The Thirsty Beagle must have been good in 2008, because I found an assortment or beer under the tree for Christmas this year. A relative who lives in Nebraska or Santa Claus — one of the two (and if you’ve been to Nebraska in the winter, it might as well be the North Pole) – delivered this three-beer selection from Empyrean Brewing Co. in Lincoln, Neb. Here’s a mini-recap of the three ale selections:
-Luna Sea ESB: This one had a nice crispness, a light flavor and a rather nondescript finish. A serviceable choice.
-Burning Skye Scottish Style: Pretty average beer here. Didn’t leave a big impression.
-Third Stone Brown: A fairly rich flavor with a pleasant aftertaste. Probably the best of the three.
The Thirsty Beagle here, checking back in after a much-needed holiday break. Hope everyone had a happy Christmas. And hopefully you have a great New Year’s celebration tonight. Feel free to sample many great beers as you welcome 2009, but remember, keep your drunk backside off the road. If you find yourself in need of a ride, try AAA Oklahoma’s Tipsy Tow program. Here’s a brief item we ran in the paper last week:
AAA Oklahoma continues to offer its holiday Tipsy Tow service through Jan. 1 in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Lawton. AAA will provide a free ride home for drivers — and their vehicles — who feel unsafe behind the wheel after drinking at a holiday party. The service is offered, no questions asked, to both AAA members and nonmembers. The ride home with towing service is available within a 15-mile radius from the point of pickup, and is available around the clock through Jan. 1. This is the 17th year AAA has offered the service. Call (800) 222-4357 and ask for Tipsy Tow.
The good folks at Sam Adams passed along this recipe to another NewsOK blogger, the Food Dude, who passed it along to me. If you’re looking to add a little twist to your holiday breakfast offerings, you can try this recipe created by Sam Adams chef partner David Burke.
Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Heath Bar Crunch Pancakes with Whip Cream
-2 cups buttermilk
-¼ cup Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock
-¼ cup melted unsalted butter
-3 large eggs, separated
-2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
-¼ cup sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-¾ tsp baking powder
-½ tsp salt-3 heath bars, crushed
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the buttermilk, Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, and melted butter. When they are well combined, whisk in the egg yolks. Set aside. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another mixing bowl. Set aside.Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix them together to just blend. Do not overbeat. Add in the crushed heath bar. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to just incorporate. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Spoon the batter, about ¼ cup at a time, onto the hot griddle to make neat circles. Cook it for about 3 minutes, or until the top is filled with bursting bubbles and the bottom is golden. Turn and cook the remaining side. Place the cooked pancakes on the prepared baking sheet and into the preheated oven to keep them warm while you continue making pancakes.
For the cream:
-1c heavy cream
-1T chocolate sauce
-1T caramel sauce
Combine the three ingredients and whip to stiff peaks.
Serve hot, three per person.
U.S. Army forces in Baghdad will get a double shot of Americanism on Feb. 1. Not only will they have a chance to watch the Super Bowl, (featuring the Steelers and the Giants, The Thirsty Beagle predicts) but leaders will temporarily relax the military’s no-alcohol-in-Iraq policy and allow each servicemember there to enjoy up to two beers while the game is on. The guys and gals over there have a lot to worry about, so here’s a hearty cheer to allowing them to enjoy a cold beer or two during the big game.
So you head out to the Christmas tree lot looking for a real beauty to take home to the family. You’re not going to give them the same old plastic tree this year. No sir, you’re going for the real deal. But when you get to the lot, all that’s left is a Charlie Brown twig with a few loose needles. Now what? It’s Christmas Eve, there’s no time to go to another lot and you’re determined to steer clear of the regular old tree this year. Fear not. All you need is 1,050 beer bottles and 300 meters of wire. Make sure you check the closing credits on this deal, too. There’s a job in show business I could handle!
Making its debut in Japan this week is a beer derived from space. Well, sort of. The beer was made using barley grown in the International Space Station. The beer is a joint project involving the Russian Academy of Sciences, a university in Japan and beer maker Sapporo. No word yet on what type of beer it is, or any other ingredients, and the brew is not yet for sale. The Thirsty Beagle has this to say: Come on, America! We’re going to let the Japanese and Russians beat us to the punch when it comes to making a beer with barley grown on the International Space Station? Why aren’t American brewers and NASA on the same page here? Is this a new version of the Cold (-Filtered) War? Here’s a suggestion for President-elect Obama: Forget about all those plans you have for saving the economy, getting people health insurance and creating a new green workforce; let’s show those foreigners we will not be defeated in the Cold-Filtered War!
OK, so this story is only slightly connected to beer, but it was just too weird not to pass along. Apparently a guy in China has for years been eating live snakes and washing them down with warm beer. Where to begin here? Really, eating snakes? And live snakes, at that? And washing them down with warm beer? The guy said he first ate a snake to win a bet with a friend for a pack of cigarettes. Are you kidding me? How about a pack of cigarettes and like $100,000. You’re talking about eating a live snake, here. I remember in college we paid one of our buddies like $6.57 to eat an entire jar of mayonnaise. Let’s just say that did not end in a good way. The Chinese snake-eater said eating snakes helps him relax, and that “it’s a bit smelly but they’re very delicious.” The Thirsty Beagle will stick to beer — cold beer — that is, and no snakes.
The Thirsty Beagle, a Toronto native, trudged down to the Ford Center tonight to watch the Thunder-Raptors game. While the Oklahoma City fans cheered heartily as the Thunder held the Raptors off and sealed the win, a little piece of The Thirsty Beagle died inside. Really, Raptors? When I posted earlier today that I thought the Thunder had a chance to notch win No. 3, I was trying to reverse psychology the whole situation. You guys weren’t suppose to lose. As a result, I’m declaring a Canadian week of mourning, beginning immediately. I will be inconsolable. Watch out Thunder: You may have a little competition for Blake Griffin.
The Thirsty Beagle will forgo the friendly confines of the Northwest Oklahoma County Memorial Sports Coliseum today for a prime seat at the Ford Center for tonight’s Thunder-Raptors game. For the first time, I’ll be sitting in a 100-level seat for a Ford Center event. Someone please tell me they serve special beer in the 100 level, not the standard No Taste Light I’ve been getting on the upper concourse all these years. Beverage choice aside, I think the Thunder may be able to notch win No. 3 tonight. Not that I want that to happen, necessarily. No ill wishes for the Thunder here, but I’m a Toronto guy — born and raised. I stick by my Raptors, Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, etc., through thick and thin. Lately, it’s been mostly thin for all three teams. Things have been especially painful for the Raptors this season. You’re talking about a team that two years ago was Atlantic Division champs, featured a young and improving core, and an all-star force and Olympian in Chris Bosh. Things have been slowly falling apart, though. Last year, the Raps scraped together a .500 season before being handily dismissed in the first round of the playoffs. This year, they’re off to a 10-15 start, and a lot of those losses have not been pretty. Let me give the Thunder a heads up on the Raptors favorite play: One guy heaves up a contested jump shot, while four other guys run back down the court without going for an offensive rebound. That’s why I dropped like $160 for NBA League Pass. Raptors basketball! Get ready for it OKC!
A Scottish brewer has been running an online contest to allow its fans and customers to pick ingredients and a name for a new beer. While some Scottish soccer fans apparently have tried to hijack the contest and have the beer named after their favorite players, several online readers have suggested a beer name with a decidedly American slant: Ale to the Chief, in honor of President-elect Barack Obama. Said brewery director James Watt: “We had quite a few suggestions from the U.S. for Ale to the Chief, which is a nice touch, and quite flattering for Obama that people want to name things after him already — it shows the impact that he’s had.”
Watt said the wacky soccer-player-name ideas aren’t going to make the finals.