?
A: Yes – release programs from the Correctional Facility “Resort of Incarceration” – are great things.
Q: Were you self-taught?
A: Music – Yes. Beer – Yes
Q: Do you have a mentor or muse?
A: Yes, to both. Teachers and probation officers were our mentors. Women are our muses.
Stay informed about upcoming Bold City Bandits releases by visiting the Bold City Brewery’s website, www.boldcitybrewery.com, or call 904-379-6551.