Brewers entered 8,500 beers into a Denver festival. These six locals won medals.

Six Sacramento-area breweries took home medals from the Great American Beer Festival — the nation’s most competitive brewing showcase — in Denver last weekend.

Alaro Craft Brewery led the pack with a gold medal for its English-style IPA named Castillo IPA. It’s the first major festival award for Alaro, which opened its Spanish-influenced brewery and restaurant in the old Rubicon building at 2004 Capitol Ave. in June.

Sudwerk Brewing Co.’s popular Märzen earned the longtime Davis brewery a silver medal in the amber lager category, while a relative newcomer to Davis’ beer scene — Three Mile Brewing — won the same for its Little Downtown Tom session IPA.

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Moonraker Brewing Co.’s Northern Lights imperial IPA also won silver, and New Helvetia Brewing Co.’s Mystery Airship 4.0: Temple Cascara Golden Ale placed second among coffee beers. Crooked Lane Brewing Co., which claimed gold for its Wobblor doppelbock at last year’s competition, rounded out this year’s local winners with a bronze for Veedels Bräu, a Kölsch.

Approximately 2,400 breweries submitted 8,500 beers for professional review this year at the Great American Beer Festival, according to the competition’s website. Moonraker and Alaro faced the stiffest competition in the ever-popular IPA categories with about 150 submissions in each.

FiftyFifty Brewing of Truckee won a gold medal for a German-style wheat ale called Bananenhängematte plus bronzes in the specialty beer and barrel-aged stout categories. The FiftyFifty BrewCrew was also recognized as brewery group of the year.

San Leandro-based Drake’s Brewing Co., which is under construction to open a beer garden and restaurant at The Barn in West Sacramento’s Bridge District, won gold for its barrel-aged strong beer in Denver.

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