Here are some news and notes from the local beer scene:
-McNellie’s in Oklahoma City will host a beer discussion tonight at 7 p.m. The discussion is titled American Craft Beer University: Part II. McNellie’s is at 1100 Classen Drive. For more info., call 601-PINT.
-The deadline for Choc’s Brew at Home Homebrew Competition is Friday. You can learn more about the competition here.
-COOP Ale Works is now on tap at The Wedge in Deep Deuce.
-Choc recently produced and posted a video on its Waving Wheat.
-Marshall Brewing’s Web site won an award.
Maybe botching the lighting of the Olympic torch was a worse omen than it seemed at the time? You would certainly think so after watching what has become of these Olympics for my home country. So one of the four arms of the torch didn’t raise out of the stadium floor during the opening ceremonies. I mean, they were still able to light the main cauldron, right? Well, that little bit of early Olympic impotence has proven to be a huge harbinger of Olympic trouble for Canada. To say these Olympics haven’t gone that well for Canada would be a bit of an understatement. You have the torch snafu at the opening ceremonies. Before that, you had a Georgian luge competitor getting killed after flying off the track. You had scores of people criticizing the safety of the luge track — so much so that officials built a retaining wall where the Georgian went off AND shortened the men’s course to take difficulty out. On the subject of courses and apparent danger, you had skiers criticizing snow conditions and people wiping out and flailing limbs all over the place because the weather hasn’t cooperated. Then you have the Canadian athletes. Leading up to the games, Canadians were running rampant in speed skating and downhill skiing competitions. What happens when the games start? Either the Canadians are cursed, are trying to hard or just forgot to show up and compete. The Canadians have won a few golds, but they also started a program called “Own the Podium,” which was supposed to indicate some sort of dominance in the medal count. Well, they’re clearly not owning the podium. Mostly they’re just gazing longingly at it while driving buy the neighborhood where the podium lives. Take the 1500-meter short track speed skating final, for example. We had two guys in a field of five. So where did they finish? Fourth and fifth, of course. And then you have the hockey team. Dear lord, don’t the players know that if they don’t win the gold an entire country will self-destruct? Hockey gold was the only thing that was going to salvage these Olympics for Canada. Now? The men’s team barely got by Switzerland and obviously came up short against the United States (which, by the way, is not as big an upset as people are making it out to be). Now they’ll have to win four games in six days if they want the gold, but that may be irrelevant since they’re probably not that good anyway. Crap!
Anyway, there are a lot of things about the Olympics that I don’t like right now, but there’s definitely one thing that’s a huge plus for me. It’s the “controversy” in men’s figure skating. I say “controversy” in quote marks because, 1) what’s Olympic figure skating without a controversy? and 2) any controversy that comes after the 2002 pairs skating controversy where two golds were handed out after the Russian and French judges made side deals about who they were going to score higher just doesn’t measure up as that big of an ordeal. So this deal with the Russian skater Plushenko criticizing the American gold medalist because he didn’t try any quad jumps? Just the best. You’ve got a Russian figure skater essentially complaining that an American skater isn’t manly enough, or is more interested in dancing than competing in the sport of figure skating. Need I remind anyone that the Russian performed his finals routine wearing a skin-tight spandex outfit lined with sequin and rhinestone made to look like a vest and tie?
Russian skater: “You’re not manly enough! And further, oh wait, hold on, one of my rhinestones is coming loose.”
At least there’s some humor in an otherwise bleak Olympic experience.
Mustang Brewing this morning announced the location for its new metro-area brewery. The brewery will be on Will Rogers Parkway near Interstate 40 and Meridian. You can read all about it in the company’s latest newsletter.
Some interesting points from the newsletter:
-Starting March 1, Mustang will begin purchasing equipment, filing for permits, and building out space at the warehouse.
-The location was chosen because it is close to Mustang, provides easy access to I-40 and I-44, and has all the space and wiring needed to get brewing quickly.
-In April, Mustang will announce a new beer scheduled to be launched in May.
Congrats to Mustang; as far as The Thirsty Beagle is concerned, the more breweries in the area, the better!
Had a couple Marshall Brewing news bits passed my way today.
-A Marshall beer dinner is scheduled at 6 p.m. March 24 at the Polo Grill in Tulsa, 2038 Utica Square. The cost is $55. The dinner will include five courses and will include Sundown Wheat, Old Pavilion Pilsner, McNellie’s Pub Ale, Atlas IPA and Big Jamoke.
-Speaking of Old Pavilion Pilsner, that particular brew is the latest Marshall beer to be released in six packs, joining the previously released McNellie’s Pub Ale. I’m told by an inside source that Atlas IPA is next in six packs, around April 1. Following that will be Sundown Wheat, although a release date has not been set. I’m told that because of Sundown Wheat’s popularity, the brewers want to make sure they’ll be able to produce enough to keep up with kegs, 22 oz. bottles and six packs before they dive into the smaller bottles.
On a separate note, I tried Sam Adams newest seasonal beer, Noble Pils, the other day, and can report that in a pinch it’s not too shabby. Noble Pils is replacing Sam Adams’ previous spring seasonal, White Ale, in the brewery’s seasonal lineup; if you liked White Ale, too bad for you! Anyway, as far as Noble Pils goes, it by far is more drinkable than Sam Adams most recent new addition, Coastal Wheat.
Noble Pils is made with a combination of five hops, but Sam Adams has done well to blend the hops with other ingredients in the beer. It’s not like some kind of hop overload run out of control. Now if you find yourself really missing White Ale, try Sam Adams’ Imperial White, which is a sort of amped-up version of White Ale.
His blood smells like cologne. His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body. His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards. He is the most interesting man in the world. And his name is Jonathan Goldsmith.
Goldsmith — to promote a new line of Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials — took time this week to speak to The Thirsty Beagle about the commercials and about his career in general. Goldsmith is a veteran television actor who got out of the profession for a spell to head up what turned out to be a multi-million dollar network marketing company. (During our interview, he revealed that on a business trip he once was caught in an ice storm in Broken Arrow. “Ice and some very good barbecue,” he said.)
He retired from the business world and looked to get back into acting, eventually beating out several hundred actors during auditions for “The Most Interesting Man” part, a role he said has been ”the biggest break of my life. The accolades I have received from this is more than I have over a 40-year career.”
Along the way to television and beer fame, Goldsmith has saved people from death’s door on two occasions (a mountain climber stranded in a snow storm without proper equipment and a young girl who nearly drowned at the beach) and continued years of work with the charity Free Arts for Abused Children.
Without further delay, here’s the latest Five Questions With… segment:
1. The Thirsty Beagle: What can you tell us about the new line of Dos Equis commercials?
Jonathan Goldsmith: We should debut mid-March. I predict that they’ll be the funniest, the best ones yet. These writers, they just get better and better. We’ve had a really good run and I think that it’s just going to get better this time out.
2. TTB: What has been the public reaction to the commercials?
JG: It’s been wonderful. I’ve had a very successful TV career for many years, but it just runs the gamut. We were sitting in a little Mexican restaurant the other day and a fellow comes over and says, “You’re the Dos Equis man.” I said yes. He said, “Yesterday I asked my little boy who’s 7 or 8 what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said ‘I want to be the most interesting man in the world.’” That felt nice.
3. TTB: Talk about your career in acting and in the business world.
JG: I was only in the business world for a little while. I had a very successful TV career and then I got into my late 40s and things kind of slowed down, my hair got a little grayer. Although I had starred in over 350 shows, I hadn’t made the leap from episodic television to film. They started offering smaller roles and I didn’t want to do it. Was tired of really not having any control over my life. I took basically almost anything that came along, as most actors do. And then I said I don’t want to do this. (That’s when Goldsmith got into the network marketing business.) But I never forgot about acting. I always wanted to go back to it. (I) retired from network marketing very successfully in 1998 and I said, no, I’m going back to the business.
4. TTB: Explain the birth of the “Most Interesting Man” character. Was that something the writers envisioned, or something you created?
JG: I think it was a combination. I used to work improvisationally quite a bit. I know that I brought a lot to their brilliant concept. My dear friend was Fernando Lamas, who used to sail with me. You probably have heard of his son, Lorenzo Lamas. Fernando was … one of the most charming, famous Latin actors in the world. We were dear friends, we had a production company together. He was very, very famous in his day. When he passed, I scattered his ashes. I based my character on him. He was a raconteur, a great swordsman, a lothario, a charming, lovely, funny and intense, delightful man. It’s a combination of what they had in mind and hopefully some elements that I brought to it. It was very much a working relationship that we took the best from each other, I think.
5. TTB: Do you enjoy a good beer every once in a while?
JG: I definitely do. I will tell you that my favorite beer is Dos Equis Amber. I absolutely love it. I was not much of a beer drinker before we got into this campaign. But now I thoroughly have enjoyed it. People try to give me all kinds of other things, the only thing I will drink is Dos Equis.
So there you go. Thanks to Jonathan for taking time out of his schedule to chat. I’ve always been a big fan of “The Most Interesting Man” commercials, and am looking forward to the new spots.
(Photo credit: Quillard Photography Inc.)
The lastest edition of LOOKatOKC hits the news stands today. Here’s my latest contribution:
I once had a coworker at The Oklahoman who would purchase some pink lemonade concoction out of the vending machine at the office. He would twist the plastic cap, and upon hearing the sound of air rushing out of the bottle, he would hold the vessel aloft and declare the drink “quite possibly nature’s finest food.”
Today, I take issue with the purveyor of the pink lemonade. If nature does indeed have a finest food, I think I know what it is: Beer.
In my days as a beer blogger, I’ve linked to several articles about the inherent health qualities of beer. After my most recent post, something struck me. If beer is great for all these independent contributions to the betterment of mankind, then surely beer must be great in and of itself.
So where’s the proof that beer is nature’s finest food?
-A recent study out of the University of California, Davis, found that beer, especially more hoppy varieties, contributes highly absorbable dietary silicon that improves bone health.
-Oregon State University researchers found the hops in beer contain a nutrient that inhibits cancer-causing enzymes and also makes unhealthy compounds more water-soluble, thus easier for the body to filter out.
-Several studies have shown that those who drink one or two beers a day will be less likely to have a heart attack than those who steer clear of the golden beverage.
-Beer in moderation has been shown to increase HDL, or good cholesterol. It also makes blood vessels less likely to form a clot and may help protect against type-2 diabetes.
-Experts have reported that limited use of beer on a regular basis can help offset some signs of aging.
-A National Institutes of Health study showed men who drank beer regularly had a smaller risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
-A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed those older than 65 who consumed one to six alcoholic beverages a week have a lower risk of dementia. Another study showed people who drank beer were less likely to suffer a stroke.
-Beer contains mood-improving nutrients like protein, B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iron, niacin and riboflavin.
Of course beer in excess can be harmful to people, so don’t, you know, go crazy thinking you’re boosting your health.
But in moderation, it’s pretty clear beer has some serious perks. Heart health, brain health, bone health, cholesterol improvement, mood enhancement and cancer prevention, to name a few. Did I mention it tastes good, too?
Yes, I think beer is indeed quite possibly nature’s finest food.
Here’s what’s happening in the world of Oklahoma beer:
-Abner’s Ale House opened today in Norman. This is the latest branch in the McNellie’s chain. It’s at 121 E Main St.
-Mustang Golden Ale is now on tap at Bedlam BBQ at NE 50 and N Lincoln.
-Choc Beer yesterday sent its first order of beer to Alabama, which only recently adopted something resembling real beer laws.
-Also in Choc news, there will be Choc Beer party Thursday night at 7 at Old Chicago in Edmond. 1919, Pietro Piegari and Signature Dubbel will be on hand.
-COOP’s Native Amber is now on tap at Electro Lounge, 5929 N May Ave.
-The Keep it Local OK/Oklahoma City launch party is 4 to 10 p.m. Feb. 26 at 1708 NW 16 in the Plaza District. COOP is the official beer sponsor. More info available at www.keepitlocalok.com.
First off, wanted to give a shout out to the 11 people who jumped on board to push The Thirsty Beagle to the vaunted 100 Twitter follower mark! These are great times my friends. But they are more than just great times because of Twitter excellency. If you’re a long-time follower of this blog, you may have noticed more than one reference to the True North Strong and Free, and you would know that The Thirsty Beagle is a Canadian and damn proud of it. So obviously, I’m pretty freaking pumped about the Olympic games starting in Vancouver right now. It’s been a pretty good opening ceremony so far. We’re building toward the lighting of the Olympic torch, and I’m getting ready to settle in for about 1,000 hours of straight winter games TV watching. I mean, if I only get to watch curling, ski jumping and biathlon once every four years, you better believe I’m going to soak it all in. But above all else, I’ll be watching the Olympic hockey tournament. It’s hard to adequately put into the words the importance this hockey competition has for the country of Canada. In 2002, when the Canadian team beat the U.S. team in the gold medal game of the Salt Lake City Olympics, my brother, myself and a friend from Canada turned our apartment living room in Stillwater into a scene from a dressing room after a championship game. We literally set off a wild celebration that included spraying beer all over the apartment. Minus the plastic sheets they hang over lockers after real sports championship celebrations. But you know what? We didn’t care. That’s hockey in Canada. Love, sex, religion, family: It’s all put on hold when it comes to Team Canada. The fact that these Olympic games are in Canada and the fact that there’s talk the NHL may stop suspending its season in the future to allow the best players to play in the Olympics add up to one pressure-packed situation for Canada. They HAVE TO win the gold. Needless to say, I feel a slight knot in my stomach just thinking about it right now. So, if you see a crazy-looking man running through the streets of Edmond with a Canadian flag at some point, that’ll probably be me. And that’ll probably mean Canada won gold in hockey. If you see none of that after the gold medal hockey game, I will likely have entered a long period of mourning and depression. Wish me luck. And go Canada!
I’m writing this blog post for no other reason than to make a self-serving push to reach an unprecedented Twitter milestone. The Thirsty Beagle’s Twitter feed — THIRSTYBEAGLE — now stands at 89 followers. It’s time to make a push for the century mark, folks. Like I said, that would be an unprecedented development in social networking. Unprecedented for me personally, yes, but still, unprecedented all the same. So Inter-surf on over and follow my Twitter feed. What do you get out of it? Updates when new blog posts are posted, of course; breaking updates on the upcoming 2010 Beer Championship Series; and also the occasional drop of wisdom you’ve come to expect from The Thirsty Beagle, like this Twitter post:
“I’m going old school — just picked up a six pack of Weihenstephaner. Kickin’ it like back in the 40s. The 1040s.”
OK, so maybe that’s not all that exciting. Either way, help push The Beagle over the top!
Ah, the power of beer! A studyrecently released by a pair of UC-Davis researchers shows that an ingredient found in most beers can actually help increase bone health. And if there’s one thing all beer drinkers are interested in, it’s bone health. The ingredient — dietary silicon — is especially prevalent in hops, but also in barley and wheat. Since silicon is most readily available in hops, it’s no surprise that IPAs — with their hoppy goodness — are the best type of beer for bone health when it comes to dietary silicon content. And what could make you feel even better about drinking beer (as if you need a lot of reasons)? How about the fact that the type of silicon in beer has a high level of “bioavailability.” That translates to how available something is to be used in the body. In beer, the silicon has a 50 percent bioavailability rate. For comparison, bananas are rich in silicon, but feature only a 5 percent bioavailability rate. Bioavailability. I just wanted to type that again. Anyway, looking to stave off osteoporosis and increase bone density as you age? Go with beer. Now here’s a list of silicon content for various beer types:
- India Pale Ale (IPA): 41.2 mg/L
- Ales: 32.8 mg/L
- Pale Ale: 36.5 mg/L
- Sorghum: 27.3 mg/L
- Lagers: 23.7 mg/L
- Wheat: 18.9 mg/L
- Light lagers: 17.2 mg/L
- Non Alcoholic: 16.3 mg/L