Just a quick heads up to all out there who may be interested in scoring some Leinenkugel Summer Shandy this weekend: Went to two liquor stores in Edmond this morning and both were fresh out. One proprietor told me that the beer is so popular this year, Leinenkugel can’t make enough to satisfy the demand. So, a word of warning: Call your liquor store in advance to make sure they have it before you head out to pick up some drinks today. Cheers!
TTB here, just checking in before signing off for the weekend. I got a note in my e-mail today that Mustang Brewing Co.’s Mustang Golden Ale is now on tap at the Prohibition Room. If you’ve not been to the Prohibition Room, I recommend it for your beer fix. They’ve got a nice selection of beer there. Tops on my list is COOP’s DNR, which is a great, strong beer. The guys at COOP found a way to make a big beer that doesn’t taste like some kind of barley wine, which tends to happen when you start pushing double-digits in ABV. Couple words of warning: Don’t make DNR your first beer if you haven’t had anything to eat, and don’t make it your last if you’ve already had several drinks. You’ll thank me later. Anyway, have a great weekend and enjoy a couple great-tasting beers!
Did you know that all the beer consumed by Americans in one year could fill a keg that is 1,429 feet tall and 870 feet wide and weighs 66 billion pounds? OK, so maybe you did know that since you’re some kind of beer expert or something. But did you know that if all the beer consumed in the U.S. in one year were in cans that were stacked on top of each other, it could reach the moon 20 times? Those interesting tidbits and a bunch of other relevant beer stats are available at this link. The information was compiled by a guy who runs www.wallstats.com. The guy likes to use visual depictions to help people grasp complex or rather large numbers. Like the 200 million barrels of beer Americans put back each year.
Is it just me, or is this the longest week known to mankind? It’s only Wednesday afternoon?! Let’s get on with it, already! Anyway, couple things floating around in the ol’ Beagle noggin.
-What are the odds that if the American League was going to give up three runs in the All-Star Game that my man Roy Halladay would be the one giving those up? For the record, I hope the Blue Jays fire their general manager and keep Roy Halladay. This idea that Halladay needs to go play for a contender is crap. I have a better idea: the Blue Jays should become contenders. They need to quit trying to pretend they’re a small-market team. Toronto is one of the biggest cities in North America. So let’s drop a couple hundred mil on payroll and try to win with Halladay.
-I’ve got college football fever right now in a bad way. I’ve scanned the Internet for every preseason report I can find. I put a countdown timer on my iPhone to let me know when the first game is (1 month, 20 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes to OSU-Georgia!). I’m already formulating my tailgating menu and beer selection. Bring. It. On.
-Mustang Brewing Co. founder Tim Schoelen passed this note along about last night’s pint night at McNellie’s: “Mustang Brewing Company had a great launch at McNellie’s last night. 196 pints sold in just 12 minutes. 9 kegs were floated before it was all over. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! We could not do it without you. McNellie’s is re-stocked and ready to serve up more Golden Ale. We will send out updates for more events soon. Thanks again!”
-I apologize for stalling on my review of my Beer of the Month delivery. I have indeed tasted all four beers. In order that I not perform a disservice to anyone involved, I may need to taste the beers again before I can write about them. I know, it’s a tough job.
-Just wanted to drop a reminder that The Thirsty Beagle is on twitter. You can follow me at www.twitter.com/thirstybeagle.
Here’s news making the rounds in the beer world:
-A homeowner in Maine used a beer to convince an alleged burglar to leave. The would-be burglar was later arrested, but even more humiliating, the beer was non-alcoholic.
-Wired.com is looking for someone to help “pimp out” their Kegerator. The prize? Free beer, of course.
-A man was reportedly kidnapped, force-fed beer and abandoned on a Utah roadside in what police are describing as an apparent case of mistaken identity. Too bad about the kidnapping and abandonment parts.
-In giving-beer-a-bad-name news, a Mississippi police officer was arrested after being accused of stealing beer from a tour boat.
-And finally (this one also falls in the giving-beer-a-bad-name category), a Canadian man who was fined for drunken driving drew the wrath of a judge when he wore a T-shirt that read “Beer!” on it to his court date for sentencing.
TTB checking in this morning. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I finally had the chance to tap into my Beer of the Month selections over the weekend. Blog post forthcoming on that, or you can get a minor sneak preview at www.twitter.com/thirstybeagle.
Just a reminder that tonight at McNellie’s, Mustang Golden Ale will be featured for pint night. If you stop in over there for a taste, be sure to post a comment over here. Cheers!
Had this item passed my way from the folks at Bicycling.com. It’s a rundown of beers that have bicycling names, or bicycling references in their names, or bicycle themes or have breweries that are partial to bicycles. Included in the rundown is the Flying Dog Brewery’s Tire Bite Golden Ale, which any good TTB fan would know was crowned champion last year in the inaugural The Thirsty Beagle Beer Championship Series. The list is pretty solid, but TTB thought there was at least one serious omission: New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colo. Not only do all employees get a new bike after one year on the job, but the brewery was created after its founder took a bicycle tour of breweries in Belgium. Those guys might even deserve to be at the top of the list.
On a side note, in case you missed it, The Thirsty Beagle is now on twitter. You can follow me at www.twitter.com/thirstybeagle.
After last night’s epic Toronto sports post, I’m back with a shorter and more beer-specific post today. I mentioned earlier I’d discuss the several varieties of beer enjoyed on my road trip — not while actually driving on the road trip, of course — and in counting, I came up with 14 beers consumed in four cities over two countries. In St. Louis, there was Sam Adams Irish Red and Bud. In Chicago, there was Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. In Milwaukee, there was an MGD. And in Toronto, there was Stella, Heineken, Corona, Labatt Blue, Molson Export, Bud Light, Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale, President’s Choice Lager, Moxie’s Amber and some apricot beer that for the life of me I can’t recall the name of. Overall, it was some quality beer enjoying time. Here’s an enjoyment-level/taste ranking of the beers on the trip, taking into account the environment in which the beers were had:
1. Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale: Got this one on tap at the SkyDome during a Blue Jays-Rays game on Canada Day. It’s from a brewery in Nova Scotia, but you can find it all over Canada. You really can’t beat a cold draught at the ball game. Only drawback: $10.50 for the cup.
2. Moxie’s Amber: Had this at a pub in a mall in Toronto. If you’re in a mall in the city and are looking for a quick bite and a nice glass on tap, try the amber at Moxie’s.
3. Labatt Blue: I never thought I’d have this one this high on the list, because every time I get a Blue down here I end up feeling like it tastes terrible. Maybe it was the lack of importing time that led to a fresher, tastier beer?
4. Leinenkugel Summer Shandy: I thought I was through with fruit beers after the bad Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier episode of 08, but I really took a liking to this one. Very refreshing for a warm evening on the patio with a nice steak. Plus, this would be a good transitional drink for people who are just getting into beer after an ill-fated fling with fruity malt beverages.
5. Stella: Although I’m typically not a big fan of beer in green bottles, the Stella went down very easily.
6. Corona: I must be in the mood for refreshing summer beers, because the Corona with a slice of lime really hit the spot.
7. Molson Export: Nice Canadian lager here. Besides, how could I be a Canadian if I ranked a Molson under a Bud or Miller product?
8. Sam Adams Irish Red: No surprise here; decent beer. Nothing special.
9. Budweiser: A beer critic once told me Budweiser was actually a very underrated beer. I tend to agree to a certain extent. It’s better than all the mega-brewery light offerings, but maybe still not that great.
10. Heineken: I’m fairly burned out on Heineken at the moment, but it’s better than the other offerings mentioned below.
11. President’s Choice Lager: This beer was OK. President’s Choice is like the Canadian equivalent to Target’s Market Pantry or Walmart’s Great Value; a generic food company. That being said, it was not a bad beer, but really nothing special.
12. MGD: Had this at the zoo in Milwaukee. Mainly just felt like I had to have a Miller beer in Milwaukee.
13. Apricot beer: I wish I could recall the name, because I’d be doing you a service by informing you to skip this one. Anyway, just a good example of adding apricot to a beer to have an apricot beer, not to have a good beer that has an apricot taste.
14. Bud Light: I just can’t find very many redeeming qualities for this.
The Thirsty Beagle grew up a huge fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays. I still keenly remember my mother kicking me out of the house because of how angry I was when the Leafs lost a shot to play in the Stanley Cup finals when they were beat out by Wayne Gretzky and the L.A. Kings in the 93 conference finals. (Full disclosure: Like all Canadians, I love Wayne Gretzky. It’s a requirement to live in Canada, actually. So it still kind of stings to think about Wayne Gretzky potting the winning goal in game 6 of that series after cutting Doug Gilmour’s forehead with an inadvertent high stick. Anyone else, that’s four minutes in the box and the Leafs are probably on to the Cup finals. But what ref is going to make that call on Wayne Freaking Gretzky? And no, I’m not still holding on to this too tightly, all right?!) On the flip side, I clearly remember running through the streets of Toronto high-fiving complete strangers after the Jays won the World Series in 92. Then, in 1995, along came a new diversion on the Toronto sporting landscape: The Raptors. In those first few lean years — and I mean lean in terms of amount of wins — I started to gravitate to the Raptors. The early Raps were a scrappy, hardworking bunch that no one expected to win. So it wasn’t really that hard to take when they didn’t. Then came the Vince Carter draft and his breakout rookie season. The Raps were on the map. They made the playoffs, then the next year won a playoff series. Things were looking up. And I was hooked. When I moved down to these parts for school, there wasn’t a whole lot of coverage to be had on the NHL. So following the Raptors more closely became a pretty easy solution to fill my Toronto sports fix. Fast forward to 2006-07 season. The Thirsty Beagle has DirecTV and decides to pony up $180 and sign up for NBA League Pass. The Raps come out of nowhere to finish 12 games above .500 and win the Atlantic Division. They lose in the first round of the playoffs but seem to establish themselves as a sure playoff team. So The Thirsty Beagle re-ups on the NBA League Pass. What happens? Of course the next season the Raps falter, finish the season at 41-41 and get clobbered in the first round by Dwight Howard and the Magic. Immediately I decide I’m done with League Pass. I’m solid on this decision. I can find a million things to do with $180. Besides, I don’t need the aggravation of paying to watch a Raptors team that will consistently get manhandled in the post every year. Then at the 2008 draft, the Raps swing a trade to land Jermaine O’Neal. Yes, he was old and oft-injured and likely just a shell of his former all-star self. But he was just what the Raptors needed: A big guy to clog the lane, block shots and defend the other team’s post. That’s all he had to do. I’m intrigued, and decide to pony up the $180 again to get the League Pass. Big mistake. O’Neal is hurt, the team struggles mightily and they finish way off the pace in the playoff race. I started a tradition of watching only the first half of games. Once the Raps were down by 20 at the break, I didn’t see much point torturing myself with the second half. Before the season finished, O’Neal was traded. After the season, star forward Chris Bosh announced he’ll let his contract expire instead of signing an extension to stay in Toronto and The Thirsty Beagle is 100 percent sure he will not renew the League Pass. Then Friday happened. In a relatively stunning move, the Raps lure unrestricted free agent Hedo Turkoglu away from an apparently agreed-upon deal with the Trail Blazers and agree to a five-year pact with the former Orlando star. I read about a starting five of Calderon, Hedo, Bosh, Bargnani and potentially rookie guard Demar DeRozan at the two, and I’m intrigued. That actually sounds like a pretty damn good lineup. Maybe the Raptors will be back in the playoffs next year. Maybe they can contend for the Atlantic. Maybe I’ll have to pony up the $180 for League Pass again. Damn you, Raptors! You’ve lured me back in again.
Here’s some news making the rounds in the beer world today:
-Here is a review on a book about the art of tasting beer.
-A beer ad in Australia that let Internet users undress bikini-clad women has been canned.
-Some precision golf-ball-aluminum-beer-bottle driving right here.
-And finally, in the name of giving beer a bad name, a former TCU football player was shot in the stomach after an argument over an overturned can of beer.