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Aug 29, 2014

Beer Break

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Beer Break Vol. 2, No. 1
Submit your beer credentials

Sept. 6, 2001

Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver, which began its Beerdrinker of the Year competition in 1996-1997, has sent out a call for resumes for the 2002 contest. The deadline for entries is Nov. 8, 2001.

Three finalists receive a trip to Denver and a chance to enjoy an offbeat, totally beer day. The winner gets free beer for life at Wynkoop; $100 worth of beer at the winner's home brewpub; various items of apparel proclaiming the wearer Beerdrinker of the Year; his or her name engraved on a trophy displayed at Wynkoop; and national acclaim.

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Entrants must send their beer resumes (limited to three full pages, and including a personal philosophy of beerdrinking), the name of their home brewpub, and their T-shirt size to Beerdrinker of the Year, Wynkoop Brewing Co., 1634 18th St., Denver, CO 80202. (People currently employed in the brewing industry are not eligible.)

A panel of judges (including your Beer Break editor) will narrow the field to three, and that trio will be flown to Denver by Wynkoop for the Oral Exams (drinks with the judges) on Jan. 19.

Should you enter? We know from the email we receive that many of our readers write excellent essays. We also know that you are keen on beer appreciation. After five contests, its obvious the winner won't necessarily be the person who drinks the most beer in the course of a year or even visits the most breweries, though some of the winners have done plenty of both.

1999 winner Jim Robertson compiled voluminous lists of tasting notes long before micros and imports were so readily available. The 1998 winner, Bobby Bush, recounts his journeys in the Realbeer.com Authors area. The 2001 winner, Cornelia Corey, is a woman who told the judges, "I don't drink like a girl."

But we think the first Beerdrinker of the Year, Jack McDougall, set a pretty good standard. Yes, Jack samples a lot of beer, but his interests extend well beyond the drinking part. McDougall, a pipefitter at an Exxon plant in New Jersey, is co-author of the book, "New Jersey Brewery Coasters," and has thousands of of coasters in his collection. Just as important, he helped found Bar Tourists of America long ago (officially, he is member No. 5) and edited the organization's newsletter until the group fizzled out about 1990. The first official Bar Tour was held on Nov. 18, 1978. According to the first newsletter McDougall published:

"Those first Bar Tourists were Steve Pawlowski (the 2000 Beerdrinker of the Year), Bob Shoemaker, Ken Kaiser, George Arnold, Dave Berbert and Jack McDougall. During that memorable day they visited seven bars and sampled such exotic brews as Ballantine Ale, Hacker-Pschorr Dark and Krueger Porter, all on tap. The highlight was Nellie's in Newark, where the group was almost evicted by a suspicious Nellie, until quick-thinking Steve produced a Tour itinerary. Nellie was so proud of being included on the Tour, she bought a round for the group. The lowlights were a bad batch of Genesee Cream Ale at Lyon's Den in Irvington, and the breakdown of Steve's car in Harrison."

If that doesn't sound like beer appreciation, we don't know what does.

Tasting notes
MIRROR POND PALE ALE
Brewed by Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Ore.

Michael Jackson writes:

Bright pale orange. Dense, creamy head. Always perfumy, aromatic. Very fruity hop aroma (the fruits of dry-hopping). Notably firm-bodied, with a dusty, ground vanilla spiciness that almost abrades the tongue. Sounds unpleasant, but I found it quite sexy. Perhaps I need help. Lots of flavor development. Leafy, woody flavors. Very arousing - to the appetite, I mean.

FIRE ROCK PALE ALE
Brewed by Kona Brewing Co. in Kona, Hawaii

Roger Protz writes:

Bronze, with a dense fluffy head, the aroma has a nutty malt, spicy hops and orange/citrus fruit. The palate is big and complex, with bitter hops dominating but balanced by creamy malt and tart fruit. The finish is long, beginning malty sweet but with hops and bitter fruit coming through, ending with a quinine-like bitterness and dryness. Wonderfully quenching and full bodied, this would make a fine companion for pasta dishes or crumbly, full-flavored English cheese.

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