I got my score sheets back from the MCAF yesterday. I entered 4 beers, three of which scored in various ranges in the 20s, so meh - but that's about where they have been scoring in several competitions. A lot of the feedback was pretty good. One problem I'm having is when I read notes that describe the taste or whatever, and it all seems good, but I only score a 12/20 with no suggestions for improvement? I know the judging is tough, but part of my goal is to help make even better beer. Just describing what you taste only helps so much. IIWII I guess. Sometimes the suggestions or comments help a lot. On my last brew day I came to the realization that I think I'm over-sparging, and the comments on one of my beers especially called this out (two different judges). So my brewing process has already improved.
The best beer (IMHO) that I had got a 33. It was a Belgian Pale Ale that has scored as high as 37 in the Indiana State Fair. I think I'm really close with this one, but am also developing a theory that BPA is at an inherent disadvantage in competition being such a relatively restrained style in a category with much more "extreme" (and popular) styles like Saisons, Witbier, and Belgian Specialty. That could just be sour grapes, though.