watching the clips roll in

New Belgium Clips Beer & Film Tour 2013
…But before I start posting my London/Barcelona sketches, it’s straight back to Davis California. It’s always strange coming back – while never looking forward to the heat, it was nice to get back to the office (and that magical thing called air-conditioning, which London doesn’t know about yet). I was also looking forward to attending New Belgium’s 2013 “Clips” Beer and Film Tour – we had stumbled across it last year as “Clips of Faith” and enjoyed it a lot – at the Davis Central Park. New Belgium is a micro-brewing company (who aren’t very micro) from Fort Collins in Colorado, a company with a very progressive reputation and some incredibly good beers. I’ve always loved Fat Tire, and like their other seasonal beers too. Anyway, at this event (which is travelling through 21 cities in the U.S., Davis included) you can sample up to 18 different brews made by New Belgium, some of them very unusual sounding and unique tasting (they were out of the ‘Coconut Curry Hefeweizen’ sadly, but I would love to try that one). It was pretty busy there, In addition, they have a great big blow-up movie screen, on which are played several selected short films of under five minutes, from film-makers across America. Because I was sketching most of the time I only caught one at the end, and I’m glad I did, it was called ‘Shot From The Hip’, by William LaBarge, and was a kind of Sergio Leone style showdown between two Davis hipsters, set in front of the Varsity Theatre on 2nd St (you know the one). Very popular cheers from the local crowd as you can imagine, and it was great fun to watch, well executed.
Steve Tracey

This fellow, Steve Tracey, was selling raffle tickets, but he looked so distinctive that as he passed I made him stop for a minute and a half while I sketched him. I added the colour afterwards. The red flag was on his bike. Both New Belgium and Davis are all about the bikes, and this was a cyclist-friendly event.

I tried four beers:

  1. Cascara Quad (“dark and surprisingly delicate”) which was 10%, pretty nice but probably couldn’t drink too much of
  2. Rolle Bolle (“pale shade of sunshine yellow”) which sounded nice but I didn’t really like much
  3. Biere de Garde (“starts warm and boozy, finishes bone dry”) another stronger one at 9%, but again probably wouldn’t choose this one
  4. Pluot (“aroma: stone fruit, pineapple, Belgian esters and the funk of Bretta” whatever all that means), a fairly fruity one, and I enjoyed it a lot. After tasting this I chose a 12oz size too, and at 10% ABV it explains why I was in quite a good mood when I went to see The Wolverine afterwards (which by the way is an amazing movie).

A funny moment: when I went to get my beers, the lady serving the beer samples recognized me saying, “hey you’re that sketching guy!” Yep, that’s me. This was a fun event and I’m glad I was able to attend and sketch. Here is the page on their site showing where all the next stops on the Clips tour are going to be. Next up is Portland on August 1st.

back from london / barcelona


Sorry for the lack of postage lately, it’s been that time of year when I go somewhere far away for a couple of weeks or so of disruption to my usual daily routine. Airports…I cannot stand them. When will we develop teleportation technology?  But I love London, and I love Barcelona! I am not overly fond of the mountain of scanning that appears when I return from such sketch-filled journeys, so I’ll post gradually. As you can see above, I fulfilled a lifelong dream to sketch the Sagrada Familia, and I also fulfilled another Barcelona-related lifelong dream too, to visit (and sketch) the Camp Nou. More of that later. First though I am scanning my London sketches, which include this one below of Trafalgar Square in the early morning hours.

Sketching London in the early morning

Stay tuned!