Opening Remarks: BDOY 1998
By Bobby Bush
Early each year, Wynkoop Brewing Company, the “World’s Largest Brewpub,” stages a
national search for the ultimate beerdrinker, a consumer whose beer knowledge,
experience and enjoyment stand the test of face-to-face competition against similarly
gifted individuals. Last year I was a lowly runner-up in the National Finals for
Beerdrinker of the Year. Picking up from last week’s column concerning this year’s
competition, here are my two minute opening and one minute closing remarks as delivered
in Denver on January 31, 1998.
I am passionate about beer. Since 1989, when I visited Portland, Oregon’s Dublin
Pub, home of 105 different beers, my life has been totally immersed in the wonderful
world of beer. Beer does not consume my life, but it does play an important
Beer has afforded me pleasure as I savor the complexities of flavors and aromas in
a well-made brew. I revel in the skill of beer’s creation, the magic of fermentation, the
pleasure it instills when consumed, beer’s storied history. I enjoy the opportunities beer
and the beer industry have presented- the intriguing people I’ve met, the stories and
passion they relate and the enjoyment I receive in sharing information about beer, brewing
I gather with friends to drink beer. I make friends drinking beer. The circle is
complete. To borrow an overused phrase from the golden days of Saturday Night Live:
“beer has been very, very good to me.”
I like to take my last 30 seconds to update my resume which was compiled in
Since Christmas Eve, I’ve visited 15 new brewpubs- raising the total to 276- two
in Portland, OR, six in the San Francisco Bay area, two in Charlotte, two in Virginia near
DC, and three in Las Vegas. I celebrated my third anniversary of authoring a weekly
column for FOCUS, that’s 156 published articles, so far.
My future plans? I’ll make another West Coast swing in June; Washington, DC in
May (which coincides with GABF-East in Baltimore), Scotland, Belgium, Monte Carlo
(may need to take beer with me), San Antonio in March and Disney World in April.
My collection of breweriana is growing- my home, my office, my body and mind
are shrines to my hobby and passion: BEER.
We don’t all watch the same movies, eat the same food or wear the same clothes.
Why should we drink the same beer?
The beer industry of the 90s has given us the opportunity to express our
individuality and an amazing array of choices.
Beer has been a fulfilling part of my life in terms of friendship, education,
communication and enjoyment.
I’d like to propose a toast: Let’s drink to friendship, to life. Let’s drink to love
and well-made, craft-brewed beer. Cheers!!
This article first appeared in Focus, a weekly paper published in Hickory, North Carolina.
© Bobby Bush