Here it is, folks. The moment you’ve been waiting for since… earlier this week. It’s the unveiling of the Beer Championship Series 64-beer bracket.
Go ahead, soak it in. Ponder some of those match-ups. Think about how you’re going to vote. Then come back to the blog on Monday as we start voting in the Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Krebs and Metro regions. What’s at stake is pretty simple: The winner of the bracket will be crowned Oklahoma’s favorite beer for 2010, and that beer also will win a special prize (details forthcoming). Now it’s time for a little BCS Q&A.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: Because I love beer and I love competitions. So why not combine the two for a beer competition?
Q: Is this the first time you’ve done this?
A: No, this is the third annual BCS. In 2008, Flying Dog Tire Bite was crowned champion when it beat Choc 1919 in the final. Last year, Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale beat New Belgium Fat Tire in the final.
Q: How were the beers selected for the bracket?
A: Readers of The Thirsty Beagle blog selected the beers in beer conference voting earlier in the year. Largely based on those votes, I then seeded the beers and placed them in their regions.
Q: How do I vote?
A: Visit the blog to see match-ups and cast your vote.
Q: How many times can I vote?
A: You can vote for any given beer up to 10 times a day. But please, let’s keep it clean and limit it to 10 per person, per beer, per day. No spam voting. I can track votes by IP address and will disqualify votes if I detect any irregularities, like say, one beer getting 85 votes from the same IP address in the span of about 4 minutes. I had to do it last year in a close match-up between a COOP and Mustang beer, and it led to much consternation for all involved.
So that’s it. As mentioned earlier, check the blog Monday for the start of voting, and let’s crown a champion!
Choc Beer Co. announced recently that is has entered Signature Dubbel and Miner Mishap in the largest European beer competition, marking the first time the brewery has entered a foreign contest. Below is a press release Choc put out to talk about the competition. (Before you get to that, however, just a reminder that I will unveil the 2010 Beer Championship Series bracket tomorrow morning, so stop by the blog and check it out.)
KREBS — Choc Beer Co. recently entered the European Beer Star competition. The competition, judged in Germany, is the first time Choc Beer Co. has competed on foreign soil. Choc entered Miner Mishap and Signature Dubbel. In 2010, 955 beers from 34 countries participated, making Beer Star the largest European beer competition. The winning beers will be announced Nov. 11 at BRAU Beviale in Nurembuerg, Germany.
Choc Brewmaster Michael Lalli explained, “We have been fortunate enough to win medals at international competitions before, but those competitions were held in the U.S. At the European Beer Star, American beers will be in the minority. We will be judged against some of the oldest and best European breweries and all this will happen in their own backyard.”
Miner Mishap and Signature Dubbel are currently available across Choc’s distribution network. Both beers are produced year round.
Miner Mishap is a German Schwarzbier. Although dark, Schwarzbiers typically have a lighter body and less roasted flavor than most dark beers. The beer is a very deep brown hue and a mix of roasted, chocolate, and sweet malt flavors. Miner Mishap is packaged in six packs of 12 oz. bottles.
Signature Dubbel is a traditional abbey style ale brewed to the high standards established by the Trappist breweries of Belgium. Signature Dubbel is ruby red and is highlighted by dark fruit and spice notes. The beer is packaged in 22 oz. bottles and is available on draft. Signature Dubbel won a gold medal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.
Here’s news making the rounds in the known beer universe:
-Choc and Pete’s Place are hosting a beer dinner — Vol. 5 — this Friday at Pete’s. For reservations, call (918) 423-2042. The menu is described as including “comfort foods.” So could be anything they make at Pete’s.
-Marshall Brewing announced recently that they were brewing the 2010 edition of their robust Big Jamoke. I’ll write the word “robust” any chance I get.
-Mustang Brewing Co. reminds you that the Thunder tip off its season tonight and you can get Mustang beer at Old No. 7 and sections 116, 119, 309 and 323 at the arena that is in downtown Oklahoma City. But not the one across the street from the other one. Got it? Good.
-McNellie’s OKC is hosting a Beer University session at 7 p.m. Nov. 9. The topic will be Interesting Lagers. I personally believe that lagers are interesting, so this looks like a good one. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know that time of year where everyone goes crazy because the college football Bowl Championship Series standings are released? You hear things like: “So and so team is getting robbed!” Or, “The computers hate this team!” And then there’s, “The voters don’t even watch the games!” All valid points. But what do you expect with a stupid system? That’s what the Bowl Championship Series is.
Well The Thirsty Beagle is not just going to sit around and take that kind of abuse. Back in 2008, I created something better than the BCS. I called it, drum roll please: the BCS! Ah, but this BCS doesn’t haven’t anything to do with bowls, or even football. This is the Beer Championship Series, folks. The Beer Championship Series is all about beer and a playoff. Behold my BCS in all its awesomeness!
It’s time for me to unveil the 3rd Annual Beer Championship Series! Sixty-four beers were selected through reader voting in beer conference action throughout the year, and I have now placed them in a bracket where they will compete against each other based on your votes. The winner earns the title of Oklahoma’s Favorite Beer. It’s all about survive and advance, baby! I’ve made a few tweaks from the past couple years. Gone are the Oklahoma, International, Europe and United States regions – which pretty much meant a limit of only 16 local beers in the bracket. Instead, we’ll use four new regions aimed at getting more local beers into the fray.
One local beer that is definitely in the mix is last year’s champion, Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale. Can the defending champ repeat? What beer will it be matched up against in the first round? Come back Friday as I release the bracket and go over a few ground rules. Then tune in to The Thirsty Beagle blog Monday as we start the voting.
What is Oklahoma’s favorite beer? Have your say in the Beer Championship Series!
1. Kansas (2-5, lost to Texas A&M 45-10): On the bright side, 10 points is a high for points scored in a conference game this year.
2. Colorado (3-4, lost to Texas Tech 27-24): The Buffs slow and painful exit from the Big 12 continues.
3. Texas A&M (4-3, beat Kansas 45-10): A win over the Kansas University Community College football program provides little opportunity for A&M to climb in these rankings.
4. Kansas State (5-2, lost to Baylor 47-42): Kansas State only has two losses, but man did they give up a ton of points in both. Against Nebraska? That happens. Against Baylor? That’s a little more problematic.
5. Texas (4-3, lost to Iowa State 28-21): What in the name of burnt orange is going on here? Losing to UCLA at home was bad; losing at home to Iowa State is inexcusable.
6. Iowa State (4-4, beat Texas 28-21): That’s right. I ranked Iowa State less lacking in power than Texas. I mean, how bad does Texas have to play before people start dropping them in their conference rankings? Well, Saturday was bad enough for me.
7. Baylor (6-2, beat Kansas State 47-42): Fine. I’ll give Baylor some credit. They’re bowl eligible. Way to go, guys. Did I mention that three of their last four games are: on the road at a seriously pissed Texas, at Oklahoma State and vs. OU?
8. Texas Tech (4-3, beat Colorado 27-24): I gave Texas Tech the edge over Baylor based on the head-to-head win and Tech winning a conference road game on Saturday. Either, way, there’s not a lot separating these teams — and Texas Tech has had the misfortune of already playing Texas and OSU.
9. Oklahoma State (6-1, lost to Nebraska 51-41): Give OSU’s offense credit: They had a few unfortunate three-and-outs, but still, scoring 41 against a team that hadn’t allowed more than 21 all year was pretty good. Too bad the defense made Taylor Martinez look like a golden-armed Johnny Unitas.
10. Nebraska (6-1, beat Oklahoma State 51-41): Give the Huskers credit: OSU dared them to pass, and pass they did. Quite well, actually.
11. Oklahoma (6-1, lost to Missouri 36-27): I just spoke to an OU fan who told me Bob Stoops was a terrible coach (“They should bring back Barry Switzer”) and Demarco Murray hasn’t proven anything (“That Finch kid should be out there a lot more”). Clearly OU fans are not bitter about that loss.
12. Missouri (7-0, beat Oklahoma 36-27): Gotta hand it to the conference’s lone unbeaten team — the Tigers got a huge win Saturday and hold the keys to a date with a BCS game.
Breaking beer news! The long-awaited COOP cans are officially on liquor stores shelves in the Oklahoma City area. Several stores — Broadway Wine Merchants in OKC and Edmond Wine Shop and Cork & Bottle in Edmond — report having Native Amber and Horny Toad Cerveza in stock. The cans come in 16 oz. four-packs. Expect to see them popping up on shelves throughout the metro in the next few weeks. If you see them on the shelf at your favorite store, sound off in the comments section so people know where to look.
A fledgling brewing group formed Sunday night. OK, it was more like one guy who knew what he was doing and a bunch of other people who showed up for the beer and pizza. Either way, The Thirsty Beagle and his band of beer-drinking adults of similar interests united over the weekend to create our first batch of beer. The process was enlightening and exciting. In the span of just a few weeks, we will have taken what appeared to be a random assortment of ingredients and contraptions and turned them into a liquid that we can actually consume for our benefit. I’m mean, pretty cool, right?
First off, let me just say what great appreciation I have for skilled home brewers. We brewed from a kit — very little measuring, calculating or guesswork was involved. Would I know how many hops to put in? No. Would I know how much malt to put in? No. Would I have any idea what relative gravity was all about? Heck no. Would I know what types of spices to add to attain the Spiced Winter Ale we’re going to end up with? No. So props to those guys and gals who start from scratch in their kitchen or garage and churn out beer — and good beer at that. I can tell you from my pseudo-judging experience at last year’s Brew at Choc’s Home contest that there are a lot of talented home brewers in this state. A tip o’ the cap to you.
Meanwhile, the fact that we used a kit has not dampened the excitement of the beer production process. A running Facebook commentary from our “brewmaster” has kept us all in the loop. The first notable announcement, a day before brewing: “The ‘smack pack’ has been smacked.” That was followed by a cautionary note the day after brewing: “No bubbles yet… hopefully soon.” And then, like a cold beer on a hot day: “We have bubbles! It’s officially fermenting!” Since then, we’ve had a lot of ”gurgling activity in the airlock.” Sounds like a winner to me!
The Spiced Winter Ale is set to debut officially at The Thirsty Beagle’s third annual, invitation-only gingerALE party in December. A full review will follow.
Another week in the Big 12 football race is over, and finally the teams make figuring these rankings a little bit easier.
2. Iowa State (3-4, lost to OU 52-0): The win against Texas Tech was nice, but welcome back to bottom-feeder reality, Iowa State.
3. Colorado (3-3, lost to Baylor 31-25): I don’t care if this is the greatest Baylor Bears team in two decades, losing to Baylor on your home field is never a recipe for excitement.
4. Texas A&M (3-3, lost to Missouri 33-9): Self-implosion of Texas A&M in 3… 2… wait, what? A&M has already self-imploded? Ah yes, I think that happened in Stillwater when Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Jerrod Johnson threw and fumbled away a win. Anytime I need to place a large sum of money on some kind of prediction, remind me not to solicit advice from the people who picked Johnson.
5. Baylor (5-2, beat Colorado 31-25): Stay tuned Saturday for Baylor’s version of the Flint Michigan Megabowl: a win over Kansas State means the Bears first bowl trip in 15 years!
6. Texas Tech (3-3, lost to Oklahoma State 34-17): Tech sits at No. 6, as opposed to No. 5, on the strength of its win against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl.
7. Kansas State (5-1, beat Kansas 59-7): On the other end of the Megabowl equation, Kansas State looks to break its own bowl game absence streak.
8. Nebraska (5-1, lost to Texas 20-13): You’ll have to take my word on it, but before this game, The Thirsty Beagle wondered what would happen when Nebraska played a team with a legitimate defense. Once the run was shut down, could they succeed with the pass? Question answered, and not in a way Nebraska fans like.
9. Texas (4-2, beat Nebraska 20-13): Texas wins the award for most valuable win of the first half of the season. Sitting at 4-2 with a road win over Nebraska looks way, way, way, way, way better than 3-3 with a three-game losing streak.
10. Missouri (6-0, beat Texas A&M 30-9): Shutting down a conference opponent on the road is pretty darn impressive, even if it’s dysfunctional Texas A&M. Now a no-doubt test game comes up at home against Oklahoma.
11. Oklahoma State (6-0, beat Texas Tech 34-17): As a die-hard OSU fan, I can tell you with all honesty that there was no time in the Texas Tech game where I didn’t feel pretty comfortable OSU would win. Something tells me I’m being set up for a classic OSU devastating, grab-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory heartbreaker.
12. Oklahoma (6-0, beat Iowa State 52-0): As a non-Sooner fan, even I have to admit that OU’s path to the Big 12 title game looks like it’s lined with lollipops and gum drops. Only Missouri and/or Oklahoma State should stand a chance at derailing OU now.
OK, so the title of this post isn’t exactly true. But, about a week ago, I put up a post about the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s ARTonTAP beer tasting event. Within days, the event was sold out. This week, I put up a post about the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Zoo Brew II beer tasting event. What should happen within days? Another sellout! You could say the events were likely to sell out anyway, or you could say the power of The Thirsty Beagle is on display again! Or not. Either way, Zoo Brew II officially sold out this morning, so if you’ve got tickets, have fun with 500 or so beer fans tonight!