Categorizing a Beer Competition Entry

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CaseyA

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Hi All,

I'm entering my first beer competition and I need some help defining the entry. I'm entering a Pumpkin Ale (yeah I know but it's all I had ready in time). Under normal circumstances I would expect to enter under 30B Autumn Seasonal Beer. My issue is I used a Saison yeast to get a little different profile than many others. The competition doesn't have you submit a recipe so I'm concerned the additional Saison profile may be taken out of context in the judging. Am I overthinking this?
 

Amadeo38

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Hi All,

I'm entering my first beer competition and I need some help defining the entry. I'm entering a Pumpkin Ale (yeah I know but it's all I had ready in time). Under normal circumstances I would expect to enter under 30B Autumn Seasonal Beer. My issue is I used a Saison yeast to get a little different profile than many others. The competition doesn't have you submit a recipe so I'm concerned the additional Saison profile may be taken out of context in the judging. Am I overthinking this?
You’ve got a couple options, in my opinion, and the choice depends on how obvious the Saison characteristics are when tasting the beer. Can you easily detect lemon and pepper type phenolics amongst the pumpkin flavors? If so, I would either enter it in the SHV (spice, herb, or vegetables; 30A) category and declare “pumpkin, lemon, pepper” (if those are the phenolics you got), or the Specialty Mixed-Style Beer (34B) category. With the latter, you are instructed to “specify the styles being mixed. [And you] may provide an additional description of the sensory profile of the beer or the vital statistics of the resulting beer.” So, you’d probably say it’s an autumnal seasonal beer and saison mix.

If you can’t taste the saison characteristics then just enter in Autumnal Seasonal Beer.
 

bleme

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What he ^^^ said. The key is to completely ignore what ingredients you used and what you were aiming for and enter it based on taste alone.
 

Qhrumphf

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Does the base beer generally meet the "dark" Saison description? If so, I'd still enter as Autumn Seasonal, and declare a Dark Saison as your base style.

If it generally aligns with a more pale and typical Saison, I'd probably go SHV. Autumnal wouldn't be *wrong* there either, but I'd be worried as well of it being taken out of context.

If it otherwise meets the "normal" pumpkin beer ethos (amberish, not roasty, malty, not hoppy) and the only atypical deviation is the yeast, then I'd still go Autumnal, just list the yeast in with whatever other special ingredients.
 

Qhrumphf

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I wouldn't say you added lemon or pepper if you didn't. Yeast character will often resemble a given descriptor but will not have all the ancillary stuff that i might expect. Just say you used a Saison yeast, or list an appropriate subtype of Saison as your base style.
 

Amadeo38

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I wouldn't say you added lemon or pepper if you didn't. Yeast character will often resemble a given descriptor but will not have all the ancillary stuff that i might expect. Just say you used a Saison yeast, or list an appropriate subtype of Saison as your base style.
Agreed
 
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