20 January 2009

20Jan- a tactical error?
I'm almost done with my beer menu. In past versions I've visited the idea of short, short stories and a variety of poetry forms. This time around I've decided to do something different and, as I'm finishing up the lay-outs, I wonder if I've gone a bit too far.

I've structured this menu (or, at least, the four featured beers) to call to mind the art books through which I enjoy flipping every now and again. I love that somewhat dry, sometimes bloviated style of describing a work of art. So I've taken the four new beers and paired them with a painting (or style) that I think expresses them best. My big, dark, bitter oatmeal stout is expressed by a version of Goya's "Saturn devouring his son" from his series of "Black Paintings." My complex and lush Belgian Triple is compared to one of Bonnard's paintings (which won't work well in black and white but once I started thinking about it I couldn't find a better reflection of style than St. Feuillien and a warm, sunlight-y painting by Bonnard. This was the one that got me thinking because you kind of have to have a familiarity with his work for this comparison to make all the sense that it could. ) The Brazilian Xingu, which is a dark yet surprisingly bright and refreshing beer, is set against the style of Rousseau and his Naive manner, which is known for its refreshing and simplistic, yet sometimes dense, style. And my new crisp and clean Pilsner is most aptly seen through the eyes of Precionist Charles Demuth and his own clean, crisp lines.

But I wonder if I'm going too far with this. Will it be seen as arrogantly informative? Will all those whose eyes glazed over at the cracking open of their art history books be turned off by my approach to selling beer? I feel as though Baan Sawan appeals to a demographic to whom art and art references are not foreign. I certainly hope I'm right.

Regardless, I've spent far too much time drawing four different depictions to worry about that now. If sales stagnate or, god forbid, dip once the new menu comes out then I'll change it. Otherwise I'll just hope everyone enjoys it.

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