The final beers have been poured and it's all over for this year's Great American Beer Fest, the biggest yet in its 28th year. With 5,507 competition entries, up 16 percent from last year, 1,309 breweries turned out in total, representing all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.
The panel of judges—222 beer experts from 10 countries—determined the winners of the 90 categories, with awards doled out on Saturday afternoon. Colorado's own AC Golden Brewing Company, a craft beer subsidiary of MillerCoors, took home the prize for large brewing company of the year. Known for its popular Colorado Native lager, the amber and golden versions won gold and silver for American-style amber lagers, respectively.
Colorado also raked in 39 medals total, with the hosting state sweeping the American-style brown ale category: Gold went to Telluride Brewing's Face Down Brown, Braggarts Brown Ale from Diebolt Brewing was awarded silver, and Upslope Brown Ale took bronze.
Gold-medal bragging rights also went to Fate Brewing for its German-style Laimas Kolsch, Ska Brewing's True Blonde Ale in the English-style summer ale category, and Jean-Claude Van Blond from Wit's End Brewing Co., the winner for Belgian-style blonde ale or pale ale.
Additionally, the festival included a pro-am competition, in which Spencer Pale Ale from Kokopelli Beer Co. out of Westminster received silver among 89 entries.
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