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Archive for Sunday, March 24, 1996

KU FANS FIND FRIENDLY CONFINES TO ENJOY VICTORIES

March 24, 1996

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— Beer and basketball go together well with some Kansas University fans as they celebrate their team's victories in Colorado.

Wynkoop Brewing Co. offers a beer tasty enough to make Kansas Jayhawk fans come home to roost.

To honor KU's drive to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, Wynkoop general manager Andy Bell temporarily renamed the brewpub's Wilderness Wheat.

"Jayhawk Wheat, of course," Bell said.

If KU squeezes the Syracuse Orangemen at 1:40 p.m. today revelers at Wynkoop and other pubs in the city's historic downtown can toast the Jayhawks.

After all, Final Four appearances for KU occur as frequently as the state elects a governor.

Jayhawk fan club members flowed into Wynkoop after KU disposed of Arizona on Friday in a West Regional semifinal. Many sipped suds until mandatory closing at 2 a.m.

"They were happy people," Bell said. "I'm sure they didn't want the night to end."

Wynkoop hostess Jennifer Mowrey, who once shared an apartment with a former KU student, knows the battle cry of her guests.

"Rock chalk! Jayhawk! Go KU!"

Okay, okay. But do you know beer? Does the Jayhawk Wheat caress the palate or seize the throat?

"Sorry," Mowrey said, "no taste test on the job."

It should come as no surprise the pub married one of its favorites to one of the nation's finest college basketball teams.

This is the pub that recently christened Bach Bock, a concoction noting the work of composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

"We did it to help raise money for the Denver Symphony," Bell said.

In a city dominated by Coors, Wynkoop and other brewpubs in walking distance of Coors Field -- home to professional baseball's Colorado Rockies -- have found a niche.

Bell said Wynkoop is the largest brewpub in the world. Kettles in the handsome century-old J.S. Brown Mercantile Building pumped out 5,000 barrels of beer in 1995. For the mathematically challenged, that's more than 1 million glasses of brew.

Those numbers look good to Darren Fowler of Kansas City, Kan.

"No risk of running out," said Fowler, a Jayhawk fan visiting Denver for the tournament.

Fowler, relaxing Saturday in a downtown bar, had a cold one to acknowledge a significant date in Jayhawk basketball history.

"It was nearly 30 years ago, but it seems like yesterday," he said.

Longtime Jayhawkers recall North Carolina defeated KU 54-53 in triple overtime in Kansas City, Mo., to win the NCAA championship on March 23, 1957.

"I'll deal with the agony of defeat now. Leave the joy of victory for Sunday."

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