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Need GABF tickets? Trying winning a pair

Didn’t manage to manage to buy tickets to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in the minutes before they sold out?

Well, you could try winning a pair.

Denver’s Ultimate Beer-Cation Giveaway prize includes a trip to Denver as well as tickets to on session. Entries are being accepted at Facebook.com/VISITDENVER through Sept. 2.

The randomly selected winner will receive:

* Round-trip airfare for two to Denver on Frontier Airlines (October 11-13).

* Two nights at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver (October 11-13).

* Two tickets to the Great American Beer Festival (October 12).

* Two ‘Hops N’ Honey’ pedicures at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Denver (October 12).

* Dinner for two at Ale House at Amato’s (October 11).

* Two Denver Beer Trail guides.

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Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale: One day, one place

Samuel Adams Brewlyed Ale will return Wednesday, for one day only and exclusively at its Boston’s Beer Company’s Jamaica Plain brewery.

The brewery will release only 300 cases of the beer, a Belgian-influenced “bride ale.” Last year, three three beer-loving couples tied knot during the festivities, with founder Jim Koch serving as Best Man. Koch and the wedding experts from TheKnot.com will be on hand again this year, along with a justice of the peace, food, music and another chance for couples to exchange vows at Samuel Adam’s brewery hop garden.

The day at the brewery will include live music, beer pairing suggestions for wedding menus, local wedding vendors, on-site giveaways of Samuel Adams merchandise, and a toast from Koch. The first 50 people to line up at the brewery will also have a chance to purchase a signed bottle of Brewlywed Ale from Koch. The first who arrive in bridal attire will be allowed to go to the front of the line.

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‘Baseball bat beer’ benefits troops

If we call a beer made by adding hops to the conditioning tank “dry hopped” does that mean we should call a beer made instead by adding maple baseball bats “dry batted”?

However you describe Homefront IPA, all proceeds from the beer will be donated to Operation Homefront, a national group that provides emergency financial assistance to military families.

Nine different brewers collaborated to create Homefront IPA, all using the same recipe, complete with orange peel and unfinished maple Louisville Sluggers. Participating breweries include Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Fla., Sly Fox Brewing Co. in Pottstown, Pa., Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis, 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, the Phoenix Ale Brewery in Phoenix, Left Hand Brewing Co. in Longmont, Colo., and Stone Brewing Co., in Escondido, Calif. The official release date is Memorial Day. The breweries will sell the beer in bottles and kegs in their areas, with all proceeds being donated to local chapters of the charity.

The Hops for Heroes project began in 2011 when Chris Ray, who since founded his own brewery, was pitching for the Seattle Mariners. A home brewer at the time, Ray wanted to partner with a local brewery to create a charity beer. Together with Fremont Brewing Co. in Seattle and his brother, Phil, they developed the recipe and chose the charity Operation Homefront.

Last year, the project helped raise $165,000. After the beer is brewed, the bats are dried and auctioned off.

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New Yorker 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year

Warren Monteiro, Beerdrinker of the Year, with judges at Wynkoop Brewing

Warren Monteiro, a New York City freelance writer, beer traveler, homebrewer and beer columnist, was chosen as the 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year at Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver.

“This year was very difficult to judge,” said Cody Christman, the 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year and a judge at Saturday’s finals. “All three finalists were superb and deserved to be on the national beer stage. But Warren won the competition with his blend of wit, knowledge, and a deep passion for all things related to beer.”

Kevin Cox of Muncie, Ind., and Jen Schwertman, a New York City bartender, were the other finalists.

Monteiro has sampled beers throughout the United States, Europe, Central American, India, Sri Lanka and other nations. In 2012 he visited breweries and beer festivals in England, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US. He samples an average of 350 beers each year.

For seven years, Monteiro has written his “Beer Sensei” column for the popular Ale Street News. His home beer bar is the Blind Tiger Ale House in New York City.

In his 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year resume, he detailed his philosophy of beer drinking: “It’s not a habit, it’s a lifestyle. This is why I constantly travel – to get a taste of a new brew or one I’ve been missing, and to find a way to share it whenever possible. I consider creative beer drinking to be an essential part of the tapestry of art and fellowship contributing to a full life.”

For winning the 2013 title, Monteiro wins free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing, a $250 bar tab at the Blind Tiger, and clothing proclaiming him the 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year.

His name will be engraved on Wynkoop’s famed Beerdrinker of the Year trophy. For next year’s Beerdrinker of the Year contest, he’ll brew batch of beer of his own design at Wynkoop with head brewer Andy Brown.

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OBF adds day, switches to glassware

The Oregon Brewers Festival has added a fifth day to its celebration and for the first time drinkers will use taste beer from glassware rather than a plastic mug. The festival is scheduled for July 24-28 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

“The festival continues to grow in popularity every year, especially with tourists,” said festival owner and founder Art Larrance. “Due to space constraints, we can’t expand our footprint, so we decided to instead add a day to accommodate more beer lovers. Portland’s role as the ‘Cradle of Craft Beer’ had led our city to be one of the premier beer tourism destinations in the United States, and the Oregon Brewers Festival continues to support that movement.”

The festival expanded from a three-day to a four-day event in 2005. That turned out to be a huge success, and ever since, festival purists have declared Thursday to be the best day to attend due to shorter lines and a full beer selection. Festival organizers are now hoping Wednesday will become the new Thursday.

Another big change to this year’s event is the introduction of a tasting glass. In an effort to improve the tasting experience for the guest and to be more environmentally responsible, the Oregon Brewers Festival will now sell a tasting glass in lieu of the traditional plastic mug. Admission into the festival grounds is free. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2013 souvenir 12-ounce tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1 apiece. Patrons pay four tokens for a full glass of beer, or one token for a taste. There are no advance tickets sold to the festival; all purchases are made on-site.

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Super Bowl Clydesdale gets a name: Hope

The baby Clydesdale featured in a Budweiser commercial shown during Super Bowl XLVII now has a name: Hope. Anheuser-Busch InBev also announced another foal would be named in honor of St. Louis baseball icon, Stan Musial.

Last week Budweiser asked its Facebook and Twitter followers to send along naming suggestions. More than 60,000 tweets, Facebook comments, calls and direct messages followed. “Hope” was one of the more popular female names.

“We were overwhelmed with the response we got,” said Lori Shambro, brand director for Budweiser.

Other popular names submitted included Landslide (after the Fleetwood Mac song in the commercial), Buddy, Star, Raven, Spirit and Stevie.

“Thirty-six hours before Hope was born, on Jan. 14, we welcomed our first-born Clydesdale of the year, a boy,” John Soto, supervisor of Warm Springs Ranch. “We have a special name for him, too.”

Budweiser has announced that the first male Budweiser Clydesdale born in 2013 will be named after the recently deceased baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. Many of the suggestions for the female foal, including “Six,” had a Musial connection.

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Call goes out for Beerdrinker of the Year resumes

Once again, Wynkoop Brewing Company is seeking beer resumes from the nation’s most beer-minded men and women for its 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year contest. The 17th annual contest seeks and honors America’s most passionate, knowledgeable beer lovers and ambassadors.

The Beerdrinker of the Year wins free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing Company, a $250 tab at their local brewpub or beer bar, and has his or her name engraved on the Beerdrinker of the Year trophy at Wynkoop.

They also design and brew a special batch of beer at Wynkoop Brewing (with head brewer Andy Brown) as part of their winnings.

The three Beerdrinker of the Year finalists are flown to Denver at Wynkoop’s expense for an action-packed weekend that culminates with the Beerdrinker of the Year National Finals on February 23, 2013 at 2 PM at Wynkoop Brewing.

This year’s three finalists will stay in Denver’s famed Brown Palace Hotel while in town for the finals.

To enter the contest, applicants must submit beer resumes that include the entrant’s beer philosophy and details on their passion for beer and 2012 beer experiences.

Resumes should also detail the entrant’s understanding of beer and its history and importance to civilization, along with the entrant’s efforts to educate others to the joys of great beer.

Resumes for the Beerdrinker of the Year are reviewed by national beer experts and previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners.

Resumes must be sent by email to beerdrinker@wynkoop.com and be received by Wynkoop by no later than December 31. Each entrant will receive an email confirmation that their resume was received.

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Stone plans a ‘Vertical’ party for 12.12.12

So who’s up for a 11-beer vertical tasting?

You bring the Stone 02.02.02. We seem to be out.

Stone Brewing Co. released the final beer in its Vertical Epic Ale series Monday, Stone 12.12.12. For those unaware, each year since Feb. 2, 2002 (02.02.02), Stone has released a Stone Vertical Epic Ale beer exactly one year, one month and one day apart. The idea was that each year a beer in the series would be brewed with its own unique recipe, one that would allow the beer to mature over time enhancing the flavors and aromas. The intention was that drinkers would cellar the bottles from each year and open all 11 vintages together for a vertical tasting on Dec. 12, 2012, the date of the last Stone Vertical Epic Ale.

Like everybody lets beer sit around for 11 years.

Fortunately, Stone has an alternative for those of us who kept opening bottles. The brewery will hold a festival at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens: Stone Epic Festival: The Final Chapter. It will take place on December 12 and commence at exactly 12:12 p.m. PST. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to experience all 11 Stone Vertical Epic Ales, in addition to special barrel-aged variations, with food pairing stations featuring dishes specifically created to marry with each of the vintages.

For the record, Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale was brewed with a Belgian yeast strain and features cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, rosehips, sweet orange peel, and a dash of clove.

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Rogue’s latest includes pages from ‘Moby Dick’

JohnMaier with Emily Michael PowellPowell’s Books and Rogue Ales & Spirits have collaborated to create Rogue’s latest beer – White Whale Ale.

White Whale Ale is infused, literally, with the spirit of the book “Moby Dick.” Michael and Emily Powell took pages from a copy of the book and, along with Rogue brewmaster, John Maier, added them to the brewing kettle at Rogue. “Moby Dick” has special meaning to Michael Powell, who was inspired to become a bookseller when he found a first edition of the novel in a box of books he’d purchased.

White Whale Ale was brewed in honor of Powell’s Books 41st Anniversary. Powell’s is the one of the world’s best known independent bookstores. Its flagship store in downtown Portland, Oregon, covers an entire city block and contains more than one million new and used books.

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Samuel Adams simultaneous stein host Saturday

Boston Beer Co. has brought back the Samuel Adams National Stein Hoisting Competition to celebrate Oktoberfest (or OctoberFest, in the case of the Samuel Adams beer) season. The brewery also will attempt to set a world record for the largest, simultaneous stein host tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 22).

Participants can raise a record-setting stein at one of our four simultaneous Samuel Adams Oktoberfest Celebrations in Boston, Cincinnati, Denver and Chicago. They can also participate from home, watching the event live from Cincinnati at 8 p.m. (Eastern) on the Samuel Adams Facebook page.

Boston Beer founder Jim Koch will lead the hoist from the host site – Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati.

Drinkers also have the opportunity to compete National Stein Hoisting Competitions between now and Oct. 15 in local bars and at festivals. Participants will be timed as they hoist one liter of OctoberFest in an official Samuel Adams beer stein.

The two hoisters who hold up the longest – one male and one female winner – will be crowned the Samuel Adams National Stein Hoisting Champions and will receive a trip for two to the 2013 Oktoberfest celebration in Munich. Oktoberfest began in Munich, Germany more than 200 years ago and has since become the largest public festival in the world.

Consumers can visit the Samuel Adams website for national event listings and full rules and regulations.

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New Belgium announces Tour de Fat schedule

New Belgium Brewing has announced the Tour de Fat schedule for its 13th season. Most Tour de Fat stops include a costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, entertainment, local food, unusual bike contests and much more. This year the Tour will visit 15 cities.

In 2012, Tour de Fat, which is a free event, will exceed the $2 million mark for money raised for local nonprofits through beer and merchandise purchases. Funds generally go to organizations in the world of bike advocacy.

Each stop now includes a car-for-bike trade. Basically, a person gets up on stage, hands over car keys, and pledges to live one year car-free. Tour de Fat is now seeking volunteers to accept the swapper challenge. Each car-for-bike swapper will choose a local bike shop to help them turn their $2,250 budget into their ultimate car-replacement commuter bike. The cars will be auctioned by Vehicles for Charity, with proceeds to benefit local cycling organizations.

Tour de Fat 2012 will cycle through each of the following cities:

Nashville, TN – June 2 – Centennial Park
Washington, DC – June 16 – Yards Park
Durham, NC – June 23 – Diamond View Park on the American Tobacco Campus
Atlanta, GA – June 30 – Historic 4th Ward Park
Milwaukee, WI – July 14 – Coast Guard Event Area, McKinley Park
Chicago, IL – July 21 – Palmer Square
Minneapolis, MN – July 28 – Loring Park
Boise, ID – August 18 – Ann Morrison Park
Fort Collins, CO – September 1 – Civic Center Park Area
Denver, CO – September 8 – City Park
Los Angeles, CA – September 15 – Los Angeles State Historic Park
San Francisco, CA – September 22 – Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park
San Diego, CA – September 29 – Golden Hill Park
Tempe, AZ – October 6 – Tempe Town Lake
Austin, TX – October 20 – Fiesta Gardens

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Iowa man 2012 Beerdrinker of the Year

J. Wilson won the title at the Beerdrinker of the Year finals, held Saturday at Wynkoop Brewing Co.

“All three of the finalists were worthy of the 2012 title,” said Jack McDougall, Wynkoop’s first Beerdrinker of the Year and another finals judge. “But in the past year J. showed a total dedication to beer that won us over.”

Wilson outlasted Warren Monteiro (a New York City freelance writer, beer traveler, homebrewer and beer journalist) and Greg Nowatzki, (a Las Vegas, Nevada accountant, home brewer and beer judge) to win the crown.

In 2011 Wilson fasted for 46 days on just water and a dopplebock he brewed with a Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant in West Des Moines. His experience became a book, Diary of a Part-Time Monk, and landed him national attention.

“With the fast and the book and my other efforts it’s been a very big beer year,” Wilson said after being crowned. “To have it all lead to my winning the Beerdrinker of the Year title, it’s very satisfying. It’s a validation of everything that has happened this past year.”

Wilson wins free beer for life at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, $250 worth of beer at his local beer bar (El Bait Shop in Des Moines, Iowa) and clothing proclaiming him the 2012 Beerdrinker of the Year.

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Beerdrinker of the Year finalists chosen

The three finalists for Wynkoop Beerdrinker of the Year have been chosen. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges (in traditional jurist wigs and robes) during public ceremonies that begin at 2 p.m. Feb. 25 a Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver. The finalists:

Warren Monteiro, a New York City freelance writer, beer traveler, homebrewer and BeerSensei columnist for Alestreet News. Monteiro has sampled beers in Europe, Central American, India, Sri Lanka, numerous other nations and throughout the United States. In 2011 he visited breweries and beer festivals in England, Belgium, the Netherlands and the US. He samples an average of 350 beers each year. His philosophy of beer drinking: “It’s not a habit, it’s a lifestyle. This is why I constantly travel – to get a taste of a new brew or one I’ve been missing, and to find a way to share it whenever possible. I consider creative beer drinking to be an essential part of the tapestry of art and fellowship contributing to a full life. The beauty of beer hunting now as opposed to the early ‘80’s is that I’ll never catch up!”

Greg Nowatzki, a Las Vegas, Nevada accountant, home brewer and beer judge. Nowatzki has tasted over 13,600 beers from 84 different countries and all 50 states in the US. He has visited over 500 breweries in 32 different states and the District of Columbia, and attended over 150 beer festivals in 8 states. In 2011 he visited 16 beer festivals (including an 11th consecutive Great American Beer Festival) and visited over 100 different breweries in 7 states. His beer philosophy: “Everyone likes beer. Some just haven’t tasted enough to find the ones they like yet.”

J. Wilson, a Prescott, Iowa writer, homebrewer, beer judge and beer blogger. He has a 3-tap, 8-foot home bar supplied by a 10-gallon brewing system in his basement. An advocate for beer for 15 years, he organized numerous beer events in his hometown in 2011. The past year was highlighted by a research project in which he fasted for 46 days on water and a dopplebock he brewed with a local brewery. It became a book, Diary of a Part-Time Monk. His philosophy about beer: “Living life in search of brewvana (an ideal condition of harmony, beer and joy), I seek to educate and advocate on behalf of craft beer, folding good beer into a good life.”

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‘Diary of a Part-Time Monk’ available

Diary of a Part-Time Monk, the book about J. Wilson’s beer-and-water fast last spring, has been released.

Iowan Wilson gained national exposure during his fast, after explaining his goal:

“Working to nourish their bodies through during the lengthy 46-day fast during Lent, the Paulaner monks of Neudeck ob der Au in Munich are credited with developing the doppelbock style of beer in the 17th century. Packed with carbohydrates, calories and vitamins, this unfiltered ‘liquid bread’ sustained the monks from Ash Wednesday to Easter, and over 300 years later, the rich history and quality of this beer is well-known throughout the world.With this in mind, blogger J. Wilson is embarking on a historical study, fasting on doppelbock for the same 46-day stretch that the storied German monks once endured — and live to tell the tale.”

Diary of a Part-Time Monk was published by Old Line Publishing of Hampstead, Maryland, as is available in retail outlets and online bookstores.