Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Hurricane, Singular.


The #11 Cincinniat Bearcats (24-4, 13-2) take on Tulsa Golden Hurricane (17-10, 10-5) today at noon on CBSSN. It is the Bearcats final home game of the season and therefore Senior Night (Afternoon). Before the game UC will honor two seniors Gary Clark and Kyle Washington.

I  can’t say anthing about these two guys that haven’t already been said. Efforts shouldn’t be wasted. The only thing I’ll say is Gary Clark has been my favorite player since his first game in the uniform. It’ll be very different next season no seeing him in red and black.

Back to Tulsa. This is the first anly only meeting between the two teams this season. So they won’t be too familiar with each other. I’d kind of consider this a trap game in that it could be looked over with a trip to Wichita just a week away. Yes there’s a trip to Tulane too, but this test against Tulsa should be a legitament one. Tulsa’s worst two losses of the season were to Lamar and Illinois State in early Novemeber. Recently they’ve been on a tear winning their last 6 games. As it stands now, they’re the 4th best team in the conference. It’s very likely we’ll see them again in the conference tournament.

Despite having some decent wins, Kansas State, Temple, and SMU they’re not really in the conversation for the Tournament. I haven’t even seen them listed in the last 4 out. A win over the Bearcats would certainly help their cause so the Bearcats better be ready.

The Golden Hurricane (it just sounds dumb saying it) has three players averaging double figures Etou, Taplin, and Jeffries. They average 15.4, 12, and 10.4, respectively. The Bearcats have to know where these three guys are at all times on defense. Etou also averages almost 8 rebounds per game and  is a 6’8″ senior so it should be fun to watch him and Clark battle it out in the post.

UConn Sucks. Gary Clark is coming off an impressibe performance against UConn scoring a game high 17 points. The Bearcats dominated in almost every stat line. Cane Broome looked strong again. There’s no sign of him getting the starting gig though. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as he performs like he has the past couple of games.

Cronin.

AAC Tourny.

Prediction. Bearcats 75 Golden Hurricane 59

Breaking Down the 2018 Football Schedule

Fickell Year 2


Earlier this week the complete 2018 football scheduled was released by the American. In a turbulent week in basketball it was looked at and tabled for later discussion because the basketball bearcats were on a tear. After Sunday though I need to take my mind elsewhere. I’m not discarding the Basketball Bearcats yet I just need a timeout and recoup before we thrash UConn on Thursday. I thought it a fitting time to look ahead to football season in a very early schedule breakdown and prediction for the season.

Luke Fickell and company are in year 2 in Clifton and are out to prove they can run a successful program. Last year we saw the Bearcats finish 4-8 and miss bowl season for the second year in a row. The coaching staff has a couple new faces, some that may be familiar like former player Mike Mickens.

The highlight of last year was easily beating Miami (OH) for the 12 straight year in one of the more dramatic finishes in college football last year. Unfortunately, beating Oxford is a highlight now.

I traveled to Ann Arbor last season to watch the Bearcats take on Michigan, I figured we’d finish at least bowl eligible after watching that game. (Shows what I know)

The schedule this year features all but one Saturday game which is awesome and the traditional post Thanksgiving home game that always promises to never be that exciting, unless we’re playing for bowl eligibility.

At UCLA 9/1 – UCLA is under newly signed head coach Chip Kelly. They finished last year at 6-7, This will be his first game as a Bruin and first coached game in a couple of seasons since being booted out of the NFL. Still UC will have to play up in this game, much like the Michigan game last year. The Cats will keep it close but I can’t call it a W. They’ll drop this one in Sunny Loss Angeles. (See what I did there). 0-1

At PBS v Miami (OH) 9/8 – The Redhawks finished 5-7 last year and I’d bet the farm the Bearcats beat the Redhawks for the Victory Bell again. They had their chance to win it last year and blew it. The bell will ring out in Red and Black again. Win. 1-1

Alabama A&M 9/15 – 4-7 last year. Usually the warm up game for the season. Win. 2-1

Ohio U 9/22 – I don’t know much about the Bobcats except they finished last year at 9-4 and lost one to Kansas. That hurts. Win 3-1

At UConn 9/29 – 3-9 last season. We squeaked one out last year winning 22-21. Bearcats win again. 4-1

Tulane 10/6 – 5-7 last season and another team we beat in a thriller. This one ended with Tulane missing a chip shot field goal as time expired. Win 5-1

At Temple 10/20 – They finished last season at 7-6. This one will be a close one in my opinion. I don’t think we upset Temple in Philly this year. Loss. 5-2

At SMU 10/27 – Finished 7-6 in 2017. If we don’t beat Temple we have to win in Dallas. Another toss up like the Temple game. Win. 6-2

Navy 11/3 Finished 7-6 last year too. The triple option destroyed us last year, like Navy put up all time rushing yards against us. Even if we’re 50% better against them I think they still win. Loss. 6-3

USF 11/10 – Finished 10-2. I don’t think we’re there yet. Loss. 6-4

At UCF 11/17 Finished 13-0, beat Auburn and are the self declared National Champions. They did lose their head coach to Nebraska, a move I don’t understand. The money is more important than climate I guess. Who wants to spend their awesome years in college in Nebraska? Any way I look for UCF to fall off somewhat this year but not that much. Loss. 6-5

ECU 11/23 by this time the sky will be falling in Cincinnati because the Bearcats could be on 4 game losing streak. The Pirates finished 3-9 but dominated us last year in a 48-20 stomping. Bearcats bounce back this year though. Win. 7-5.

So that total puts us at 7-5 which would be a vast improvement for Coach Fickell and his football Bearcats and put us back in the bowl season in what seems like forever.

 

Barrels and Bearcats: The Gauntlet Strikes Back

Cougars Slip Past Bearcats


Take a deep breathe. Hold it. Now breathe out. Feel better? If not get a beer, that always makes me feel better. Last night the UC Bearcats lost to the Houston Cougars 67-62. I wasn’t going to look at the box score but I’m a glutton for punishment and had to write this.

Even though the loss sucks and the dream of a 1 seed is all but lost the world isn’t over. I mean Donny John is still President and I haven’t turned the news on yet today to see what or who he’s threatening today but I’m pretty sure we’re all going to be ok after this Bearcats loss, especially the Cincinnati Bearcats basketball team.

Last night in the world of college basketball the #5, #6,#8, and #15 teams all lost! If you throw in two games from Wednesday where #3 and #11 lost it’s been a wild week in this sport. The parody is great in college basketball, especially this season. No one has escaped it this season, not even our Bearcats.

From the game:

The Bad. After a picture perfect start for the Bearcats things finally slowed down, especially half way through the second half. The Bearcats shot 14% from 3 pt land in the 2nd half. They were   36-27. They were outscored in the paint 26-22. They were outscored on second chance points 17-10. Outscored on fast break points 4-0 and outscored from the bench 16-2. That is not a recipe for winning on the road in February. In the second half the Bearcats went 12 minutes without making a field goal. That’s incredible really.

The Good. JE3 finished with 16 points, Teddy with 14, Clark with 13,and Washington with 10. I thought the defense if Cumberland was as good as it has ever been last night. He took 3 charges which is a nice change of pace from him getting called for them. The stats sheet credits him with one steal but he had to have half a dozen deflections too. Washington continues to look good on offense, which is a good sign.

The Eye. You hear people talk about the eye test. If the team looks good or how they look winning, or losing. I’ve watched or listened to every Bearcats game this year so I know this wasn’t a great example but to some this might be their only example of the Bearcats this year. They did not pass the eye test.

The Media. When the Bearcats win some are silent. When the Bearcats lose they’re loud. To me it felt like the Enquirer was rubbing it in our faces. Now I don’t read their paper or even follow it on social media but somehow it still creeps up on the twitter feed from RT and shares. They suck. Also, there is a certain college basketball “analysts” who called out UC fans last night. What a turd. Also, the very first time the Bearcats make an appearance on the ESPN home page banner is after this loss. *Huge eye roll*

We can’t for get about the Beer of the Game.

The Bearcats can right the ship with one we’ve all had circled for a while now. Wichita State comes to town Sunday at 4pm. Go Bearcats!

Comparing Top 5 Bearcats

Earlier this week the Cincinnati Bearcats 23-2 (12-0) were voted in as the #5 team in America. It’s the highest rating under coach Mick Cronin and the best ranking of a Bearcats team since 2002. That’s 16 years! Let’s take a trip back to 2002 real quick.

The top three songs on the Billboard Top 100 were How You Remind Me by Nickelback, Foolish by Ashanti, and Hot in Herre by Nelly.

Some of the top movie of the year were Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, Gangs of New York, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

George W. Bush was in his second year of office and I was the only Bearcat fan in Middle School. American Idol was born, IPods were new, and B Rabbit punked the entire crew from Free World. What a time!

But let’s get back to basketball.

The 01-02 Bearcats finished 31-4 (14-2) and in 1st place in C-USA. They started the season unranked but started the tournament with a 1 seed. By the end of the season they were the #2 team in the country. They were led by Steve Logan, Jason Maxiell, and Leonard Stokes. Here’s the complete roster.

This team essentially had 2 NBA talents (one of which was the CPOY and first team all American), an elite lockdown defender, a high flyer, and couple unmentionables.

The interesting thing about this team is they weren’t great in any one stat. They ranked 43rd in FG%, 94th in FT%, 7th in def Rb, and 57th in assists.

Compared to this year’s team who ranks 136th in FG%, 264th in FT%, and 49th in assists.

Those stats might seem obsure but if you want to win in March FT% is a big deal and last time I checked the only way to get points in the game of basketball is putting the ball through the hoop.

This version of the Bearcats were upset in a classic March double overtime by the 8 seed, UCLA in the second round.

Now, we know this year’s roster, the storylines, the greatness that is Gary Clark, the talent that is Jacob Evans III, the physics defying that is Kyle Washington. Right now the Bearcats stand undefeated in conference play and haven’t lost since the beginning of December.

Here’s the question for you:

If matched up head to head, who ya go?

Do you go with Hugs and his 23 ppg gaurd Steve Logan? Would Cronin and this team whose depth goes on for days be too much?

Rebounds would come at a premium in this totally made up game that obviously can never take place and is only for fun. But man, watching JEIII try to defend Steve Logan would be fun and seeing Maxiell trying to defend Washington’s left half hook would be worth the ticket.

Could the 02 team match up with Clark? What about Cumberland, who checks him? How many defenders would it take to stop Steve Logan?

Ultimately the end of the season will determine where this version of the Bearcats end up in UC history. I know they’re special and look like they’re ready for a run.

In terms of the 2002 Bearcats or the 2018 Bearcats, I know who I’d pick to win it but I want to hear from you.

’02 v. ’18 Who wins? 

 

Barrels and Bearcats: The Gauntlet 2

So Far So Good…


Moody Silenced. Sunday’s game got ugly. Not what anyone was expecting going into the game really but SMU was outmanned and after the first 5 minutes that became pretty evident. The Bearcats didn’t make it easy on themselves early on. They started off 0-7 and for a minute you thought this might be a tight one. Finally the Bearcats caught on to the 2-3 zone that SMU refused to fall out of throughout most of the game. The zone left the high post open all night. It was a bold move really. Tim Jankovich dared Gary Clark and Kyle Washington to beat them in the high post. They finished with 11 and 17 points, respectively. Needless to say if you give those two the high post you’re going to lose. The Bearcats finished with 38 points in the paint. Why would you not switch up the zone? Go to a 3-2 or 1-3-1, do something. The Mustangs shot 26% for the game.

Washington. Now I was hard on Kyle in the first half of the season. If he wasn’t in foul trouble he couldn’t make a shot to save his life and was ghosting most of his time on the court. Man has he came roaring back in the second half this season. Sunday he finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. That’s just the latest installment of his Senior year farewell tour. He’s making them count now.

Bush. Speaking of Presidents George W. Bush was in the house to watch his favorite team, I can only assume it’s the Bearcats, dominate again.

Top 5 Dead or Alive. The Cincinnati Bearcats are now ranked #5 in the country. Let that sink in for a moment. #5. That’s intense. For playing in the American Athletic Conference that seems pretty good. Someone tell UConn fans it’s possible. In addition to the top 5 ranking Cronin now has his longest winning streak of his career and off to the best league start in his tenure here as well.

2 Seed. In the only look into the thought process of the selection committee this past Sunday it was annouced that if the tournament started that day the Bearcats would be a 2 seed playing in Atlanta. It should be noted that the Bearcats were the 6 seed overall but were switched with Kansas to even out the bracket. They were projected in the same region as Virignia (1) Michigan State (3) and Tenessee (4). I’m all for that.

The Gauntlet 2 Continues… The Bearcats took care of the Mustangs and next up is The Man Bun and the Houston Cougars in Houston on Thursday. The Cougars are renovating their stadium as well so the game will take place at Texas Southern, a close neighbor. The last game was lit. Probably the most entertaining game of the season. The Bearcats decided to give Houston an 18 point first half lead and see if they could come back and win. Thankfully, the Bearcats are that good this year. Jacob Evans III pulled out his entire game for this one, including a buzzer beater over Man Bun to end the half and cut the Houston lead to 3.

This one isn’t going to be easy and to hold onto this top 5 ranking we just have to keep winning.

Football. Today, around 11am the AAC will annouce the in conference football schedule. Should be an exciting announcemnt and I’m anxious to see the home slate. Need something to get you amped up for football?

Brewery Review: Rockmill Brewery

Rockmill Brewery

– TheBeercat


Every once in a while you need to take a road trip. I was surprised to find out beer exists outside of the greater Cincinnati area. Naturally I had to get out and try it. Just Southeast of Columbus sits Lancaster, OH. In Lancaster you’ll find Rockmill Brewery. I can’t recommend seeking out this hidden gem enough. With its close proximity to Hocking Hills you can bet the landscape is amazing.

(They have opened a second location in Columbus to spread their liquid happiness to others but if you have a chance to visit the original, do it.)

Rockmill sits on an a beautiful old horse farm and all of their beer is Belgian inspired Farmhouse ales. They’ve been open since 2010 so they know what they’re doing. They’re family owned and operated and are cranking out delicious beer of all kinds.

The property itself is worth a visit. They have several buildings housing their brewery operation. They have a patio and the most unique taproom I have every been to along with several barns and trails to walk on to see the property you get a one of a kind experience at Rockmill.

While the Lancaster location doesn’t serve food packing a picnic is perfectly acceptable. If you visit during warmer weather months a picnic on the property is a great way to see all of the natural works and with the wooden tables scattered about its pretty easy to find a nice spot.

The Hocking River rolls through the brewery’s property, a natural resource the brewery uses to its advantage in the brewing process.

Walk into the taproom and you won’t find a bar-like atmosphere or something that reflects a brewery atmosphere either. You’ll find a small bar in the main room and a lodge. I’ll call it a beer lodge. It resembles a cabin in the mountains more than anything really. Multiple rooms with tables, leather couches, ottomans, fire places, and some high top tables with chairs. Upstairs you can take in the exposed beams of the ceiling as well as several private cozy rooms. In the main room upstairs a look out of the window lets you see the patio and an awesome view of the entire property.

Beer? Oh they have that too. At the bar they have six taps and offer more beer by the glass poured from their bottles they bottle and sell right out of the taproom themselves. They offer anything you fancy, all with their Belgian twist.

Pilsners, IPAs, Stouts, Saisons, dubbels, tripels, you name it. They also have some outstanding barrel aged beer to choose from. The Cask Aged Tripel was easily my favorite beer I tried. It’s a tripel aged in whiskey barrels from a local micro-distillery Middle West Spirits. It’s smooth at 10.5% ABV.

A close second was the Sour Cherry Saison. At a cool 5% ABV it has a cherry start with a tart finish that isn’t too overbearing and won’t make you pucker it’s light and crushable.

I did bring home a Le Cheval bottle, at 5% ABV with a very attenuative yeast strain from Northern France it leaves a dry, crisp session saison.

(I’m very anxious to try it but I’m trying saving it for a bottle share.)

What’s really cool about this place too? They host private parties and weddings too!

You can find Rockmill Brewery at:

5705 Lithopolis Rd NW, Lancaster, OH 43130

www.rockmillbrewery.com

They’re also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

Barrels and Bearcats

Bearcats Slay Knights Road Trip Looms


Knights. What we witnessed last night was a slaughter. I’m not even sure we’re allowed to put the footage on the internet. The Bearcats were all over UCF from start to finish. The Knights made one shot very early then went what felt like a decade without scoring again. Everyone got involved in this one. Literally, everyone scored except the three walk-ons.

Nsoseme, Williams, Scott, and company all saw major action and held their own in the route. Cronin has been talking for several weeks about getting Nsoseme more minutes because he’s been practicing well. Glad he was the first one off the bench in this one. He finished with 3 points and 4 rebounds.

Trevor Moore lead all scorers with 14 points. Washington had 13, Gary 12, and Jenifer has found his tough again and chipped in 11.

The Bearcats defense looked far improved from the effort against UConn over the weekend. The Knights shot 19% in the first half and a mere 28% for the game. The most impressive thing was the Knights went the entire game without making one 3 pointer. Just as UCF thought they had an open look from 3 Gary Clark closed out blocked it and …

It was a rough night to be a Knight.

We can’t forget the beer of the game.

The Gauntlet Part 2. The Bearcats went 2-2 in the first Gauntlet losing to X and Florida and beating UCLA and Miss St. We are now at the beginning of the second one of the season. The next four games are at SMU, at Houston, #22 Wichita State at home and UConn at home. One big difference between the two stretches are now, it’s late in the season and we’re #6 in the country. Teams are hungry for a resume booster and we’re it. In college sports if we have to lose I’d prefer to lose early. People tend to forget and beatings fade with time. Play defense, hit the open shots, and keep winning.

Next up is SMU. The Evil Empire. The Bane of the Bearcats Existence. The ‘Cats slayer. Too much? You get the idea. It’s that time of year where SMU pops up on our schedule for the second time, at Moody. For the past couple of seasons the Ponies have had our number when they play host. Moody isn’t an easy place to win if you’re a visitor and no one knows that better than Coach Cronin. This will be the third time in five years where we play at SMU at this exact same point in the season. We’ve been ranked #11 or higher in each of those two games. All I know is Sunday at 4pm on ESPN the Bearcats better be ready to bring it.

Top 5. Both #5 Xavier and #4 Michigan State squeaked by and won last night. The Spartans next game is Saturday against #3 Purdue. The Boilermakers have to make it past #14 OSU first. (Go OSU? That’s weird to say.) If the Bearcats keep this in season winning streak alive we can only move up in the polls. While Xavier outlasted Butler last night the Dawgs get another opportunity at a top 5 team on Saturday when they play at #1 Nova. #2 Virginia plays hose to Virginia Tech as well.

UPDATE

Top 5 Collapses. Last night we saw a .500 St. John’s beat #1 Villanova and #3 Purdue get beat by #14 OSU. All the Bearcats have to do is win on Saturday and they’ll more than likely arrive in the top 5. A task easier said than done.

Beer of the American Athletic Conference

Must Try Breweries of the AAC

People say a lot of things about the American Athletic Conference. Some say, like those within the conference, that it’s a Power 6. Others insist it’s a Group of 5. “The football is sub par, the basketball isn’t competitive.” What’s the Big 12 doing? Does the Big 12 know what it’s doing? No one really wanted to go to Iowa that many times anyway. While March draws closer we’ll have to wait to see how many teams get a bid to the Big Dance but UCF was the National Champions in football, went undefeated, and dominated Auburn so take that.

Regardless of all of those talking points out of the American one of the things AAC fans should be talking about is some of the cool cities we can travel to for away games. I mean New  Orleans, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Orlando all have great things to offer traveling fans.(So let’s decide to have the AAC Tournament in Hartford, CT almost every year! More on that at another time.)

So for you traveling Bearcats fans, or any fans traveling to watch your team in the American we thought you should know which places in each city to stop and grab a pint or six of local deliciousness. We researched and put together a formula and picked out one brewery in each city for you to make sure you visit on your next road trip to watch your team. The formula? Beer Advocate rating + Untappd Rating + a bonus for close proximity to campus (for easy navigation) = making it on this list + a double bonus if we’ve already had beer from or have been to one of these breweries.

Here we go:

Annapolis, MD – Navy

Chesapeake Brewing Co. If you’re in town good luck against the triple option. I’d check this place out before you get ran all over. It’s one of the few places in the area that brews their own beer and has a good selection of food. Their owner is a graduate of the Naval Academy. If I’m there I’m definitely trying the Oyster Stout and of course the BEAT  ARMY Golden Lager. They host a handful of events through out the year. Patrons had good things to say about this one too.

“Great brewery with good selection of brews, owner and family are super nice people. A must if you are visiting Annapolis.”

Cincinnati, OH – University of Cincinnati

Rhinegeist. It was hard picking one brewery from the hometown but if one brewery captures the city best I think it’s this one. Located in Over-The-Rhine it’s a short drive to campus. The building and architecture is a must see and the beer is top notch. They host all kinds of crazy events to days featuring animals from the Cincinnati Zoo and a wild German Costume contest you’d have to see to believe. I’d also venture to say Rhinegeist is one of the best in state of Ohio. I suggest you have a Truth.

Dallas, TX – Southern Methodist University

Peticolas Brewing Co. In its first year of operations, Peticolas Brewing Company won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) for its Royal Scandal, an English pale ale, a second one a year later for its Great Scot! A Scottish Ale, and a silver medal for It’s Always Something, a Belgian Strong Ale in their third year. So what does that mean? It means they have some awesome beer available for you to try the next time you’re in Dallas!

Greenville, NC – East Carolina University

Trolling Wood Taproom & Brewery. This microbrewery has a pretty cool history. They’re housed in a completely remodeled building that dates back to 1924. The brewer is a graduate of ECU and they operate on a 3 Bbl system, which is basically the smallest system you can have for a commercial operation. What does that mean? Small batch beer that comes out just the way you want it every time. They have a solid patio and live music regularly. It looks like locals love this place which is always a good sign.

“Awesome brewery. I had a great experience here. Owner/brewer is super friendly and knows his beer. The beer was great and the atmosphere was really chill. If you are a beer geek and you don’t hit this brewery up when you are in Greenville, you are missing out.”

Houston, TX – University of Houston

Spindletap Brewery. When you think of Texas what do you think of? … I think of high school football, the beard of James Hardin, and Oil. The last of which is where this brewery finds its heritage and start. Just read the story on their website. They have all all star line up of beers that they can and serve up fresh in the tap room. Special events and food trucks are there all the time. It isn’t Texas Tea, it’s better, it’ Texas craft beer done right.

Memphis, TN – University of Memphis

Ghost River Brewing Co. Memphis, TN is a cool place to visit. It gets called a more tame New Orleans and while I don’t know about all that it is serving up some great beer. Memphis beer is also very interesting because every brewery there uses water from the The Memphis Sand Aquifer because it is purified naturally through 850 feet of fine sand and natural quartz. How cool is that? Ghost River cans or bottles some of its beers too so if it’s football season load up before heading out to tailgate.

New Orleans, LA – Tulane University

Parleaux Beer Lab. With everything there is to do in New Orleans make sure to add this to your itinerary before you forget you made one and can’t remember where Bourbon St is anymore. (Hint: you’re already on Bourbon St.)  This micro-brewery is located in the Bywater community in New Orleans. They have an ever changing beer line up on the taps because this place really is a beer laboratory. They love to experiment!

“This is a really great craft brewery. Great beer selection, chill atmosphere, and a fantastic patio. I’m from Atlanta but if I was local I have a feeling this would be a regular stop.”

Orlando, FL – University of Central Florida

Ellipsis Brewing. Now if you’re a basketball fan this is an important one because the 2018 AAC basketball tournament is hosted by UCF. When you’re there stop by this place. It’s probably the most recently opened brewery on the list but that shouldn’t discourage you. It’s a two story building that houses a 10 Bbl system.  They’re already very popular and have added a stronghold of beer in a newly found beer scene in Orlando. They’re a quick drive from the airport and offer a wide variety of beer.

“Came from out of town expecting an average brewery with average beer and I was blown away. Great brews, great staff and felt right at home. A definite must visit!!!”

Philadelphia, PA – Temple University

Crime and Punishment Brewing Co. This place is cool and it’s located in Philly’s Brewerytown neighborhood. Seems fitting doesn’t it? The beers are unique and the food is Russian inspired. This place aims to mix the once great local brewing tradition with the new age of craft beer techniques and  international influences. They’ve brewed a little known style of beer they call The Grod Inquisitor. Grodziskie, they say “the beer  originates from 14th century Poland and is brewed with 100% oak smoked wheat, and is often soured. They utilize a technique called kettle souring to achieve this desired subtle tartness. Smells of smoked ham and alfalfa bring way to a taste of cloud like sausage lemonade, which finishes with a crisp, dry airiness similar to a brisk wind blowing through your arm hair.”

Stoors, CT – University of Connecticut

Willimantic Brewing Co. I wasn’t sure what I’d find in looking for a brewery in the area but with a short drive from Stoors down to Willimantic you’ll find this brewery housed in an old US Post Office from 1909 to 1967 it sat empty for 30 years until they showed up and started brewing. They brew on a 7 Bbl system and produce a lot of good beer. You’ll feel at home in a cozy atmosphere add some food and you’ll never want to leave. They serve up some award winning chili.

Tampla, FL – University of South Florida

Cigar City Brewing. The first of two of the best breweries in the world on our list. Yeah you can visit 2 of the top 100 breweries in the world by traveling with your team in the American. This place promotes its self as inventive and it certainly is. With beers like Berliner-style Weisse with Cherries and Lime, a Brown Ale with Lactose and Jameson Barrel-rested Coffee, and Double Barrel-aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This place knows what it’s doing and is a must stop the next time you’re in Tampa.

Tulsa, OK – University of Tulsa

Prairie Artisan Ales. This was another one I wasn’t sure what we’d find until I remembered this awesome brewery. They can and distribute so odds are you don’t have to travel to far to find one. I just had Bomb! on Saturday (It was top notch) but if you’re in Tulsa look no further than this place. It’s the second of two places on this list that made the Rate Beer list of Best Breweries in the World list for 2015! That alone makes this place a must visit. Be on the look out for their cans and bottles the artwork on them are second to none.

Wichita, KS – Wichita State  University

Central Standard Brewing. You have to seek this place out. It has a chill atmosphere, board games if you want to play with friends or kick back and relax on some retro furniture or on the open patio good for all sorts of things. They use an oak fermentation vessel which is pretty unique. I don’t know if I’ve seen another place do that but I could be and probably am wrong. You can get anything from a crisp pilsner or a truly unique Saison Brett aged on blackberries and French oak.

 

As always we put together a Wish List of one beer from each of these breweries on our Untappd profile (TheBeercat1) for easy findings.

Have you already visited some of these breweries? Let us know how they were with a comment or a reply on twitter.

Cougars Get Mauled

Drama, Defense, and Dumb Refs


The Cincinnati Bearcats beat the Houston Cougars last night at BB&T arena and was it a doozy. If you turned off your TV mid way through the first half or better yet hurled it through a window hopefully you found a way to watch the end of the first half and whole second half. We witnessed the Bearcats yet again come out flat. As flat as they have been all year really. Shots weren’t falling and the defensive effort was sub par for Cronin’s liking. It seemed like the Cougars couldn’t miss in the first half. From the field, from 3 or from the line. Everything was falling early.

In the first 11 minutes or so the Bearcats had 8 turnovers. Cane Broom had a couple passes so telegraphed by 93 yr old grandpa could have intercepted them. Houston surged to an 18 point lead! It got ugly quick. I really thought Cronin was going to bite off Cane’s head,literally. He had a crazy look in his eye. The Cougars shot 50% from the field and from behind the 3 point line.

With about 7 minutes to go in the first half the Bearcats woke up and they were on a mission. The Bearcats started playing like the #8 Cincinnati Bearcats should play every minute. Brook played very strong in the minutes he got and had two early dunks to keep a pulse. Gary Clark hit two big shots from behind the 3 point line, the Bearcats started playing defense and then Kyle Washington woke up completely, thought, hey this is my senior year let me ball out! He hit a big 3 and the ‘Cats showed life.

My thought process was, we have to get this lead down to single digits or hell at least down to 10 before the half.

Then came Jacob Evans III.

Just like that the lead was down to 3 points going into halftime!

Still, I could not imagine what was happening in the locker room with Mick Cronin going absolutely insane. Whatever happened it worked and has all season.

Gary Clark went out and got yet another double double. Teams should just spot him 10 and 10 to start the game at this point. It’s going to happen one way or another.

Jarron Cumberland continues to improve. His defense is already solid but it’s getting better every game.

Justin Jenifer had a big 3 for us in the first half to keep a pulse as well.

Jacob Evans III showed last night why he’s better than Rob Gray. Evans is in another league, that’ll be quiet literal next year when Evans is in the league and Rob Gray and his man bun are in the Euro league. Evans would not be denied. He finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and just 2 turnovers. He also played all 40 minutes.

Kyle Washington. The Senior Kyle Washington had himself a night. He finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 huge blocks for the Bearcats in 26 minutes. He was on a roll and would not be denied. The Kyle Washington Mean Face lives!

This game featured 7 lead changed and 7 ties. The Bearcats beat the Cougars 30-22 in the paint and 9-4 on points off fast breaks. The ‘Cats had the slight edge in rebounds as well with 39-32.

For the most part Houston’s senior leader and human man bun was held in check all night. He finished with 9 points and 6 assists.

The Bearcats visit Houston in just 16 days. I’m sure that’ll be just as fun as last night.

A note on the refs. They were horrible. Almost as bad as the Memphis game. Jarron was called for a foul on a box out. A text book box out. JEIII was called for a foul and wasn’t close to a player going up for a layup. Both Clark and Washington were in foul trouble the second half. Along with a handful of other calls it wasn’t a good night for the black and white stripes.

If we can continue to get these kinds of tests and power through this level of adversity and win this team is going to be special.

The final score was 80-70 Bearcats.

We can’t forget about the Beer of the Game because there will be plenty of Cougar Fan’s tears after this one.