Beer believers

'It's not a habit' but a lifestyle for Beerdrinker of the Year finalists

Feb 8, 2006 - Beer is no passing fancy for the three finalists for Wynkoop Brewing's 10th annual Beerdrinker of the Year award. For instance, finalist Warren Monteiro said of beer: "It's not a habit, it's a lifestyle."


Competition director Marty Jones announced that Monteiro, a New York playwright, will be joined by Diane Catanzaro from Norfolk, Va., and Tom Schmidlin of Seattle, Wash., for the final judging Feb. 25 at the Wynkoop brewpub in Denver, Colo.

A national panel of judges chose them after reading over scores of beer resumes. A panel of previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners and national beer experts will grill the finalists. The event begins at 2 p.m. and is open to the public.

Catanzaro is a homebrewer, beer judge and professor of industrial/organizational psychology at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. "Everything I've learned in life I've learned through beer," she wrote. "Beer can be a foundation for learning about history, economics, art, psychology . . . because they all relate to beer."

In 2005, Monteiro traveled to England (four times), Belgium (twice) Amsterdam, Czechoslovakia and across the US to drink beer. He noted: "I consider creative beer drinking to be an essential part of the tapestry of art and fellowship that contributes to a full life."

Schmidlin is a former mechanical engineer and computer programmer, Schmidlin has returned to college to study yeast and pursue a doctorate degree in biochemistry. His philosophy of beer drinking: "Beer is one of those substances that break down barriersÉthere is nothing like a brewery or beer festival for meeting great people."