USA Today put out a list of the top 10 North American Oktobefest celebrations, and ol’ Tulsa, OK, made the cut! FYI: Tulsa Oktoberfest is coming up Oct. 21-24.
Last week I brought you Five Questions With… ARTonTAP to get you up to speed on the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s fundraising beer event. This week, beer is back, people! My next Five Questions With… features Dana McCrory, executive director of the Oklahoma Zoological Society, the organizers of Zoo Brew II. The second annual event is set for Friday night at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
1. The Thirsty Beagle: First off, are there many tickets still available? How can someone go about getting tickets? Are you capping attendance?
Dana McCrory: There are a few tickets still available. You can get tickets online at www.zoofriends.com or by calling 425-0618. We are capping attendance at 500. Each attendee will get a commemorative tasting mug.
2. TTB: Where do proceeds from the event go? What kind of programs are supported?
DM: The proceeds from Zoo Brew II go to the new Zoo Museum opening on zoo grounds in Spring 2011. The museum will house the history of the Oklahoma City Zoo.
3. TTB: Last year was the first year for Zoo Brew; is there anything you guys learned and perhaps have tried to improve or do differently this year?
DM: In our inaugural year we modeled the event after other beer tasting events at zoos across the nation. We sold out at 300 tickets last year so we raised the cap to 500 this year. We have also added more Oklahoma beers, a variety of foods, longer playing times for the band and London Limousine Taxi rides to insure the safety of our guests. We’ve expanded the tasting to the patio and added a few outdoor lights to liven the outside scene.
4. TTB: Can you give readers a feel for how many/what types of beers will be there?
DM: At last count we will have over 50 different types of beers to taste! From mild to stout — we have a beer that will cover your preference!
5. TTB: Lastly, how do you feel about the recent growth of the local beer scene, with the guys from Choc, COOP, Mustang, Marshall and Battered Boar? What kind of impact does that local presence have on the event
DM: The recent growth of the beer scene has been such a boon to our fundraising events. ZooFriends is over 20,000 members strong and Zoo Brew was an event requested by many of our members. The presence of the Oklahoma beers is key. Many of the breweries and beers have loyal followers and they may come to Zoo Brew to follow their favorite beer and leave as a donor to our amazing Oklahoma City Zoo!
Thanks, Dana! There you have it folks — tickets are still available for Zoo Brew II, so get yours and get out to the zoo on Friday to support the cause and enjoy some fine beer.
We’re nearly at the half-way point of the college football season, yet the Big 12 is about as clear as mud at the moment. Things will begin to shake out in the next couple weeks. Until then, The Thirsty Beagle will tell you what’s what.
1. Kansas (2-3, bye): The Jayhawks posted a great result this past weekend: Not losing. Sure, they didn’t play, but after the Humiliation in Waco, that’s a step forward for this team.
2. Iowa State (3-3, lost to Utah 68-27): Iowa State looked perhaps like it was turning a corner with its win over Tech a couple weeks ago, but giving up 68 points on its home field to a non-AQ school? Even if it’s a respectable Utah team, that hurts.
3. Kansas State (4-1, lost to Nebraska 48-13): Maybe KSU doesn’t deserve to be rated with this much (lack of) power with a 4-1 record, but that was a pitiful defensive showing against Nebraska. Hey, Kansas State coaching staff: there’s this crazy new-fangled play called the zone-read keeper. Look it up, because it looked like nobody on the Wildcats side had seen it before.
4. Colorado (3-2, lost to Missouri 26-0): Say hello the Not-Yet-Ready-For-Big-12 Players! Good thing Dan Hawkins and company are jumping ship, because it doesn’t look like things will work out well for them in the Big 12 this season.
5-8. Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Texas: I’ll call this the old Southwest Conference portion of the (Lack of) Power Poll. You probably could put all these teams in any spot between 5 and 8; all have bad losses — Texas A&M pretty much gave away a game in Stillwater — and all have at least a couple non-inspiring wins.
9. Missouri (5-0, beat Colorado 26-0): Solid conference win for the Tigers, but a trip to College Station against a team smarting from two close losses will be tougher than the patsy Buffaloes.
10. Oklahoma State (5-0, beat Louisiana-Lafayette 54-28): Trailing to the Ragin’ Cajuns at halftime is troublesome if you’re an OSU fan. Watching yet another team move the ball at will with the pass is even more troublesome, especially with Texas Tech on the horizon.
11. Oklahoma (5-0, bye): Outside of the Missouri game, the stretch of OU’s schedule before Bedlam all the sudden doesn’t look that intimidating: Iowa State, at Missouri, Colorado, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech and at Baylor.
12. Nebraska (5-0, beat Kansas State 48-13): Strong road win last Thursday for the Huskers, who have solidified their spot at the bottom of this poll for the time being.
COOP Ale Works’ JD Merryweather passed along this great USA Today article this morning. It mentions Merryweather and the brewery near the bottom, but specifically focuses on the growing trend of Californians arriving in Oklahoma faster than Oklahomans are headed that way. It’s a good read if you have a few minutes.
Here’s an interesting read I came across today about the rise of pumpkin beers in America. While they may not beat out Oktoberfest-style beers in popularity, they are carving out a niche this time of year for the country’s craft brewers. Think pumpkin pie in a glass, with a kick.
This just in: tomorrow night’s ARTonTAP fundraiser at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is sold out. If you’ve got tickets, expect to enjoy a night of fine, local beer with 700 or so fellow brew fans!
Just a couple odds and ends from the desk of The Thirsty Beagle…
-I just finished setting the regions and seeds for the 3rd annual Beer Championship Series. I expect to have the bracket ready in time to coincide with the unveiling of that other, inferior BCS.
-The Thirsty Beagle — as of this post — has 228 Facebook followers and 157 Twitter followers. There’s room for improvement there, folks, so hide your kids and hide your wife, then get on the computer and sign up as a follower.
-The Thirsty Beagle this week topped the 100-country mark for 2010. I’ve now been seen by blog readers in 101 countries. At the top of the list: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia — all solid beer-drinking countries. At the bottom of the list: 31 countries with just one visit apiece, including the beer hotbeds of Iraq and Iran. If I could just score North Korea I’d have the whole Axis of Evil!
-I am embarking on a journey that only a few hundred thousand have taken before: I’m going to try homebrewing. A homebrewing team has been created. A homebrewing date has been selected. The brew: a winter spiced ale that, if all goes well, will be debuted at The Thirsty Beagle’s annual gingerALE holiday party in early December. Wish me luck!
After a long break, I’m rekindling my Five Questions With… series today to give you all the information you’ll need for this Friday’s ARTonTAP fundraisder at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This will be the seventh year for ARTonTAP, and more than 80 beers are expected. ARTonTAP is great because it not only features a wide array of beer, but combines that with one of the most unique venues in the city. Without further delay, here’s my conversation with Whitney Cross, associate development officer at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
1. The Thirsty Beagle: Tickets are still available, right? How can people score tickets to get in?
Whitney Cross: Yes, we still have about 100 tickets available as of (Monday). People can go online to www.okcmoa.com , call 236-3100, ext. 237, or come into the museum to purchase tickets. Tickets are $45 for museum members and $50 for non-members. We will sell tickets up to 5:00 this Friday if they are still available.
2. TTB: This is the seventh ARTonTAP — how much have you seen the event grow over the years? Are you expecting this one to be the biggest to date?
WC: I remember the very first ARTonTAP event and hoping that we would sell at least 200 tickets so we could actually raise some money for the museum, but we ended up selling over 350 tickets that year! Since then, we have expanded as much as physically possible, offering the roof, the café, the Theater Lobby… pretty much every square inch of the building we can use. Now, for the last three years we have sold out at about 700 guests, which is so exciting to see the amazing response from the community. We are thrilled with the growth of this event — I just wish we had more room to grow!
3. TTB: The local beer scene has really grown in the past couple years with COOP, Marshall, Mustang, Choc and Battered Boar. How do you feel the introduction of so many local beers helps the event?
WC: I love having our local beermakers at the event because guests can talk directly to the brewmaster or other people directly involved in the process. I also think it is a great way for the local breweries to mingle and get feedback from guests. Hopefully, it’s a win-win for all.
4. TTB: I think it’s great that you guys are going green with the goal of putting on a virtually waste-free event; do you think that will be difficult to pull off? Can you elaborate a little on your plans?
WC: I am thrilled with this new initiative and I am crossing my fingers that it all goes as planned. We have made some great recycle containers that will be labeled for either plastics, compostables, or glass. All of the cardboard will be collected behind the scenes and recycled. We are working with a great organization called Closer to Earth Youth Gardens, who will haul away compostables including food waste, compostable plates, compostable forks, and paper napkins. These products cost us a little more, but we think it is worth it. I am hoping that with clearly labeled containers and volunteers to help assist people, we really can make this one of the first waste-free events in the state. I get excited just thinking about it! Our friends at the DEQ and ECO (Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma) have also been great advisers through this process.
5. TTB: In addition to the more than 80 beers available for sample, what else will you offer for guests on Friday night?
WC: In addition to our regular selection of 80+ beers to taste, this year we will have three gluten-free beers for our celiac friends to try. We will have great food from Adobe Grill, McNellie’s Pub House, Old Germany Restaurant, and the Museum Café, plus the Stella Artois Rooftop Beer Garden with seating, terrific views, and music from Born in November. And of course, what’s ARTonTAP without the art? We have several fantastic exhibitions on display currently, including “La Serenissima: 18th Century Venetian Art from North American Collections” and a contemporary exhibition, “Jonathan Hills: Intersection,” plus the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly glass, and so much more.
Thanks Whitney! The Thirsty Beagle can get behind beer, of course, and environmental responsibility as well, so good luck to organizers as they try to pull off the greenest beer event Oklahoma City has seen to date. And to all the guests who attend ARTonTAP, have a great time and do your part to help make it happen.
Just what in the hell has happened to the Big 12? I know two teams are leaving next year, but it looks like everyone figured they’d get a head start by turning the league upside-down and inside-out this season. The Thirsty Beagle will try to make sense of this. On with the rankings!
1. Kansas (2-3, lost to Baylor 55-7): The Big 12 seems to have a lot of wait-and-see teams. We just don’t know how good they are yet. Well, we don’t have that problem with the Jayhawks. We know how good they are. Not very good at all. If losing at home to North Dakota State was a warning shot, then the Baylor beat-down was a direct hit to Kansas’ pride. I’ll say this again: It’ll be a long year in Lawrence.
2. Texas Tech (2-2, lost to Iowa State 52-38): This game was a little closer than the score indicates, and after a slow start, Tech’s offense really got rolling, but giving up 50+ to Iowa State can never be good. All the sudden Tech is 0-2 in conference and essentially out of the Big 12 South picture.
3. Iowa State (3-2, beat Texas Tech 52-38): The Cyclones proved me wrong: I predicted Tech would rebound from its loss to Texas with a win over ISU. Not only did ISU not let Tech win, they pretty much beat them into submission.
4. Texas A&M (3-1, lost to Oklahoma State 38-35): Exhibit No. 1 why winning is better than losing: A&M’s offense looked unstoppable at times and its defense befuddled the previously un-befuddled OSU attack, but a couple breaks went the wrong way for the Aggies and now OSU is ranked and A&M is viewed as a disappointment.
5. Baylor (4-1, beat Kansas 55-7): Fine, I’ll give Baylor a little credit. Granted, the Bears beat a team that lost 6-3 on its home field to North Dakota State, and in their only other game against a name opponent they got massively drilled. But they’re 4-1, and ever so close to a bowl berth.
6. Colorado (3-1, beat Georgia 29-27): It took a last-minute gaffe by a now 1-4 team, but you still have to give the Buffs credit for their win over Georgia. There probably weren’t too many sane people or non-Colorado fans who picked CU to beat the Bulldogs.
7. Texas (3-2, lost to Oklahoma 28-20): I wanted to put Texas a lot lower, but surely they can’t be that bad, can they? I know one thing for certain: All those “experts” that deemed this squad one of the top six or seven teams in the country really knew what they were talking about.
8. Kansas State (4-0, bye): The league’s run of unbeaten teams starts here. Kansas State remains a mystery team — they haven’t played anyone and haven’t looked outstanding beating anyone. History tells us teams that start out like that are destined to fall. We should know more Thursday night after the KSU-Nebraska game.
9. Missouri (4-0, bye): See above note. Hard to say who this Missouri team is. All we know is that the Tigers took care of business in the non-con portion of the schedule.
10. Oklahoma State (4-0, beat Texas A&M 38-35): A wild game for a wild conference. For every possession OSU’s offense looked dominant, it threw out a possession where it looked terrible. For every sack, forced fumble or interception, there was a conceded third- or fourth-and-long. But still, 4-0 is better than 3-1 any day.
11. Oklahoma (5-0, beat Texas 28-20): OU didn’t look dominant against a team everyone agrees was way overrated. In five games, the Sooners have looked dominant only once. And certainly they’ve not showed any type of killer instinct.
12. Nebraska (4-0, bye): Nebraska faces an interesting road game against Kansas State on Thursday. Will it be the Huskers that stormed through Washington, or the ones that scraped by on their home field against a directional North Dakota school? We’ll see if they can hold on to their reign at the bottom of this (lack of) power poll.