Welcome to the Alcohol & chats, where we ask questions to interesting people in the alcohol world.
This week’s spotlight is on artist/cartoonist Em Sauter. Em is behind the social media accounts Pints and Panels which feature visual beer education. She’s also an Advanced Cicerone, public speaker and Beer Judge.
1) How did Pints and Panels start?
P&P started in 2010 when I was a student at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Jct, VT. It started as a beer review site (a great excuse to try different beers) and was a beer review site until 2019 when it made the switch to education. Being in Vermont during the start of the craft beer boom was highly rewarding and great for inspiration.
2) Have you always been creative and/or into drawing? Do you do any other art styles?
I’ve been drawing since I was four and found my style when I tried to emulate Archie comics when I was in sixth grade. I got caught drawing on a desk in high school because my work was so recognizable hahaha. I can only draw in the style I know how to do. I’m always jealous of artists who can do different linework/styles. I certainly can’t.
3) How have you brought beer education and art together? And why did you do that?
Beer is global and visual in itself (very aesthetically pleasing for the most part). One day, I drew a German Pilsner glass and mentioned what was in it (hops/malt/yeast) and put it on social media. The response was very positive so I thought “oh wow there’s something here.” Many of my followers on social media as well don’t speak the same languages so using visual cues helps everyone learn. It’s been lots of fun to do and it’s been very rewarding to see how many people like it and use it to learn.
4) What’s your favorite beer style? And do you have a favorite brewery?
I love so many different beers! My first beer style that really resonated with me was witbier when I was in my early 20s so I have a soft spot for witbier. Belgian beers are always satisfying. I also love Oktoberfest season. Marzens are excellent. If I had to choose a favorite brewery, I don’t think I could. There are a lot of breweries I admire — Maine Beer Co, Allagash, Sierra Nevada just to name a few. So much good beer out there.
5) What’s the coolest or most memorable piece you’ve created and why?
The piece that resonated the most with people was P&P’s sendup of the classic “This is Fine” meme by KC Green. I’m very against beers made with unfermented fruit exploding and breweries blaming consumers so I wanted to show that in a funny way (P&P’s work usually is whimsical but it’s not humorous). I love how art can be used in so many ways — as a teaching tool but also as satire.
Don’t forget to check out www.pintsandpanels.com where you can find an archive of all previous work plus an online shop. @PintsandPanels for all social channels.
(Photo of Em is courtesy of Red Skies Photography)