Beer geeks

Beerdrinker of the Year finalists chosen

Feb 9, 2005 - The three finalists for 2005 Beerdrinker of the Year include a man who spent $5,000 at his local beer store last year and a former finalist who has proposed that beer have its own place on the official food pyramid.


The finalists will meet Feb. 26 at Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver before a live audience and judges who will choose the 2005 Beerdrinker of the Year. Wynkoop has sponsored the competition since 1997. The winners receives beer for life at Wynkoop, $100 worth of beer at their local pub, and other prizes.

The finalists are:

Tom Ciccateri, an Alexandria, Virginia specialist in weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation programs, and four-time Beerdrinker of the Year finalist.

Richard Pedretti-Allen, a McKinney, Texas recording producer and two-time Beerdrinker of the Year finalist.

Fred Pelon, a Longmont, Colorado disc-drive engineer and the first Colorado resident to make the finals in the Beerdrinker of the Year search.

An avid homebrewer, Pelon's beer drinking philosophy is "Live to Drink, Drink for Life." He credits a beer-rich diet with helping him reduce a once unhealthy triglycerides level by 85%. He feels that people should diet and exercise "solely to extend your beer drinking lifetime." Pelon spent $5,054.51 at his local beer store last year, prompting the store's owner to ask an employee, "Does Fred own a restaurant?"

Ciccateri's beer drinking philosophy of "Beer is my guiding light" has led him to "a richer and more enjoyable life." It has also led him to extensive travels around the globe in pursuit of the world's best beers. Ciccateri has tried over 2500 beers in 30 countries, he has visited 321 of the planet's breweries, and attended 95 beer festivals. "And I'm still on my original liver," Ciccateri says.

Pedretti-Allen has been an award-winning homebrewer since 1989 and a certified beer judge since 1997. He has been a prolific organizer of pub crawls, beer dinners, homebrew competitions and beer festivals. His honeymoon with his wife, Valerie, was a two-week pub crawl of the United Kingdom's best pubs. He owns 7,000 beer coasters.

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