The conference was also the setting for the biennial World Beer Cup, considered to be one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world. This year, an elite panel of 295 judges from 33 countries — 72 percent of whom were from outside the United States — rated 8,234 beers (up 25 percent over 2016). The United States took home the most bling, winning 242 out of the 303 awards given out. But Canada, Germany and Belgium also showed well.
Colorado did quite well for itself, too, taking home 27 medals. And luckily for you, many of those stellar beers are easy to find on tap at their home breweries or in cans and bottles. Here's where you can find and drink the winners.
Diebolt Brewing, Denver
Long one of Colorado's most underrated bourbon-barrel-aged Russian imperial stouts, Vladislav (formerly known as the Commodore) is on tap at the brewery and available here and there in bottles in liquor stores. The much-deserving beer took home gold in the Aged Beer division.
Cannonball Creek Brewing, Golden
This hilariously named IPA won gold at GABF in 2016 and pulled off the same feat this year at the World Beer Cup, winning top honors in the Session India Pale Ale category.
Funkwerks, Fort Collins
Funkwerks won gold in the Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale category. Its Oud Bruin is released once a year in 750ml bottles and on draft. The brewery currently has 2018 bottles available in the taproom (limit of two per person) and on draft.
More Like Bore-O-Phyll
Call to Arms Brewing, Denver
Hoppy beers aren't a specialty of Call to Arms, which makes it all the more interesting that the brewery scored gold in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category. This style is a fall seasonal, when hops are harvested, and Call to Arms says it will make this one-off beer again if it can score some fresh hops when fall rolls around.
Rockyard American Grill & Brewing, Castle Rock
A brand-new beer in a brand-new can, Primadonna can be found year-round at the brewery on draft and in six-packs to go. This one grabbed gold in the German-Style Pilsener category.
Big Ben Brown Ale
Bull & Bush Brewery, Glendale
Big Ben is one of the Bull & Bush's oldest and most storied beers — and it still has chops, besting the field in the English-Style Brown Ale division.
Gueten Beer, Sleeping Giant Brewing, Denver
Sleeping Giant is a large contract brewer that primarily makes beers for other breweries. It won in the gluten-free division. The brewery doesn't have a taproom you can visit, so look for this one around Denver.
Our Mutual Friend Brewing, Denver
OMF has just a few bottles left of this once-a-year beer, which it will put up for sale on Saturday, May 12. Saison Trystero also scored silver at GABF for a rare double whammy in Brett Beers. Batch 3 will be out this year.
Steamworks Brewing, Durango
Steamworks took gold in the Dark Lager category for Night Train; the beer is now on tap at the Durango brewery.