Wynkoop Brewery Crowns 2016 "Beer Drinker of the Year"

Free beer for life

On a chilly evening in LoDo, people gathered in a back room to witness the crowning of a new champion. Not a sports champion, but a champion of beer.

The 18th annual Beer Drinker of the Year by the Wynkoop Breweing Company was held at the brewery’s restaurant. Three strong candidates were chosen by a highly selective process. The winner would possess bragging rights and most importantly, free Wynkoop beer for life.

Earlier this year, Wynkoop took applicants for its Beer Drinker of the Year contest. Applicants had to submit videos explaining why they should be Beer Drinker of the Year and a special Wynkoop panel selected the best videos and put them up on Facebook for a public vote. Using a combination of the panel’s picks and the public’s votes, the applicants were whittled down to three who attended the finals competition, which was held on Wednesday, October 5. The chosen three were:

Kevin Cox of Muncie, IN – Beer hunter, homebrewer and beer advocate, Cox has visited over 400 breweries and tasted over 6000 different beers on four continents and 12 counties. He has been a member of the American Homebrewers Association since 1983 and a member of Britain’s Campaign for Real Ale since 1985. His home beer bar is Broad Ripple Brewpub in Indianapolis.

Shawna Cormier of Denver, CO – Cormier’s life-long love affair with beer began at the tender age of four when her grandmother let her take her first sip of Budweiser. Originally from New Your City, she has been an actress, an educator, a writer and is now a Certified Cicerone at Black Shirt Brewing Company in Denver.

Mike Dixon of Wake Forest, NC – Dixon is a homebrewer, a national BJCP judge and beer writer. Dixon so loves beer, that he was instrumental in getting North Carolina to change state beer laws allowing people to brew and to distribute beer above 6% ABV. His home beer bar is Clouds Brewing in Raleigh. Cox, Cormier, Dixon (Left to Right)

The judges for this event were:  Tony Drewry of Austin, TX, is best known as the banjo player and lead singer of Shotgun Friday; PJ Hoberman, founder of Denver Off The Wagon; Michael Roberts of Golden, CO, currently working at New Terrain Brewing in Golden and has visited more than 900 breweries, 794 in one year in 2014; and John Sims, originally from Texas, he is now head brewer at Wynkoop. Cody Christman, 2009 Beer Drinker of the Year, was the Emcee.

The competition featured eight tough rounds. First the candidates gave opening statements on why they should be Beer Drink of the Year. Cox pointed out that we as humans would not exist if it weren’t for beer because it was Louis Pasteur who noticed that people who drank beer back in 1800s did not get sick while people who drank water often did. This led to his study of yeast and bacteria and the development of Pasteurization.

The first two rounds were Trivia and Individual Questions from the judges. Questions such as:  What year did the oldest brewery in the world first get taxed? Answer:  A brewery in Munich in the year 1040. Another question:  Which brewery has the largest lauter tun in the world? Answer:  Corona.

Round 3 was called Beer Whispering where each finalist conducted a 75-second chat with a beer they brought with them to the finals. Dixon told a story about how he almost died on a river rafting trip and that the Natural Light beer he drank afterward was the best beer he’d ever had because it meant he was still alive.

Round 4 was the Bribing of the Judges. While Cox and Dixon brought rare beers, Cormier not only offered a rare beer, she also brought books suited to each judge. Judge Sims received a book on llamas while another judge received a book on camping. She also included a $1000 signed check for each judge, which she had already voided.

After a brief intermission, the finalists answered questions from the audience for Round 5. Round 6 was Beer Listening, where the finalists had to taste two unidentified beers and write down the style and tasting notes of each beer. The judges were impressed at how accurate all three finalists were.

New this year was a Talent Show for Round 7. Dixon sang his version of John Denver’s Thank God I’m a Country Boy entitled Thank God I’m a Craft Beer Boy. Cox performed a spoken word poem entitled Down at the Koop. Cormier performed Air Timpani to Also sprach Zarathrustra AKA theme to 2001:  A Space Odyssey. The final round consisted of closing arguments where each candidate had one minute to plead their case as to why they should be Beer Drinker of the Year.

The judges were then sequestered for deliberations. After much arguing and adding of scores and more arguing, the judges returned with their choices. The winner? Shawna Cormier! She was given a golden mug trophy and a crown of hops. As she begins her reign, she joins an elite club of only 18 people in the world who can claim the title, Beer Drinker of the Year.

Prizes for the contest are a trip to Denver during Great American Beer Festival week for the three finalists. The winner receives a $250 credit to their home beer bar, the opportunity to collaborate with John Sims on their own beer brewed at the Wynkoop, their name engraved on a trophy and free beer for life at the Wynkoop. Since Cormier lives in Denver, she might be one of the few winners to actually enjoy this prize.

Do you think you have what it takes to win all this? Then stay tuned for Wynkoop's request for resumes in 2017. 

Photos via Carrie Dow


Tags: Beer, Prizes
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Bud Light Keeps its Promise to Give Eagles Fans Free Beer

Bud Light Keeps its Promise to Give Eagles Fans Free Beer

Bud Light is making good on its promise to provide Philadelphians free beer after the team's heroic win over the New England Patriots in the Super Bow...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Feb 6, 2018
Where to Sip With or Without a Sweetie on Valentine's Day in Denver
by Carrie Dow Feb 6, 2018
Sat
Feb 24
Tue
Feb 27
Sat
Mar 31
SPONSORED
Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras 2018 in Denver

Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras 2018 in Denver

You've got to live it up before you give it up. ...read more ›

by Carrie Dow Feb 6, 2018
Despite Reports, Nobody in California Will Go to Jail Over Plastic Straws

Despite Reports, Nobody in California Will Go to Jail Over Plastic Straws

Over the last few days, there's been a lot of drama around California's alleged 'Straw Ban,' a bill, that woul...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Feb 1, 2018
Philadelphia's Yards Brewing Co. and Boston's Harpoon Brewery Have Made a Super Bowl Bet

Philadelphia's Yards Brewing Co. and Boston's Harpoon Brewery Have Made a Super Bowl Bet

Philly's Yard Brewing Co. and Boston's Harpoon Brewery are putting faith in their home teams by making a bet o...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 30, 2018
Disneyland is Getting a Brewery

Disneyland is Getting a Brewery

Disneyland in California will open its own brewery in 2018 - the brewery itself will be a Ballast Point Brewery, and it will be located specifically i...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 30, 2018
A World of Pure Inebriation Awaits You at this Willy Wonka-Themed Bar in NYC

A World of Pure Inebriation Awaits You at this Willy Wonka-Themed Bar in NYC

Willy Wonka's chocolate factory has its own pop-up at the LOCL in the Nylo Hotel of the Upper West Side....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 30, 2018
Wynkoop Creates Unique Beer for February's Charity Tap

Wynkoop Creates Unique Beer for February's Charity Tap

That brew is a tropical-style pale lager called Moringa Lager....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jan 30, 2018
Pennsylvania Bar Sells 'Tide Pod' Shot That Won't Kill You

Pennsylvania Bar Sells 'Tide Pod' Shot That Won't Kill You

The $4 shot is available at Molly's Irish Grille & Sports Pub in Bethlehem, PA and is layered with blue Curaco, Bailey's and vodka dyed orange....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 24, 2018
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close