THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

Wynkoop Brewery Crowns 2016 "Beer Drinker of the Year"

Free beer for life
by Carrie Dow on Oct 10, 2016 in Beer

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

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:
 
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

If you're the kind of alcoholic who needs to have booze on your person at all times, Groupon has just the product for you: prosecco-flavored nail poli...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Mar 22, 2017
The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

A recent IndieGoGo campaign has resulted in a coffee table with everything you could want: the Sobro Refrigera...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 22, 2017
Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Soon, you'll be able to enjoy cold brew coffee with the alcohol percentage of a strong beer with Bad Larry's Cold Hard Coffee. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 17, 2017
SPONSORED
Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

In what is undoubtedly the company's latest publicity stunt, Budweiser announced Saturday, March 11 at SXSW in Austin, Texas that they are looking int...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 16, 2017
BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

The publicly owned Scottish brewery announced their plans to crowdfund a craft beer hotel, called the "Dog House" via Indiegogo less than week ago. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 8, 2017
Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate, the Jamaican rum label, is celebrating 20 years with its master distiller Joy Spence this year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 7, 2017
Guinness is Releasing Its Own Irish Whiskey

Guinness is Releasing Its Own Irish Whiskey

Guinness is getting into the Irish whiskey gave with Roe & Co, a blended Irish whiskey....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Feb 28, 2017
Channing Tatum is Starting His Own Line of Vodka

Channing Tatum is Starting His Own Line of Vodka

As if watching Magic Mike over and over again wasn't already good enough, Channing Tatum is gracing the world yet again, this time with his own line o...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Feb 28, 2017
Zima is Coming Back, and it's Zomething We Didn't Miss

Zima is Coming Back, and it's Zomething We Didn't Miss

Miller-Coors announced that Zima - which was originally discontinued in 2008 - will be buddying up (probably briefly) with its lineup of Henry's Hard ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Feb 28, 2017
Pappy Van Winkle is Releasing a 25-Year-Old Bourbon

Pappy Van Winkle is Releasing a 25-Year-Old Bourbon

The holy grail of whiskies, Pappy van Winkle, is producing a new and extremely limited edition 25-year old version of its famously hard-to-get bourbon...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 28, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close