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The best of the West at the Great American Beer Festival

Drink up!

I went to the Great American Beer Festival last Thursday, October 9, and concluded that craft beers made West of the Mississippi River are, with a couple of notable exceptions, better than those created on the Eastern side. Many of you

offered suggestions

as to where I could find good East Coast and Midwestern beers (and I look forward to trying each one); others suggested I had been sitting on my bar stool too long.

On Sunday, the results from the GABF judging were released, and they broke down like this: Western breweries took the gold in 41 of the 75 categories (11 of those were Colorado brewers), including all six of the coveted pale ale and India pale ale contests. Of the remaining 34 categories, macro breweries like Coors and Budweiser won 7, leaving only 27 divisions in the hands of microbreweries from the East, South and Midwest.

And that’s how the West was won. – Jonathan Shikes


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