Before he became the governor of Colorado, before he became the mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper was a publican and a craft brewer. So it came as no surprise when the Colorado Governor's Mansion became the first gubernatorial residence in the nation to boast a draft-beer system, back in March 1994. Since then, the three elegant taps — located in the first-floor parlor room — have served a rotating selection of Colorado craft brews, from IPAs to saisons to stouts.
"People's minds blow when they take a tour or are there for a party and see that there is a draft system in there," says Steve Kurowski, the spokesman for the Colorado Brewers Guild, which represents most of the state's three-hundred-plus breweries and helped create the draft system at the mansion.
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But the Guild isn't stopping there. Late last year, it worked with the Governor's Residence Preservation Fund to create glassware to go along with the beer. "There are always three beers on tap for events at the mansion and for the staff," says Kurowski. "So we thought we'd take the next step by providing some custom glasses for the residence so that all of these wonderful Colorado craft beers could be served in proper glassware."
Now anyone who asks for a pour at the mansion will be able to drink it out of either a ten-ounce pilsner-style glass or a sixteen-ounce tulip-shaped goblet. Both are printed with the unofficial logos for craft beer in Colorado on one side and Colorado on the other. (The official state seal is not printed on the glass. nor is the Guild's logo.) "It's classy glassware to match the interior," explains Kurowski.
Only one problem: The glasses, uh, disappeared so quickly during the holiday season, when the mansion hosted a variety of parties, that the Guild is getting ready to reorder a new batch. And in the near future, guests won't have to steal their souvenirs. Instead, the mansion may begin selling the glasses as a way to make money for the nonprofit preservation fund that operates the mansion.
Aside from tours, one of the best ways to check out the glassware and drink a brewski at the Gov's place is to attend the annual Pints & Bites food-and-beer pairing festival, which takes place each summer.