Denver Art Museum and Dillon Dam Brewery Team Up to Create a Van Gogh-inspired Beer

DAM Gogh, a new bier de garde, available starting Oct. 30

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) has teamed up with the Dillon Dam Brewery to craft a special beer in honor of the museum’s blockbuster exhibition, Becoming Van Gogh. Facebook fans of the museum and brewery chose the name, DAM Gogh, through an online competition. The beer is part of a larger promotional partnership between the two entities to reach the ski audience. Dillon Dam Brewery is known for their products cheekily inspired by Vincent van Gogh.

Dillon Dam Brewery brewmaster Cory Forster chose to brew a bier de garde as an homage to Van Gogh’s time in France. The bier de garde is a French farmhouse-style ale. Forster wanted to create a beer that would connect to Van Gogh’s common subject—the average, working citizen. The people of the 1890s would have been familiar with this style of beer.

“Van Gogh looked at the people and settings that surrounded him for inspiration,” said Timothy Standring, Becoming Van Gogh curator. “I think he would approve of a fine brew that relates to the working class of Belgium, Holland and France—three countries where the artist worked.”

DAM Gogh is a French cousin to the Belgian saison. It is golden to slight copper in color and very light with a sweet, complex caramel malt background. Balancing out the flavor is a touch of wood barrel, a hint of apple and a bit of spice. The Dillon Dam brewery also gave the beer a lot of carbonation so it will be palate cleansing and easily drinkable.

“After much studying, I discovered that Vincent himself probably drank many beers very similar to this one while traveling through and painting the French countryside,” explained Forster. “To recreate this old farmhouse ale, we used 11 varieties of mild malts with just a touch of caramel malt sweetness to balance out the funky spice and fruitiness of the Farmhouse ale yeast. Applewood and French Oak spirals in the fermenter give it a hint of the old wood barrel while just a bit of anise in the boil and dry hop lend a bit of his favorite drink, absinthe’s, flavor.”

The beer will be tapped October 30 at the Rackhouse Pub in Denver. It will be available starting November 2 at the Dam Brewery in Dillon.

About the Exhibition

Becoming Van Gogh is an in-depth exploration of Vincent van Gogh’s unconventional path to becoming one of the world’s most recognizable artists. The exhibition examines critical steps in the evolution of the largely self-taught artist through more than 70 paintings and drawings by Van Gogh, along with works from artists who inspired him. The DAM is the only venue for the exhibition which brings together loans from more than 60 public and private collections through Europe and North America to tell the story of a number of key formative periods throughout the artist’s career. No other exhibition has focused so intensely on Van Gogh’s personal growth and progression as he developed his own personal style.

“This is a unique opportunity for our audience to discover how Van Gogh arrived at his iconic style and gain new insights into his influences,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “We are thrilled to bring together an exhibition that will give visitors new insight into one of the world’s greatest artists.”

Audio guides are available in two versions: one for adults and a second that uses kid-friendly language. Both versions are offered in Spanish. Audio stops throughout the tour spotlight key moments of his artistic journey and underscore the limitations and challenges he faced with his attempts to master materials and techniques on his way to arriving at his inimitable iconic style.

Becoming Van Gogh requires a timed and dated ticket.

Becoming Van Gogh is organized by the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition is funded by Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation; Wells Fargo; Sotheby’s; and Sill-TerHar Motors, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati. Additional funding is provided by Telemundo Denver and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4 and The Denver Post.

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Dillon Dam Brewery

The Dillon Dam Brewery serves DAM good food, beer and fun. Serving award winning ales and lagers and over 70 menu items. Affordable lunch and dinner. Located just 70 miles West of Denver off of I-70 exit 205 on US Hwy 6. 970-262-7777.