Last year's winner toasts with the judges.

Who will be Beerdrinker of the Year?

Millions of people drink beer, and many more consider themselves to be beer experts – either in quantity or quality -- but only one can be Beerdrinker of the Year.

The Wynkoop Brewing Company is now taking resumes for its thirteenth annual Beerdrinker of the Year contest, honoring “the most passionate, knowledgeable beer lovers and beer ambassadors in the United States.” Applications are due by December 31.

So, how can you set yourself apart?

Applicants must submit their drinking philosophy, details about their passion for the hops, malt and barley, and their 2008 beer experiences – and we’re not talking puking after drinking 21 PBRs on your 21st birthday. Last year’s winner, Matt Venzke, of Hampton, Virginia, had visited 454 breweries in 69 countries and 39 states over his lifetime and recorded tasting notes on more than 3,000 beers.

Resumes “should detail the entrant’s understanding of beer and its history and importance to civilization, and the entrant’s efforts to educate others to the joys of great beer,” according to the contest rules. And just in case you’re making everything up on your application, know that the three finalists will undergo an oral examination from judges at the Wynkoop on February 21, 2009. For all the details, log onto www.wynkoop.com.

It’s a grueling process, but worth it. Not only can the winner claim one of the coolest titles in the history of the known Universe, but he or she wins free beer for life at the Wynkoop and $250 worth of beer at their local brewpub or beer bar – wherever that may be. Venzke’s was the Taphouse on Queensway in Hampton, Virginia. What’s more, they have the honor of brewing a special beer with Wynkoop head brewer Andy Brown.

Oh, and it should be noted that no Colorado resident has ever won. So get out there, get your foam on and make this state proud! – Jonathan Shikes

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