While brewing beer is an Art, one local family is making art a big part of their brewing. In creating the concept for Fat Pants Brewing, the Anderson family of Eden Prairie wanted to pay homage to the Brewery’s Eden Prairie roots.
“Growing up in Eden Prairie, there were landmarks that stood out. We thought it would be fun to create artwork that linked to that past”, says Don Anderson. Linda, his wife and one of the three owners, adds, “The goal of our design concept was to show that we are serious about brewing great beer but that Fat Pants is a fun place that’s easy to enjoy – the art helps make that happen.”
With that idea in mind, the Anderson family commissioned local artist and illustrator Hugh Bennewitz to create original artwork for Fat Pants. Don and Hugh have known each other since the 1980’s, and Hugh understands Don’s passion for Eden Prairie. “Don was adamant that he wanted fun, tongue-in-cheek pieces”, says Hugh. “He also wanted to show his connection to Eden Prairie”. The result was a unique collection of art, that reveals the Anderson’s humble but fun personalities.
“Graffiti Bridge” is the star of the show. Growing up in Eden Prairie, everyone knew about Graffiti Bridge - a local railroad bridge with flat, angled sides. Teenagers would routinely graffiti the bridge, ranging from the names of a couple to full-blown murals. Don’s favorite was an elaborate mural of Prince, but there were also tributes to Pink Floyd, Jimmy Hendricks, the Rolling Stones, etc.
When Graffiti Bridge was torn down in 1991, gone were the many memories it held, With the creation of the Graffiti Bridge Art piece at Fat Pants, the Anderson’s hope to honor an icon from Eden Prairie’s past.
Over the fireplace at Fat Pants, you will find another art piece, affectionally named, “Hop Face”, and based on “Son of Man” by Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte. Magritte painted a man in an overcoat and a bowler hat, the man’s face largely obscured by a hovering green apple. Hugh adds a twist and replaces the apple with a mosaic hop, a signature hop used by Fat Pants.
On the wall above the living room nook, you will find the “Fancy Pants Girl”, depicting art commonly found on the nose of many WWII airplanes. For the piece, Hugh distressed a piece of aluminum, then added a few dents and rivets to make it look like the nose cone from an old airplane.
In the spirit of fun, a painting outside the restroom’s pokes fun at “American Gothic”. The original piece by Grant Wood shows an elderly couple holding a pitchfork. Bennewitz changed the pitchfork so that the couple is toasting each other with Fat Pants beer mugs.
One last piece is a spin on the classic, “Dogs Playing Poker.” Added to the traditional painting is a picture of “Hop Face” in the background.
You will also see the Fat Pants logo painted on their indoor food truck. The truck is both an example of art and the eco-friendly side of the owners. While the artwork shows a bit of whimsy, the Andersons have a serious commitment to being environmentally friendly. Elizabeth Anderson offers, “Recycling the truck and repurposing it is an example of being eco-friendly. We also try to be eco-friendly by using compostable utensils, plates and takeout containers and unplug appliance when not in use. Most lights are LED, which use less energy and can change colors to suit a particular event or theme.”
If art tells a story, the Fat Pant’s art says that the family who is the driving force behind the business may not take themselves seriously, but they take their brewing seriously. The owners also have a strong commitment to running an environmentally responsible business. If you are looking for an example of eco-friendly brewing in a fun environment, visit Fat Pants for a pint and check out the art.
See other examples of Hugh Bennewitz’ s work at https://www.behance.net/hughbennewb325
Growing up in Eden Prairie, there were landmarks that stood out. We thought it would be fun to create artwork that linked to that past