Originally Posted by redneckbeagle
I did enter it in the specialty category and that is what they balked on. I used the guidelines to determine what category to place it in. How can any beer be judged objectively in a catch all specialty category. If I have to brew to tradition to enter into a category, I guess I am just going to drink it and forget the competitions. One mans opinion!!!!
Exactly right. Competitions are for people interested in trying to brew a beer to fit within certain guidelines. It's nice to get feedback if you're interested in trying to get as close as you can to the guidelines laid down. However, that said, there really isn't a lot of room in competitions for the experimental brewer, or even for a great
beer that doesn't fit within a traditional style, specialty category aside. And as it was pointed out in this thread already, the specialty category is a tough one to judge. You're definitely judging each beer against its own description at that point, then comparing the scores.
I even know of competitions that friends were helping judge where the finalists for Best in Show were a Flanders Red, and a Wit. The winner got to have the beer brewed by a microbrewery local to the competition. They picked the Wit just so the brewery didn't have to mess with the sour beer, regardless of which was better.
These are all reasons I just stay away from competitions whether I'm trying to brew to style or experiment!