(Denver, Colorado) – Wynkoop Brewing Company’s judging panel has picked its three finalists for the brewpub’s 2012 Beerdrinker of the Year award.
The annual search seeks out and celebrates America’s most passionate beer lovers. Entrants must have a deep understanding of how beer is made, its many styles and its importance in advancing civilization. They must also have a vast array of beer tasting experiences and be good ambassadors for the culture of fine beer.
The 2012 finalists will compete in the Beerdrinker of the Year finals on February 25, at 2 PM, at Wynkoop Brewing Company. The event is open to the public and admission is free. The top three entrants in this year’s resume pool are:
Warren Monteiro, a New York City freelance writer, beer traveler, homebrewer and BeerSensei columnist for Alestreet News. Monteiro has sampled beers in Europe, Central American, India, Sri Lanka, numerous other nations and throughout the United States. In 2011 he visited breweries and beer festivals in England, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US. He samples an average of 350 beers each year.
His philosophy of beer drinking: “It’s not a habit, it’s a lifestyle. This is why I constantly travel – to get a taste of a new brew or one I’ve been missing, and to find a way to share it whenever possible. I consider creative beer drinking to be an essential part of the tapestry of art and fellowship contributing to a full life. The beauty of beer hunting now as opposed to the early ‘80’s is that I’ll never catch up!
His home beer bar: Blind Tiger Ale House, New York City.
Greg Nowatzki, a Las Vegas, Nevada accountant, home brewer and beer judge. Nowatzki has tasted over 13,600 beers from 84 different countries and all 50 states in the US. He has visited over 500 breweries in 32 different states and the District of Columbia, and attended over 150 beer festivals in 8 states. In 2011 he visited 16 beer festivals (including an 11th consecutive Great American Beer Festival) and visited over 100 different breweries in 7 states.
His beer philosophy: “Everyone likes beer. Some just haven’t tasted enough to find the ones they like yet.”
His home beer bar: Big Dog’s Draft House, Las Vegas, Nevada
J. Wilson, a Prescott, Iowa writer, homebrewer, beer judge and beer blogger. He has a 3-tap, 8-foot home bar supplied by a 10-gallon brewing system in his basement. An advocate for beer for 15 years, he organized numerous beer events in his hometown in 2011. The past year was highlighted by a research project in which he fasted for 46 days on water and a dopplebock he brewed with a local brewery. It became a book, Diary of a Part-Time Monk.
His philosophy about beer: “Living life in search of brewvana (an ideal condition of harmony, beer and joy), I seek to educate and advocate on behalf of craft beer, folding good beer into a good life.”
His home beer bar: El Bait Shop, Des Moines, Iowa
On February 25 at 2 PM at Wynkoop Brewing Company, these finalists will be grilled by a panel of previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners and national beer experts. The judges (in traditional jurist wigs and robes) will challenge the finalists with difficult beer questions, and then choose the 2012 winner.
The winner wins free beer for life at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, $250 worth of beer at their local brewpub or beer bar, and clothing proclaiming them the 2012 Beerdrinker of the Year.
They have their name engraved on Wynkoop’s Beerdrinker of the Year trophy, and earn the mighty acclaim that comes from being recognized as America’s greatest beer lover.
While in Denver (at Wynkoop’s expense) they will stay at Denver’s famed Brown Palace Hotel.
Phil Farrell of Cumming, GA is the reigning Beerdrinker of the Year and will be a judge at this year’s Finals. Wynkoop is now serving Beerdrinker Imperial Stout, a whiskey-barrel-aged, extra-strength stout Farrell brewed last fall with Wynkoop head brewer Andy Brown.