Colorado GABF Winners & Award Ceremony Highlights

The 2017 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition concluded on Saturday. The ceremony awarded 293 gold, silver and bronze medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the United States, plus 3 GABF Pro-Am teams of homebrewers & professionals. Colorado breweries claimed 38 of these medals, maintaining the same medal count as they’ve had the previous two years. In a competition that saw a total of 7,923 entries from 2,217 breweries, maintaining 38 is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Only California took home more medals, with a total of 57.

In addition to all the winning, this year’s award ceremony was full of surprises and first. Read on for our highlights of the GABF awards and see which local breweries took home some GABF hardware.

The 2017 GABF Award Ceremony at the Colorado Convention Center |

2017 GABF Award Ceremony Highlights

Ryan Wibby’s Winning Proposal

Longmont’s Wibby Brewing took the silver medal in the Munich-Style Dunkel category for their Moondoor Dunkel, but that’s not what the most memorable part of their time on the GABF stage. While accepting their award, Ryan Wibby took a knee to propose to his girlfriend, Robin. She said yes, thank goodness, and the room erupted in cheers for the happy couple.

Elaia the Brewery Cat Takes the Stage

When Golden’s New Terrain Brewing accepted a silver medal in the Belgian-Style Witbier category for their beer Suntrip, an especially fuzzy guest joined them on stage – and no, this is not a beard joke. Elaia the brewery cat joined in the celebration when one of her humans, Michael Roberts of New Terrain, went up to accept their medal. It only seems fitting, since Elaia loves to tag along for brewery adventures. When we met her later in the GABF session, she seemed sweet and calm as ever, so clearly, her moment of GABF fame hasn’t gone to her head.

Beer cat Elaia (inside her carrier) joins the New Terrain team in celebrating their GABF win.

Lone Tree Brewing Wins Big

Lone Tree Brewing Company has much to celebrate! The brewery took home their first-ever gold for their Mexican Lager, which came out on top of the American-Style Lager or Malt Liquor category. This is huge, considering a gold in this category hasn’t been won by an independent brewery in over 15 years, instead usually going to the likes of Pabst, Coors or Miller. If that wasn’t enough, Lone Tree Brewing is also the only Colorado brewery to win multiple medals this at GABF this year. They also claimed a silver in the Imperial Red Ale category for their Hop Zombie. Well done, LTBC!

Cheers to First-Time Colorado GABF Winners

Of the 38 medals handed out in our state, 10 went to first-time winners. Since we know your first time is always special, we wanted to offer a special congrats to the breweries who won their first GABF medals this year. We hope this is the first of many! Congratulations to: 105 West Brewing Company, Cellar West Artisan Ales, CO-Brew, Copper Club Brewing, Finkel & Garf Brewing Co, Jessup Farm Barrel House, Launch Pad Brewing, Little Machine Beer, New Terrain Brewing, and Square Peg Brewerks. Someone go buy these winners a chicken dinner!

Colorado Sweeps the Pro-Am

Colorado homebrewers took all three Pro-Am category medals. The Pro-Am pairs American Homebrewer Association competition winners with professional brewers, who scale up their homebrew recipe for entry into GABF. Doug Thiel and Denver Beer Company took home the Pro-Am gold, while silver went to Daniel Tomkins and Black Bottle Brewery, and Mark Boelman and Odell Brewing took home the bronze.

Doug Thiel and Denver Beer Company team take gold in the Pro-Am

No Sour Feelings?

The only GABF medal not awarded this year was the gold medal for the fruited American-style sour ale category. Even with 105 entries, the judges did not choose a gold medal winner. Based on their guidelines this means that they did not feel any of the entries were world-class beers that accurately exemplified the style with a proper balance of taste, aroma, and appearance. Fortunately, Colorado sour beers did better in other categories. Castle Rock’s Rockyard Brewing earned a gold medal in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category for their Plum Creek Sour. Loveland Aleworks earned a bronze in the same category for their 5th Anniversary Tequila Sour. Baere Brewing Co won bronze for their Blackberry Table Sour in the Berliner-Style Weisse category.

Rockyard Brewing accepts gold for their Plum Creek Sour

Colorado GABF Winners: Full List

Below is a full list of our Colorado GABF winners. Congratulations to all the Colorado breweries who took home some GABF bling this year!

MedalGABF CategoryBrewery NameBeer NameBrewery Location
GoldEnglish-Style India Pale AleCooperSmith's Pub & BrewingPunjabiFort Collins
GoldAmerican-Style Amber/Red AleCopper Club Brewing CoF-Town AmberFruita
GoldPro-AmDenver Beer CoJust Another Pretty FaceDenver
GoldSweet Stout or Cream StoutFinkel & Garf Brewing CoOatmeal Milk StoutBoulder
GoldClassic SaisonFunkwerksSaisonFort Collins
GoldSouth German-Style HefeweizenGordon Biersch BreweryHefeweizenBroomfield
GoldBrett BeerJessup Farm Barrel HouseFancy PantsFort Collins
GoldAmerican-Style Fruit BeerLittle Machine BeerRazz Against the MachineDenver
GoldAmerican-Style Lager or Malt LiquorLone Tree Brewing CoMexican LagerLone Tree
GoldWood- and Barrel-Aged Sour BeerRockyard American Grill & Brewing CoPlum Creek SourCastle Rock
GoldHistorical BeerSquare Peg BrewerksWaverly TulipAlamosa
GoldSmoke BeerThe Sandlot Brewery at Coors FieldSo long and thank's for all the (smoked) fish!Denver
GoldWood- and Barrel-Aged Strong StoutWeldWerks Brewing CoMedianocheGreeley
GoldMixed-Culture Brett BeerWiley Roots Brewing CoGalaxy Dry Hopped Funk Yo CouchGreeley
SilverAmerican-Style Wheat Beer105 West Brewing CoLemon RyeCastle Rock
SilverPro-AmBlack Bottle BreweryLichtenhainerFort Collins
SilverExperimental BeerBlack Project Spontaneous & Wild AlesRoswell: GrudgeDenver
SilverAmerican-Style Black AleCannonball Creek Brewing CoBlack 28Golden
SilverSpecialty SaisonCellar West Artisan AlesMake HayBoulder
SilverGerman-Style PilsenerDry Dock Brewing Co South DockPilsnerAurora
SilverHistorical BeerIronworks Brewery & PubHilltopper's Pride Kentucky Common AleLakewood
SilverSession BeerLaunch Pad BreweryPeacekeeperAurora
SilverImperial Red AleLone Tree Brewing CoHop ZombieLone Tree
SilverBelgian-Style WitbierNew Terrain Brewing CoSuntripGolden
SilverWood- and Barrel-Aged Strong BeerOdyssey BeerwerksWoods MonkArvada
SilverBrett BeerOur Mutual Friend BrewingSaison TrysteroDenver
SilverSession India Pale AleTwisted Pine Brewing CoPatio PounderBoulder
SilverMunich-Style Dunkel or European-Style Dark LagerWibby BrewingMoondoor DunkelLongmont
BronzeBerliner-Style WeisseBaere Brewing CoBlackberry Table SourDenver
BronzeBockBreckenridge BreweryMountain Series: MaibockLittleton
BronzeHerb and Spice BeerBroken Plow BreweryIndia Spring Honey Cream AleGreeley
BronzeWood- and Barrel-Aged BeerBull & Bush BreweryWoody PilsDenver
BronzeSpecialty SaisonCO-BrewFarmhouse SaisonDenver
BronzeGerman-Style KoelschElk Mountain Brewing CoDownhill KölschParker
BronzeGerman-Style AltbierGrimm Brothers BrewhouseLittle Red CapLoveland
BronzeWood- and Barrel-Aged Sour BeerLoveland Aleworks5th Anniversary Tequila SourLoveland
BronzePro-AmOdell Brewing Co.EluxansisFort Collins
BronzeMunich-Style Dunkel or European-Style Dark LagerPug Ryan's Brewing CoDunkelDillon

More GABF Competition Results

Want to see what other states won awards in this year’s GABF beer competition?  View the 2017 winners or download a PDF list of the winners to see all the results.

Cheers to all the breweries who competed. You’re all winners to us!

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