It has begun. As the sun climbs high into the sky, its sultry rays coaxing sweat from pores and covering the city with a humid malaise, you may be wondering what it was you did to deserve this. The sidewalks seem to have shrunk and expanded simultaneously, converting each step forward into an arid pilgrimage over vast slabs of concrete that are pocked with youths free from school and a general population whose sole purpose is to keep you from the blissful refuge of central air conditioning. Before these long summer days begin to coalesce into once successive blur, it’s important to stop and plan your escape. So CraftPittsburgh is here to help.
Many great things have come from or started in our city: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, the world’s first movie theatre, bingo, the Big Mac, the Arnold Pamler, and—thanks to Andy Warhol—pop art. And while Pittsburgh continues to innovate and grow in industries like craft beer, the culinary arts, and various technologies, appreciating what has come before is integral in truly feeling proud of your city.
Today, we are taking a moment to appreciate both the old and the new; the art of then, and the craft of now. Take a reprieve from the heat this week by stopping by the Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore, just a few blocks from PNC Park, where you can see for yourself some of the art that we have collected here, today. Then go home and crack one of our recommended pairings from a local Pittsburgh brewery for a truly relaxed and articulate Yinzer experience.
The Art: Do It Yourself by Andy Warhol
The Craft: Things Remote by Eleventh Hour Brewing
The first stop on our art tour is Warhol’s Do It Yourself (Sailboat), one painting out of a series of five that is said to be a reaction against the then-prominent style of Abstract Expressionism. This piece comes from a period when Warhol was moving away from drawing and hand-painting and towards silkscreens and stencils. Check out that blue sky! And those billowing clouds! If I stare at it long enough, I can feel the salt-tinged air blowing through my luscious locks as I work the sails. Anyone else suddenly in the mood for oysters?
Our beer to pair with this one comes from Eleventh Hour Brewing and is actually a collaboration between brewer Matt McMahon and Pittsburgh’s Merchant Oyster Co. Over forty pounds of oyster shells were added to the boil, giving this otherwise sweet stout a salty scent and a minerally taste. Its lactose-fueled body and dry finish make this brew a perfect fit for a moment to pretend you’re somewhere else.
The Art: Skull by Andy Warhol
The Craft: Killapilz by Voodoo Brewing Company
Next up is a dreamily morbid acrylic and silkscreen painting. Warhol’s schtick was image repetition, and this piece is part of a larger lot of ten paintings. The same image is used over and over again, with each reiteration a singular event that tells its own story. This particular skull? To me it mocks death in fruity colors, and with its downturned brow and mouth agape, it seems to be asking for something. A beer perhaps?
Go home and toast to Pinky here with a glass of Killapilz from Voodoo Brewing Company. This unfiltered Kellerbier wafts some citrusy, biscuit-y, and piney notes on the nose, and delivers with some lemon, orange, and floral notes on the tongue. Like Warhol, one just isn’t enough, so there are six different hop varieties for your mind to muse over as this monster imperial pilsner drains through your skull. Why not grab one for yourself at Voodoo Brewery’s new location in the airport?
The Art: Flowers by Andy Warhol
The Craft: Petal and Brine by Hitchhiker Brewing
We round out or brief circuit with Flowers, a snippet from larger collection of blooms, each one reiterated and reimaged in color over sixteen panels. Whereas Warhol’s work prior to this piece was largely drawn from mass media and commercial brands, he turned instead to the photography of Patricia Caulfield for this painting. Taken from a magazine spread, Warhol cropped these four hibiscus blooms from a larger shot of seven. His unauthorized use of Caulfield’s photography, though, brought on a lawsuit that was settled out of court—and for that, we drink.
Hibiscus is a great plant to use in the brewing process, a fact that is evidenced by Hitchhiker Brewing’s Petal and Brine, a saison brewed with hibiscus blooms, honey, and sea salt. The dried hibiscus used in the beer’s conditioning breezes off in the aroma, with the honey and sea salt working together to balance out the yeasty base of the saison. Enjoy this beer in the comfort of the A/C while you mock the fools who think you should be outside looking at real flowers. Some people just don’t get art!
Make sure to check out Adman: Warhol Before Pop, an exhibition at The Warhol Museum that runs until September 2nd