John Hickenlooper arrives at an interview 30 minutes late, with sleeves rolled at the elbow and a rickety dog in tow.
Apologizing, he explains that his schedule got thrown off when he bumped into Steve Carlton at the Wynkoop Brewpub the night before and didn't get home until late as a result.
"I mean the guy won 329 games; he's the winningest left-hander ever," Hickenlooper says of the retired Major League pitcher. "He was my hero growing up in Philadelphia."
Like much of his prolific storytelling, just how the president and founder of the Wynkoop Brewing Co. became friends with Carlton is rooted in the namesake brewpub that is not only credited with anchoring the revitalization of LoDo but with creating Hickenlooper's entrepreneurial legend.
Seems Carlton regularly offers up his services - dinner and a baseball game - for charity events, and the Durango resident brings his guests to the Wynkoop after Colorado Rockies games. Hickenlooper follows that thread to an anecdote about how he. originally opposed planting Coors Field in the former warehouse district during a public forum - at the Wynkoop, of course - for fear that it would ruin the neighborhood.
"My investors asked me if I was crazy," he says from an unloved conference room at the company's LoDo headquarters. "Luckily, nobody paid attention to me."
It wouldn't be the last time Hickenlooper would face questions from investors in Wynkoop Brewing, a company that grew from one brewpub in lower downtown to a national chain of fresh beer purveyors.
Indeed, the LoDo icon nearly lost control of his floundering string of brewpubs and watering holes …