Beer Birthday: Cornelia Corey

If you’re on the national beer festival circuit, you’ve no doubt seen Cornelia Corey, who turns 61 today. In 2001, Cornelia became the first female “Beer Drinker of the Year” in the contest sponsored by Wynkoop. She and her husband, Ray McCoy (himself a 2003 BDOTY, making them the only couple to have won) travel from their native North Carolina to attend many of the big beer festivals and events around the country, and the parties are always a bit more fun when they’re around. Join me in wishing Cornelia a very happy birthday.

At the Great Divide Brewery in Denver, Cornelia and Ray, during GABF week in 2007.

Cornelia and Ray at the 19th Anniversary Party for the Celebrator Beer News.


  1. says

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    We had an awesome weekend up in Asheville, NC. Went up Friday afternoon stopping in at Catawba Valley Brewing in Morganton on the way for a quick visit. Then, met a friend at Barley’s for a couple of craft beverages before heading for out first visit to the newish Thirsty Monk (Belgianesque beer bar). As we walked past the end of the bar I noticed a woman who looked really familiar and thought to myself she looked an awful lot like Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing. Found out the next evening I was right, should have gone over and spoken. Hmmm, I wonder if that means New Belgium is looking into the NC market. We had a few Belgian (not Belgian style) beers and dinner there before heading off to Jack of the Wood for a little live music.

    The next day we wandered around the farmers’ markets and arty shops in Asheville before a fab lunch at Doc Chey’s Noodle House and American craft brews. Then, we met up with a couple of friends from Charlotte who came up to celebrate with us. We went to the newest brewery in Asheville (opened in May) called Wedge Brewing. Had a really nice Belgianesque golden ale. Also sampled their IPA and porter – both really good. From there we checked out a bar in West Asheville none of us had been to. Pretty cool spot with a good selection of craft beer. It was back to downtown to park so the real celebrating could begin. We returned to the Thirsty Monk for more beverages and another couple from Charlotte showed up to surprise me. Then, the beertendress (and most likely owner) gave me a gift of a Triple Karmeliet glass. That was so nice. From there it was back to Jack of the Wood for dinner and the main event of the weekend, Zydepunks ( from New Orleans. What an awesome show!

    Asheville is becoming quite a beery destination. I can’t recommend it more highly. And, if you want to combine some great music the Bele Chere Festival ( at the end of July is not to be missed. Or, of course, you could attend the most awesome Great Smokies Craft Brewers’ Brewgrass Festival (

    You should venture to the southeast some day.


  2. Lisa Morrison says

    I’d wish you a happy beerthday here, Cornelia, but since you are staying at my house, I will do it in person. And buy you a beer!



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