While Dust Bowl Brewing Company is no stranger to pouring beer at brew festivals, it is not every day that it is requested that the brewery bring artwork along with them to the event.
This is the case at the Art of Beer Invitational in Sacramento, a more intimate beer festival event that affords a select 40 breweries and 3 cider distilleries to pour their craft drinks for guests, but there’s one caveat: each company must bring a beer-centric artistic item for auction. Attendees can bid on the items and the proceeds go to Ales for Autism, an organization that organizes beer-centric events to raise funds for autism research, support programs, and awareness efforts.
“We do a lot of beer festivals, but it’s nice to have a festival where the customers are more engaged and people are not just asking which of our beers has the most alcohol content,” laughed Sales Manager Scott Chaffee.
The Art of Beer event is an invite-only festival where breweries are brought on board at the request of a former participating brewery. So, when Chaffee found out Dust Bowl would be participating this year, he took to finding local artists.
“I know a lot about beer, but I’m not artsy,” said Chaffee
So he turned to Amber Elstad, the Turlock High School Art teacher who also works at the Dust Bowl taproom downtown.
Elstad used a graphic design program to reinterpret an iconic Dust Bowl-era image that hangs in the tap room using Dust Bowl labels.
“It seemed like a perfect fit,” said Elstad.
Although each brewery is only required to bring one piece of artwork, Dust Bowl is bringing seven largely due to the metal work of Christopher Correia.
After learning techniques from his uncle, a welding and fabrication contractor based out of Hilmar, Correia taught himself a more creative approach to metal work. By using computer design and drafting software to upload images, a robotic machine then cuts the metal into the desired shape.
“As good as you can draw it on the screen, it will cut it,” explained Correia.
He then rusts the metal works with salt water or a mixture of bleach and vinegar. Correia submitted several metal works, including the iconic Dust Bowl twister, as well as a stenciled painting on canvas.
Turlock native and Art Institute of California student David Mulgado took a personal approach to his piece by photographing an array of beer barrels with Dust Bowl taps located in the tavern of his friend Zach Young’s parents’ house.
“It’s the first place I tried and fell in love with craft beer,” said Mulgado.
The diverse range of mediums offered by Dust Bowl wouldn’t be complete without Brittony Jergenson’s marquee that spells “beer.” A painter and design assistant at Jaureguy’s Paint and Decorating, Jergenson’s piece is a departure from her typical artistic endeavors.
“When else are you going to have a reason to create a beer marquee,” laughed Jergenson.
By plugging in the marquee, each letter is lit up by light bulbs roughly the same size as beer crowns that have been stamped into the wooden letters. The marquee also showcases other details like barbed wire and the company’s red rabbit insignia.
“When it lights up it looks grand,” said Jergenson.
Today Dust Bowl is taking their pieces to the Art of Beer Invitational where Chaffee admits, “we might just have to bid on some pieces to bring back to the taproom.”