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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper / Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is a big fan of his state's craft beer industry - so much so that he has installed beer taps at the governor's mansion.

"Beer has become a big part of what Colorado is," Hickenlooper said in an interview with KDVR-TV in Denver.

The state, which is the first in the nation to feature beer taps at a gubernatorial residence, has more than 230 federally licensed breweries, KDVR reports. Fifty-three craft beer operations opened last year alone.

The craft brew industry has contributed economic benefits to the state, including $826 million in revenues last year and about 5,000 jobs, according to a statement from the governor's office.

The draft beer system was paid for and donated by the Colorado Brewers Build and the Governor's Preservation Fund. No taxpayers' money was used to install the taps, said Denise Stepto, spokeswoman for the governor's office.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is also one of the state's earliest craft brewers. He founded the Wynkoop Brewing Company in 1988.

The governor's mansion beer taps will feature a rotation of three Colorado-brewed craft beers for parties and events. One of the first beers to go on tap will be a pale ale from the Wynkoop brewery, KDVR reports.

The governor invited brewers to the mansion on Friday to see the taps. The unveiling of the beer taps coincides with Craft Beer Week, a nine-day celebration of local breweries organized by the Colorado Brewers Guild.

Follow @JolieLeeDC on Twitter.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Colo. governor installs beer taps at mansion

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