Making Pictures of New Beer

When a new (yet to officially open their doors to the public) brewery comes along with some beer and wants photos I can’t say, “no”! After all, I have a duty to share and to inspire, right? When Brandon at First Capital Brewery contacted me I must admit I was pretty excited to taste their ales and get pictures so I could share.

FCB Imperial IPA

First Capital Brewery, Experimental Imperial IPA – © Michael Warth

The first beer behind the lens was the Imperial IPA. I struggled a bit with how I was going to make the pictures and I wanted all three images to have a bit of a harmony between them. I decided to use my classic lighting set-up on the old wood table top and add fallen leaves. Because bottles and labels are not completed yet, I also couldn’t use the bottles in any identifiable way. A simple shot of the beer in a glass seemed boring and I wanted these shots to be useful for future advertising and marketing.

For the beer geeks, this DIPA was a serious wow-factor for me. Again, it was the first time I have ever had any of their beer and I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I have been rather bored with IPA style beers for a while now and this ale hit it out of the park. I can’t talk specifics as to IBU and ABV numbers, or even give you a definitive name for any of these three ales but I can tell you the DIPA was around 100 IBUs but tasted like 70-80 and is around 10% ABV and very sneaky at that! The Imperial IPA had a fantastic balance I would highly recommend to anyone looking to give this brewery a try.


First Capital Brewing Porter – © Michael Warth

The next beer in the trio was a peanut butter porter with a milky feel thanks to the lactose sugar and cocoa. The porter is around 10% ABV and 50 IBUs and will be a great addition to their lineup. I find it quite refreshing to see brewers who still see the importance of making a good porter. In a world of black beer stouts and Imperial Russian styles, I was thrilled to give this one a taste.

I saved a Belgian style for the final shot and needed a whole pineapple to pull off what I was trying to do. The final beer in the set still needed to look like I shot it on the same set as the other two but I needed to get that pineapple in there without looking like a Hawaiian tourism photo. Keep in mind I was shooting this last beer after midnight due to schedule issues and I pre-lighted, and did all my testing shots with stand-in props earlier the day before so all I would have to do is stop and get a fresh pineapple and start firing away.

First Capital Brewery, Belgian White with Pineapple - © Michael Warth

First Capital Brewery, Belgian White with Pineapple – © Michael Warth

When arrived at the grocery store at 12:20 am (they close at 1 am) the staff looked pissed I was strolling in with a shopping cart. They had an army of people blocking aisles and prepping floors. In fact, they were closing aisles as I was exiting them. It’s like they didn’t want my money and wanted to start before 1 am with their massive project. Nonetheless, I grabbed the perfect pineapple, some other needed groceries and made my way to the self-checkout before 1 am. I won’t even go into detail about how much I didn’t get due to the cleaning efforts…and I was wanting to get shooting so I could be done by 3:30 am.

FCB Belgian White BTS - © Michael Warth

FCB Belgian White BTS – © Michael Warth

I cracked the beer, poured it into the glass, had the set all ready to go with the pineapple in place and it kind of went too smoothly. I actual got to focus on drinking the props sooner than I thought, and this beer was delicious. In fact, it was probably my favorite of the three. One might think the pineapple would have killed the flavor but it was hardly noticeable in the overall flavor profile of this ale.

If you get a chance, and when these cats open their doors next year, grab a few and enjoy the beer from First Capital Brewery. Tell them The Thirsty Muse (AKA Mike sent you) – I’m sure I’ll be sharing more of their story with you in future posts.

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