That’s right. Not “sold at” 7-Eleven. MADE BY 7-Eleven. The company is hoping you will, because it will soon be rolling out a line of in-house beer called Game Day Light and Game Day Ice. The company is billing the beer as “premium beer” at a non-premium price. The thought of buying a beer made in the back of a 7-Eleven gives me the shudders. But fear not, the people at 7-Eleven at least know they don’t know how to make beer — they’re outsourcing that to a Wisconsin company. Still, the company better hope the low price point lures people in, because the taste of budget beer sure won’t do it. You can read more about the new 7-Eleven beer right here.
The good folks at Sam Adams are celebrating 25 years in the business, and company founder Jim Koch recently did this video to recount his top 10 memories over the past 25 years. (You may have to log in to Facebook to see the video) Some very interesting recollections there. I’m sure for many people — myself included — Sam Adams beers represented a first foray into the craft beer world. With our state’s recent emergence of craft beer, I have to admit I don’t drink Sam’s as much as I used to, but I think the company still deserves credit for its role in the establishment of the American craft beer movement.
The party will be 5 to 8 p.m. May 10 at McNellie’s OKC.
The first 150 people to purchase a pint of Washita Wheat will receive a commemorative glass.
We’re taking the BCS back to Oklahoma with the COOP Conference. The voting is now open!
1. Sapporo: 35 percent
2. Asahi: 23 percent
3. Kirin: 19 percent
4. Kingfisher Lager: 12 percent
5. Tsing Tao: 8 percent
6. Taj Mahal Lager: 4 percent
We’re coming back home starting Monday with voting in our second Oklahoma-based conference, the COOP Conference. Tune in next week and vote often. Cheers!
The Brewers Association this week released it’s annual report of the top 50 breweries in the United States. You can find the list and other information right here. Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams) is at the top of the list of craft brewing companies, followed by Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Spoetzel (Shiner) and Pyramid. No Oklahoma breweries made the top 50.
Here is some Oklahoma beer news:
-Today is the last day to reserve a ticket for Beer Sprocket, which is April 17 (Saturday) in Choctaw. More than 90 beers for sample and German food. Choc, COOP, Marshall and Battered Boar will be there. Read more about the event here. Reserve tickets here.
-I’ve posted a couple things about Choc winning a World Beer Cup bronze for its Signature Quad. You can see the rest of the World Beer Cup winners here.
-Big Tulsa Drillers fan? Marshall is on tap (Sundown Wheat or Atlas IPA) behind home plate at the new ONEOK Field.
-COOP Ale Works reports that the new F5 IPA is now on tap at VZD’s, as well as four other COOP beers. I can also report that the new(ish) Louie’s on Western in Edmond has a pair of COOP choices on tap.
-McNellie’s OKC is dead-smack in the middle of a Unibroue month for the bar’s Monday pint night. The first two weeks of April featured Unibroue Maudite and Unibroue Blanche de Chambly; Monday will be Unibroue Trois Pistoles and April 26 will be Unibroue La Fin du Monde.
Choc Beer Co. sent out a press release today about its bronze medal win in the World Beer Cup on Saturday for its Signature Quad (I have a bottle in the fridge right now I’ve been saving! What perfect timing!) Here’s the release:
KREBS — Oklahoma’s own Choc Beer’s Signature Quad took home a bronze award at last Saturday’s World beer Cup 2010 in Chicago. World Beer Cup 2010 was the largest commercial beer competition ever organized, showcasing 3,330 beers from 44 countries. Choc’s award came in the “other Belgian-style ale” category. This is the first award for any Oklahoma brewery in an international beer competition and comes on the heels of Choc Signature Dubbel’s gold medal at last September’s Great American Beer Festival.
Joe Prichard, grandson of original brewer Pete Prichard, explained how much this award means to Choc Beer: “The World Beer Cup is even more exciting than the Great American Beer Festival. To know our beer beat out actual Belgian beers is amazing. Belgian brewers invented this style.”
Limited quantities of Signature Quad are currently available in stores across Oklahoma and Arkansas. Choc will release more 22 ounce bottles by early June throughout their distribution network. Brewmaster Michael Lalli said, “Quad requires patience and a good amount of time to produce. Even before last Saturday we had been overwhelmed by the sales of this beer. Going forward we will brew this beer year round so that it is always available.”
Signature Quad is strongly influenced by the Trappist ales of Belgium. Choc brewers use premium imported malts and their house Belgian-style yeast blend to create the award winning beer. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with pungent esters and spice notes derived from the expressive yeast. The beer is extremely complex yet balanced and appealing to most palates.
World Beer Cup is a bi-annual international beer competition held since 1996. The event is organized by the Brewer’s Association, an advocate for craft brewing. Awards were handed out in 90 categories. Brewers from 19 countries and six continents won awards this year. World Beer Cup 2010 claimed the title of largest commercial brewery competition, a title previously held by the Great American Beer Festival 2009. For more information on the World Beer Cup visit www.worldbeercup.org.
If you live in Oklahoma now and have lived here all your life:
1. You are not a Boston Red Sox fan.
2. You are not a Boston Red Sox fan (for emphasis).
3. You are not an Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics fan, either.
I know that sounds harsh, but hey, tough break man. It’s the truth. This posting is the culmination of more than a decade of annoyance/anger with what is a truly rampant bandwagonism epidemic in Oklahoma.
This is not an exaggeration. Because there’s never been a major league professional sports franchise in Oklahoma (until recently), this has become a state of bandwagon jumpers. Maybe that’s appropriate, since everyone seems to get so fired up about covered wagons around here. But I, for one, am not going to stand for it anymore.
I’m from Toronto. I grew up there and cheered on the local teams with great passion. When I left there, I continued to cheer on the Toronto teams. What do I get to show for my 31 years of Toronto fandom: Two baseball championships. Now don’t get me wrong, back-to-back World Series titles are nothing to sneeze at. But when you take three professional sports teams and give them 77 chances — 31 for each of the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs and 15 for the Raptors – to win a title, bringing home a mere pair of crowns is somewhat disheartening. What’s worse? There is no immediate hope for anything resembling greatness on the Toronto sports scene.
The Maple Leafs? Five straight years out of the playoffs and no titles since 1967. The Raptors? Five playoff berths in 15 years and only one playoff round win. The Blue Jays? Their last playoff at-bat belonged to Joe Carter in ’93. In the meantime, three expansion teams — Marlins, Rays, Rockies — have made it to the World Series, and in the Marlins case, won it twice. The point? I’m getting nothing, man! But you know what? Tough luck for me.
Those are my professional sports teams. I’m stuck with them. I don’t get to trade them in. I don’t get to abandon them and claim someone new, even though that would be a lot more fun. I don’t get to decide, “Hey, the Boston Red Sox are hot! I’m going to order a weathered-looking Red Sox cap and start calling myself a huge Red Sox fan!” If you’ve lived in Oklahoma all your life and have no allegiance to a professional sports team, you can’t just up and decide you’re a fan of Team X. You’ve got to live it. You’ve got to inherit it. You can’t decide going to see a game at Fenway is like a life-long dream finally realized. And why not? Because you are not a Boston Red Sox fan! You are from Oklahoma. Find a local team to cheer for. Or move somewhere else.
So, where do we go from here? I’ve come up with a simple set of standards to use when life-long Oklahomans are trying to decide if they are indeed fans of a professional team. If you’re answer to any of these questions is yes, you are not a fan of the team in question.
1. Is the team in question is a traditional winner? You call yourself a Yankees fan because the Yankees have like 25 World Series titles. Is that your only reason? You’re not a Yankees fan. Also applies to: Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Red Wings.
2. Is the team in question a marketing/apparel juggernaut? Hey, everyone’s got a Green Bay Packers Brett Favre jersey! Now I’ve got one too! I’m a Packers fan! Wrong. Also applies to: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers.
3. Did the team in question recently become really good? Red Sox Nation! Red Sox Nation! Guess what? Before 2004, nobody had heard of any Red Sox Nation. You are not part of the Red Sox Nation. Also applies to: New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics.
4. Does the team in question have national cable coverage? You watched the Braves or Cubs on TV during the summer when you were a kid. Doesn’t count for anything. You’re are not a Braves or Cubs fan. Also applies to: Chicago Bulls.
5. Does the team in question feature a transcendent player? You think Michael Jordan was pretty much the bomb, and you’ve been a huge Chicago Bulls fan ever since. Everyone thinks Michael Jordan was the bomb, that doesn’t make you a Bulls fan. Also applies to: Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers.
6. Have you lived in Oklahoma all your life and have no reasonable geographic connection to the team in question? This category pretty much covers everything not covered above.
So what does that leave you with? Lucky for you, the Thunder are here. Go ahead and bask in their glow. Twenty years from now, no Oklahoma City natives would dare call themselves a Lakers fan first and foremost. You gotta earn it. Good thing you’ve got a chance now.
For my latest segment in the Five Questions With… series, I talk with Mike Turek, owner/operator of Old Germany restaurant in Choctaw and the organizer of central Oklahoma’s new spring beer festival/tasting, Beer Sprocket. If you haven’t heard, Beer Sprocket is set for this Saturday, April 17, at Choctaw Creek Park — site of the annual Choctaw Oktoberfest. A mere $45 gets you an Old Germany dinner, live entertainment and a chance to sample more than 90 beers from around the world, including all the local favorites. Only catch: you have to reserve tickets by end-of-day Wednesday. And the event benefits charity. But I’ll let Mike handle the job of filling you in on the details:
1. The Thirsty Beagle: Talk about Beer Sprocket; Is the festival your idea? What is the inspiration for the event?
Mike Turek: The (Eastern Oklahoma County) Rotary Club asked me to come up with a new fundraiser in part to help with the Bill Gates Challenge to Rotary to wipe out polio from the planet. I believe he pledged $1 billion in matching funds. I have heard of similar events but we really didn’t have one with international flair here in Central OK.
2. TTB: Could you elaborate a little more on the charity aspect of the event?
MT: I pledged $2500 to the Rotary Club of EOC whether the event makes money or not, so I am hoping we’ll have a great attendance. It just takes a lot of money to stage an event like this. So many fixed costs no matter if anyone shows up. In the end the city of Choctaw benefits as well by bringing new people to this great community.
3. TTB: Have you and your customers noticed an upswing in the beer scene in Oklahoma, in terms of the amount of local beers now available?
MT: Definitely! COOP is a prime example. The best part is that these new breweries are not just doing the same old thing, they are patterning after traditional European varieties, whether wheat beers, pilsners, amber Oktoberfest, lagers etc. Also there has been an increase in the availability of a wider variety of international beers. I think this years St. Patrick’s Day festivals were larger than ever before. I see more and more beer dinners advertised, so yes I would say there has been an overall upswing of beer interest … certainly on the local level.
4. TTB: What should people who attend Beer Sprocket expect in terms of food and drink offerings?
MT: The food will be prepared by Old Germany Restaurant; the EOC Rotary Club engaged us as the caterer for the event. Smoked pork chops (Rippchen), variety of bratwursts, German potato salad, red cabbage, sauerkraut and pretzel sticks. Everyone who registers for this event will get a plate with this variety. Water and soft drinks will be available for the designated drivers. Now 90+ beers will be poured for people to sample, it’s just awesome!
5. TTB: What do people need to do if they want to attend Beer Sprocket?
MT: They need to register online at www.oldgermany.com; click on Beer Sprocket. The only thing is they need to do it by Wednesday midnight. It’s only $45 and includes commemorative cup, a dinner ticket, live music and the ability to sample 90+ beers.
So, do you like an amazing selection of beer? Do you like good food? Do you hate polio? Then you gotta attend Beer Sprocket!