“If you’re not first, you’re last.”

A pal of mine wrote that as a joke when I announced a third-place journalism award years ago. The comment incited riotous anger from my colleagues while I sat there smiling like a jackass, just happy to have placed at all.

I mean, he has a point, if you want to be all technical about it. I’m of the “happy to be here” philosophy myself. Participant medals are made for people like me.

I guess I’m not really one for competition.

Sure, I’ll straight-up tackle you during beer pong if the ball’s rolling back my way, but that’s more drunken enthusiasm than competitive spirit. And yea, “Friends Scene.” It gets a little vicious, but that’s only because we take TV trivia very seriously.

But when we came in second to last at a 5K last year, I still drank that complementary beer with a winner’s enthusiasm. And strolling down a golf course fairway looking for my 10th lost ball of the round is still my idea of a great day — mostly because I’m walking toward beer.

Huh. Perhaps I’ve discovered the key to losing. Just love beer, and that’ll override the anguish of being a mid-twenties girl who is doing her best.

And you know what? I’m going to celebrate this new wisdom at Finkel and Garf Brewing Co. (5455 Spine Rd.) this weekend. They’re actual winners, you know. Their IPA, Oatmeal Milk Stout and American Lager all took silver medals at this year’s Denver International Beer Competition. (Air fives and drunken hugs, you all-stars.)

Having sampled all of those, I can attest they’re kick ass.

And to celebrate actually winning, they’re having us all over to enjoy pints of those silver medalists for $3 this Friday from 3 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. Cheers.

Elsewhere in Boulder:

Looking for an excuse to strut like a rod’s up your bum while wearing copious amounts of pastel, feathers and floppy hats? Duh you do, you love it. Anyway, it’s the start of the Triple Crown with the Kentucky Derby this weekend, and folks at FATE Brewing (1600 38th St.) invite you horse race-loving fools to wear your southern best and drink. This Saturday, they’ll be tapping into their Mint Julep Ale – a sort of beer cocktail, they tell me – and judging you on your looks. Best-dressed winners will snag some sweet prizes.

You can also get your derby on at The West End Tavern (926 Pearl St.). This Saturday, they’ll be serving up Woodford Reserve Rye Manhattans for $10, Old Forester Old-Fashioned for $7 and the Derby Julep for $8. Oh you so fancy. Head in an hour before the race and you’ll even get to watch crab races. No I’m not (totally) drunk, I mean actual crabs racing.

Our Beer Guy has the dish on Avery Brewing’s sour release party this Sunday. Check out page XX for the scoop.

This Saturday, the Bitter Bar (835 Walnut St.) is celebrating their re-opening anniversary with live music by Vibe Street, and food from Tacos del Norte. You’ll get to dance, eat tacos and burritos (wanky) and drink their epic cocktail bevvies. Yum. Get in for free with your 21-and-up ID at 5 p.m., and check out the tunes at 9 p.m.

Alexandra: bouldernightlife@coloradodaily.com, twitter.com/ansieh

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