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Old 06-22-2011, 04:31 PM   #1
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Default best styles to win comps?

I'm interested in entering some competitions now. I've entered one before, did pretty well but didn't win, and judged one too, but nothing BJCP. I was curious as to whether it's a good idea to enter certain styles based on the fact that there will generally be less entries and/or the style is difficult to brew.

For example, one beer I have going right now--the Pious old world--seems to do pretty well in comps. Just hazarding a guess, I believe this might be due to the fact that the beer is great, it's difficult and expensive to make, and it takes months to mature. This would lead me to believe that Belgian strong ales might be a good general category to brew. I also love them, and it's a shame to have to part with a few bottles, but if it must be done, so be it.

I tend to either brew Belgian or American, and American styles are so popular and hop-focused that it seems difficult to set yourself apart from the pack. Thoughts?

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Old 06-22-2011, 04:33 PM   #2
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the best styles to enter into a competition are the ones you are able to brew most accurately and consistently.

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Old 06-22-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
I'm interested in entering some competitions now. I've entered one before, did pretty well but didn't win, and judged one too, but nothing BJCP. I was curious as to whether it's a good idea to enter certain styles based on the fact that there will generally be less entries and/or the style is difficult to brew.

For example, one beer I have going right now--the Pious old world--seems to do pretty well in comps. Just hazarding a guess, I believe this might be due to the fact that the beer is great, it's difficult and expensive to make, and it takes months to mature. This would lead me to believe that Belgian strong ales might be a good general category to brew. I also love them, and it's a shame to have to part with a few bottles, but if it must be done, so be it.

I tend to either brew Belgian or American, and American styles are so popular and hop-focused that it seems difficult to set yourself apart from the pack. Thoughts?
I don't think there is any one style that is easier than any other. In order to get a great score, you must be scored high in the BJCP guidelines. If the beer is to style, no matter what the style, it would score higher than a great tasting beer that everyone loves but doesn't fit the style criteria.

Study some of the BJCP guidelines, and make the beer exactly to that description to win in competitions.

Traditionally, categories 10A, 10B, 14B and 14C have the most entries, at least in the competitions I've judged and ran.

Categories 1A-D and 2A-C tend to have the least. But those are harder to get perfect.

Specialty ales tend to have more entries, also.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:37 PM   #4
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the best styles to enter into a competition are the ones you are able to brew most accurately and consistently.
No ****.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:42 PM   #5
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No ****.
He wasn't being obnoxious. It's the truth. If you enter 2A, and you're the ONLY beer in it and only score a 27, you won't win.

Categories are usually combined for the purposes of awarding prizes, and many beers will score in the high 30s-low 40s. If you can make a beer that will score 44, no matter WHAT style, you should win and maybe even get BOS.

If you make a beer that tastes great, but misses the style guidelines, you could score very low. It's not a matter of what tastes great, it's a matter of what scores high.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:49 PM   #6
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From what I've seen, big, aggressive styles tend to win BOS more than the quieter, more subtle styles. Say you have a great blonde and a great RIS going head to head in the BOS. The RIS will usually win. Not always, but in my experience, more often than not.

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Old 06-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Is your goal to win a competition or to make beer that you like and see if others like it too?

Why not just brew what you like and use it as a challenge to create even better versions of what you like?

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Old 06-22-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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No ****.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
He wasn't being obnoxious. It's the truth. If you enter 2A, and you're the ONLY beer in it and only score a 27, you won't win.

Categories are usually combined for the purposes of awarding prizes, and many beers will score in the high 30s-low 40s. If you can make a beer that will score 44, no matter WHAT style, you should win and maybe even get BOS.

If you make a beer that tastes great, but misses the style guidelines, you could score very low. It's not a matter of what tastes great, it's a matter of what scores high.
I was being serious so, yeah, what he ^ said.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:51 PM   #9
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My observations after stewarding for the West Regionals - SA Longshot.

All styles have the ability to become BOS.

Concentrate on the basics, including sanitation and carbonation.
A Dopplebock should not smell like Asparagus, just saying.

Take the time to craft a great beer, and it will stand out in ANY category.

IIRC, the average scores were around 31-35. Only 4 beers ( the whole day ) scored 40 or above. seriously.

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Old 06-22-2011, 06:51 PM   #10
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If you want to win BOS, you probably want something big (although "Pours Lite" won BOS a few years ago in a local comp).

If you want to better your chances in a category, check last year's results and see how many entries they had in certain categories. In a 765 entry local comp earlier this year, I think there were single digit entries in some categories and 50+ entries in others (American IPA, Spice/Herb/Veggie, and Specialty Beer).

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