Wynkoop Beerdrinker finalists chosen

Wynkoop Brewing in Denver has announced the finalists for 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year. Included are two former finalists and an Wynkoop regular. They are, from the press release:

J Mark Angelus, a Nehalem, Oregon semi-retired prosecutor, avid beer drinker and 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year finalist. In 2008 Angelus sampled 1,029 beers, visited 93 breweries (in four States and three nations) and sampled 244 Oregon beers at eleven beer festivals in his home state.

His philosophy about beer: “While I never take myself seriously, I take my beer seriously. I have found no greater beer experience than to drink great beer at the place where it is rooted with the people who are an integral part of that beer’s culture.”

Cody Christman, a Denver software engineer, beer educator and avid homebrewer and beer lover. In 2008 Christman began teaching a Beer 101 course to friends and family in his home bar. The basement bar features a 15-foot bar, seven taps and three refrigerators. He has tasted beer in 19 countries and visited over 200 breweries.

His philosophy about beer: “Everything I do, and every decision I make revolves around beer. I am a tireless advocate of beer culture and the brewing industry. Beer is my passion. It is the most diverse and complex drink known to man.”

Phil Farrell, a Cummings, Georgia commercial pilot, homebrewer, beer judge and 2007 finalist. He has tasted beer in every country in Europe, 1000 of the world’s pubs and 400 brewpubs. His basement beer pub features six taps, two refrigerators, and a 15-gallon brewing system.

His philosophy about beer: “Beer is first and foremost a social drink. It is the most flexible and universally affordable fine beverage there is. Every social gathering and every food item is enhanced with beer. Beer is the greatest gift ever given to the human race and meant to be shared with others.”

The finalists will be grilled on Feb. 21 by a panel of previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners and national beer experts. The winners receives free beer for life at the Wynkoop Brewing, $250 worth of beer at their local brewpub or beer bar, and clothing proclaiming them the 2009 Beerdrinker of the Year.