The Oklahoman’s food editor, Dave Cathey, writes today about the upcoming National Beer Day and about this fair state’s “non-intoxicating” beer here.
The Thirsty Beagle has reported several times over the past few months — based on reports culled from around the Web – that smaller craft brewers have been feeling the pinch in the nation’s difficult economic times. Turns out, that’s not true at all. According to several reports, craft brewers came out of 2008 not only unscathed, but with substantial gains. The country’s independent craft breweries reported a jump in dollar sales in 2008 of 10.5 percent, or up to $6.34 billion. They also reported in increase in volume of beer sold of 5.8 percent. The reason? Consumers want stronger-tasting beer. The Thirsty Beagle likes to say people just want beer that tastes good.
So apparently reducing the size of your beer bottle by 45 milliliters and then trying to charge the same price for the beer is not such a good idea. Who knew? The folks at Australian brewer Foster’s sure didn’t. Or at least they were hoping beer drinkers wouldn’t notice. Well, they noticed. Now Foster’s is announcing they are reversing course on a plan to shrink some beer bottles. What prompted the change of heart? How about a 33 percent dip in sales. That’ll do it.
According to a report published today, if you’re looking for the world’s most prolific beer drinkers, look no further than the Czech Republic. Beer enthusiasts there reportedly each put back 159 liters of beer every year. Not down with the new-age metric math? That’s the equivalent to a little more than 454 bottles of beer a year. Pretty stout number there. Second place in beer drinking? It’s Austria, where people drink about 109 liters — about 311 bottles — of beer each year. Third place is Germany with 108 liters a year per person, or 308 bottles.
So the Oklahoma City Thunder unveiled its new mascot — Rumble the Bison — at the game Tuesday night. It’s a wooly Bison, who, as the story goes, was struck by lightning in the Wichita Mountains. Instead of getting killed by the lightning strike, Rumble was transformed into a half-man, half-beast creature who can soar through the air to dunk a basketball and play the drums. Now, I have two thoughts on this. One, we are talking about some serious marketability here. The first thing Rumble needed to do was find a good agent. While the ideal job for a man-bison might seem like NBA mascot, I think Rumble may be leaving some lucrative film, television and speaking opportunities on the table. Although he likely doesn’t talk, so maybe we’ll have to scratch the speaking opportunities. He could always try to catch on with a band in need of a drummer. Either way, a leaping man-bison surely could rocket to the level of Hollywood elite in no time. I hate to say it, but I think Rumble may be selling himself a little short. My second thought, and it pains me to say this as well, is that there’s just a certain weird/creepy look to that mascot. When I first saw him, I immediately thought, “Chewbacca!” Upon further examination, he’s definitely got some Chewy in him, but there are other candidates as well if you’re trying to put your finger on just who Rumble resembles:
1. Rumble vs. Chewbacca
-Why they’re a match: The flowing locks are the main factor here, although Chewbacca has a pronounced upturn with his bangs/forehead hair, while Rumble combs down to cover his forehead. Rumble can dunk off a trampoline, Chewbacca can probably dunk flat-footed, or at least with just a little hop like Yao Ming.
2. Rumble vs. Teen Wolf
-Why they’re a match: The hairstyles line up almost perfectly here, right down to the flowing cheek hair. Plus, Teen Wolf also can soar through the air for dunks. Only drawback to this pairing, while Rumble, as far as we know, will always be a man-beast, Teen Wolf is prone to lose his powers and become a second-stringer during the biggest rivalry game of the year.
3. Rumble vs. Planet of the Apes
-Why they’re a match: This is a match-up with definite sleeper potential. While our Planet of the Apes character displays a more groomed, clean-cut look and smaller nose profile, we know for sure he’s not turning into a human any time soon. In fact, we can’t say with certainty that this guy can’t handle the rock.
4. Rumble vs. Steven Hill
-Why they’re a match: The former Arkansas Razorback didn’t stick around for long with the Thunder. Does anyone know where his is now? Doesn’t it seem a little too coincidental that Hill is released and all of the sudden a shaggy-haired mascot with basketball skills is introduced? I’m just sayin’.
So what are your thoughts? Who best resembles Rumble? Chewbacca, Teen Wolf or Planet of the Apes guy? Steven Hill? Or maybe someone else. Sound off in the comments section.
Here’s a report from my homeland — the true north strong and free – about a rather shameful beat-down a young girl put on a man, all in the name of trying to steal his beer. Now, I could comment on the troublesome social ramifications of an adolescent girl who beats a grown man and tries to steal his beer, or I could skip that part and simply rail on this guy, who was sent to the hospital by an adolescent girl. I choose the latter. Come on man! Stand up for your beer! Stand up for yourself. You were pushed to the ground by a girl. For your sake, buddy, I hope this was one mean 13-year-old.
A report issued today says Dutch beer-maker Heineken has announced plunging profits and will institute cost-cutting measures after poor financial performance this year. The company reported that net income for 2008 fell 74 percent. One thing is clear: the beer industry is far from being in the clear in these economic times.
Politics is all the rage now. Not only are we fresh off the presidential election and inauguration, but state legislatures are in session all across the land. And now, in the early stages of the sessions, come all manner of bills and debates. Here in Oklahoma, there’s discussion down at the Capitol about abortion, nuclear power and the state budget. And how can we mention state budgets without thinking of California, where a stalemate over the budget could lead to the elimination of 20,000 state jobs. In Alabama, an early-stage bill deals with increasing the level of alcohol allowed in beer in the state. But Alabama is not the only state mulling a beer-based piece of legislation. In Oregon, beer brewers, distributors — and likely consumers — are about to be hit with a whopper: A bill proposing a 1,900 percent increase in beer taxes. That’s right. 1,900 percent. Taxes. Increase. Let those words sink in. Proponents of the bill say Oregon is near the bottom of the country when it comes to malt beverage taxation, and funds from the increase could support numerous programs. Opponents say the measure would force small brewers to close and cost jobs. The Thirsty Beagle – while not necessarily opposed to a tax increase that would bring Oregon in line with some of its regional counterparts — thinks 1,900 percent is 100 percent a little too dramatic.
It was bad enough to hear that a truck driver in Salt Lake City fell asleep behind the wheel and lost a shipment of hamburger patties. But when you add to that the news that another truck driver lost a load of beer, you’ve got a double-whammy of man sadness. Burgers and beer are great together, but not strewn about on a Utah highway.
The Thirsty Beagle is not necessarily against Kid Rock, but the idea of somebody investing $7 million to make a line of beer in honor of the musician… well, let’s just say, I can think of several better things to do with $7 million. Those include giving $7 million to me, giving me $7 million worth of beer, and/or, not spending $7 million on a line of beer in honor of Kid Rock. By the way, I’m always around to hand out advice.