These are the best beers in America, according to experts

The Great American Beer Festival -- a three-day-long bacchanal in Denver -- happened this weekend, and in addition to our extremely lucky editor chronicling his favorite beers and breweries to watch, some pretty important awards were given out by a panel of professional beer experts. Namely, the best of the best brews in every category of beer there is.

Now, there are 90 distinct types of beer in the competition, and to list all the winners would be pretty exhaustive, so here are the highlights from 15 of the toughest contests. Study up, son.

great american beer fest
Great American Beer Festival

American-Style IPA: Breakside IPA

Breakside Brewery (Portland, OR)

Herb and Spice Beer: Basil Beer

The Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant (Topeka, KS)

American-Style Pale Ale: Grunion

Ballast Point Brewing Company (San Diego, CA)

great american beer festival
Rebecca Feder

American-Style Amber/Red Ale: Dougie Style Amber Ale

Canteen Brewhouse (Albuquerque, NM)

Imperial IPA: Creeper

Columbus Brewing Co. (Columbus, OH)

Pumpkin Beer: Wolaver's Pumpkin Ale

Otter Creek Brewing Co. (Middlebury, VT)

great american beer festival
Rebecca Feder

Experimental Beer: Key Lime Pie

Short's Brewing Co. (Elk Rapids, MI)

American-Style Sour Ale: Cosmic Dust

The Rare Barrel (Berkeley, CA)

Imperial Stout: Quakertown

Armadillo Ale Works (Denton, TX)

great american beer festival
Great American Beer Festival

Wood-Aged Strong Stout: A Night to End All Dawns

Kane Brewing Co. (Ocean, NJ)

French- and Belgian-Style Saison: Daily Wages

Brasserie Saint James (Reno, NV)

Session Beer: Oatmeal Stout

Benchmark Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA)

great american beer festival
Great American Beer Festival

Golden or Blonde Ale: 5 Rabbit Golden Ale

5 Rabbit Cerveceria (Bedford Park, IL)

American-Style Brown Ale: Face Down Brown

Telluride Brewing Company (Telluride, CO)

Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer: Lonesome Dove

Sun King Brewing (Indianapolis, IN)

Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and has a lot of beers to try. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.