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Old 09-12-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
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Default How do you run your homebrew competitions?

I am the president of the SouthYeasters homebrew club in Cape Town, South Africa ( We run "People's Choice" homebrew competitions every second month at our meetings, where members try everyone's homebrew and then rate the best brewers first, second and third.

I was wondering what other people do for their homebrew competitions:
  1. how do you run your homebrew competitions?
  2. how do you organize the competition - where is the beer placed? Does the brewer tell people about the beer? how many tables do you use?
  3. What is the best setup for a homebrew competition??

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Old 09-12-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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While I have not really been involved in the organizing of a competition, I've judged a couple and entered into a few more. The BJCP has some great resources you can peruse. They have an extensive list of recommendations and requirements. You don't have to host a certified event to read through how they organize their judging, but I bet it will still give you lots of ideas.

I think part of your consideration may be the number of entrants. Also if you wish to continue to judge based on overall taste, the scoring system would probably not fully work for you. But, you might see other things about their competitions that would work well.

I think most competitions I've entered into have stored the beer in a cooler for a few days to chill the beer. The only thing the taste knows is the style and the number of the beer. The number system helps to keep people from knowing who brewed what and keep it fair. When a beer is entered, an organizer writes down the entrant's information and assigns the beer a number, which ties in with the personal information on the organizer's paperwork. The tasters never know who sent what. Along with that plain common bottles are used to further prevent favoritism.

Number of tables depends on how many beers are entered and how many tasters you have. Normally each judge would sample a particular style along with a partner and if the number of entries is small enough, they may do more than one style category.

Normally rinse water is provided and crackers, so you can cleanse your palate between beers.

There are people helping called stewards who bring the bottles of beer to the judges and do the gopher stuff when needed.

There are tons of other things that go into a BJCP competition, so I suggest you read through their requirements and cull out what doesn't suit you, and implement what does.

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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This BJCP Comp Handbook is a good start for all of your questions. This is how I run competitions, but if you have more specific questions after you read that, let us know.
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