Beer Honoring Cowboy Artist to be Sold at Grand Canyon

The work of cowboy artist William Dean Fausett (1913-1998) is being honored by Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library Special Collections and Archives, as well as Mother Road Brewing Company of Flagstaff, Arizona, with the introduction of a special limited-edition beer. The “Archive Ale” beer, a type of unfiltered India pale ale (IPA), is available in a collection of seven cans decorated with a series of prints by Fausett titled “The Seven Stages of Drunkenness” (from “Verbose” to “Comatose”). These prints are believed to have been formerly displayed above the bar at the El Tovar hotel, the historic lodge on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The special ale is to be sold at the Mother Road brewery and at lodges in Grand Canyon National Park for only a limited time. The idea for the Fausett-themed beer originated with Sean Evans, a craft-beer enthusiast and an archivist at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library Special Collections and Archives. On a walk-through of the library’s collections with Mother Road brewery owner Michael Marquess in 2015, the two men came across some of Fausett’s artwork, including the “The Seven Stages of Drunkenness.” They immediately decided that these prints would make excellent labels for beer.

To follow-up on this idea, the brewery developed a copper-colored unfiltered IPA with aromas of tangerine and pineapple, forward notes of pine and grapefruit, and seasonings of Simcoe and Citra hops. The brewery produced only 30 barrels of the beer. Some of the proceeds from sales of the beer are slated to go to Northern Arizona University to aid in the preservation of items in the Cline Library Special Collections and Archives. Brewery owner Marquess stated that the new ale “highlights how private business can work with public institutions and, in this case, help preserve the Colorado Plateau.”