Beerdrinker of the Year finalists chosen

The finalist have been chosen to compete for Wynkoop Brewing Company’s 2011 Beerdrinker of the Year award.

The finals are Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at Wynkoop Brewing in Denver. The event is open to the public and admission is free. The competitors are:

* James Clark, a Springfield, Va., homebrewer, beer traveler and beer ambassador. In 2010 he visited 17 breweries, attended over a dozen beer festivals and held beer events at his home that welcomed as many as 160 people. His philosophy of beer drinking: “Live life to the brim! I was a late arrival to beer drinking but I caught up quickly. I didn’t have my first beer until I was 31, but it was a German Pilsener in Germany. In the last 16 years I’ve been going full throttle; drinking, brewing, studying and visiting my way to the top of the beer expert’s pyramid.”

* Mike Dixon, a Wake Forest, North Carolina beer lover, certified national beer judge and beer event organizer. Dixon has tasted beers from 44 states and 39 countries and visited over 600 beer establishments. He is a four-time semifinalist, but this will be his first time in the Beerdrinker finals. His beer philosophy: “A well crafted beer is the perfect accompaniment to any meal or event. Life is too short to be wasted on beer without flavor and every glass of beer should be a new adventure. Every day I am working to improve my beer knowledge and beer experience.”

* Phil Farrell, a Cumming, Georgia commercial pilot, homebrewer, grand master beer judge and four-time Beerdrinker finalist. He has tasted beer in every country in Europe, all 50 states, every US territory, as well as 1000s of the world’s pubs, breweries and brewpubs. His philosophy about beer: “Fear no beer. All of my ‘beeroes’ (beer heroes) were fearless. In my short beer lifetime, a wasteland has been turned into a paradise…and I live in the best beer country in the history of the planet. Beer helps connect people. Beer is the greatest gift ever given to the human race and is meant to be shared with others.

The winner receives free beer for life at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, $250 worth of beer at their local brewpub or beer bar, and clothing proclaiming them the 2011 Beerdrinker of the Year.