Here’s news making the rounds in the beer world:
-Tests will begin soon on a beer designed to be consumed on Earth or in space.
-A birthday party for a 3-year-old ended when the party devolved into a beer-soaked brawl.
-Scottish brewer Brewdog released the first of its strongest-beer-in-the-world The End of History inside the carcasses of roadkill– specifically seven weasels, four squirrels and a rabbit.
-Lastly, no link here, but Guinness has announced Oct. 1 — that’s Friday — as the U.S. release date for Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. I can tell you this about that: “The fullest in flavor of the Guinness brand variants, Guinness FES is carbonated unlike the nitrogenated Guinness Draught with which most Americans are familiar. The specialty beer is 7.5% ABV and possesses strong, roasted aromas followed by a unique bittersweet taste. Foreign Extra Stout is already a favorite of many around the world, making up 45% of Guinness sales globally.” Sounds good to me.
Live from the Still Not Impressed with Baylor Department, it’s time for your weekly Big 12* (Lack of) Power Poll.
(*May not contain 12 teams)
1. Kansas (2-2, beat New Mexico State 42-16): New Mexico State has given up 41, 42 and 42 points in its three games, all losses. The first two outings were against the mighty powers known as San Diego State and UTEP. So maybe Kansas shouldn’t feel too proud about its 42-point effort.
2. Colorado (2-1, bye): Buffs face a test this weekend with Georgia coming to town. If they play like they did against their last BCS foe (lost to Cal 52-7), it might not be pretty.
3. Baylor (3-1, beat Rice 30-13): Baylor’s average score in its three wins: 31.3-7.3. That’s all fine and dandy, except the wins were against Sam Houston State, Buffalo and Rice. The TCU drubbing still lingers as far as I’m concerned.
4. Iowa State (2-2, beat Northern Iowa 27-0): A good win for Iowa State, but the last win they may see for a while. Upcoming schedule: Texas Tech, Utah, at OU, at Texas.
5. Texas A&M (3-0, bye): A&M has had a lot of time to stew over their near-loss to Florida International. Was the escape at Kyle Field a fluke, or a trend? We’ll likely find out Thursday.
6. Texas Tech (2-1, bye): Speaking of sitting and waiting, the Red Raiders have had a long time to sit around and think about losing to Texas at home; expect them to exact conference revenge against Iowa State.
7. Texas (3-1, lost to UCLA 34-12): This game was The Thirsty Beagle (Lack of) Power Special of the Week! Texas looked lost on defense, which was supposed to be where they could hang their hat, and not any better on offense. Not a good sign entering the Red River Rivalry.
8. Kansas State (4-0, beat Central Florida 17-13): Kansas State looked sloppy in this win, but you still get some credit for reaching 4-0. I’m sure Texas would’ve taken a sloppy win against UCLA.
9. Missouri (4-0, beat Miami (OH) 51-13): After needing a last-minute touchdown to squeak out a win against a cupcake the week before, Missouri took care of business in a big way on Saturday.
10. Oklahoma (4-0, beat Cincinnati 31-29): OU was roughly gifted the win against a game Cincinnati team, but a road win against a BCS outfit will count no matter how you get it. Unless you’re playing Washington State.
11. Oklahoma State (3-0, bye): OSU moves to this spot largely on the (lack of) strength of everyone else’s performances over the weekend. It’s provin’ time on Thursday night!
12. Nebraska (4-0, beat South Dakota State 17-3): Is this a crack in Nebraska’s armor? There may not be a team in the north that can beat them, but an uninspiring home effort against South Dakota State at least opens the door a little.
The Thirsty Beagle Beer of the Night is Orval Trappist Ale.
I’ve been meaning for the longest time to try Orval. Now that the deed is done, where to even begin with this beer? First, voters in the Beer Championship Series picked this beer to advance out of the Belgium Conference. That’s one point. Then, I did a little research and found out the guys on Beer Advocate score this an A+, a world-class beer. That’s two points, and did I really need any more points to pick up a bottle? This was a great beer. The aroma was intoxicating — the citrus notes were addictive and somehow mysterious at the same time. The taste? So flavorful and complex. For a 6.9 percent beer this was incredibly smooth. Truly an excellent beer. I know it won’t be long before I pick up another bottle.
Those football scores are not numbers I think of fondly. Those scores represent the first three games of Oklahoma State’s 2005 football season. That was a team that went on to capture only one other game that season. There’s really no easy way to describe Mike Gundy’s first OSU team, other than to say that they sucked hard.
That 2005 team was coming off a winning season. They were breaking in a new offensive coordinator and new players at several positions, notably at quarterback. They were picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 South. When you watched those first three games, you knew they were picked fifth for a reason. As it turned out, they should have been picked sixth. Or seventh, if someone could find a way to make that happen. The 15-10 win over Montana State — a team that went on to finish the year 7-4, hardly a juggernaut — featured 378 yards of offense for OSU. Unfortunately, it was the high-water mark for OSU’s yardage output during the non-conference schedule. The Cowboys beat an eventual 2-9 Florida Atlantic 23-3, racking up 292 yards of offense in the process. And they finished the non-con slate by beating back Arkansas State, which went on to finish 6-6, by a score of 20-10. OSU managed 273 yards of offense in that game, and won despite being out-gained by Arkansas State, which recorded 322 yards.
Let me say it again. They sucked hard.
If various pundits and media outlets would have scoffed at OSU after those three games — which they did — you couldn’t blame them. The Cowboys lined up three massive cupcakes and barely managed to scrape by with three victories in hand.
Fast forward to 2010. You’ve got a team coming off a winning season. They’re breaking in a new offensive coordinator and new players at several positions, notably at quarterback. They were picked to finish fifth, or worse in some polls, in the Big 12 South. But something different happened in 2010.
In the 65-17 win over Washington State, OSU banked 544 yards of offense. In the 41-38 win over Troy, OSU gained 522 yards of offense — the number might have been 700-plus if they didn’t turn it over five times. Finally, the 65-28 rout of Tulsa featured 722 yards of offense for OSU, plus a strong defensive effort that saw Tulsa score most of its points against third-stringers.
So OSU lined up three opponents — two of which are typically considered to be pesky for major-conference teams, the third a BCS school – and took care of business. Against two of them, they didn’t just take care of business; they pummelled them into submission, enforcing their will like a dominant team would over a lesser foe. I mean, we’re talking epic, record-breaking beat-downs here, people.
So of course, various pundits and media outlets were quick to recognize that this OSU team will not be like the debacle of 2005. They can take care of business. They can make teams pay. Clearly they were undervalued in the preseason polls, right?
All that’s happened is a majority of bloggers, columnists and media types have dismissed OSU as not having played anyone. Or of not having proved anything because the defenses they’ve faced have been sub-par. Yes, the defenses statistically are sub-par — thanks in large part to the season-high points they allowed against OSU. But that’s fine. Let’s make the poor defense argument. Maybe WSU, Troy and Tulsa will play out the season and prove to have wretched defenses. Maybe none of the teams will win another game. I guarantee you that in the fall of 2005, no team from Montana State, Florida Atlantic or Arkansas State went on to rule the college football world. They all stunk. And so did OSU, because they proved they could barely beat them.
The point? Maybe WSU, Troy and Tulsa all stink. But you know who doesn’t stink like them? Oklahoma State. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen stink up close from the Boone Pickens Stadium bleachers. I could tell you the 2005 OSU team was going to have a lot of trouble beating anyone in conference. the 2010 OSU team? This is a different story, folks. Logic tells me they don’t stink because they beat the you-know-what out of their opponents so far.
It’s pretty simple, really. Teams that don’t reserve respect don’t do that type of thing.
The Thirsty Beagle learned recently that COOP Ale Works has undergone some staff changes. Gone is original brewmaster Chase Healey, who has moved on to pursue other interests, including doing some consulting work with Battered Boar. The new top brewer is Blake Jarolim. COOP co-founder Mark Seibold issued this statement:
“We met Blake Jarolim at the first social rave in February 2009 before we opened our doors. Blake started out a fan of COOP, and I quickly learned that his brewing prowess was matched with passion and unbound energy. It’s great to talk about all the nerdy-technical aspects of brewing with Blake because he is so attune to detail, having brewed literally every style of beer known to man. Blake’s knowledge of brewing is unparalleled, and I think Oklahoma City is going to be surprised with what we have planned in the next year or so.”
In addition, COOP partner JD Merryweather has been named the brewery’s full-time sales and marketing director. Seibold offered this statement:
“We’re really pleased to bring JD on full time as sales and marketing director. Providing sales support to all of the restaurants and bars we have in Oklahoma can be a lot of work, and the introduction of 16 oz. cans will only increase sales further. Having JD out in the community as a craft beer advocate means great customer service to all of our favorite bars and restaurants and a single source for all things local. If your readers haven’t met JD yet, they should, because a great city needs someone to carry the mantle of awesomeness, and JD is leading the charge.”
You’ll notice Seibold mentioned COOP’s long-awaited 16 oz. cans; I can provide an update on that situation: Merryweather tells me the cans will be printed Wednesday, and you can expect to see them on liquor store shelves by mid-October, maybe sooner depending on production factors.
There are a lot of things happening on the local beer scene in the coming days and weeks:
-First and foremost, the guys from Choc, Marshall and Mustang will be at McNellie’s Tulsa on Saturday for the 2010 Harvest Beer Festival. Choc will offer a special edition dry-hopped Miner Mishap.
-The Boston Deli Fall Beer Dinner featuring Marshall Brewing Co. is Oct. 4 in Tulsa.
-The seventh annual ART on TAP is set for Oct. 8 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
-Zoo Brew II is 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
The 2010 Great American Beer Festival was this past weekend, with gold, silver and bronze awards handed out in 79 beer categories. Unfortunately, no Oklahoma beers took home medals this year. Nothing to be ashamed of there — after all, the competition featured 3,523 beers. If my math is correct, and it always is, that means roughly 3,286 beers did not receive medals this year. So who did win? I’ve provided you with this fancy Internet link that takes you to the complete list of winners. In the meantime, I can tell you that several medalists are beers you can score right here in Oklahoma:
-Point Horizon Wheat (gold, American-style wheat beer with yeast)
-Pyramid Apricot Ale (silver, fruit beer)
-Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat Ale (gold, specialty honey beer)
-Samuel Adams Honey Porter (bronze, specialty honey beer)
-Miller Light (gold, American-style lager or light lager)
-Old Milwaukee (silver, American-style lager or light lager)
-Miller Genuine Draft (bronze, American-style lager or light lager)
-Michelob Amberbock (gold, American-style dark lager)
-Ommegang Three Philosophers (bronze, Belgian-style abbey ale)
-Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout (bronze, American-style stout)
And there may be a couple others I missed, but you get the idea; you can sample some award-winning beer by visiting your liquor store of choice today.
Nothing warms The Thirsty Beagle’s heart like Baylor taking a good ol’-fashioned beating. But will that be enough to propel the Bears to the top of the Big 12 (Lack of) Power Poll?
1. Kansas (1-2, lost to Southern Miss 31-16): Is the ACC the worst conference in the history of the world? How else can you explain Kansas’ win against Georgia Tech? The Jayhawks’ losing to Southern Miss was pretty bad, but I’m giving KU residual horribleness points for the season-opening home loss to North Dakota State.
2. Baylor (2-1, lost to TCU 45-10): Baylor’s coach and players said they were embarrassed after their performance against the Horned Frogs. I’ll tell you this: I didn’t feel embarrassed. I felt like I was welcoming back a good friend I hadn’t seen since last football season. These are the Baylor Bears I know and love.
3. Iowa State (1-2, lost to Kansas State 27-20): Things are not looking good for Iowa State right now. After a should-win against Northern Iowa next week, the Cyclones get Texas Tech and Utah at home followed by Oklahoma and Texas on the road, pretty much guaranteeing no bowl game this year.
4. Colorado (2-1, beat Hawaii 31-13): What? Colorado’s still in the Big 12?
5. Texas A&M (3-0, beat Florida International 27-20): The Aggies had to stage a serious rally to beat the Florida International Whipping Boys in College Station. If A&M has that much difficulty on its home field against that level of competition, it could be in for some big-time trouble this season.
6. Texas Tech (2-1, lost to Texas 24-14): To me, the Tech offense looked a lot better under Mike Leach. I have a sneaking suspicion there are a lot of Tech fans that feel the same way after the Red Raiders managed only 144 yards of offense on Saturday night.
7. Missouri (3-0, beat San Diego State 27-24): Missouri joins Texas A&M in the too-close-for-comfort against too-poor-of-a-team club. The Tigers were this close to losing this one.
8. Kansas State (3-0, beat Iowa State 27-20): Someone had to win the epic KSU-ISU match-up. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for K-State to move up this poll; surely the 3-0 record has more to do with who the Wildcats have played and less to do with how good they really are.
9. Oklahoma (3-0, beat Air Force 27-24): There’s probably no shame in giving up 24 points to Air Force’s quirky offense, but only scoring 27 against a team you should be able to overpower? Perhaps this team does play up/down to its competition.
10. Oklahoma State (3-0, beat Tulsa 65-28): One thing seems pretty clear — this OSU team can score some points. Will they be able to score when they face a defense that consists of football players with actual skill? If so, this could be the year the Cowboys prove they don’t have to rebuild any more.
11. Texas (3-0, beat Texas Tech 24-14): Any road conference win is a good one, so the Longhorns should feel good about this game. Still, this team is not looking like a juggernaut.
12. Nebraska (3-0, beat Washington 56-21): I’ve been waiting for Nebraska to slip up, but maybe it’s time to give them some credit. Dominating road wins against BCS conference teams are pretty impressive. When you look at the state of the Big 12 North, it’s hard to see a lot of losses on the Huskers’ schedule.
Tonight’s Thirsty Beagle Beer of the Night is Shiner Oktoberfest.
First, I’d like to count this as a celebratory victory beer in honor of the beatdown OSU put on Tulsa today. Good times. In terms of the beer, I’ll admit this is not the best Oktoberfest I’ve ever had. At the same time, it’s a decent beer. I thought it was a little hoppier than your average Oktoberfest beer. That is all. Good night!
In my efforts to bring you beer news from far and wide, I came across a somewhat interesting graphic on the Internet today. It’s called the Brand Passion Index. It’s an informal poll that measures consumer insights for certain brands. With football season kicking off, pollsters chose to use the index to gauge how beer drinkers felt about six popular beer brands. Here’s the graphic:
You can read a full explanation of the survey/poll right here. I’m not really sure how you could really love Pabst Blue Ribbon more than, say, a Sam Adams Imperial White — or for that matter even just a plain old Sam Adams Boston Lager — but you can’t account for everyone’s taste. I was happy to see that even if people didn’t necessarily “love” a beer, they at least didn’t “hate” it. I mean, what’s not to love about beer, right?