There’s a development that all the devoted Thirsty Beagle fans out there (all two of you) will be interested to hear about: The Thirsty Beagle has now joined the LOOKatOKC team. At the request of LOOKatOKC editor and fellow beer drinker George Lang, I’ll be writing a column to run in LOOKatOKC when it publishes every two weeks. The first one came out Nov. 25; the next is slated to hit the racks Dec. 9. Did you by chance miss the first one? Not a problem. You can find it at the LOOKatOKC Web site — www.lookatokc.com — or you can read it right now, because I posted it below. Cheers!
If there’s one thing the Beer Championship Series taught me, it’s that people will cheat.
Taxes, poker, golf, middle school history exams: All grounds for cheating. Add to the list: fun contests to vote for your favorite beer.
Earlier this month I organized the Beer Championship Series on my Thirsty Beagle beer blog. The competition pitted 64 beers in a bracket and called on beer fans to vote their favorite beers along through the Sweet Sixteen, Final Four, etc.
I got a lot of good feedback from beer fans. Many thought it was pretty cool that someone in the media was paying attention to beer. Truth is, there’s a great deal of momentum right now on the Oklahoma beer scene. For years, the guys from Choc Beer were kind of out in the wilderness. But add true craft breweries in Tulsa (Marshall) and Oklahoma City (COOP) and now things are on the upswing. Several new local beers have been added to the landscape in only the past couple years.
Many years down the road, this time really may be viewed as the birth of Oklahoma’s beer renaissance.
This enthusiasm is great, especially for a beer blogger running a beer popularity contest.
But that enthusiasm also led to some questionable tactics by beer fans.
As the administrator, president and chief executive officer of the Beer Championship Series, I had access to every aspect of the competition. Most importantly, the voting records. I could see how many votes were being cast, what country they were being cast from and the IP address of the voter.
When one beer match-up had twice as many votes as the other beer match-ups that day, I did a little digging. Several dozen votes – enough to swing the competition — came from a single IP address. It’s not strange that several votes might come from one IP address. At large businesses or corporations, many computers will share one IP address.
What was unusual, though, was that the votes in question all came in rapid succession, about four seconds apart. It looked pretty clear to me someone was simply voting, deleting their cookies, voting, deleting their cookies, and so on.
The next day, the spam voter was back, this time voting more than 150 times in a couple hours. Now, it may be true that I didn’t spell out on the blog this type of tactic was not allowed, but come on people! At the least, that’s not a very sporting way to do things.
In the end, I’ll chalk it up as a lesson learned. When the Beer Championship Series returns next year, it’ll be with a disclaimer about voting in a fair spirit.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the completion of the BCS with a celebratory beer – no cheating involved.
Quick update: COOP’s new seasonal release — Oak Aged Imperial Stout — is on tap today at the Prohibition Room and Coach’s in Norman. You heard it here first. Or maybe second. But either way, don’t say you never heard it here.
It’s that time of year again. Not for Christmas carols and sparkly lights, mind you, but for the festive holiday beer season. Many breweries this time of year release their holiday beers. And many are in the style of the comforting winter warmer — typically defined by a stronger-than-usual alcohol content that provides a warm feeling to the drinker. I found this article today on winter warmers. If you’re wondering what to drink/serve this holiday season, check it out.
COOP Ale Works announced this week that they’re unleashing a new seasonal beer for December: Oak Aged Imperial Stout (9 percent ABV). COOP’s Oktoberfest was one of the best Oktoberfests I tried in the fall season; I can only wager that Imperial Stout will be solid as well. And don’t be scared of the alcohol content. COOP’s DNR is 10 percent and excellent; these guys know how to handle a big beer.
The Thirsty Beagle reported yesterday that Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale is now available on your liquor store shelves in six packs. Marshall Brewing Co. announced today that Atlas IPA, Sundown Wheat and Old Pavilion Pilsner will also be available in six packs. The beers will be released in a staggered schedule. On a separate note, I’m not ashamed to admit I sat down with a 22 oz. bottle of McNellie’s Pub Ale while watching the Bedlam game on Saturday. Sometimes, you just gotta drink beer from a big bottle.
A recent newsletter sent out by Mustang Brewing Co. explains they have had much success with their two beers — Mustang Golden Ale and Mustang Amber Lager — and now will proceed with plans to build a brewery here in the metro area. They said there may soon be an announcement on a location, and that operations will hopefully be up and running early next year. You can read the newsletter right here.