After intensive collaboration with The Thirsty Beagle, the U.S. government today unveiled a new warning system intended to save honest beer connoisseurs from making an incorrect choice when it comes to their beer selection. The program, which calls for labels to be placed on each can or bottle of beer served in America, and for bartenders to disclose the threat level of certain beers, is expected to go into place Jan. 1, 2010.
The Thirsty Beagle, who was tapped by the government a year ago to help develop the program, said he is pleased with the new system.
“People who are used to drinking some watered-down, no-good beer may not know what they’re missing by choosing a beer that may fall on the danger end of the warning system,” he said. “This new set of labels will make it clear which beers to enjoy and which to avoid with a 10-foot pole.”
A government official from the U.S. Department of Consumer, Industrial and Foodstuff Satisfaction said The Thirsty Beagle’s expertise in developing the warning label system was invaluable.
“Quite frankly,” the official said, “a lot of people in America drink irredeemable beer. We hope this new system will take the country on a track to more thorough beer enjoyment.”
The new warning label system will look like this:
So how does the system work? Suppose you’re about to open a can of Natural Light, you would notice a red, or Severe Risk of Terrible Beer, label on the can. Maybe you were going to crack open a Chimay Red; that bottle would have a green, or Low Risk of Terrible Beer, label on it. All beers would fall somewhere in the five-color range.
Some beer industry insiders have balked at the new system.
“You don’t see warning labels on orange juice or a loaf of bread,” one insider said. “Surely some orange juice is not as good as some other orange juice, but you don’t see the inferior orange juice being singled out.”
The government official responded by saying that comparisons to the orange juice industry are not warranted, mainly because no one really cares about orange juice comparisons.
“To argue that the government has no responsibility to safeguard the beer-drinking public’s interest when it comes to the quality of beer they drink, that’s just foolhardy,” he said. “Inferior beers of the world need to be unmasked for what they really are.”
The next step in the program will be an intensive project by The Thirsty Beagle to assign correct colors to each of the world’s beers. A series of tastings will be carried out nearly around the clock to bring the labeling system online before the Jan. 1 deadline.
“It’s a tough job,” The Thirsty Beagle said, “but somebody’s got to do it. And that somebody is me.”
Balloon boy, Colorado, Wife Swap, Megan Fox, Cheney, Bush, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Britney Spears
Here’s some news making the rounds in the beer world:
-A Canadian passenger jet recently was forced to make an unscheduled landing. Not because of engine trouble or some sort of terror threat, though. The jet was brought down because some no-good passenger stole beer from the beverage cart and then tried to flush the empty cans down the airplane’s toilet.
-SABMiller reports that the difficult market has beer sales down.
-A New York college has banned beer pong because of swine flu concerns.
-I can’t do a better job of explaining this story, so I’ll just paste the lead here: “A beer advertisement featuring Snow White blowing smoke rings while lying in bed with seven semi-naked (dwarfs) has reportedly left Disney fuming.” You can find the story here.
-Anheuser-Busch is buying all the ad time on this week’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” to push its new Bud Light Golden Wheat. On a side note, blog reader Dave had this to say about Bud Light Golden Wheat: “Just had first bottle of BL golden wheat, delicious. First Budweiser product I have liked. My family is laughing at me because I have always disliked Budweiser. If you like (hefeweizens), give this a try.” Britney Spears, Garth Brooks, Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie, Dancing with the Stars, baseball playoffs, hot air balloon, Megan Fox, balloon boy
Earlier this week I received in my e-mail a newsletter from Mustang Brewing Co. The subject line read “Where are Mustang beers made?” In the newsletter was a text from company president Tim Schoelen that explained there has been some confusion about where the beers are made, and he wanted to clear up any confusion. The letter goes on to say that Mustang beers — Mustang Golden Ale and the soon-to-be-released Mustang Amber Lager — are brewed through partnerships at established breweries in Wisconsin and Missouri. You can find the rest of the letter here. It goes on to explain that Mustang Brewing Co. is an Oklahoma company. The guys live here and pay taxes here. Either way, at first, I found it a little disconcerting. After all, I think it was generally accepted that Mustang Brewing Co. was an Oklahoma-based brewery. So I e-mailed Tim for a little additional clarity. Here’s the reply he gave me:
”Hey, Nick. Good to hear from you. We get the “This is brewed in Mustang, right?” a lot. I just want to be as transparent as possible so as not to be misleading or cause any ill will with the guys who are brewing local. We are still working with the City of Mustang and the state on getting the brewery off the ground. We will brew in our own facility in OK, hopefully early 2010 . We may look at some partnerships with local breweries, as well.”
I also scanned back through my earlier blog posts to a three-part interview I did with Tim in January and February. In those interviews, he made it clear that his company was sure to call itself Mustang Brewing Company — note the distinction between a brewing company and a brewery. He also said they would likely rely on other breweries to get their recipes off the ground at the outset. In reviewing everything, I think Tim should be commended for being upfront. Truth is, beer fans in the area likely could have gone on assuming or believing the beer was made here in Oklahoma if he hadn’t said anything. Realistically, he was under no obligation to spell out the out-of-state connections. But he did, and you have to at least appreciate the honesty.
Now we can keep our fingers crossed for the opening of another brewery on home turf.
Welcome to Week 6 of The Thirsty Beagle’s Big 12 (Lack of) Power Poll. To start things off today, picture one of those low-budget, in-house, promotional commercials they play during halftime to promote universities. And, action:
“How low do you have to go to be lower than low? At Colorado University, we’re pushing those boundaries every day. With a coach who’s developing permanent creases on his forehead from wearing a constant worried look to a coach’s-son quarterback with questionable arm strength, at CU, you can aim low!”
Now on with the rankings!
1. Colorado (1-4, lost to Texas 38-14; next, vs. Kansas) Is it even accurate to describe this Colorado team as the “lowly Buffs”? I mean, lowly suggests they’re pretty low, but maybe not the lowest. I’m going with the “lower Buffs” from now on. Throw out any team you want, the Buffs will be lower. Also, I’m taking up a collection so Colorado officials can afford Dan Hawkins’ buyout. The look on his face Saturday was somewhere between “I can’t wait to get out of here” and “It’ll be hard to never talk to my son again, but at this point, I think that’s for the best.”
2. Kansas State (3-3, lost to Texas Tech 66-14; next, vs. Texas A&M) Remember how Kansas State lost to Louisiana-Lafayette? The TameCats must have been so impressed, they decided to play with as much skill and talent as ULL against Texas Tech. Certainly an embarrassing in-conference loss.
3. Baylor (3-2, lost to Oklahoma 33-7; next, at Iowa State) The Bears put up a good fight Saturday; too bad Baylor’s good fight still nets a 26-point loss. Alas, the drive for six (wins) remains alive. Only problem? There may not be three more wins on Baylor’s schedule.
4. Iowa State (3-3, lost 41-36 to Kansas; next, vs. Baylor) Iowa State put up a heck of a fight at Kansas, and even had a chance to score the go-ahead touchdown late. Pretty wild turnaround for a team whose coach basically admitted they’d be in for a dogfight against the likes of North Dakota State. What’s even wilder? Iowa State may have a more realistic shot at bowl eligibility than Baylor. Who would have thought that at the start of the year?
5. Texas A&M (3-2, lost 36-31 to Oklahoma State; next, at Kansas State) The Aggies offensive line looked like a certain variety of cheese. That’d be Swiss. And not baby Swiss. We’re talking big-eye Swiss. Really big. Put it this way: When OSU’s underwhelming defensive front gets four sacks and bats down like five passes, you’ve got protection issues in a bad way.
6. Missouri (4-1, lost 27-12 to Nebraska; next, at Oklahoma State) It’s kind of difficult to rate a 4-1 team this lacking in power, but Missouri certainly stunk up the joint on national television on Thursday night. Whether is was the weather or their gimpy quarterback or their complete absence of a running game (91 yards), they didn’t look very impressive.
7. Texas Tech (4-2, beat Kansas State 66-14; next, at Nebraska) After the completion of this blog post, The Thirsty Beagle will enroll in classes at Texas Tech so I can take one last stab at college athletic glory. I’ve never played quarterback, but since apparently anyone can throw multiple touchdowns for the Red Raiders, I should be good for at least 300 yards and five touchdown passes.
8. Kansas (5-0, beat Iowa State 41-36; next, at Colorado) You might think it’s wrong to put an undefeated team this low in the standings. Let’s look inside the numbers (What does that even mean? Can I open up numbers and see inside of them?). Kansas has played five nobodies and with the lower Buffs, have a sixth on tap. Those six teams right now have a combined record of 13-22. None of them have a better-than-.500 record. Let me be clear: the Jayhawks have not been tested.
9. Oklahoma (3-2, beat Baylor 33-7; next, vs. Texas) So the OU receivers had a team-wide case of the dropsies. That’ll happen. But when it happens against guys that could barely qualify as walk-ons at OU, that’s not good. What’ll happen when the Sooners play live bodies on Saturday against Texas?
10. Oklahoma State (4-1, beat Texas A&M 36-31; next, vs. Missouri) Cowboys benefited from Texas A&M’s general lack of ability, but still, a road conference win is not to be treated lightly. Several receivers got into the act with big third-down catches and the offensive line appears to be gelling a little. Both good signs going forward.
11. Nebraska (4-1, beat Missouri 27-12; next, vs. Texas Tech) As bad as Missouri looked, Nebraska looked just as bad — if not worse — for three quarters. But pulling out a road conference win in those conditions has to count for something, so the Huskers find themselves in this poll’s second best/worst spot.
12. Texas (5-0, Beat Colorado 38-14; next, vs. Oklahoma) What a couple weeks ago looked like a sure-thing Texas win in the Red River game got a little dicey over the weekend. The Longhorns didn’t look like world beaters against the lower Buffs. They turned the ball over twice near their own goal line and only scored two offensive touchdowns. Texas’ blocked-punt touchdown came when Colorado lined up a snapper and punter and sent everyone else over to the sideline, and the interception return for a touchdown came on a throw that was sooooo (extra Os added for emphasis. I mean, did you see that throw?) bad it caused a father to bench his quarterback son. Needless to say, the Longhorns will have to try to make their own breaks this weekend or risk having their first gain in (lack of) power rankings this season.
In a post this week, I mentioned that I learned about the COOP Ale Works iPhone app during my visit to Zoo Brew. The app is simple and handy; you can scan COOP’s roster of beers and get the vitals plus a brief description. Then there’s a locator so you can find and map restaurants that serve COOP offerings. And now, as promised, here’s more on the app, via my e-mail conversation with COOP’s JD Merryweather:
The Thirsty Beagle: Why did you guys decide to do an iPhone app?
JD: It’s a very easy app to use and quite practical. A lot of bartenders have it and they can quickly answer customers questions regarding the composition of our beer styles. The locator is a great function because not only can someone find who has our beers on tap, the app actually drives customers to the businesses that carry our products. It’s a great win/win and a nice added value selling to when trying to get our beer placed at a venue.
TTB: What’s the feedback you’ve received so far?
JD: Feedback has been fantastic. First of all it’s a free app. We think ours is one of the first in the market for a craft brewery of our size. The locator only works in Oklahoma as our beer is only served in state at the moment. Users love it for the info, retailers appreciate the connection and additional traffic, we love it because it supports our interest in being a community based brewery!
So there you have it. If you’ve got an iPhone, and are a beer fan, you should download this one. Can’t beat the price, obviously, and it’s good to have when you’re trying to track down a nice beer from the guys at COOP.
So Dez Bryant is out, maybe for the rest of the year. Maybe we’ve seen the last of Bryant with the OSU football team. As an OSU fan, I’m not really too worried about it. I’m more worried about the next horribly depressing thing that’s going to happen this season. Don’t blame me for the negative expectations. I’ve been conditioned that way over the years.
The OSU football team is the master of the figurative punch to the gut of its fans. You know what I’m talking about. Two years ago against Texas, blowing a three-touchdown, fourth quarter lead, then missing a go-ahead field goal in the closing minutes just to watch the Longhorns march down the field at will and kick a game-winner. How about the infamous and super-demoralizing loss in Austin a few years ago when the Cowboys raced out to a big lead in the first half only to allow 1,307 unanswered points? Even a stringy Mike Gundy finding an open Brent Parker in the end zone for an OU-beating touchdown in 1988, only to see the ball fall to the turf, uncaught. All great examples of the punch to the gut. Trouble is, if you were already down and battered, that punch to the gut would be a whole lot easier to absorb. That’s how OSU rolls: They give you hope first, lift you up a little, get you off guard. Then they bring the hay-maker to the midsection.
Maybe that’s the part that makes it the hardest to be an OSU fan. They always seem to find a little glimmer of hope. You’re tantalized with it. Tempted with it. And in the end, tormented with it. It comes with the territory of being an OSU fan. So maybe before this season started, we should have checked the hope meter and realized things were too good to be true. Maybe when you have games like those I mentioned above — those games where you find yourself saying, “You know, this game is like a mircocosm of my existence as an OSU fan” — you just have to sit back and realize things may never be as good as you want them.
But who wants to be that guy? That’s the old guy who’s had season tickets for like 50 years and now goes to the games with a stone-cold look of resignation on his face. I sat next to that guy in Gundy’s first year. He didn’t talk. Didn’t move. Didn’t seem to care OSU was barely beating the likes of Montana State, roundly being shut out by an average Colorado team, or somehow winning their only conference game against Texas Tech. He had seen it all. He had learned his lessons. He would not be tricked by a mere glimmer of hope.
Thing is, I was finding myself turning into that guy. I mean, how many punches to the gut do you have to take before you can’t help but turn into that guy? Then came this season. Like so many fans, I’m sure, I let my guard down. I let hope sink in. OSU beat Georgia. Hope ballooned. And then the Cowboys started swinging the giant fist of football despair. Against Houston, it connected. Kendall Hunter got hurt. The team looked average against Rice. Bryant and Perrish Cox got hurt. Jeremy Smith ran wild against Grambling, then he was out for the season. Houston lost to UTEP, which lost to Texas by like 700 points, making OSU’s loss to Houston that much harder to take. We’re not talking about just a glancing, one-time shot to the gut here, we’re talking about a punch that landed hard, brought the pain and wants to keep on giving.
OSU’s season has gone beyond anything we’re used to seeing as fans. You might argue the Houston game was one of those microcosm games I mentioned earlier, but I won’t do that. That would take attention away from the season as a whole. In fact, I think we’re smack in the middle of OSU’s first microcosm season. It’s just like those games when you thought they had a chance, only to see it squandered away in agonizing fashion. Only this one ain’t lasting just for 60 minutes. This truly could be OSU’s most devastating punch to its fanbase’s gut yet. And we’re only one third of the way through the season! What’s next? Losing to A&M and Baylor? Zac Robinson getting hurt? Boone Pickens asking for his money back?
That’s why I’m not all too worried about losing Dez Bryant. I’m fairly certain it’s not the last terrible thing that’s going to happen to OSU’s football team this season. If I start bracing for that punch to the gut now, maybe it won’t hurt as much when it lands.
It’s going to be tough for the Sooners to win any more games this year. You know, with Bob “Worst Coach in the History of the World” Stoops in charge, they’ve got no hope. I gained that knowledge from listening to 1.7 seconds of sports talk radio on Monday. Now on with The Thirsty Beagle Big 12 (Lack of) Power Poll…
1. Colorado (1-3, lost to West Virginia 35-24; next, at Texas) The Buffs didn’t get killed by West Virginia, but I never really thought they’d win it, either. Well I especially don’t think they’ll win against Texas or Kansas in the next two weeks. How about they just get used to the idea of trying a 1-5 record on for size.
2. Iowa State (3-2, lost to Kansas State 24-23; next, at Kansas) The Cyclones had a chance to double their win total from last year, but alas, they had a game-tying extra point blocked by the juggernauts from Kansas State.
3. Kansas State (3-2, beat Iowa State 24-23; next, at Texas Tech) Speaking of the unstoppable force known as Kansas State, following this week’s tilt at Texas Tech, the Wildcats have A&M and Colorado at home before playing four straight (OU, KU, Mizzou, Nebraska) which they will almost certainly lose.
4. Texas A&M (3-1, lost to Arkansas 47-19; next, vs. Oklahoma State) You had the glitz and glamour of the new Cowboys Stadium. You had a traditional, throwback match-up of former Southwest Conference rivals. And then you had Texas A&M showing what would happen when an actual football school was on the schedule. Needless to say, the Aggies proved The Thirsty Beagle right when he said he was unimpressed with their 3-0 start.
5. Baylor (3-1, beat Kent State 31-15; next, at Oklahoma) Bears respond with win after losing starting quarterback and definite Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin. Wait, Griffin wasn’t gauranteed to win the Heisman? My bad. The national media had me believing Griffin was the second coming of Tim Tebow, or something.
6. Oklahoma (2-2, lost to Miami 21-20; next, vs. Baylor) Sooners have lost to ranked teams, beat unranked teams. Based on today’s AP rankings, they’d finish 6-6 if that trend continues. Not likely, but neither was a 2-2 start and the rash of injuries to make all other rashes jealous.
7. Texas Tech (3-1, beat New Mexico 48-28; next, vs. Kansas State) Red Raiders looked sluggish against horrible New Mexico team. Just like they looked sluggish at times against Houston. Just like they looked sluggish at times against Texas. Just like they looked sluggish against North Dakota. I’m no rocket scientist, but maybe this is just a sluggish team?
8. Missouri (4-0, bye; next, vs. Nebraska) The Thirsty Beagle is a big fan of Thursday night college football. And Friday night college football. That stretch during bowl season when there’s a game on like 14 straight days? Great! So while I’m really looking forward to this Missouri-Nebraska game, I’m just a little bit more pumped on account of the fact the game’s on Thursday night.
9. Oklahoma State (3-1, bye; next, at Texas A&M) Unlike the fickle voters in the AP and coaches polls, The Thirsty Beagle will not drop OSU in this poll simply because they didn’t play last week. I’ll have no choice but to drop them if the offensive line doesn’t find a way to gel in time for the A&M game, though.
10. Nebraska (3-1, bye; next, at Missouri) Huskers were tested once and they lost. They’ll face a test this Thursday at Missouri. I don’t really have anything else to say about Nebraska. So let’s talk about self-serve frozen yogurt. The Thirsty Beagle is a big fan, especially with some Heath bar crumbles and cocoa-dusted almonds. Yes sir, good stuff. But how long will this craze last? Have you noticed that 75,000 self-serve frozen yogurt shops have opened in the Oklahoma City area in the past couple months? I mean, aren’t they all going to cut into each other’s bottom lines? I’m just hoping one or two survive.
11. Kansas (4-0, bye; next, vs. Iowa State) Jayhawks have games against Iowa State and Colorado next; have a chance to be a sneaky 6-0 when they host OU on Oct. 24. Keep your eyes on this Kansas team. For all the preseason talk about Texas, OSU and OU threatening for BCS games, the Jayhawks have a favorable schedule and may crash the party before all is said and done.
12. Texas (4-0, bye; next, vs. Colorado) The Longhorns will be 5-0 heading into the game against OU. The Sooners will be 3-2 at best and missing their best tight end, their best wideout and playing with a either a rusty quarterback or one who’s never played against Texas before. Either way, looks like things are looking up for the Longhorns.
This just in: The Thirsty Beagle has reached a Twitter milestone!
It’s taken months of hard work, sweat, tears and blood, plus several pints of cool, refreshing beer, but TTB has now made the big time: 20 followers on Twitter.
Yes, yes, I know what you’re saying. Twenty Twitter followers? Well, believe it, folks! Clearly, The Thirsty Beagle has come after the world of multimedia and social networking with a vengeance the likes of which the world of multimedia and social networking has never seen in weeks.
So you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I join this great, outstanding and inspirational movement?” Glad you asked. You can follow me at www.twitter.com/thirstybeagle. Simple as a tall, cold mug of golden lager.
The Thirsty Beagle had a good time at Zoo Brew on Friday night. There was a vast selection of beer on hand; too many for one man to taste without massive sickness and/or certain death ensuing. That being said, I thought there were a few highlights/lowlights worth mentioning based on what I did sample:
-Big winners for me were COOP’s Octoberfest and Zeppelin German Wheat, Erdinger Octoberfest and Moose Drool Brown Ale. Also, kudos go out to Chase and JD of COOP for being the only beer guys to tough it out outside with the band all night. While it started to get chilly outside, you couldn’t hear the band inside where all the other beer was. So credit to COOP for keeping beer and music together on Friday night.
-Big loser for me was Sam Adams Coastal Wheat. The girl at the table said Coastal Wheat will be replacing Sam Adams Hefeweizen on liquor store shelves. She said it was made with lemons from California. That’s nice, but the beer tasted flat and lifeless. Rather than a hint of refreshing lemon, like you get with Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, I got a hint of cardboard sprayed with Pledge. Definitely underwhelmed.
-Other losers included the people who splashed the tiniest amount of beer into my miniature souvenir collector’s plastic beer mug thingy. I know it’s a beer tasting, but more than one little taste would have been nice. And I know it’s a miniature souvenir collector’s plastic beer mug thingy, but that doesn’t mean who should just sprinkle a little beer in there. Fill that thing up!
Another interesting development from Zoo Brew came from my conversation with JD from COOP, who tipped myself and Mrs. Beagle off to the presence of the COOP iPhone app. If you’re a COOP fan, you know you can’t find their beers in bottles. That means you have to find a restaurant that serves it. Enter the iPhone app. I’ll get more into the specifics in a later post.
Anyway, to wrap up Zoo Brew, it was a good crowd enjoying some good beer. Full marks to the Zoo for putting the event together. If you’re reading this, Zoo people, let’s find a way next year to bring the music and beer together. Whether that’s moving the beer outside or moving the music in, we need to get it done!
There’s a three-pack of beer events coming up the first half of October:
-Zoo Brew. The Oklahoma City Zoo’s beer-tasting event is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 2), at the zoo, 2101 NE 50. As of today, tickets are still available by calling 427-2461, ext. 618. The Groove Merchants will perform. I don’t know all the beers that will be there, but I can confirm that local breweries COOP and Mustang Brewing will be there.
-Art on Tap. The Oklahoma City Art Museum will celebrate its sixth annual beer tasting event from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 9. As many as 80 varieties of beer are expected. The event sold out last year. Tickets can be had by calling 236-3100, ext. 207. The museum is at 415 Couch Drive.
-Beer Dinner: The art museum will get back on the beer bandwagon three days later when it hosts its fifth annual Beer Dinner at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 12. The theme of the dinner is Belgium beers, including Lindemans Cuvee Rene, Orval, Lindemans Kriek, De Koninck, Westmalle Dubbel and Duchesse de Bourgogne. Reservations can be made at 235-6262.