New king of suds

Washington mans wins Wynkoop's Beerdrinker of the Year contest

Feb 23, 2004 - John Marioni, 40, earned the title of Beerdrinker of the Year after a grueling two-hour final Sunday at Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver. Marioni won free drinking privileges at the Wynkoop, as well as a $100 tab at his home pub, McMenamins in Mill Creek, Wash.


Marioni follows Ray McCoy as BDOY. Wynkoop began the competition in 1997 and annually invites three finalists to Denver for the finals.

Judge Bobby Bush, the 1998 winner, said the split decision came down to which of the three finalists the jurists would most enjoy drinking a beer with.

Marioni was a former finalist, as was Tom Ciccateri, 47, a Honeywell International project manager from Kansas City, Mo. Back for the third time, Ciccateri brought a cheering section, the rowdy, sign-waving "Drunks for Ciccateri."

After Ciccateri's closing remarks, drinking buddy Derek Maes leapt to his feet, lifted his old black T-shirt and shook out his hairy round belly over the rim of his jeans as he danced and waved a sign, "Tom Doesn't Win We're Coming Back Next Year."

Richard Pedretti-Allen, 45, was the third finalist.

Near the end of the contest, Wynkoop co-founder and owner, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, showed up. Before a jury of judges in black robes and faux powdered wigs, the mayor said he had come to make sure parliamentary law was strictly enforced.

"We collected bribes," said one of the judges. "That's what I wanted to make sure of," answered the mayor.

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