Stoked to announce that I’ll be rocking the third mural in my Brewery-Fish series (working title) at Dangerous Man Brewing Co. in NE Minneapolis MN.

Put a Beard on It
Put a Beard on It

Now, I’ve enjoyed making the murals at both Pour Decisions (Into The Maw) and Lucid Brewing Company (Lucidchrome).  Both had their own unique challenges, joys, short-comings and liquid-gratitudes.  I’m pumped about how they both turned out, the breweries are happy, and the patrons/public have received them well.

Dangerous Man is a bit different though.  Maybe it’s some “third time is the charm” mojo, or maybe it’s because Dangerous Man has a very cool and unique location and taproom.  Maybe it’s because they are the darlings of the local scene right now.  Maybe it’s the beard.

Those things may factor in, but the real reason Dangerous Man is going to be special for me, is because of what DM is, what they represent, and how much I connect with how they are approaching making, sharing and enjoying great beer.

Tap Handles and scrap - put beards on them
Tap Handles and scrap wood – put beards on em’

Back when I was traveling the country making videos with Mike and Chip about homebrewing and craft beer, I visited a lot of breweries and beer scenes.  One that will always stand out to me was Denver Beer Company.  Their model is simple: open a brewery with a taproom, serve fresh beer to patrons, make a handful of standard beers but focus more on creating new and exciting batches every week. It’s a departure from the two dominant business models of brewpub and production brewery.  The taproom model allows for serving pints, fresh to patrons, much like a brewpub (growler sales are also part of this.)  But is has the absence of food production, on site, like a production brewery.  Throw in a food truck, or partnering restaurant,  and you’ve got yourself a place that feels like someones basement, house, garage but on steroids (and with better lighting).  I remember thinking to myself on the plane ride home, “if I ever open a brewery, I’m going to follow Denver Beer Company’s model…”.

To see my visit to Denver Beer Company, plus tour/beers/interviews with Great Divide Brewing Company and a tour of Stranahan’s whiskey…all in one snowy ass CO day…go watch this.

Denver Beer Company - two different IPA's on tap..try them both!

Well, I never opened a brewery and likely never well.  Thankfully, Dangerous Man has taken that same spirit and model present at Denver Beer Company, and brought it to the MN beer scene.  Their mission is simple:

“Our focus is high-quality, small-batch production beers with ever-changing taps.

We are family-friendly & welcome anyone from anywhere.”

Owners Rob Miller and his wife Sarah Bonvallet have worked overtime, beyond overtime, to get DM up and running.  They even had to change a city law.  Their dedication to their vision has garnered support from local politicians, media, community members, beer lovers and beer industry folk.  The community is behind DM, and in turn, DM is behind the community.

They’ll have a few standard beers, like Rob’s much adored Chocolate Milk Stout, and an IPA which will see small tweaks and mutations with every batch.  All the other beers you’ll find at DM are going to shift, slide, and evolve week from week.  Along with this “homebrewing” style of producing beers, DM has one helluva space and location.  Their decor, aesthetic and choice of building fits perfectly into the fabric of NE MPLS.  It’s a place that people will want to check out, week after week.

The significance of this model is the focus on producing a variety of beers, being unpredictable, and dedication to their local patrons.  They have no current plans to package their beer and/or expand.  They want to focus on creativity, quality, and serving the community in which they live.

This approach is something I connect with on a personal level.  Having the chance to contribute to what they are doing here in MN, through my art, is something special for me.

The wall.
The wall.

My work starts this weekend with sketches and plans, and then I hit the wall on Monday.  The wall is in a great location, high above patrons to allow good sight-lines, at the end of a long seating area, well lit, and far enough away from even the closest patron, which will maintain a proper distance for viewing.  The space itself has been carefully constructed, painted and designed to give a warm, reclaimed-industrial aesthetic.  Lot’s of steel and wood. It’s DIY, but well crafted.  This all lends to a great backdrop for one of the following fish: sturgeon, gar, catfish, carp or paddlefish.

I chose these options because they are all fish present in the Mississippi river, which is about a mile West of DM.  Also, when I think of Rob, and the concept of DM, I think of the big, burly, prehistoric and gnarly fish that live in the Big Muddy.  They’re a bit different, they’re a bit mythical, they are a bit dangerous, and they a lot of awesome.

We decided to let the people pick which fish I’ll ultimately paint by holding a vote on DM’s Facebook page.  The voting ends tonight (1/25/13).

Vote for the fish HERE!

I’ll be cool with painting any of these critters.  Based on the space to paint (114″ x 77″) and how it’s framed out with the column on the right side, I’m planning on doing a simple profile composition, with the fish facing left.  I’ll include some stylistic motifs and flare, but for the most part I’m looking to create something fairly realistic in color and structure.  Oh, and I will “put a beard on it.”

All the fish have hints of being “Dangerous”, and like I said, I’ll gladly paint any one of the choices. Here’s excepts from a DNR website about one of the fish in the running:

To call a gar a living fossil is no exaggeration…. the shortnose looks like an armored tube of muscle. Covering the cylindrical body is a sheath of interlocking diamond-shaped plates that bend and flex as the fish moves. Hard as tooth enamel, gar “scales” were once used by some American Indians to tip their arrows. A gar can actually breath air by taking oxygen from the atmosphere into its gas bladder, allowing it to survive in water practically devoid of oxygen. This indomitable fish has been known to live 24 hours or more completely out of water.Females lay bright green, poisonous (to humans) eggs in shallow weedy bays and backwaters that warm to over 70 degrees. The young often lie in groups at the water surface, looking like floating black matchsticks.
Gar favor warm, slow-moving water where they can spend sunny days eating young carp and other minnows dumb enough to swim within reach.
Shortnose Gar
Shortnose Gar

Sounds like a Dangerous Fish to me.

Cast you vote for a Gar..I mean, for whatever.

Put a Beard on It citizens.

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