Now in its third year, the Good Food Awards honors craft food producers across the country that focus on sustainability, environmental awareness and social responsibility in nine different categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves and spirits.
In October, 150 judges from around the world blind-tasted entries -- 1,366 in all -- and narrowed the nominees from five regions of the country down to a mere 183 finalists, and the winners, whittled down to 100, will be announced at a gala hosted by Alice Waters on Friday, January 18, in San Francisco at the Ferry Building; on Saturday, January 19, the winners will highlight their products at the Good Food public marketplace, just outside the Ferry Building. A beer and spirits garden will also be part of the public celebration.
Pagosa Brewing Company is a finalist for its chili verde beer; Avalanche Cheese Company, based in Basalt, is hoping that its goat cheddar will emerge victorious; Ritual Chocolate, a small-batch chocolate company headquartered in Denver, became a finalist for its Costa Rica Madagascar chocolate; the fleur se sel caramels from Serendipity Confections, also based in Denver, won a spot on the finalists list; the bourbon whiskey and rum from Dancing Pines Distillery, in Loveland, made the roster, too; and Leopold's Navy Strength gin, along with Syntax Spirits' Big Cat White Whiskey and Powder White Rum, round out the state's nominated products.
For a complete list of finalists, go to http://www.goodfoodawards.org/good-food-awards-finalists-2012/ -- and good luck to all the Colorado producers.