Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spiral Jetty IPA

by Drew Martin
Last night I bought a pint of beer solely because of its name, Spiral Jetty. On the label is the following text: In 1970 American sculptor Robert Smithson broke artistic barriers and created a 1,500-foot long rock coil jutting into the Great Salt Lake. Smithson never set limits for himself or his art - so why should you?

The first time I drank beer was out of an aluminum can, on the tracks. It tasted awful. Since then American beer has taken off, and dare I write it - has become something of an art form. There are many domestic beers that are as good or even better than the European beers they were trying to match. I never imagined seeing a beer that would pull a page (742) out of my college tome History of Art by H. W. Janson. Smithson (1938-1973) intended for his Spiral Jetty to be submerged and erode. Nature reclaiming the work was integral to his design but he probably never envisioned such an embrace of his project. Although Smithson might object to the commercialization of it, he would probably be won over by its flavor. Spiral Jetty IPA is a great tasting beer.

Pictured here is my bottle in front of a model of Spiral Jetty, which I made to teach a class on sculpture.