Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brewer Hickenlooper elected governor

Colorado voters have elected a brewer to lead their state. John Hickenlooper, mayor of Denver, was elevated to the governor's office by a wide margin.

Hickenlooper in 1988 co-founded Wynkoop Brewing in downtown Denver. Wynkoop was the first brewpub in Denver and helped lead the renaissance of the LoDo neighborhood (the Rockies and Broncos helped a lot, too).

Wynkoop has a number of links to Durango's breweries. Ska's head brewer, Thomas Larsen, learned his craft there.

The LoDo neighborhood has become a bit of a craft beer mecca. Great Divide Brewing (best known for their Old Yeti imperial stout), a Breckenridge Brewery pub and the famed Falling Rock Taphouse anchor the area surrounding Coors Field.

Hickenlooper follows a long American pageant of brewers to hold high office. George Washington and Samuel Adams, among other Founding Fathers, were avid brewers.

Brewing and state politics have mixed several times in recent years over grocery-store sales, excise taxes and other issues. It'll be interesting to see how Hickenlooper weighs in when brewing issues inevitably come to the Capitol.

Update (Nov. 8): Wynkoop will brew a beer in Hickenlooper's honor, Denver weekly Westword reports.

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