Tom Ciccateri proved that the fourth time may be the charm when he was chosen Beerdrinker of the Year during finals competition in Denver. Ciccateri, who had made the finals three other times, will begin his role as America’s craft beer ambassador this week with a trip to Belgium.
Ciccateri, who lives in Alexandria, Va., edged Richard Pedretti-Allen, a McKinney, Texas recording producer and two-time Beerdrinker of the Year finalist, and Fred Pelon, a Longmont, Colorado disc-drive engineer, for the title. The competition has been hosted annually by Wynkoop Brewing Co. since 1996.
“There’s a load lifted off my shoulders,” Ciccateri said after winning the crown. “I’ve had my eye on the prize for a long time, it’s great to finally win it.”
Ciccateri has tried more than 2,500 beers in 30 countries, has visited 321 breweries, and attended 95 beer festivals. Thursday he heads for Belgium to attend the Zythos Beer Festival. “I’m excited about carrying out my role as ambassador for America’s amazing craft beer culture.”
Ciccateri’s title grants him free beer for life at the Wynkoop Brewing Co., $100 worth of beer at his local pub, and other great prizes.
“And I’m still on my original liver,” Ciccateri said.