By Kathy Chouteau
The mysterious BCM creator—who built the Beer Can Monolith that now sits atop Point Potrero in Richmond as an ode to local craft beer—is back at it again. Following the debut of his monolith in December, the Richmond resident and artist, who prefers to remain anonymous, has revealed he’s now working on his third craft beer structure modeled after an Egyptian pyramid.
During a recent conversation with the Standard, the BCM creator revealed the Beer Can Monolith was his second artistic rendering using his favorite creative medium: crowler cans (no, not growler) from Bay Area craft breweries. The first work in his craft beer series is a piece he calls the “Beeramid” and makes its permanent home at Armistice Brewing Company in Richmond’s Marina Bay neighborhood, where they always have it displayed and sometimes use it in merchandise displays.
“I gave it to them in October,” said the BCM creator, “on the condition that they never throw it away.”
He said the Beeramid includes a total of 178 cans that are “all exclusively Armistice” brews.
After creating his Armistice Beeramid, and as the Standard previously reported, the BCM creator was inspired by the monoliths that began popping up in remote places, as well as the then-impending convergence of Saturn and Jupiter. Add to that his ongoing passion for local craft beer, and the Beer Can Monolith was born atop Point Potrero the day before the Dec. 21 planetary event.
A friend first showed him the hilltop location overlooking the bay. “Let’s go big or go home—let’s go all the way to the top,” the BCM creator recalled saying at the time about the eventual location of the Beer Can Monolith.
Larger than its cousin the Beeramid, the Beer Can Monolith consists of 380 crowler cans, most of which originate from Bay Area breweries. However, a few non-alcoholic drinks were part of the equation, with an interesting side note. “What’s funny is that only cans that didn’t contain beer got blown off and rejected by the wind…No more Pellegrino,” joked the BCM creator. As he alluded, he’s had to make the occasional repair due to wind damage and a dent he likes to imagine was caused by “a young buck head-butting it.”
Following the Standard’s article, and local breweries featuring the Beer Can Monolith on their social media accounts, the BCM creator said, “I’ve seen a lot of people hiking on what we’re calling the Monolith Trail now or the Overlook Trail, just to see that, so it’s been really fun.”
Which brings us to the BCM creator’s third craft beer piece in his series, which he’s currently building on his patio. “The third will have 564 by this weekend,” said the BCM creator about its number of cans. “The goal for the next one is 1,000 cans” and will include breweries like Armistice, Faction Brewing, HenHouse Brewing Company, Temescal Brewing, East Brother Beer Co. and a few other places.
While he anticipates his newest creation—which, again, he’s modeling after an Egyptian pyramid—won’t be completed until May or mid-June, that hasn’t stopped him from going mobile with it on the back of his truck.
“While it’s being built in this early incarnation, it’s gone out and about and has visited different breweries,” he said.
During SF Beer Week—which evolved into the statewide California Craft Beer Week this year over Feb. 12-21—the BCM creator transported the incomplete, third beeramid around via his truck to visit craft breweries around the Bay Area. Add to that a few stops for photo ops at picturesque hilltops in the Richmond-El Cerrito area, and this new beeramid has been to more place than most people during the pandemic.
The BCM creator says it’s “fun to cart it around and get people’s reactions.” While taking pics of the third beeramid on an El Cerrito hilltop, he bumped into Steven Phillips, taproom manager at East Brother Beer Co., who promptly invited him to showcase it at an outdoor event they were having. After all, what better place is there to babysit a beeramid than a brewery whose crowlers are featured in it?
Plans for what will become of the third, currently unnamed and largest beeramid when it’s completed are still up in the air, said the BCM creator. Possibilities include potentially landing at The Factory Bar or he also has his eye on another location outdoors in Point Richmond. Or “it might be a touring pyramid” said the BCM creator. The good news is that he’s figured out how to better secure the beer cans onto each other to protect against the wind and young buck head-butt damage this time around.
In the meantime, stay updated on the BCM creator’s latest and greatest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Got suggestions for the third beeramid’s name or location? Email the BCM creator at [email protected].