Local Competition/Fest Questions
The "president" of my homebrew club has been asked to organize the homebrewer portion of a local beer fest that is being arranged. Last year, a local bar held one which was a success, but the bar closed and some other, more successful bar owners want to make this a bigger event and hold it annually.
This is planned to be a BIG event and it is being held at a minor league baseball park. There will be a commercial beer side along with the homebrewers. The judging will not be strictly to styles and there are 3 prizes: $1000, $300, $150 (crazy, but true). The Yankees (yes, those Yankees), are actually donating the prizes.
1. There is a local, VERY vocal brewer who is not a member of our club and apparently has a inside info on the competition. My friend was planning on selecting the entries randomly (limited by the sponsors to 15). This guy is posting on Facebook and blogs that he is entered, winning...blah blah. He is also a registered LLC, and planning to open a brewery. My question is, would a BJCP competition normally exclude him from entering as a homebrewer because he is registered as an LLC? I'm not looking for legal advice, just BCJP procedures.
2. Are there any local/semi-local BJCP judges on here that would like to be involved? If all goes well, this will be a yearly, well-financed and large event. It is also at the ground level right now and could use a little help. Anyone who is interested, please contact me.
Typically competitions that don't abide by the style guidelines won't attract many entries AND you'll have a tough time getting judges.
If you're even considering making this an annual event, make it based on the guidelines. This gives the entrants something to shoot for and makes for overall consistency. You'll also be able to attract more experienced judges. Nothing will kill a comp quicker than poor judging.
The comp director is responsible for writing the rules of the individual comp. Most would NOT exclude a professional brewer, though some do. I wouldn't. Most exclude beer brewed on commercial equipment, though this is impossible to enforce. I not sure how having "inside info" matters.
The reason it is being planned as a "Best of Show" style event is because my friend has zero resources to acquire BJCP judges, and no experience running a competition. He contacted the AHA and they provided a contact for the area, but he has not returned repeated messages. The large homebrew club in our area is know for being overbearing, so he is reluctant to get them involved. The date is set (Oct 23), so there was precious little time to solicit submissions, judges, stewards, ect. Next year, he's hoping to have much more time to plan and organize.
While I mostly agree with you that a style-based BJCP competition is best, I believe that "Best of Show" comps have their place also. When the prizes look like these do, I don't think entrants will be hard to find. I was shocked when he told me what the prizes were. I've never seen a comp even close to that.
Remember, the event is not a homebrewer-centric event. It is being driven by local businesses to promote the craft beer industry, and is supported by the Yankees. The homebrew section was a late addition unfortunately, and a small portion of what is planned. Craft brewers will be paired with local restaurants to serve beer-food pairings. I can't wait to see how that turns out.
As far as the quasi-homebrewer, his inside info was only part of the story, not part of the issue. Point being, no one is supposed to know about the event yet because the competition is not organized/finalized and no entry criteria has been established. Being that there is a pro-brewer side of the event, my friend is leaning towards excluding him from the homebrewer side, and I agree, but I see what you're saying about it being a judgement call rather than a set protocol.
Thanks for the input. Hopefully next year this is a more organized event with much more time to plan. The backing is in place and will likely remain. Having the support of a billion-dollar sports team sure helps ;)
It's too late now, it sounds like, but for next year you can pay the $35 and have it BJCP sanctioned. That will make it easier to get judges, as you'll get the list from the AHA, and the judges can earn points for judging. Even with BJCP judging, there are BOS rounds so you can have the BOS winner win the top prize. It's a little easier to judge, too, because you have the style guidelines to use as a help for judging, rather than "I like this beer the best" among all the judges.
It's common to write in the rules something like 'homebrew only will be judged. The beer must be brewed on non-commercial equipment' but not to exclude professional brewers.
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