Last night found yours truly surrounded by a simultaneously eclectic and homogenous group of people. Let me expound.
- Eclectic: people from across the country, varied backgrounds, experiences, and ideas, all having gotten into beer via different routes and life happenings, epiphanies and relationships.
- Homogenous: all passionate about the greater beer community, education, accurate knowledge and sharing it all forward – while trying beer everywhere we can.
I’m in Denver, Colorado, USA, for the finals of the 17th Annual Beerdrinker Of The Year, as held and sponsored by Wynkoop Brewing Company. It’s a long-standing contest wherein anyone can apply to explain and compete to be chosen as the exemplary example of a Beerdrinker. Applicants are vetted down to 10, then again to three finalists.
One of the things I sincerely value in this seemingly flippant contest is that Wynkoop is always working on helping redefine what a beerdrinker is. So ask yourself, “what is a beerdrinker to me?” It’s not flippant at all while it does in fact have a big element of good humor.
As an invited Final Judge (hence my involvement) we are to look at many facets of the final 3 candidates. Beerambassadorship, humor, volume of beers tried, herstory of their beer journeys – wherever they may take place, advocacy, and other demonstrated characteristics of what it means to be a positive example of a Beerdrinker for all.
At the pre-event dinner last night, we all met and mingled, enjoyed flavorful Wynkoop beers and food (thanks!), and in general got a good footing for today’s event. As you might imagine, a cozy room full of candidates, judges and other special guests, it was full of enlightening and engaging conversation, enthusiasm, ideas, thoughts and respect for one another.
So onward to the finals! With our charge as judges to come up with questions to challenge the finalists in real-time, I only wish we got more time to question and dialogue with the finalists. *Alas!* It’s a great conundrum to be mired in.
Watch media outlets and websites for the announcement of the winner. I already know this: The finalists (and all 7 of the other semi finalists) are a great asset to the world beer community. And that more people should submit their resume when the time comes again later this year.
2013 Beerdrinker of the Year Finalists: Jen Schwertman/NY, Kevin Cox/IN, Warren Monteiro/NY
2013 Beerdrinker of the Year Judges: J. Wilson/2012 BDOTY, Andy Brown/Wynkoop Head Brewer, Kyle Clark/TV Reporter, Cody Christman/2009 BDOTY, Ginger Johnson/Women Enjoying Beer
Big Beery thanks to one of the biggest and most diplomatic, fun and enthusiastic AmBeersadoors I know: Marty Jones, Wynkoop Brewing.