Pretty decent sports weekend coming up at The Thirsty Beagle Northwest Oklahoma County Memorial Sports Coliseum. And a pretty decent beer weekend, as well. I have indeed secured a bottle of Sam Adams Chocolate Bock, which I will sample and likely review this weekend. Mrs. Beagle asked that I pick up some Sam Adams Winter Lager — and I tacked on some Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, too – so no one can accuse us of not getting caught up in the holiday spirit this season. Speaking of the holiday season, I’ve noticed at least one house in my neighborhood with Christmas lights up already. I feel quite shamed that I’m not the first person with my lights up. I’m serious. I’m a little bit of a Christmas decorating maniac. I think this will be the weekend for my lights; I can’t be left behind when it comes to commercial Christmas spirit. Also want to remind loyal TTB readers to visit this space Monday for The Thirsty Beagle Beer Championship Series — a bracket-style playoff to determine Oklahoma’s favorite beer.
We’ve all had a time where we think, “Man, I could really use a beer right about now.” For me, it’s any long weekend with the non-drinking in-laws. Typically, you just accept the fact you’re not going to be able to have one, and move on with life. Unless your name is “Chops” and you live in southern Arizona. Then you get fired up about it and attack someone with a machete. That news hit the wire today with a report that a man named Angelo Antonio, 38, of Sells, Ariz., — a guy known somewhat appropriately as Chops — was sentenced to six years in federal prison for a machete attack. Antonio got upset with a man who refused to give him beer, and then “struck the victim on the head with the machete and stabbed him in the back,” according to the report. I don’t know what kind of jerk this guy is — although one can assume he rates pretty high on the jerk-o-meter scale – but maybe they should have just given him the beer.
Thunder basketball: It’s fantastic! Well, not really. What kind of beer are they serving at the Ford Center these days? Because I suspect there are a lot of Thunder loyalists who may be trying to drown their sorrows as the season continues. But take heart, fans. Even though the team is 1-11 and on a pace for no more than seven wins this season, ESPN’s John Hollinger has a much more appealing number. He projects there is better than 20 percent chance the Thunder will win it all.
Meanwhile, The Thirsty Beagle will continue my crusade against the college football BCS. Today, I’d like to talk about the coaches poll. Hey, here’s a great idea: Let’s have coaches with obvious and blatant vendettas — hello, Howard Schnellenberger — decide who should play for the national championship. I mean, this system is just a joke. And I will again suggest that the idea a playoff in football would diminish the regular season is a useless idea. Take this weekend for example: If OU loses to Tech, there’s a good chance they would not only be playing themselves out of the national championship picture, but also out of an eight-team playoff scenario. Having an eight-team playoff does not mean any old team can just waltz into the playoffs regardless of how they did during the regular season. And the too many games argument: That can go out the window as well. I don’t hear the old Division II folks complaining. That’s the thing, there already is a college football playoff, in Division II, or as it’s called now, the FCS, and it works great. Let’s keep chipping away at the old guard here, folks. And while I’m at it, let me throw in a plug for The Thirsty Beagle Beer Championship Series. I’m planning to release the bracket on Monday. Check back daily and vote so we can crown a real champion!
The frat-house game beer pong appears to be going big-time. Officials at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas have announced they’ll be playing host to the 2009 World Series of Beer Pong, Jan. 1-5 at the casino/hotel. For those of you who don’t know — I don’t think the game was popular when I was in college — beer pong essentially involves tossing a ping pong ball into a series of plastic cups of beer. If your opponent gets the ball in one of your cups, you have to drink the beer. At least that’s the frat-house version. There are a variety of rules and regulations for official beer pong competitions, and drinking the beer isn’t always mandatory. I think what is mandatory to compete is to have nothing better to do with your time. Either way, here are additional details. Personally, I’d prefer to drink my beer not in plastic cups. And without having to pick a greasy ping pong ball out of it.
If there’s anything close to a national beer holiday, it’s Dec. 5. That day marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. And what person who enjoys beer can’t raise a glass to that? In this report, a Yeungling brewer says her great-grandfather “opened a dairy and invested in things like Broadway shows and New York dance halls” to keep the east-coast brewery afloat during Prohibition. When Prohibition was lifted, Yeungling sent a truckload of beer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
UPDATE: Also mark April 7, 2009, on your calendar: That’s the 50th anniversary of the state of Oklahoma jumping on the Prohibition repeal bandwagon.
There’s been much hand-wringing about the spiraling economy taking a bite out of the beer business. Reports about pubs closing in Britain have become second nature. One beer expert thinks a group that may start to see a noticeable dent in the bottom line is American craft brewers. As TTB has reported, craft brewers can’t afford to slash prices like the big boys, and so they may be left holding their own bottles when it comes to beer sales. In this interview, author Amy Mittelman says that during extremely tough economic times, consumers tend to look for the lowest price point, a trend which could spell trouble for craft brewers.
Just got word from Byron’s Liquor (Broadway and NW 23) that they have Sam Adams Chocolate Bock in stock. A 25-ounce bottle for $12.50. Interesting side story on Byron’s: I was scanning their Web site and under the “About Us” link, there’s a story about how the store’s founder was attacked by thugs once in the 60s, so he ordered all his employees to come to work the next day wearing cheap cowboy and cowgirl outfits. What wasn’t cheap was the real pistols he also outfitted his staff with. Many customers didn’t know the guns were real; they just assumed it was all part of the outfit. Those looking to cause trouble, however, apparently recognized it would not be such a good idea to take on the Byron’s posse. The gun-toting didn’t last for long though. When police got wind of the practice, they brought an end to it.
The Thirsty Beagle has already gone on the record as a BCS hater. I’ll go on the record again: I hate the BCS. If the system that ranks Notre Dame in the preseason top 25 every year — even though there’s every good chance they’ll be terrible – is the same system that helps choose who will play for the title, it’s a bad system. That’s why it’s time for TTB BCS: The Thirsty Beagle Beer Championship Series. The goal: To determine Oklahoma’s favorite beer. The method: A bracket-style playoff. I’ll come up with the bracket, The Thirsty Beagle readers will vote on their favorites. Stay tuned for the bracket release on Monday, Nov. 24. Each match-up will have one day of voting, culminating with the crowning of a true champion, The Thirsty Beagle Beer Championship Series winner.
The Thirsty Beagle earlier reported on a USB drive bottle opener and a beer-filled USB drive, but now I’ve come across another ingenious beer gadget. This:
What is that, you ask? It’s a ring with a bottle opener built in? Why would you need something like this? Well, what if your plain old regular wedding band doesn’t work?
Here’s news making the rounds in the beer world:
-The long-awaited sale of Anheuser-Busch to Belgian brewer InBev has been approved by the federal government. The only catch now is that InBev must sell off subsidiary Labatt USA to assure beer prices in western New York remain competitive.
-Germany has been reluctant to send troops into the fighting in Afghanistan, but apparently not so reluctant to ship its beer to the Middle East.
-A new book is out detailing the history of Shiner Bock. This brings me to a different point: If I go to a restaurant and see Shiner listed under the “Import” list one more time, I’m going to lose it. The beer is from Texas. Last I heard, getting a bottle of beer into Oklahoma from Texas wasn’t quite as difficult as having some Chimay brought in from Belgium.
-British beer drinkers – citing tough economic times – are opting to stay home to drink and thus avoid paying higher prices for beer at their local pub.
-Also in Britain, a 19-year-old man was caught up in a flood and drowned. This is sad, but it probably didn’t help that he tried to walk home through flood waters after drinking 13 pints of beer.
-If you’re a teen with rather liberal parents, you might want to move to Wisconsin.