We’re officially one month out from the annual Wild Brew beer fest, which is set for 5 to 8 p.m. July 30 (with a patron’s hour from 4 to 5 p.m.) at the Central Park Expo Square in Tulsa. To preview the event, I thought I’d touch base with the good people in charge of Wild Brew over at Tulsa’s Sutton Avian Research Center. Here is the latest installment of Five Questions With…, featuring Hillary Parkhurst, the Sutton Center’s director of development, and Victor Wandres, the Wild Brew beer committee chairman.
1. The Thirsty Beagle: It’s one month out from the event, how is planning going? Everything coming together well?
Hillary Parkhurst: Planning is going great so far! This is an event that we have been doing for many years now, so with a talented committee, and past experience mixed with new ideas, this year will be a success!
2. TTB: How many years have you guys done Wild Brew? Are you seeing a growing following?
HP: The Sutton Center has been the beneficiary of Wild Brew since 2005 and we are so excited to be involved with this great event every year. It is amazing how much it has grown over the years and now we are the largest beer tasting event in the state, with nearly 2,000 people in attendance and over 100 domestic and international beers and over 60 local restaurants. Mid Life Crisis will be playing at the event again this year, and if you buy tickets to the patron hour, you will get to experience a bird show. Also new this year is a special patron zone filled with custom food and beer pairings. That will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the upstairs area.
3. TTB: What should beer fans expect in terms of selection? Any unique brews/offerings?
Victor Wandres: There will be over 100 different beers available for sampling at the event, many of them served draft style, directly from the keg, the preferred tasting method of beer enthusiasts. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample all styles of beers from lagers to porters, and everything between. Fans of unique flavored beers will enjoy trying the Samuel Smith Organic Cherry, the Sea Dog Blueberry, and Wells Banana Bread. A complete list of all beers being served is available at www.wildbrew.org. This year, Wild Brew is pleased to announce that all seven of the licensed Oklahoma breweries will be sampling their craft beer. This year, for the first time, VIP patron ticketholders will get an additional opportunity to visit with the Oklahoma brewers in a special tasting room overlooking the event floor. Also new this year, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM) homebrew club will also have information about how to get started brewing your own beer as well as beers available to sample.
4. TTB: How does Wild Brew benefit the center? What kinds of things are the funds used for?
Hillary Parkhurst: Wild Brew benefits the Sutton Center greatly. (Parkhurst sent me a fact sheet with some causes the center works on, including bald eagle re-establishment, research of the lesser prairie chicken, prairie songbird conservation and several educational programs.)
5. TTB: How has it helped to have a beer brewed by Choc and friends especially for the festival?
HP: This year Choc and FOAM, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers, collaborated to create the 2011 Wild Brew beer. The Wild Brew beer is a great way to get the word out about the event and start to get a taste of what attendees will have in store. And as an added bonus, Choc and FOAM are graciously donating a portion of the profits to the Sutton Center. We cannot thank them enough for all that they do to support us.
If you’re interested in Wild Brew, tickets can be had starting at $60 for general admission. The patron level starts at $125. Tickets and info are available at www.wildbrew.org.
Beer news and links
-There will be no McNellie’s OKC firkin this Friday; they plan to pick things back up on July 8.
-Day 2 of Marshall’s Arrowhead Pale Ale release party is tonight at Leon’s Brookside in Tulsa. 5 p.m. Get it while it’s hot!
-Speaking of firkins, Mustang has announced a second anniversary double firkin night at McNellie’s OKC and Tulsa on July 22. 6 to 9 p.m. The beer: Crimson and Cream Ale.
-General admission tickets are on sale today for the Great American Beer Festival. You can buy tix at this link. The festival is Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
If you’ve been to Walt Disney World as an adult, you’ll remember how overwhelming it probably seemed the first time you went. It’s one thing to go when you’re a kid, tagging along with whatever the adults in your party have planned. It’s an entirely different matter to be the adult, trying to navigate the parks when you can’t quite figure out just what is out there. From experience, I can tell you that on subsequent trips, things get better. And the exact same thing can be said for the beer experience at Disney.
My first trip to Disney as a beer drinking adult was great, except for the beer part. If you like Bud Light Lime, you’re in luck. If you like good craft beer, not so much. Or at least that’s what I thought. Now that I’ve been around the block a few times, I’ve discovered that yes, Disney does hit you with a selection of grocery-store light beers, but its selection is improving. And if you’re looking for a nice selection of craft beer, you’re not out of luck.
For starters, here is the beer menu at several restaurants at the parks and hotels at Disney World:
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA, Abita Turbodog and Sam Adams Boston Lager represent the craft segment quite nicely. Most lunch/dinner spots will also offer whatever the current Sam Adams seasonal is, as well. That’s not your best bet for craft at Disney World, though.
At Downtown Disney, there’s an Irish pub called Raglan Road that will satisfy your fix. Here’s a look at the beer page in the drink menu:
I had the Stone Levitation, the Avery White Rascal, a few sips of the local Orange Blossom Pilsner that Mrs. Beagle was trying, and the Terrapin Hopsecutioner. The way I look at, if you’ve got a chance to drink a beer called Hopsecutioner, you probably should do that, right?
Here are a couple more pics for your viewing pleasure:
So, the lesson for today: If you’re going to Disney World, make sure you hit Downtown Disney and the Raglan Road pub.
Beer news and links:
-Just a reminder that the Marshall Brewing Arrowhead Pale Ale release party is 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Leon’s Broken Arrow, 3302 W Kenosha, and 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Leon’s on the Restless Ribbon, 3301 S Peoria in Tulsa. Also, rumor has it Arrowhead should be available in Oklahoma City by the end of the week.
-Mustang Brewing has scheduled its second anniversary party at 9 p.m. July 16 at the Wormy Dog Saloon in Bricktown. This is a ticketed event, with a 900-person max on the venue, so tickets may sell out fast. Check Mustang’s Facebook page or go to www.wormydog.com for more details.
-McNellie’s OKC has scheduled an AmeriCAN beer dinner for July 12. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
-Part three of a three-part blog by All About Beer on nip bottles.
Choc Beer announced late last week that the brewery hauled in two awards during the recent North American Beer Awards, snagging a gold with Signature Biere de Garde and a silver for Signature Smoked Porter. Choc noted that Biere de Garde is widely available in 22 oz. bottles, and will also be released in 12 oz. four-packs later in the summer. Smoked Porter was created in a one-time brewing — what’s out there now is all that’s left.
The awards add to an impressive haul for Choc over the past several years. Here’s a complete rundown of Choc’s wins:
-Signature Biere de Garde – Gold, North American Beer Awards
-Signature Smoked Porter – Silver, North American Beer Awards
-Signature Dubbel – Gold, North American Beer Awards
-Signature Belgian Quad – Silver, North American Beer Awards
-Waving Wheat – Bronze, North American Beer Awards
-Signature Belgian Quad – Bronze, World Beer Cup
-Miner Mishap – Bronze, European Beer Star
-Signature Dubbel – Gold, Great American Beer Festival
-Waving Wheat – Silver, North American Beer Awards
-Signature Biere de Garde – Bronze, North American Beer Awards
-Signature Saison – Silver, North American Beer Awards
-Signature Biere de Garde – Bronze, North American Beer Awards
-1919 – Bronze, Great American Beer Festival
That’s 13 major competition awards for Choc, all of which can only help grow Oklahoma’s beer reputation. Congrats guys — hopefully many more wins are in store.
Beer news and links
-COOP Ale Works is taking part in the Tour de Cure to support the American Diabetes Association, and they could use your support.
-I noted yesterday that Redbud Brewing had prepared a firkin of Blueberry Berliner Weiss for a possible upcoming Firkin Friday. That has been confirmed by Redbud and McNellie’s OKC for this Friday night.
-I got word today that Blue Moon is returning its summer seasonal, Honey Wheat Ale. This year, they’ll be offering Honey Wheat Ale in cans. They’re also offering a contest at www.facebook.com/bluemoon where you can win daily prizes and the grand prize of being named honorary brewmaster for a day.
-The second in a three-part series of blog posts by All About Beer on nip bottles.
Greetings beer fans. The Thirsty Beagle has returned from the annual Beagle Family Walt Disney World Trip and is ready to go! I’ll have a couple different Disney-and-beer-related posts in the next few days, but first wanted to catch up on the big news I missed while out of town.
That news is that Marshall Brewing Co. has released it’s first summer seasonal, Arrowhead Pale Ale. Pale ales have been my hot beer for 2011, so I’m especially excited about this offering. Here’s a press release Marshall sent out last week that you would have seen at that time had I been in the state of Oklahoma:
TULSA — Marshall Brewing Co. will officially launch Arrowhead Pale Ale at Leon’s Broken Arrow, 3302 W Kenosha, on June 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. Arrowhead Pale Ale marks the first time Marshall Brewing has released a summer seasonal beer. The launch party will include samples of Arrowhead Pale Ale as well as the opportunity to visit with the Marshall Brewing Co. team.
Arrowhead Pale Ale aims to quench the thirst of hot summer afternoons and warm evenings. Arrowhead is an American pale ale crafted to provide refreshment as a lighter, highly quaffable ale complimented by unique aromatic citrus notes that both tickle the nose and enliven the palate. Complexity, balance, and softness make Arrowhead Pale Ale a ridiculously easy drinking summer seasonal.
Arrowhead Pale Ale will be available in six packs at liquor stores, restaurants, and bars across the state of Oklahoma just ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. The summer seasonal will replace Revival Red Ale, Marshall’s spring seasonal, on draft at a limited number of locations throughout the state. The release of Arrowhead Pale Ale completes the series of four quarterly seasonal beers that include Oktoberfest, Big Jamoke Porter, and Revival Red Ale.
The next in the series, Oktoberfest Lager, will be released the first week of September. Stated brewmaster Eric Marshall: “Arrowhead Pale Ale is the final release in our seasonal series and I am proud that we now have four distinct beers that reflect our interpretation of the flavors of each season.”
Doesn’t everyone want their palate enlivened every once in a while? I know I do.
Beer news and links
-Choc’s Zach Prichard talks about Wild Brew 2011 in this not-at-all-uncomfortable video. (I’m blaming the host, who obviously doesn’t know anything about beer. Way to do your research!) This year’s version of Wild Brew is on store shelves now, and the Wild Brew festival is July 30.
-Speaking off Choc, the brewery was mentioned in a recent Oklahoma bucket list article in Oklahoma Magazine.
-In case you hadn’t heard, Marshall has expanded its distribution network to the Wichita area. Finally, something good in the state of Kansas. (Kidding, kidding. Sort of.)
-Redbud Brewing announced last week that a Blueberry Berliner Weiss is in a firkin. Looks like a possible firkin Friday is on the horizon?
-Battered Boar announced recently that a new Chocolate Cherry Porter will hit the shelves soon.
-The first in a three-part series from the All About Beer blog on nip bottles. Nip bottles sound great in theory, but sometimes you actually do want to down an entire 750 ml bottle by yourself.
I was about to write a beer-related post when I got home from the office tonight. Then “The Bachelorette” came on TV. And then I felt compelled to write something I’ve been thinking for years. First, yes, I watch “The Bachelorette.” Some times you just watch shows that your wife watches. Honestly, though, I like watching “The Bachelorette” or “The Bachelor” because most nights it’s like watching a train wreck. You know it’s terrible, you just can’t help but look. Well this season of “The Bachelorette” is no different.
Our bachelorette this year is Ashley, a re-tread from last year’s “The Bachelor.” Ashley was cast off last season at least in part because she couldn’t overcome her insecurity that the bachelor would actually like her. She revealed tonight that she was terrified it would be a bad idea to come on the show this year because the guys might not like her. With all honesty — and I’m backed up by Mrs. Beagle on this one — Ashley is just OK looking. I mean, by no means is there anything wrong with her. She’s cute. But, that’s about it. Either way, on tonight’s show, one of the dates was a group date where the men took part in a roast of Ashley. All in good fun, of course. Until one of the guys cracked a joke about being upset that one of the hotter cast-offs from last year’s show wasn’t picked as the bachelorette. Naturally, this devastates Ashley.
To top that off, Ashley admits she’s falling for a guy named Bentley. Bentley has already admitted to viewers — but not Ashley — that he has no interest in her, going so far as to call her an “ugly duckling” compared to another girl on last season’s “The Bachelor.” He’s just stringing her along. Bentley eventually takes himself off the show, but not before repeatedly disparaging Ashley to viewers. I can only imagine what this poor girl will think when she actually watches the show and sees all the things Bentley said about her. If you’ve been watching, you know exactly what I mean. It will not be pretty.
So the show wraps up, Ashley is devastated and humiliated — both on the show and most likely in real life because she’ll be watching the show for the first time and seeing how Bentley just absolutely ripped her apart — and it’s about to go to commercial. But first we get a voiceover from the show’s host, telling viewers that if they’d like to date the next bachelor, go to abc.com, etc., etc. And this reminds me of the one thing I’ve thought about this show for years:
For the sake of all that is holy, who in the hell would want to go on this show? Let’s break down what happens to pretty much everyone who appears on “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette”:
1. Utter humiliation
2. Emotional ruin
3. Public devastation
4. More humiliation
That’s about it. Then you throw in the fact that it’s apparently become fashionable for guys to go on the show for the “wrong reasons” (Read: 15 minutes of fame), and the fact the producers have begun casting absolute whackos (Read: the guy who wore a mask for the first three weeks of this season’s show or the girl last season who had her real teeth carved into vampire teeth) and again you have to wonder if it’s even worth the fancy dates and 15 minutes of notoriety. My take: You go on that show, you get all the humiliation and devastation you can handle.
Coming soon to a liquor store near you! That’s right, it’s COOP Ale Works’ first bottled beer offering, Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout. This bottled version is the 2010 vintage of OAIS aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey oak barrels. COOP’s JD Merryweather tells me these bottles should be on the shelves any time now. One thing to keep in mind: There are only 600 of the 750 ml bottles to be had, so you probably need to act quickly to scoop up a few.
If you miss out on this brew, all is not lost. You can get a crack at the next OAIS release later in the year. There is a 2011 vintage of Oak Aged Imperial Stout aging on Jack Daniel’s barrels right now. (Visual evidence at right.) COOP reports that this version should be ready for release in November. A nice experiment might be to set aside a Templeton OAIS and then bring it out when the Jack Daniel’s version arrives, for comparison purposes. You can thank me later.
In other COOP news, how would you feel if I said the words “beer” and “pork”? If you’re overcome with a warm and happy feeling, then you need to check out a two-day beer dinner event featuring COOP beer. The Tasting Room’s second annual Berkshire Pig COOP Ale Works Dinner is set for June 9, with a pig deconstruction viewing set for June 7. Here’s a write-up from the The Tasting Room:
Chef David Henry’s fondness for pork is showcased in our annual whole pig dinner. David will be preparing a five-course dinner paired with COOP Ale Works’ outstanding craft beers. JD Merryweather will be on hand to tell us about the beers. Just like last year, those of you fortunate enough to reserve a spot will be invited to the pig “breakdown” Tuesday before the dinner (not for the faint of heart). Make your reservations now. $85 per person. Includes food, beer, tax and gratuity. Reservations Required. Call Lauren at 604-3015.
Beer news and links
-Mustang Brewing reports that more than 13,000 cases of Mustang have been sold so far this year. That’s 1,000 more than all of 2010.
-Marshall Brewing has added a new tap of Atlas IPA at the Gray Snail in Tulsa. Sundown Wheat already on tap.
-Here’s a story of a guy who sold a prized bottle of beer for $710 to make money to buy diapers.
-Sierra Nevada may set up a brewing outpost in Tennessee after the state modified it’s liquor laws to try to land the brewery’s expansion. What does that mean for Oklahoma? Just goes to show that changing liquor laws — a controversial topic here in the state — is indeed possible.
With the NBA finals underway, I thought it would be a good time to look back at my picks for the playoffs and see how my prognostication skills stacked up. For starters, I didn’t have Miami or Dallas in the finals, so that was a big swing and a miss. But I think I built up enough bonus points in the early rounds to still come out with some respectability.
Round 1 East winners: Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Hawks.
My picks: Bulls, Heat, Celtics, Hawks.
Analysis: Bam! Four-for-four, baby. Really only the Orlando-Atlanta series was dicey, but I just had a feeling the Magic was falling apart a little as the season wound down.
Round 1 West winners: Dallas, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Memphis
My picks: Portland, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Memphis
Analysis: I did indeed nail the 1-8 upset with the Grizzlies over the Spurs, but somehow I have a feeling I missed pretty bad on Dallas. Just a hunch.
Round 2 East winners: Miami, Chicago
My picks: Boston, Chicago
Analysis: Chicago was an easy enough pick, but I had no idea Boston would run out of gas that quickly.
Round 2 West winners: Dallas, Oklahoma City
My picks: Los Angeles, Oklahoma City
Analysis: Another big miss on the Lakers. But I dare anyone to say they predicted L.A. would be swept out in the second round.
East finals winner: Miami
My pick: Chicago
Analysis: Why is it that Russel Westbrook and Derek Rose turned in about the same type of performance, but Westbrook was slammed and Rose came out pretty much unscathed in the media?
West finals winner: Dallas
My pick: Los Angeles
Analysis: I predicted the Thunder would be exposed as being not quite ready to make the leap. The logic was right, but the team that exposed them was different.
Finals winner: Dallas or Miami
My pick: Los Angeles
Analysis: I really thought the Lakers had one last run in them, especially based on how well they played down the stretch. Alas, it’ll be some other team that wins.
In the end, I went 9 out of 15 in series picks. Not too shabby. Now about the finals. After rampaging through Boston and Chicago, am I the only one who’s starting to think that Miami is becoming a juggernaut? They hassled and harrassed all of Dallas’ shooters last night. And while Dirk went for 27, he never really looked comfortable. Unlike against the Thunder, where Dirk pretty much had all day to face up his defender and decide what he was going to do, the Heat swarmed the German at every catch. His shots looked rushed. At one point, I thought to myself, “Too bad he didn’t miss like that against OKC.” A few seconds later, Jeff Van Gundy made a quip about how Oklahoma City fans probably wished Dirk had missed some shots. I don’t think the Dirk disruption is a case of Miami having better personnel than Oklahoma City to defend him. To me, it looked like better coaching. The Heat have decided they’re not going to wait around and see if Dirk can beat someone one-on-one. I think the Thunder showed how well that works. The swarm tactic worked in game one. We’ll see how Dallas responds Thursday. But after last night, I’m getting a feeling NBA fans may have to get used to seeing the Heat in this position.
Beer news and links:
-McNellie’s OKC will host a Firkin Friday this week featuring a special offering from Mustang Brewing: Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. The keg will be tapped at 6 p.m.
-Marshall Brewing made an appearance on TV recently.
-Tapwerks will host a fundraiser Sunday to assist tornado victims in Oklahoma and Missouri. There will be live music and free food and all tips and donations from that night will go to the Red Cross of Oklahoma and the Joplin Missouri Disaster fund. The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. in the upstairs bar.
-Also in Tapwerks news, they recently added Choc’s Summer Blonde Ale to the tap list, and have a mere eight bottles (maybe less by now) of Redbud Brewing’s Cuvee Two in stock.
-If you’re a beer fan and a Disney fan, like me, then you’ll know what drinking around the world is all about. Here’s a write-up from a blogger who chronicled half of the journey.