-Mustang Brewing will be at Old Chicago in Edmond from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday to help the restaurant kick off its World Beer Tour of 2010.
-A book release launch party is scheduled for Feb. 4. I won’t go into details about that, other than to say that COOP’s Horny Toad is in the running to be the drink special of the party. You can vote here.
-Some guys in New Zealand came under fire after they placed a help wanted ad looking for a “midget” or “large-chested woman” to fetch beer for them at a rugby match. I’m not making this up.
-Let’s all celebrate the 75th anniversary of the beer can. Don’t celebrate too hard.
-A Burger King franchise in Miami will start selling beer, a first for the chain. I like the beer part, but I think I’ll stick with my Cattle Tracks burgers, thank you very much.
-Ah, the power of beer. A Haitian man was pulled from the rubble after 11 days. How did he survive for so long? Cookies and beer. Seriously.
There’s a report hitting the Interweb today that labor strife at Belgian breweries is causing the supply of Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe to literally run dry. AB-InBev is threatening to lay off up to 800 beer employees in Europe, about a third in Belgium, despite posting a third-quarter profit of $1.55 billion. Needless to say, the Belgians are none to enthused. So what are the beer workers doing? They’re blocking beer from leaving breweries, blocking ingredients from getting in and even holding their supervisors hostage. (Read the details here. Watch a video here.) The lesson: Don’t mess with Belgian beer. I think those are words we all can live by.
Here are some news and notes from the local beer scene:
-Mustang Brewing Co. is having a beer night from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight at Old Chicago, I-240 and Pennsylvania.
-The Tulsa McNellie’s is hosting a Haitian relief night from 5 to 10 p.m. Jan. 26. Half of proceeds will go to the relief effort.
-McNellie’s in Tulsa is also hosting a Mardi Gras beer dinner at 7 p.m. Feb. 2. RSVP by e-mailing email@example.com.
-TapWerks in Bricktown unveiled a nifty beer promotion this month: St. Practice Day. Beer specials on the 17th to get ready for St. Patrick’s Day. Keep that in mind on Feb. 17.
Good Monday morning to you all. Here’s a pretty cool video showing how Tulsa’s Marshall Brewing Co. bottles its beer.
So you wanted my take on the week in sports? What? No? Too bad, you’re getting it anyway.
-Bedlam. Or should I say Bricklam. This game was really easy to break down. For OU, you had a couple tactics that proved effective every time. First, there was the play where the big man neatly sealed his man in the post for the easy lob pass, then followed with the open layup off the bottom of the rim. Always a crowd pleaser. The only play OU ran with greater success was the vaunted missed front end of the one-and-one. For OSU, there were numerous go-to moves the Cowboys relied on. For starters, you had the contested long three-pointer early in the shot clock. When that wasn’t there, OSU went to the driving layup that rammed off the backboard so hard it landed at the three-point line. At that point — if they managed to secure a rebound — they were in perfect position for another contested long three-pointer. When none of that was going, OSU could always fall back on its patented “Four Guys Standing Around” offensive set. To sum up: Get ready for a lot of talk about “needing to make a run in the conference tournament” when it comes to both OU and OSU.
-Steroids. Mark McGwire admits he took steroids. Yawn. Who didn’t already know that? The stupidest part of that whole deal is McGwire’s assertion that he took steroids only for health — not for home-run-hitting power. Right. I’m sure the steroids also had nothing to do with his biceps growing 10 inches in diameter and him turning green when he got angry.
-Coaching. OSU football reportedly has lured away Houston’s offensive coordinator (and its offensive quality control coach, too. WTH? Offensive quality control coach? Although, Houston did run up and down the field against OSU, so maybe that’s a good idea). I’m slightly enthused, you know, since I had grown fairly tired of the two-yard dive left OSU ran on every play in the Cotton Bowl. But I won’t go all in on this one until I hear Mike Gundy personally tell me he will not be calling plays next year.
-The NBA: It’s Faaaaaantastic! Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was suspended and charged with a felony after he reportedly brought guns into the team’s locker room. Conservatives predicted the Obama administration would make things hard on gun enthusiasts. I guess they were right. Now you can’t even bring unregistered handguns into an NBA locker room. Sheesh. What kind of crackdown is coming next?
Have a good weekend!
Interested in local beer scene news?
-Since launching in mid-July, Mustang Brewing Co. has sold more than 250 kegs and 3,100 cases of beer, according to their most recent newsletter.
-You can meet Marshall Brewing brewmaster Eric Marshall tonight in Tulsa at Campus Grill, 3148 E 11th St. Beer-inspired food will be on the menu.
-In other Marshall news, a second release of the brewery’s new Big Jamoke porter is expected to hit store shelves later this week. The first release sold out in three days.
-COOP is having a beer dinner Jan. 28 at Iron Starr Urban Barbecue in Norman, 575 S University Blvd. Tickets are $40, but availability is limited. Call 310-3233 to RSVP.
The Thirsty Beagle would like to extend the warmest gratitude to the good chaps over at COOP Ale Works for opening up the brewery Saturday night for an open house. COOP celebrated the one-year anniversary of their first commercial batch with quite the party. More than 750 people consumed more than 200 gallons of beer. The place was packed, the music was blaring and the beer was a-flowin’. You can see in this picture what looks like a bunch of people standing around.
That was essentially a pair of lines — the first headed under the Oktoberfest banner for tastes of COOP’s starting five: DNR, Native Amber, Horny Toad, Gran Sport Porter and Zeppelin German Wheat. The second line was headed into the back of the brewery for a sample of the recently introduced Oak Aged Imperial Stout and the yet-to-be-released F5 IPA. I can proudly report that now I’ve tried all of COOP’s offerings and can strongly suggest that when the F5 IPA comes out, do yourself a favor and go grab one. I’ve tried a variety of IPAs, and none has the aroma of what COOP’s offering. Smelling that beer is an experience to behold. And of course, it tastes pretty damn good, too!
One interesting thing you may have noticed if you were there were these things posted on a wall:
Looks like some pretty sharp six-pack packages right there. I know after Saturday night there will be a lot of people on the lookout for the release of said six packs.
So Alabama beat Texas last night. They’re national champions. Or is Boise the national champion? Well, Boise didn’t play anyone all year, so there’s no way they’re as good as Alabama. But you know, they may be as good as Alabama. I guess we’ll just never know for sure. What’s that? Why don’t we just let Alabama and Boise play to figure out who’s better? Exactly. That, ladies and gentlemen, is your college football BCS. It sucks and we don’t need it. But I know of a different BCS. One that dispenses with the politics and posturing and, quite frankly, is pretty damn great. It’s The Thirsty Beagle’s Beer Championship Series. The Beer Championship Series rocks, because we let the beers settle it on the field, if you will.
Back in November, we completed the second annual Beer Championship Series. A lot of fun was had and a ton of people voted. One common theme I heard from several beer fans, however, went something like this: “Why don’t you have such-and-such beer in the bracket?” Or, “So-and-so beer is OK, but I would have put Beer X in the contest.”
The truth is, there are a ton of beers out there, and coming up with a 64-beer bracket that’s one-quarter filled with Oklahoma beers means some will be left out. But what if, just like in college basketball, everyone had a chance to make the bracket. What if beers had a chance to earn their way into the bracket by winning their own beer conference? What if every beer had a chance for its one shining moment? Beer fans everywhere: I give you the 2010 Beer Championship Series!
I’m going to unveil a series of beer conferences — the Germany Conference, the Canada Conference, the Organic Conference, a pair of Oklahoma conferences, to name a few – and the conference winners, as voted by beer fans, will earn a spot in the 64-beer bracket. Once all the conferences are settled, a panel of judges — the Beer Selection Committee — will fill in at-large beers. Then head-to-head voting similar to last year’s BCS bracket will commence.
So stay tuned, bookmark it, whatever, just remember to check back soon for competition to begin!
Here’s my latest LOOKatOKC column. I think it’s quite appropriate with the college football season wrapping up tonight:
I humbly submit to you that the best type of holiday is the beer holiday.
What, you might ask, is a beer holiday? It’s any day or stretch of days where you don’t have to go into work and you can sit around, watch sports and drink beer.
Thanksgiving can be a beer holiday, so long as you don’t have to work the Friday after. Same for Christmas or the Fourth of July. If you can sit around the house, socialize with family and/or friends and enjoy some cold refreshment, you’ve got yourself a beer holiday.
And the beer holiday isn’t limited to federally mandated days off. No, the beer holiday can coincide with your middle-of-the-summer vacation, tailgating on Saturdays in the fall or with my two favorites: New Year’s week bowl games and the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament.
These are arguably two of the best times of the year for sports.
But which one is tops, Bowl Week or March Madness? It’s time to break it down, tale-of-the-tape style!
-Game excitement: Bowl Week is exciting if your team is playing or if you’re betting on the games. March Madness is exciting when an upset is brewing or you’re playing along on your bracket. Plus the whole survive-and-advance deal is pretty cool. Edge: March Madness.
-Upset potential: March Madness is the home of the David vs. Goliath story line. Bowl Week features mainly evenly matched teams. Edge: March Madness.
-Pageantry: March Madness has the great CBS theme song. Bowl Week has classy fight songs and marching bands. Edge: Bowl Week.
-Continuous viewing potential: Bowl week has an impressive slew of games, but also some days with only one game. March Madness features four straight days of 11 a.m.-to-midnight-burning-out-the-TV potential. Edge: March Madness.
-Unique viewing twist: Many early March Madness games are played in generic arenas with sparse, quiet crowds. Bowl Week usually features one or two snow games. Edge: Bowl Week.
-Eating/drinking: March Madness generally calls for pizza and chicken wings, but it’s really pretty wide open in terms of the menu. Bowl Week gives you one last shot at tailgating menu glory. Both call for a ready supply of beer. Edge: Bowl Week.
So we’ve got a 3-3 tie. I’m going to give the edge to… March Madness! It’s hard to top the upset potential, the do-or-die games and the non-stop viewing with live look-ins well into the night.
The fact that I like to dominate my bracket doesn’t hurt either.
If you haven’t seen food editor Dave Cathey’s video piece on COOP, here it is:
And if you missed Dave’s story on COOP, you can find it here.