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BYOB Painting Pairings for Your Next Art Class

BY: Shannon Jewitt | Nov 2, 2015

Paint and Sip Class

Are you looking to unleash your creative side while uncorking a bottle (or two)? Look no further than a BYOB painting event, which encourages participants to explore various painting styles while sipping on a favorite beverage. But what should that beverage in your BYOB painting class be? Read on to discover ideal paint and drink pairings that will have you sipping and shading like a pro.

If You’re Painting...an Urban Landscape

Then...Try an American-Style IPA or Merlot

While there’s nothing more American than an apple pie, there’s nothing more American and urban than an American-style IPA, specifically a West Coast–style IPA. You can savor its hoppy flavors as you add the finishing touches to the San Francisco skyline. If you’re feeling particularly urbane, give merlot a try. The smooth red wine is most notably grown just downstream from the bustling port city of Bordeaux, France.

If You’re Painting…a Rural Landscape

Then…Try a Sour Ale or Riesling.

Sour beers began as somewhat of an (un)happy accident back in the early days of brewing, when wild bacteria and yeast snuck into ales during the brewing process and lent them a tart flavor. In recent years, however, brewers have been purposely incorporating these elements into their beers to give them a distinctive scent like the air inside a pastoral scene by Andrew Wyeth. On the wine side, any German riesling is a good choice, but, to coordinate with a rural landscape, we’d recommend one grown in the white-wine region along the Nahe River near the historic village of Monzingen.

If You’re Painting...a Portrait

Then...Try an English Ale

Victorian portraits—created during in the United Kingdom during Queen Victoria’s reign—are among the most famous paintings in this category. Aside from these portraits and their penetrating stares, the country has also created some great beer and wine—with the former including scotch and pale ales, porters, and stouts.

If You’re Painting...A Still Life

Then...Try a Fruit Beer or Pinot Noir

There are countless still-life subjects, but the most common seems to be bowls of fruit. This makes for a no-brainer pairing with fruit beer, which range from refreshing wheat ales to cherry-infused krieks. Speaking of variety—or, more accurately, varietals—the family of pinot grapes is quite diverse; pinot noir is the most common. Fittingly, red wines made with pinot noir grapes tend to have fruity aromatics and could inspire a new type of still life: bowls full of pinot noir bottles.

If You’re Painting...an Abstract Piece

Then...Try a Belgian-Style IPA or South African Wine

Belgian brewers consistently reject conformity, making their ales some of the most creative and diverse beer styles. But a Belgian ale is still likely too conventional for an abstract artist’s taste. For something more unexpected, try a Belgian-style IPA that blends Belgian yeast with American hops, such as Brewery Vivant’s Triomphe. Chenin blancs, pinotages, and other South African wines are equally unusual, not to mention tasty, and can inspire Kandinsky-like watercolor swirls.

If You’re...Doing a Figure Painting or Drawing

Then...Try Barleywine or Sherry

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran artist, going to an event that involves staring at a naked stranger for hours on end might have you wanting a strong drink. That’s why we’d recommend bringing along a barleywine, which is actually beer, or sherry, which is actually wine. Each boasts the highest alcohol content by volume in its respective category. And if they turn out to be too strong, worry not: barleywine is ideal for cellaring, and sherry doubles as a cooking wine.