Our free Beer and Whiskey Patent Art Printables are perfect for the beer and whiskey lover in your life! Offered in a selection of sizes and backgrounds.
When Handan told me she was going to make some beer and whiskey patent art printables to go along with the wine patent art we just released, I was thrilled. Though wine has been a passion of mine as a seasoned adult, it was beer that captured my heart as a rollicking youth. I couldn’t get enough of it! Lagers, ales, light, dark – you name it, I drank it. Like many young men in the early 90s, I fell in love with the craft beer movement that had started to sweep the nation. I even dabbled in making the stuff myself.
I brewed my first beer when I was a senior in college. My best friend Tom and I loved our barley-brewed beverages, so we thought it would be a grand idea to learn how to make our own. On a crisp autumn Saturday in September of 1993, we headed out into Vermont’s Champlain Valley in search of brewing supplies as the Green Mountains that surrounded us glowed red, orange and gold in the brilliant morning light. Those were the days before the internet, and we felt like pioneers lighting out into uncharted territories with only our instincts and a book called The Complete Joy of Homebrewing as our guides.
In the car, we took stock of our needs as college students: caffeine, food and alcohol – the three pillars of collegiate existence. We thus decided that our first brew would be a coffee stout, made with Vermont’s own Green Mountain Coffee. It would be the perfect Saturday morning beer. Thick enough to serve as breakfast, caffeinated to clear the cobwebs from Friday’s indulgences, and brewed with just enough of a kick to keep us feeling like we were still making good decisions.
We found a home-brew supply store somewhere in the Champlain Valley, and the rest is history. Our coffee stout was born, and my love affair with fermentation was kindled. Tom and I went on to make a few more beers together, including a delightful Christmas ale brewed with cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg, but that first coffee stout was my favorite.
I think we only drank it once on an actual Saturday morning. The “Saturday morning beer” concept worked better on paper than in real life, but we did eventually work our way through the several cases that we brewed. A year after graduation, Tom and I rented an apartment together in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1995-1996, and he still had a decent stock of the coffee stout and the Christmas ale.
Okay, maybe they weren’t as good as I remember, if it took almost 3 years to finish a couple of cases!
Humans have been enjoying beer and suffering its consequences for over 9000 years. That’s a staggering amount of time! Recorded history only stretches back about 5500 years. Who knows, maybe during those first 3500 years of alcohol, man was just too drunk to figure out how to codify language in writing.
So with thoughts of drunken Sumerians getting in fistfights with camels by the banks of the Euphrates River, let’s talk a little about whiskey (or whisky, if you’re in Scotland).
For me, whiskey has always been beer’s faithful companion and the fountainhead of a thousand bad decisions in my younger years. These days, the whiskey I drink is for sipping, not gulping down shotwise while bellied up to a seedy bar with my hooting and slobbering compatriots.
The word “whiskey” comes from the Gaelic, uisce beatha, which translates to “water of life.” The first known recorded production of whisky occurred in Scotland in 1495, though the process of distilling spirits was known long before. The whiskeys produced back then were high-octane and rough around the edges. It took fortitude to quaff the stuff.
The oldest whiskey distillery in the world is the Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland. They’ve been making fine Irish whiskey since 1608. I have a crystal clear memory of sharing a bottle of Bushmills with a group of friends on Saint Patrick’s Day afternoon during my junior year in college. We were all hanging out and celebrating in the social house in which I lived at the time. At my college, there were no fraternities or sororities, only co-ed social houses. Same idea, but men and women together. We were all whooping it up on the dance floor when someone played the song “Jump Around” by an LA-based rap duo named House of Pain. As the title suggested, all ~30 of us started jumping around like idiots. I can only imagine what it must have looked like to an outsider: 30 hippie kids at a small Vermont liberal arts college dressed in jeans and flannel shirts, wearing Birkenstock sandals over colored woolen socks jumping around to LA rap.
I didn’t know until just now when I did a little research on House of Pain, but they styled themselves as Irish-American hooligans (one member of the duo is Irish-American, the other is Latvian). The video for “Jump Around” is full of Irish and Ireland references and imagery, so I guess there was a reason we were all throwing ourselves around like idiots that day! Just the Irish part of me doing its Irish part to celebrate the Irish day!
Whiskey gets its brown color and most of its flavor from aging in charred oak barrels. The longer the whiskey ages, the smoother it becomes, with pronounced notes of vanilla due to the vanillin compound that occurs naturally in oak leeching out into the whiskey. Scotch whisky is aged in used barrels that initially held American whiskey. Some Scotch whiskys are then transferred to other used casks – sherry and rum casks, in some cases – to add a finishing flavor to the whisky.
Scotch can be aged longer than whiskeys aged in new barrels. The resulting whisky has a different taste and aroma profile, partly because the barley used in the fermentation process is roasted over a fire of peat moss which lends a smoky note to the whisky, and partly because the used oak barrels don’t impart as much flavor.
The most expensive whiskys in the world generally come from Scotland. The longer aging times afforded by the used oak barrels allows distillers to release very old and mature whiskys and charge outrageous sums for them. A few years ago, a 6 liter bottle (one of 4 produced) from the Macallan distillery sold for over $600,000 at auction. The bottle held a blend of whiskys ranging from 75-25 years old. I only wish I were friends with the buyer!
Because of the new oak barrels used for aging, most American whiskey are released after 2-10 years in cask. You can find a few that have been aged longer, but there comes a point where additional aging won’t improve the flavor. A hint of toasted oak is great in a whiskey, but too much aging in barrel will make it taste like drinking burnt wood.
On a final note, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite bits of whiskey trivia. Did you know that Walgreens Pharmacy owes its success to whiskey? During Prohibition in the US (1920-1933), the only alcohol allowed to be sold was whiskey prescribed by a doctor for and sold through a licensed pharmacy. Through the sale of “medicinal” whiskey, Walgreens Pharmacy grew from 20 stores in 1920 to almost 400 by the end of Prohibition. I’d be willing to bet that whiskey was the most commonly prescribed medication during those years!
Before I go, let me give you the usual information on today’s printables: Handan designed these beer and whiskey patent art printables to fit into a 16×20 inch frame or a 24×36 poster frame, though you may scale them up or down as necessary. 24×36 inch scales down easily to 20×30 / 16×24 / 12×18 / 8×12 / 4×6 inches, and 16×20 inch scales down to 12×15 / 8×10 / 4×5 inches with no problems. If you need help with scaling down these printables so you can print them using your home printer, then make sure you check out Handan’s “How To Easily Resize Pictures” post.
Also, if you don’t have a large format printer like Canon i8720 Printer (prints up to 13×19 inches) and are wondering the best place to get these printables printed bigger than 8×12, we recommend trying Staples in your area or Amazon print shop. Both stores offer custom-sized prints on matte or glossy paper and they both cost about the same. Staples also offers Engineering Prints, which are really affordable for large-format prints, but in some areas (like ours), they must be ordered from their online print shop.
Now it’s time to click on the button below to download today’s free beer and whiskey patent art printables – they are all in the Patent Art section of The VIP Patch.
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