By Kathy Chouteau
The Standard’s series, “A Few of My Favorite Things” takes a look at some of this reporter’s top local treasures—be they food, drink, places or faces—from Richmond and beyond. Up this week: The Beer Can Monolith Creator’s art.
A little more than two years ago, when mysterious monoliths began appearing in remote places—and Earthlings awaited the coming convergence of Saturn and Jupiter—a Richmond artist built his own monolith out of beer cans right before the Dec. 21, 2020 planetary event.
Soon after, I wrote my first article about the artist who would become known as the Beer Can Monolith creator (BCM creator) and visited his Beer Can Monolith right here in Richmond atop Point Potrero. It rises up 6’ ft. 8” in. high via 400 beer cans stacked in a pyramid, wrapped in tiny lights and topped by a large red light. Thanks to the lights, the sculpture can be spotted from nearby locales at night.
“I’m proud that the original monolith is over two years old and it’s still standing.”
“I’m proud that the original monolith is over two years old and it’s still standing,” the BCM creator told me recently.
Since this first sculpture, the BCM creator, who prefers to remain anonymous, has built many other works, including smaller pyramids, walls, a tower, lighthouse and more in Richmond—at places like Riggers Loft, Armistice Brewing Company and the former Black Star Pirate BBQ—and beyond (search the Richmond Standard for more info). He’s also built a smaller pyramid, a Ukraine piece, near the Beer Can Monolith that’s topped with East Brother beer and lit with blue and gold.
The BCM creator is currently working on an “Alphabrews” piece next to the Beer Can Monolith in Richmond that consists of nine letters/two words made of beer cans from East Bay and San Francisco breweries, such as Armistice for “A,” Barebottle for “B,” and Cellarmaker for “C.” The letters in the two word Alphabrews piece will be A, B, C, G, H, E, F, O and L.
“What words am I going to spell with those nine letters?” asked the BCM creator. Let us know your guess in the comments. The BCM creator plans to have the Alphabrews piece completed atop Point Potrero by Feb. 12 during SF Beer Week.
“This is kind of like my Banksy phase,” joked the BCM creator about the Alphabrews piece, calling its location “a destination spot” and noting this newest work was created in honor of the monolith’s two-year anniversary. I personally love the Beer Can Monolith because it’s so very Richmond—a fabulous example of upcycled, outsider art positioned upon a hill for all the world to see—and plan to check out the new artwork soon.
To see the Beer Can Monolith yourself, while also checking out the BCM creator’s Alphabrews and Ukraine pieces, follow Canal Blvd. in Richmond toward San Francisco Bay and park on the right side just past the large, road-spanning Point Potrero sign. Walk bay-ward for a few minutes until you come to an ordinary gate marked Overlook and Shipyard Trail 3. Follow the short trail upward for about 15 minutes—an easy, family friendly hike with beautiful bay views—until you arrive at the top where the monolith, Alphabrews and Ukraine pieces are located.
Through his outsider art, the Banksy of beer cans has built Richmond art you can visit while creating memories with your family. Connect with the Beer Can Monolith creator on Facebook or Instagram @beercanmonolith.