I hope everyone enjoyed GABF week and all the activities, tap-takeovers and special events that led up to the Fest, even if you did not get a chance to attend an official tasting! This year was jam-packed, with an estimated 60,000 plus attending over the weekend, flying in from all over the country. It always seems to take about a full week to recover, swear off beer for the rest of the year, and then gradually come back to the senses by the following weekend, beer in hand. With 800 breweries and over 7,000 beers entered, this was GABF’s biggest event yet. This year, the greater Denver area alone took home 9 awards! The official 2017 winners are as followed:

Little Machine: GOLD in American-Style Fruit Beer for Razz Against the Machine

Our Mutual Friend: SILVER in Brett Beer for Saison Trystero

Wiley Roots Brewing Co.: GOLD in Mixed-Culture Brett Beer for Dry Hopped Funk Yo Couch (not quite Denver, but one of my all-time favorite CO breweries!)

Bull & Bush Brewery: BRONZE in Wood-and Barrel-Aged Beer for Woody Pils

Odyssey Beerwerks: SILVER in Wood-and Barred-Aged Strong Beer for Woods Monk

Dry Dock: SILVER in German-Style Pilsner for their Pilsner

Baere Brewing Co,: BRONZE in Berliner-Style Weiss for their Blackberry Table Sour

New Terrain: SILVER in Belgian-Style Witbier for Suntrip

Denver Beer Co. featuring Brewmaster, Jason Buehler: GOLD in the Pro-Am homebrewing category for Just Another Pretty Face

What medal-winning breweries have you not checked out yet? Each winning brewery listed is also a proud “early adopter” of the independent craft brewer seal. Meaning every beer you drink is locally hand crafted, locally distributed and served delicious to your tastebuds by the hard working brewers and owners themselves. The pride of Denver can be enjoyed through each of these award-winning beers, and with the special people that created them. Don’t hesitate and start checking these off your list!

Other non-local breweries that stood out:

-M.I.A. Beer Co. out of Doral, FL

-Craft Brewing Company out of Lake Elsinore, CA

-Three Floyds Brewing Co. out of Munster, IN

-Refuge Brewery out of Temecula, CA (OK, so I’m from here and they won a GOLD for their Blood Orange Wit, so I just had to give a well-deserved shout out!)

Only 358 more days until GABF 2018! Get drinking!

Erica Hoffmeister earned an MFA degree in creative writing and an MA in English from Chapman University of Orange. She has creative work published in the literary journals Shark Reef, Rat’s Ass Review, Split Lip Magazine, and others. She has been teaching for over a decade (claiming 8th grade as her favorite grade level because she’s an actual crazy person) and currently teaches composition and literature courses for Morgan Community College out of Fort Morgan. Always considering herself a bit of a beer nerd, she met her husband at Our Mutual Friend brewery while on vacation and fell in love with him, Denver, and its beer scene in one fatal swoop. While born and raised in Southern California, don’t worry—she’s earned her spurs as a transplant by creating her very own Colorado native. As a new mom, she is currently renegotiating her role as a world-traveling, bar-hopping, beer-loving free spirit by taking advantage of Denver’s beer culture, where you can find as many babies in breweries on any given afternoon as beers on tap.