Beer Man

Denver Beer Co Wins One Broncos Bet; Strange Craft Makes Another

Denver Broncos pride runs deep in the Mile High City's craft-brewing scene, where the sunsets are always orange and blue and beer is free-flowing and delicious. To make sure that the world knows how they feel, two local breweries recently made wagers on the team.

In early January, the hairy-faced men of Denver Beer Co challenged their counterparts at the Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams, to shave their beards off if the New England Patriots lost to the Broncos in last week's AFC Championship playoff game. If the Broncos lost, then Denver Beer Co's crew vowed to do the same.

The result, of course, is a lot of clean-shaven folk at Boston Beer (and you can watch the video of them being shaved on the Sam Adams Facebook page). Ironically, the most well-known Boston Beer employee – aside from billionaire founder Jim Koch – is the heavily bearded guy from the Sam Adams TV commercial that you've probably seen, and yet that guy, Bob Canon, wasn't required to shave his beard. Why? The answer is a little bit fishy: “He wasn't there on the day that we decided to take the bet,” says Boston Beer spokeswoman Michelle Diamandis. “And he's rubbing it in everyone's faces now.”

Instead, brewers Seth Adams, Jonathan Mastin, Tyler Thomas and Chris Quartertaro were forced to face the razor. “Bob is letting them take one for the team,” Diamandis adds. “He lucked out.”

But on Facebook, the brewery said this about Canon's beard: "That's the money maker... no way we could risk that beauty." Hmm, those excuses sound a little deflated to us.

Now that the Broncos are heading to the Super Bowl, where they will face the Carolina Panthers, another brewery is putting its pride on the line. Strange Craft Beer Company has laid down a bet with NoDa Brewing, located in Charlotte.

“NoDa has followed a path similar to Strange,” explains Strange Craft founder Tim Myers in an e-mail. “They have stuck to their homebrew roots and release small batches every Tuesday, similar to our One Barrel Wednesdays. And they have a wide-ranging selection of beers, including a 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Medal IPA and a 2012 GABF Silver Medal Coco Loco Porter. Which matches Strange’s 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Award Cherry Kriek and our 2012 GABF Bronze Medal Dr Strangelove Barleywine.”

And the bet? If Denver wins, NoDa will send Myers a lot of beer, including cases of Hop Drop ‘n Roll IPA, Coco Loco Porter, Jam Session Pale and Cavu Blonde Ale, and owner Todd Ford will have to wear a Peyton Manning jersey at work.

But if the unthinkable happens and the Broncos lose, Myers will send Ford cases of Cherry Kriek, Dr Strangelove Barleywine, Breakfast Grapefruit IPA and Le Bruit du Diable Farmhouse Ale — and he'll wear a Cam Newton jersey all day at the brewerey, “and try not to spill too much Colorado craft beer on it,” Myers says.

Update: More wagers

The Little Machine brewery — located right next to the Broncos home at Sports Authority Field — has also laid a wager. This one is with Wooden Robot Brewing, which is located six blocks from Bank of America Stadium, where the Panthers play (both breweries have robot themes, by the way). If the Broncos win, Wooden Robot head brewer Dan Wade has to wear a sheriff's costume to honor "the Sheriff" (when did that become his nickname, anyway?), Peyton Manning. If the Panthers win, Little Machine head brewer Brett Williams has to wear a Superman outfit. Also, there has to be pictures. If there aren't pictures, it didn't happen. 

Lone Tree Brewing Company and Sycamore Brewing in Charlotte, North Carolina: "The brewery in the losing state has to take photos of their staff drinking Coors Banquet while wearing Broncos colors or Panther colors. The losing team will also donate an agreed upon amount to either the Colorado Horse Rescue or the Panther Rescue to honor the team mascots. Finally, the winning team will ship a case of beer to the losing team to drown their sorrows."

Spangalang Brewery has bet Fullsteam Brewery, in Durham, North Carolina. Here it is:  "The losing brewery will have to brew a special batch of beer from a recipe chosen by the winning brewery. The beer recipe will include indigenous ingredients from the winner’s state and will be named by the winning brewery. On tapping day the losing brewery must hang the winning team’s flag and fly it for one week or until the beer is gone, whichever comes first. Each brewery will be asking its social media followers to suggest beer styles, local ingredients and names for the winning beers."

Coda Brewing in Aurora has bet Triple C Brewing Company from Charlotte, North Carolina. Both breweries won GABF medals in the same category last year.  Here's the bet, according to their Facebook page: "A case of award winning Strong Pale Ale for the winners. But that's not all. Derek Mitchell of the Coda team and Mike Foster of the Triple C team have decided to put their skin on the line... for their breweries and for the home team. The losing brewery will not only be sending a case of beer to the winners but someone's gonna get tagged. We think they'll come in just behind us again and Mike's gonna love his new Broncos tattoo!... GO Denver Broncos!!!"

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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