• Monday , 20 November 2017

Amber Waves: Beer for Mural Arts at the National Museum of American Jewish History

Photos, story by Clare Shepherd

Craft brewers and artists from all over the country lent a hand and raised a glass to the Mural Arts Program on Thursday.

Amber Waves featured representatives from 27 breweries, all attendees at the nearby Craft Brewer’s Conference, pouring some of the best beers they had to offer at the National Museum of American Jewish History. While brewers discussed their product and offered samples of their amber colored brews, each brewery offered a chance to bid on unique artwork in a silent auction fundraiser for Mural Arts.

Brewers from Yards and Flying Fish were on hand to give out samples.

Brewers from Yards and Flying Fish were on hand to give out samples.

This silent auction fundraiser/beer tasting event is held every year in the city hosting the Craft Brewer’s Conference, and is a way for a local brewery to bring in support for a favored charity. This year Victory, Downingtown-based producer of everyone’s favorite beer Golden Monkey, took over space at the National Museum of Jewish American History to support the charity behind most of our city’s murals.

Tasting glasses from Victory Brewing Company

And we got to keep the awesome Victory beer glasses! I kept mine!

Did you know you can pickle strawberries?!

Did you know you can pickle strawberries?!

Despite the monochrome requirements of the fundraiser, the range of beer type and flavor was impressive. Given the brewers’ generous pours, I didn’t have a chance to try every beer despite my best efforts. I was, however, able to add substantially to my Untappd list.

My personal favorite from the night!

My personal favorite from the night!

The variety of the artwork available was even more impressive than the beer. Brewers commissioned local artists to create pieces related to the brewery, the beer they were serving, or just the personal interests of staff.

Prop of a human foot wrapped in plastic wrap like a cut of meat, attached to a cutting board.

This was commissioned from a local haunted house prop company in Southern Indiana. This foot was far and away the highlight of the event for me, and the longer the night went on the harder it was not to bid.

Flying Fish commissioned this piece created from items found around the brewery.

Flying Fish commissioned this piece created from items found around the brewery.

From Ecliptic Brewing Company. This is also how I felt about halfway through the event.

From Ecliptic Brewing Company. This is also how I felt by the end of the event.

Painting on an old plywood fence of a bank vault with hops growing out of it.

This was commissioned by Vault Brewing Company, a local brewery in an old bank.

Yards commissioned this graphite portrait of Washington, framed alongside his recipe for his Tavern Porter. This is the recipe Yards uses today for the same beer.

Yards commissioned this graphite portrait of Washington, framed alongside his recipe for his Tavern Porter. This is the recipe Yards uses today for the same beer.

Great Divide commemorated this homage to their old artwork for Denver Pale Ale, created with cans featuring their NEW artwork for their beer.

Great Divide commemorated this homage to their old artwork for Denver Pale Ale, created with cans featuring their NEW artwork for their beer.

This is "Red Horseman of the Hopocalypse," and it promises to "annihilate the impostors with a blitzkrieg of citric hops and leave the brewhouse floors stained a crimson red."

This is “Red Horseman of the Hopocalypse,” and it promises to “annihilate the impostors with a blitzkrieg of citric hops and leave the brewhouse floors stained a crimson red.”

Unfortunately, given the small nature and limited distribution of non-local brewers, some of my favorite beers are not available at Philadelphia bars. However, I’m going to keep an eye out in particular for Ecliptic Brewing out of Portland, Ore. and Roadhouse Brewing Company out of Wyoming.

The event raised thousands of dollars for the Mural Arts Program, a local charity that “create[s] art with others to transform places, individuals, communities and institutions.” Every year, the organization enrolls 2,000 people in its intitiatives and engages an additional 18,000 in its projects. They create 50-100 projects every year.

It looks like the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference is going to be in DC. If you have a chance, I highly recommend checking out their version of Amber Waves!

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