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Old 05-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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Default FUN HomeBrew Competition?

Local brewery wants to put me in charge of a FUN HB competition. From what I gather it means non judges giving thumbs up thumbs down on home brews. Being a home brewer I'm having a problem with this.

They say $10 entry fee winner taking 50% and so forth. All styles. Not a clue how many will enter.

ANY COMMENTS are welcome. Is this something people would want to enter?

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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I might be interested, but do you think it would just be taken by the best light lager?

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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You are going to have some takers but it is going to be slim pickings. Our HB club has had in the past, both BJCP sanctioned comps and non-sanctioned comps.

The BJCP comps ALWAYS do better. People come out of the woodwork to judge and if there is some sort of prize like a cert/ribbon/trophy even more tend to enter.

For Non-BJCP comps the turn out is MUCH less, the entries are fewer and the ONLY thing you have working for you is a cool prize, feedback and a social. IMO "thumbs up or down" is piss poor feedback the prize sounds lack luster and is there even a social?

There are exceptions to this. We go up to the UP for a special non-BJCP comp called the Dead of Winter Stout comp. It is a blast. The idea is to come up with a stout that has never been brewed before and still tastes good. They have a nice trophy and some decent score sheets that give some feedback and a nice social afterwards for those interested.

My club is also doing 2 non-BJCP comps this year and we suspect we will have a decent turnout for both as 1 will be a specialty beer comp sort of like the DoW and it is going to be a benefit for a local non-profit w/ a best of show trophy/tap handle and the other will feature gold, silver and bronze medals (not made from plastic but also not made of precious metals but still VERY nice).

It sounds to me like you want people to pay you to drink their beer and some person gets a small cash prize. I will pass if that is the case.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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Is it being judged by other homebrewers? Brewery staff? Random people in the tap room?

If you don't have people who knows beer there, the winner will be the lightest lager or ale. If you have beer people there, the hoppiest or sourest beer will win. No serious chance of victory for anybody in between. So no, I wouldn't enter something like that. I also agree the up or down vote doesn't help offer any serious feedback making it worthwhile to enter unless you were sure your beer would win and take some cash.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:46 PM   #5
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One of the main reasons a standardized system was invented.

I think it sounds like the organizers want to have a fun competition. Not serious, and best beer wins, no fancy rules to weigh down the judges. If enough people can judge it might work, but you still have the problem of too many people liking a narrow range of styles.

For example, I will NEVER enjoy a sour beer. I could never give a sour beer a good score. That doesn't mean the beer is bad, but to me it is. There could be several kinds of flavors that a lot of the judges find overbearing or will treat as a flaw.

As a person who recently judged a competition for the first time, I can say that if this is a serious tasting session, then the joke about free beer is probably uncalled for. It takes concentration to properly judge and practice.

If it's just a bunch of guys sitting around cracking caps and making jokes about the entries, though...
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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For a "fun" competition to succeed, there should not be any money involved whatsoever. I would only pay a fee if it were a BJCP type competition where I could get feedback and the judging not subject to non-serious and biased judging.

I would suggest to the people that they do this for free with the grand winner getting some sort of prize or ribbon.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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I wouldn't pay to enter but I like these "People's Choice" style of contests. The way your proposed contest is right now though kinda sucks. A homebrewer donates a bunch of beer, I assume there will be lots of judges, AND pays 10 dollars. The brewey walks away with half of the proceeds and the homebrewers who don't win the contest get a "thumbs up or down"? It almost seems like they are taking advantage of the homebrewers. Why not just make it free to enter?
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Try this idea on them.
An order from the HBS between a certain date and another of $50 or more, gains you entry into this For Fun Competition. Winner get's a refund on their qualifying purchase up to $100. Keep your receipts children.
It will encourage more to enter based on the possibility of winning their money back.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:55 PM   #9
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The Stone annual homebrew competition is like that. Anyone can come to the event and vote for like your top 3 beers out of all the homebrews. They end up taking the top 5 and the stone brewers and staff taste them and choose a winner to have the beer brewed at stone as a collaboration beer.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:56 PM   #10
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You could set it up so that while there is a judged "winner" anybody who enters is entered into a random drawing for other prizes. That way people don't feel cheated by inexperienced and/or biased judges.

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