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Old 08-22-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default Homebrew Competition Help

Hey All,
Were trying to put on a home brew competition here in Houston and I have absoultely no experience in doing one of these. I was wondering if someone could help me out on how to put one together or point me in the right direction.

Thanks!
-Cullen

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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There's a pretty decent piece of software available for registering entries - http://www.brewcompetition.com/

Are you hoping to have this as a BJCP sanctioned competition? Check out their site for info on how to do that. The American Homebrewers Association has a bunch of resources as well.

I'd start with the AHA and BJCP and get an idea of what's required to get sanctioned, then work out the details from there.

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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There are a few up here in Dallas, so I'm sure there would be similar regulations. Deep Ellum Brewing and Go Oak Cliff (neighborhood association) both host one every year. PM me and I can give you their contact info, but I don't know if they'll be able to help you out. I might be able to answer some general questions.

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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The BJCP web page for registration is www.bjcp.org/compcenter.php.
This page also has organizer forms, judge forms, style guides, etc. That should help get you started.

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Old 08-22-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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There are countless things you need to do to run a good competition. In order not to type too much in a block of text, I'll list some of the more important ones.

Preparing:

  • Judges, judges, judges!
  • Judges are the most important thing on your to do list, make sure you have more than you think you need and make sure they're happy or they won't come back next time you ask. Without judges, there is no competition.
  • Judges love short flights (see comment about more judges), good food and a good organizer.
  • Plan for more judging sessions than you think you'll need. You probably won't get as many judges as you need to do it all in one go, so this is a good way to cut down on flight size and increase the amount of points a judge can receive.
  • Budget for feeding your volunteers.
  • If this is your first time, keep it SMALL. Like, 50-75 entries max.
  • Short flights = less than 10 per flight, ideally around 8.
  • Register the comp with the BJCP so BJCP judges can get points. Here: http://www.bjcp.org/apps/comp_reg/comp_reg.php
  • Find competent stewards. A bad steward will cost the organizer time. Well organized and instructed people will save you hours on comp day.
  • Get going with the competition software package mentioned above. HUGE time saver.
  • Get a web-savvy person to run it.

Entries:
  • Schwag can help with recruiting entrants/judges, but let's be honest, we all have too many shirts/glasses/hats, etc.
  • You need refrigerator space for all of your entries. Keep this in mind.
  • Plan to have all your entries delivered TWO WEEKS before judging. You'll be running around doing last minute things and sorting is not something you'll want to rush through.
  • Develop a sorting strategy BEFORE you start sorting/labeling.

Day of:
  • Provide judges with name tags for the score sheets.
  • Have sufficient supplies (cups, score sheets, cover sheets, mechanical pencils, water cups, water pitchers, dump pitchers, staples, bottle openers, etc, etc, etc).
  • Have your stewards keep every entry packet (cover sheet and score sheets) in numerical order according to the table. Trust me, this will save you time when it comes to stuffing envelopes.
  • Make sure the room/building it is in is not smelly/dusty/gross/full of dogs/etc.

After:
  • Report the results the next day to the entrants via the above mentioned website.
  • Report the BJCP points to the BJCP within two days.
  • Mail the score sheets back within 5 days.

Those are the important ones. I could go on, but you'll figure it all out. Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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Thanks guys thats tons of information! I will look into all of this!

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Old 08-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #7
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Solid, solid advice from AmandaK. As she stressed, keep the flights short. I recently judged a competition where the flights were up to 15 beers. Towards the end, it was a real struggle to focus on providing good feedback. I know my scoresheets for the first half of the flight were much better than the last half. I will not be returning to judge that competition next year.

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Old 08-28-2013, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin18 View Post
I recently judged a competition where the flights were up to 15 beers... I will not be returning to judge that competition next year.
My point exactly.

In my area, there are so many competitions that I can pick and choose which ones to participate in and still have enough points to make it to the next level of the BJCP in a little over a year. Those comps that aren't run well don't receive a repeat visit. I just wish more organizers understood that.

Best of luck to you!
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Souring: #32 Lambic 2.0, #49 Lambic 3.0, #60 3763 Flanders Brown, #61 WLP665 Flanders Brown
Conditioning: #38 Golden Sour, #58 Hooch Cider, #79 Dopplebock, #84 Amy Cider
Drinkin': #16 Lambic 1.0 (Drunk Monk BOS), #84 Fall Cider
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