Brewpub pioneer John Hickenlooper has been elected mayor of Denver. Hickenlooper, 51, captured 65% of the vote in a runnoff with City Auditor Don Mares.
Hickenlooper, a political newcomer, will replace Wellington Webb, who is barred by term limits from seeking a fourth term as leader of the nation’s 25th largest city.
Hickenlooper co-founded Wynkoop Brewing in Denver, the first brewpub in the Rocky Mountains, in 1988 and went on to partner in opening brewpubs as far east at Buffalo, N.Y., and consult on the opening of still more. He owns seven Denver restaurants as well at Wynkoop, which for years as attracted hundreds of brewers during the Great American Beer Festival each October.
Hickenlooper savored his victory at a celebration that drew hundreds of supporters to a city park. “It’s like drinking a glass of the finest beer and wanting that taste to linger as long as you can,” he said.
Hickenlooper finished first with 43% of the vote among seven candidates in the May 6 election, short of the more than 50% needed to win the mayor’s office outright.