Could You Win Free Beer For Life?

This man did. Meet the 2013 Beer Drinker of the Year.

5288462d048e0d3f60f64bb84cff6df4_lThink you’ve got a real thing for beer? Well, we know you do, but wait until you meet Warren Monteiro, “a New York City freelance writer, beer traveler, homebrewer and beer columnist,” who was chosen late last month as the 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year by Wynkoop Brewing Company.

It’s far tougher than it sounds. Serious competitors have dizzying amounts of experience brewing, traveling for beer, writing about beer, and of course, drinking beer in respectable, but not excessive, quantities. Lest things get too serious, a spirit of fun reigns in the annual competition. After blind-tasting and analyzing several beers, aspirants must perform the art of “beer whispering” (pillow-talking might be the better phrase) before a panel of judges dressed in traditional wigs and gowns. They also must “bribe” the judges with some special elixir (ideally, a home brewed version).

What was your last homebrew? Tell us below.

And read on to hear the tale of how Monteiro won his incredible prize.

Monteiro had been a finalist no less than three times for the title, and joked that he’d been called “the Susan Lucci of beer” until his big win. His winning strategy? Pillow talk about a bottle of Cantillon, serve a homebrewed IPA based on Russian River’s Pliny The Elder, and impress the judges with his dedicated tasting regimen, a 350-beers-per-year average.

Monteiro has been a columnist for the Ale Street News for several years, and drinks at one of our favorite watering holes, the Blind Tiger Ale House in New York City.

In his 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year application and beer resume, Monteiro made a compelling case. “It’s not a habit, it’s a lifestyle,” he wrote. “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.”

It’s a sweet contest: if you’re named a finalist, Wynkoop flies you out to Denver and puts you up in the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa. And if you win it all? Monteiro, like all winners, has earned free beer for life at Wynkoop, a $250 bar tab at the Blind Tiger, and wearable swag proclaiming his title. What’s more, his name has been engraved on Wynkoop’s famed Beerdrinker of the Year trophy, and for next year’s contest, he’ll brew a commercial-sized batch of beer of his own design at Wynkoop with head brewer Andy Brown. Now that’s what we call the sweet taste of victory.

Photo Credit: Wynkoop Brewing Company


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