Wynkoop Regular Wins 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year Crown
Cody Christman, a Golden, Colorado electrical engineer, has achieved the dream of every brewpub beer nut: free beer for life at his favorite brewpub.
In Christman’s case that brewpub is Wynkoop Brewing Company, where he was awarded the Wynkoop-sponsored title of 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year, in the National Finals held at Wynkoop Brewing Company on Saturday, Feb 21st.
“This is unbelievable,” a happy Christman said after winning the crown. “The tension in the room was so thick and everyone was on their feet.”
In a 2-hour contest before a raucous, standing-room-only crowd packed with his supporters, Christman outlasted fellow National Finalists J Mark Angelus of Nehalem, OR and Phil Farrell of Cumming, GA.
(Starting February 23, video footage from the 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year finals will be available for viewing at www.BeerTapTV.com .)
Unlike any previous Beerdrinker winner, Christman (a Friday night regular at Wynkoop since 1991) can take advantage of the contest’s key prize of free Wynkoop beer. “Oh, I’m going to enjoy that for the rest of my life,” he said.
“But winning,” he added, “is also a great validation of all the beer things I’ve done. And now I’m part of the very special group of those who have won the contest in the past. It’s a great honor.”
The judges deliberated for nearly 45 minutes (a contest record) before picking Christman. “I think it was tougher being a judge than a Finalist,” said Matt Venzke, the 2008 winner and a member of this year’s Finals judging panel.
Venzke was joined on the panel by Tom Ciccateri (2005 Beerdrinker of the Year), Dick Kreck (longtime Denver Post beer columnist) Alan Moen (editor of Northwest Brewing News), Julia Herz (director of craft beer marketing for the Brewers Association), Andy Brown (Wynkoop’s head brewer), and Jonathan Shikes (associate editor and beer writer for Westword.)
Christman is also the first Beerdrinker of the Year who is not from either the East or West coasts. In his closing statements at the Finals, he spoke of his desire to represent not only the nation’s beer lovers, but especially beer drinkers from Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.
“I’ve attended the Finals before,” Christman says, “and wondered, ‘Why is there nobody here from Colorado?’” Christman is a Billings, Montana native who says he also hopes to get his home state some extra beer attention. “Montana has a great beer culture and a brewery for every 43,000 people. But it doesn’t get much credit for it. I hope to change that.”
Christman’s resume offered numerous details on his beeriness, including his authoring and teaching a “Beer 101” course in his home basement bar/brewery. The room features a 15’ wooden bar, seven taps, a handpump/beer engine and three refrigerators for beer.
Christman has visited 19 countries on four continents in search of beer history and culture, and visited over 200 breweries. He has been homebrewing for 18 years and been a member of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) since 1991.
Christman also wins a $250 beer tab at Wynkoop Brewing Company, and the opportunity to brew a special beer with Andy Brown for next year’s Beerdrinker of the Year event.
He also won clothing proclaiming him the 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year, a place on Wynkoop’s Beerdrinker of the Year trophy, and the glory that comes with the lofty title of Beerdrinker of the Year.
The resume review panel for the 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year search was comprised of the nation’s top beer writers and beer experts, and previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners.
Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by current Denver mayor John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper attended the event on Saturday. One of America’s first and most revered brewpubs, Wynkoop was a major catalyst in the revitalization of the previously neglected Lower Downtown section of Denver.
For interviews with Christman and more information on Beerdrinker of the Year, contact Marty Jones at 303-860-7448 or [email protected] .
For more details on the Beerdrinker of the Year search and Wynkoop Brewing Company, visit www.wynkoop.com.