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dmtaylor

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For those of you who judge - have you ever scored anything in 1a-d, 2a, 3a, 11a, 14a, 18a (2021 guidelines), anything higher than a 35?

I agree with most of your points. But yes, yes I have scored these unpopular styles highly, and even promoted them all the way to winning Best of Show. It *does* happen. It simply requires good judges who are open minded and not just chasing whalez.
 

doug293cz

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...

3. Certain styles will *NEVER* win BOS. A HIGH QUALITY, TRUE TO STYLE beer should medal and win, no matter what style it is. Any light lagers, cream ales, pale european beer..... never stand a chance at BOS, no matter how well they are brewed. It always seems to be over the top stouts, belgian dubbel or darker, over the top IPAs, super boozy Wee Heavys or Saisons, or maybe some lesser brewed style like a Weizenbock or Sahti. If the style guidelines say it should taste like Coors Light, and you brewed something identical to Coors Light, it should have have a chance at scoring a 50 and should be on equal footing at BOS. But judges tend to prefer the more flavorful styles and always seem to choose them.

When I asked a judge about this, they couldn't give me a straight answer. They stumbled around saying something to the effect of "well, these other styles aren't as easy, er, um, so, they will usually win out". FINE, then make the max score of an American Light Lager a 30, and the rest 50, or find some other way to let the brewers know that that style doesn't stand a chance.

For those of you who judge - have you ever scored anything in 1a-d, 2a, 3a, 11a, 14a, 18a (2021 guidelines), anything higher than a 35?

...

At one comp I stewarded at, an English mild won BOS. In another a mead scored a 50 (first 50 ever given out by one of the locally highly regarded judges.) So, these things do happen.

Brew on :mug:
 

Bobby_M

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A lot of what was mentioned above are my reasons for not loving competitions. That said, I've been in quite a few through the years including NHC, I've medaled in quite a few, and I've gotten really poor scores and feedback in quite a few. I've stewarded a handful, and have mostly positive thoughts about the process.

My issues:
1. Minimum score. Why bother? If the beer is absolutely terrible that you want to give it a 0, what's the difference between a 0 and a 13? Or a 14? or a 17? Would a 17 make you feel that much better than a 14 or a 6? For me, anything under a 30 and I am not happy with how the beer did. For me a 29 might as well be a 0. Call me snooty if you want, but that's basically how I feel about the beers I enter.
There has to be some kind of standard range of scores though. I mean, it's not a pass/fail test. The individual sections have their score tallies and the total is the total. Everyone knows that anything lower than a 30 is not in medal contention, but I like to think people who may be entering a beer for the first time would appreciate me being as meticulous in scoring at the lower end as in the higher end.

2. People afraid of giving out 50s. I stewarded a table where they gave a Belgian Dark Strong a 49. Neither judge (both certified mind you) could find a flaw in it, but were both afraid to give it a 50. I tasted it and it was a fantastic beer. Their scoresheets basically both said the same "this is outstanding, we can't find an issue, keep it up." I would be a little irked if that was my beer and they said that but didn't give me a 50. In all of the comps I've stewarded, I've never seen a 50. My highest score on any beer I've ever entered was maybe a 46 or so.
I think a lot of judges leave a few points at the top end for discretionary intangibles but I agree. If you can't find any flaw and it is exactly as the BJCP says the style should be, that's a 50. I gave a beer a 47 recently but I could justify the 3 points off for slight carbonation level and head retention. If those were better, it would have been a 50.

3. Certain styles will *NEVER* win BOS. A HIGH QUALITY, TRUE TO STYLE beer should medal and win, no matter what style it is. Any light lagers, cream ales, pale european beer..... never stand a chance at BOS, no matter how well they are brewed. It always seems to be over the top stouts, belgian dubbel or darker, over the top IPAs, super boozy Wee Heavys or Saisons, or maybe some lesser brewed style like a Weizenbock or Sahti. If the style guidelines say it should taste like Coors Light, and you brewed something identical to Coors Light, it should have have a chance at scoring a 50 and should be on equal footing at BOS. But judges tend to prefer the more flavorful styles and always seem to choose them.
Never is a bit confident. Examples:

In my club's last competition, a Vienna Lager won BOS and a Biere de Garde got 2nd.

Annie Johnson won a gold medal in Category #1: Light Lager during the 2013 National Homebrew Competition Final Round ...and helped earn the 2013 NHC Homebrewer of the Year Recipe title.

Motown MASH 2019 Best of Show Results

1st Drew Rodgers, Brown In Town, English Brown Ale

2018:
1653449075110.png


2017
1653449118444.png



NJ State Fair:
2021:
1653449212374.png



1653449311343.png


In 2015 BOS was a Cali Common.

Sorry for beating a dead horse, but *NEVER* was so strongly emphasized that I felt a few examples were needed to undo it.


For those of you who judge - have you ever scored anything in 1a-d, 2a, 3a, 11a, 14a, 18a (2021 guidelines), anything higher than a 35?
Yes, at almost every competition. I only have access to my most recent dashboard and it's convenient that the last comp was fully electronic. Here are the tables I judged that fall into your list.

1653449765982.png


1653449820977.png


1653449948685.png


1653450059711.png
 

bwible

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A lot of what was mentioned above are my reasons for not loving competitions. That said, I've been in quite a few through the years including NHC, I've medaled in quite a few, and I've gotten really poor scores and feedback in quite a few. I've stewarded a handful, and have mostly positive thoughts about the process.

My issues:
1. Minimum score. Why bother? If the beer is absolutely terrible that you want to give it a 0, what's the difference between a 0 and a 13? Or a 14? or a 17? Would a 17 make you feel that much better than a 14 or a 6? For me, anything under a 30 and I am not happy with how the beer did. For me a 29 might as well be a 0. Call me snooty if you want, but that's basically how I feel about the beers I enter.

2. People afraid of giving out 50s. I stewarded a table where they gave a Belgian Dark Strong a 49. Neither judge (both certified mind you) could find a flaw in it, but were both afraid to give it a 50. I tasted it and it was a fantastic beer. Their scoresheets basically both said the same "this is outstanding, we can't find an issue, keep it up." I would be a little irked if that was my beer and they said that but didn't give me a 50. In all of the comps I've stewarded, I've never seen a 50. My highest score on any beer I've ever entered was maybe a 46 or so.

3. Certain styles will *NEVER* win BOS. A HIGH QUALITY, TRUE TO STYLE beer should medal and win, no matter what style it is. Any light lagers, cream ales, pale european beer..... never stand a chance at BOS, no matter how well they are brewed. It always seems to be over the top stouts, belgian dubbel or darker, over the top IPAs, super boozy Wee Heavys or Saisons, or maybe some lesser brewed style like a Weizenbock or Sahti. If the style guidelines say it should taste like Coors Light, and you brewed something identical to Coors Light, it should have have a chance at scoring a 50 and should be on equal footing at BOS. But judges tend to prefer the more flavorful styles and always seem to choose them.

When I asked a judge about this, they couldn't give me a straight answer. They stumbled around saying something to the effect of "well, these other styles aren't as easy, er, um, so, they will usually win out". FINE, then make the max score of an American Light Lager a 30, and the rest 50, or find some other way to let the brewers know that that style doesn't stand a chance.

For those of you who judge - have you ever scored anything in 1a-d, 2a, 3a, 11a, 14a, 18a (2021 guidelines), anything higher than a 35?

Just my 2c.
Truth on that “certain styles will never win bos” in my experience, at least around this area. The closest I ever came to winning a bos was with a cream ale that scored 45. It was one of 2 beers left standing at the end of the bos round. The other beer was a “kellerbier” which was newfangled and unheard of at the time. The guy printed a fancy little pamphlet and included it with his entry. Its basically an unfiltered pilsener. Our grandmaster judge tried 4 or 5 times to throw that beer out. There was one guest judge who kept defending that beer throughout. I found out later he was a member of the same club (not our club) as the brewer who brewed that “kellerbier.” I was very unhappy about that for a long time and I didn’t enter competitions anymore after that. Because some bos rounds like that were just “go along to get along”.

But you are right, certain styles never seem to win bos. Mild ale, most of the bitter category, any light lagers. We had one guy in our club years ago who used to brew a fantastic Dortmund export and he won first place with that beer in every competition he put it in. But never got a bos.

Our club at the last meeting we just had a couple weeks ago did a “judge’s roundtable” and had 3 very high level and very experienced judges answer questions. This question was asked - are there certain styles that seem to always fare better in competitions and maybe some styles that don’t do well or don’t get the credit they deserve? And as you said, they kind of danced around it and said each beer is its own beer judged against the style guidelines, etc, etc.
 
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bwible

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At one comp I stewarded at, an English mild won BOS. In another a mead scored a 50 (first 50 ever given out by one of the locally highly regarded judges.) So, these things do happen.

Brew on :mug:
When I was still sort of a newb I asked the question why is mead in beer competitions and not wine competitions where its much more similar. We don’t boil mead and I never used bentonite or metabisulphite in any of my beers.

I never got an answer because I don’t think anybody has one. But it was like one of those “emporer’s new clothes” moments.
 
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krebs119

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At one comp I stewarded at, an English mild won BOS. In another a mead scored a 50 (first 50 ever given out by one of the locally highly regarded judges.) So, these things do happen.

Brew on :mug:
Neither English Mild or Mead were on my list there. I've seen those score high as well.
 

krebs119

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There has to be some kind of standard range of scores though. I mean, it's not a pass/fail test. The individual sections have their score tallies and the total is the total. Everyone knows that anything lower than a 30 is not in medal contention, but I like to think people who may be entering a beer for the first time would appreciate me being as meticulous in scoring at the lower end as in the higher end.


I think a lot of judges leave a few points at the top end for discretionary intangibles but I agree. If you can't find any flaw and it is exactly as the BJCP says the style should be, that's a 50. I gave a beer a 47 recently but I could justify the 3 points off for slight carbonation level and head retention. If those were better, it would have been a 50.


Never is a bit confident. Examples:

In my club's last competition, a Vienna Lager won BOS and a Biere de Garde got 2nd.

Annie Johnson won a gold medal in Category #1: Light Lager during the 2013 National Homebrew Competition Final Round ...and helped earn the 2013 NHC Homebrewer of the Year Recipe title.

Motown MASH 2019 Best of Show Results

1st Drew Rodgers, Brown In Town, English Brown Ale

2018:
View attachment 769796

2017
View attachment 769797


NJ State Fair:
2021:
View attachment 769798


View attachment 769799

In 2015 BOS was a Cali Common.

Sorry for beating a dead horse, but *NEVER* was so strongly emphasized that I felt a few examples were needed to undo it.



Yes, at almost every competition. I only have access to my most recent dashboard and it's convenient that the last comp was fully electronic. Here are the tables I judged that fall into your list.

View attachment 769800

View attachment 769801

View attachment 769802

View attachment 769803

Regarding the minimum score portion.... If you have a competition with, say, 400 entries. I would wager that 350-375 of those entries would score between 20 and 40. Of the handful that *would have* scored less than 20, but were given a minimum score of 20 or 18 or 15 or whatever other arbitrary number.... my point is, what is the difference? I don't think you'll find many judges that can differentiate a beer that scored a 4 vs a 14. I never said it was pass/fail, just that if you feel it's a 0, give it a 0.

If I threw a hop pellet into a cold brewed coffee, carbonated it, bottled it, and entered it as an "experimental beer - light scottish coffee something something" would I still get a 19?

You had a lot of data, and yes, perhaps *never* was too strong a word, but even in your data you only had 6 beers from my list, with 2 scoring above a 35 (a 3rd was first place, but the score wasn't listed).
 

bwible

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Regarding the minimum score portion.... If you have a competition with, say, 400 entries. I would wager that 350-375 of those entries would score between 20 and 40. Of the handful that *would have* scored less than 20, but were given a minimum score of 20 or 18 or 15 or whatever other arbitrary number.... my point is, what is the difference? I don't think you'll find many judges that can differentiate a beer that scored a 4 vs a 14. I never said it was pass/fail, just that if you feel it's a 0, give it a 0.

If I threw a hop pellet into a cold brewed coffee, carbonated it, bottled it, and entered it as an "experimental beer - light scottish coffee something something" would I still get a 19?

You had a lot of data, and yes, perhaps *never* was too strong a word, but even in your data you only had 6 beers from my list, with 2 scoring above a 35 (a 3rd was first place, but the score wasn't listed).
You just have to remember that people pay per entry to put beers in competitions and a competition is usually a major fund raiser for any club. So you really don’t want to be handing out scores like 0 and 4 and become known as the ridiculously hard competition that nobody wants to enter. You want to be fair and honest but not hit people with a hammer. Brewers of all levels enter these competitions and people do have different motivations. If I put beers in, I’m not looking for or expecting anything anymore. I’m just doing it to support my club or another area club/homebrew store. Some people who are newer might be interested in just getting some feedback. More advanced and serious brewers only care about medals. Not everybody is in it for the same reason.

When you get a really awful beer its more likely to be from a newer brewer because the more serious guys looking for medals wouldn’t enter that. In these cases, rather than just blast the bad beer with negatives the focus should be on providing feedback and help - what the bad taste or infection could be and how to fix it. So even though the beer got a bad score there’s something to help the brewer and not feel completely awful about.
 
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krebs119

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You just have to remember that people pay per entry to put beers in competitions and a competition is usually a major fund raiser for any club. So you really don’t want to be handing out scores like 0 and 4 and become known as the ridiculously hard competition that nobody wants to enter. You want to be fair and honest but not hit people with a hammer. Brewers of all levels enter these competitions and people do have different motivations. If I put beers in, I’m not looking for or expecting anything anymore. I’m just doing it to support my club or another area club/homebrew store. Some people who are newer might be interested in just getting some feedback. More advanced and serious brewers only care about medals. Not everybody is in it for the same reason.
Sure, no doubt.

I appreciate the feedback on my beers as well, but I feel like if I got a minimum feedback score and all of the feedback was "this tastes infected, make sure you clean better" I would feel like you hit me with kid gloves with the "19" or whatever score. What good is "this tastes like plastic........ but your carbonation and fill level are spot on! Well done!"?

Just give me the 3 or 7 or whatever it was worth and let me take my beatings lol.
 

bwible

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To an extent, do you think different categories might do better or worse in different areas around the country or around the world even - according to regional tastes? That’s a real thing.
 

kingmatt

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Regarding the, "some styles will never win BOS", I'd disagree (as I've seen pretty much every style win or at least place in BOS) with one major exception: NEIPAs.

I'm sure there have been competitions where one has won, but in all the local competitions I have judged/competed in, NEIPA is always one of the first eliminated in the BOS round.

I think it has to do with most of the judges in BOS having been around for a long time and not taking NEIPA seriously as a style (haziness in a beer is a flaw, it doesn't conform to traditional IPA bitterness etc.).

I'm hoping now that it has become a recognized style and is showing staying power in the industry that this changes, but so far I am still waiting...
 

WESBREW

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Its mostly for fun for me to enter a comp. Last year was my first one and I usually appreciate the feedback from judges. Its not perferct. I've been hammered with a 22 for a beer a little out of style on two elements but also medaled with two others. My highest score and a gold came with an Altbier. Whatever, its still fun to compete against other brewers beers to see how you do.
 

TheMadKing

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I'll chime in as a judge and agree with Bobby and others who say that judging is hard and its a very imperfect. Good judges are more rare than bad judges IMO, and never mistake a wordy judge for a good judge.

When receiving feedback from scoresheets look for high-level general trends. I recently identified an infection in my taps because I entered some (what I thought were) 40 point beers in a competition only to receive 20's. I read the score sheets to see what happened and in general they described things like "tang, over carbonated, thin, nail polish" so I knew right away I had an infection in my bottling process. Disappointing but valuable feedback.

The highest score I have ever awarded in competition was a 46 and it was a russian imperial stout that just needed another 6 months of time to be a 50. The majority of scores tend to be in the mid to low 30's with the occasional low 20's or 40's. Some tables/styles also seem to have higher or lower average scores. I judged a table of european light lagers and the average score was a 39 for the table, lots of great beers. I also judged a table of winter warmer beers and the average score was 25 for the table, lots of bad beers.

What you've eaten that day, what you tasted previously, your judging partner, the environment, your mood, all of it influences scores. BJCP scores are not gospel (I've had the exact same beer with a gold medal and second place BOS in one competition and not even medal in another competition on the other side of the state) , the feedback is not gospel, but it should highlight general things you can focus on to fix.

If I threw a hop pellet into a cold brewed coffee, carbonated it, bottled it, and entered it as an "experimental beer - light scottish coffee something something" would I still get a 19?

You had a lot of data, and yes, perhaps *never* was too strong a word, but even in your data you only had 6 beers from my list, with 2 scoring above a 35 (a 3rd was first place, but the score wasn't listed).
Yes you would get an 18 (or whatever the minimum score was) it is a form of politeness and if you receive an 18 you know it was somewhere between a 0-18, that's just how competitions work. There's no point in telling you that you scored a 0, when you know that by receiving an 18 you should probably go back to the drawing board on this beer. The point isn't to shame people it's to help their beers improve.
 

bwible

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Regarding the, "some styles will never win BOS", I'd disagree (as I've seen pretty much every style win or at least place in BOS) with one major exception: NEIPAs.

I'm sure there have been competitions where one has won, but in all the local competitions I have judged/competed in, NEIPA is always one of the first eliminated in the BOS round.

I think it has to do with most of the judges in BOS having been around for a long time and not taking NEIPA seriously as a style (haziness in a beer is a flaw, it doesn't conform to traditional IPA bitterness etc.).

I'm hoping now that it has become a recognized style and is showing staying power in the industry that this changes, but so far I am still waiting...
Thats hilarious because I would have thought NEIPAs were winning all the best of show rounds everywhere by the popularity. Every brewery has at least 3 or 4 and the selection in all our beer stores and build your own 6 pack places is always half of the beers are hazies, half of whats left is sours and I can find 4 or 5 clear clean beers in the back of a shelf over in the corner.

I don’t much care for them myself. But anybody who doesn’t know what it is or doesn’t think its a real style is living under a rock. There is mucho money being made on these. With so many out there I’m just wondering when the market will hit saturation on these and it will die down. Every beer can’t be a cloudy hazy ipa.
 
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doug293cz

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Thats hilarious because I would have thought NEIPAs were winning all the best of show rounds everywhere by the popularity. Every brewery has at least 3 or 4 and the selection in all our beer stores and build your own 6 pack places is always half of the beers are hazies, half of whats left is sours and I can find 4 or 5 clear clean beers in the back of a shelf over in the corner.
Thing about NEIPAs is they are extremely sensitive to oxidation. If your post pitch process isn't near perfect at O2 avoidance, you will likely get enough oxidation in the bottle to ruin the beer. Add in the poor storage conditions during shipping, and getting a fresh tasting NEIPA on the judging table is extremely difficult. So, lack of performance in competitions should be no surprise.

Brew on :mug:
 

Deadalus

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Regarding the minimum score portion.... If you have a competition with, say, 400 entries. I would wager that 350-375 of those entries would score between 20 and 40. Of the handful that *would have* scored less than 20, but were given a minimum score of 20 or 18 or 15 or whatever other arbitrary number.... my point is, what is the difference? I don't think you'll find many judges that can differentiate a beer that scored a 4 vs a 14. I never said it was pass/fail, just that if you feel it's a 0, give it a 0.

If I threw a hop pellet into a cold brewed coffee, carbonated it, bottled it, and entered it as an "experimental beer - light scottish coffee something something" would I still get a 19?

You had a lot of data, and yes, perhaps *never* was too strong a word, but even in your data you only had 6 beers from my list, with 2 scoring above a 35 (a 3rd was first place, but the score wasn't listed).
I had been thinking about this yesterday and since you have mentioned it, your hypothesis potentially is testable statistically with an ANOVA test using style as a categorical variable and the test scores as the response. I think it would be a good idea to also include judges as a random factor, almost sort of the classic example for a random effects ANOVA. Something less rigorous would be to plot the scores and either separate them into categories on the horizontal axis with color coding and changing symbols by style as well. It wouldn't necessarily indicate a bias but would be interesting to examine. Now if you did that for multiple competitions and a pattern started to emerge where one or several styles are consistently high (or low) it might be something of interest as to why. Also of interest would be to examine the significance of the judge effect.

I was thinking similarly regarding only finding a few however you did say never and Bobby felt like he had enough. He wasn't providing an exhaustive answer in other words.
 

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Thing about NEIPAs is they are extremely sensitive to oxidation. If your post pitch process isn't near perfect at O2 avoidance, you will likely get enough oxidation in the bottle to ruin the beer. Add in the poor storage conditions during shipping, and getting a fresh tasting NEIPA on the judging table is extremely difficult. So, lack of performance in competitions should be no surprise.

Brew on :mug:
Poor shipping conditions will affect other styles as well probably most if not all. Thinking out loud perhaps lagers may be a little more affected but I don't have any specific observations/data to support or refute that. Or hoppy beers in general and that could depend on when the hops are loaded--as aroma or bittering even. I wouldn't want my entry sitting in a hot truck regardless!
 

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I had been thinking about this yesterday and since you have mentioned it, your hypothesis potentially is testable statistically with an ANOVA test using style as a categorical variable and the test scores as the response. I think it would be a good idea to also include judges as a random factor, almost sort of the classic example for a random effects ANOVA. Something less rigorous would be to plot the scores and either separate them into categories on the horizontal axis with color coding and changing symbols by style as well. It wouldn't necessarily indicate a bias but would be interesting to examine. Now if you did that for multiple competitions and a pattern started to emerge where one or several styles are consistently high (or low) it might be something of interest as to why. Also of interest would be to examine the significance of the judge effect.

I was thinking similarly regarding only finding a few however you did say never and Bobby felt like he had enough. He wasn't providing an exhaustive answer in other words.
Yeah, using "never" was a poor choice, and I didn't bring any actual data. I'm sure I could pull up an equal or greater number of Imperial Stouts and Belgian Tripels that beat English Standard Bitters in competitions, but I unfortunately do not have the time or honestly energy. Regardless, any data on this wouldn't answer the question of "was this English Bitter bad and the Stout amazing, or is it that the judges have biases?" as the only person/people who would know that were drinking it at the competitions.

My thought was just based off of my experiences and the 50 or so competitions I have entered or been a part of, and the discussions with multiple certified judges.
 

krebs119

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To an extent, do you think different categories might do better or worse in different areas around the country or around the world even - according to regional tastes? That’s a real thing.
I think about this a lot. I have a Czech Amber Lager that I brew from time to time that has scored well locally, far away, and even at NHC. I really like it. Thing is, I've never had a commercial example of this style and at least locally, I have yet to find any in stores. So I have to wonder how my local judges handle this? Maybe they have had some that I haven't. Maybe they are just really good (or bad) at reading the descriptors and matching it against my beer. But if you've never had one, and you're solely reading against the style guidelines, how much can you differentiate between mine and an American Amber, or Euro Amber, or an Altbier?

And does that change how you judge? IE: "Hmm, this is a good beer, but I've never had this style so I don't know if it's exact..... so I can't possibly give it a 50".

Or alternatively "Hmm, this is a good beer and I've never had this style, so maybe this brewer knows more than me..... I should give this odd style (to me) a really high score as to not show my ignorance on the style".

Or "Hmm, this is a good beer. I recall having 1 commercial example of this 20 years ago when I was overseas and this beer is exactly like it/nothing at all like it.... so I'm going off my 20 year memory of 1 beer that may or may not have been a good example of the style for various reasons."
 

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Yeah, using "never" was a poor choice, and I didn't bring any actual data. I'm sure I could pull up an equal or greater number of Imperial Stouts and Belgian Tripels that beat English Standard Bitters in competitions, but I unfortunately do not have the time or honestly energy. Regardless, any data on this wouldn't answer the question of "was this English Bitter bad and the Stout amazing, or is it that the judges have biases?" as the only person/people who would know that were drinking it at the competitions.

My thought was just based off of my experiences and the 50 or so competitions I have entered or been a part of, and the discussions with multiple certified judges.
I get what you meant, you think perhaps there is a difference in the overall scoring that may indicate a preference for certain styles.

And it wouldn't be useful to just start pulling various single entries because that's just using some of the data. It might be shown for a set of full data from a competition that there were significant differences in the mean scores by style but the why of it is harder to determine. Including judges as a factor in the analysis would most certainly call for that to be a random effect. Now I think it could be included as an interaction effect, which if the judges factor was not random (it was fixed) that would indicate that scores were dependent on both style and judge. But as a random effect, individual judge comparisons wouldn't be performed. As a random effect, a significant judge effect is simply saying that there's important variability coming from the judges. Which is really not unexpected, they're human.
 

Bobby_M

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You had a lot of data, and yes, perhaps *never* was too strong a word, but even in your data you only had 6 beers from my list, with 2 scoring above a 35 (a 3rd was first place, but the score wasn't listed).
You said those styles NEVER get BOS and I gave you a few examples of those styles that in fact have been recognized as BOS. I don't have access to all the results from all the competitions in the country so I picked a few I remembered. I'm sure there are many more examples. I'd go as far to say that there MAY be a trend for some styles to show up winning BOS *SLIGHTLY* more than others and it's likely regional. I honestly don't see a significant trend in the competitions I compete and judge in other than the fact that some of the very best competitors tend to have their favorite style of beer. Someone that takes BOS with a Vienna lager is likely a semi-specialist in the German Lager styles.

You also asked for people who judge, if we have ever scored a beer in those categories higher than a 35 and I only had hard data on my last competition and I didn't judge some of the styles you listed.
1A-42
1B-38
2B-40

Your point seems to be that judging is biased against certain categories and I reject that claim. There are many reasons why you may see some trends and in my opinion it's based on the popularity of some styles. For example, it is more likely for an American IPA to receive a higher score than a Blonde Ale in a given competition. Why? There's probably 2 blonde ales and 16 IPAs. It's a numbers game. The odds of 100% of the blonde ales being subpar is much higher than the odds of 100% of the IPAs being sub par.
 

krebs119

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You said those styles NEVER get BOS and I gave you a few examples of those styles that in fact have been recognized as BOS. I don't have access to all the results from all the competitions in the country so I picked a few I remembered. I'm sure there are many more examples. I'd go as far to say that there MAY be a trend for some styles to show up winning BOS *SLIGHTLY* more than others and it's likely regional. I honestly don't see a significant trend in the competitions I compete and judge in other than the fact that some of the very best competitors tend to have their favorite style of beer. Someone that takes BOS with a Vienna lager is likely a semi-specialist in the German Lager styles.

You also asked for people who judge, if we have ever scored a beer in those categories higher than a 35 and I only had hard data on my last competition and I didn't judge some of the styles you listed.
1A-42
1B-38
2B-40

Your point seems to be that judging is biased against certain categories and I reject that claim. There are many reasons why you may see some trends and in my opinion it's based on the popularity of some styles. For example, it is more likely for an American IPA to receive a higher score than a Blonde Ale in a given competition. Why? There's probably 2 blonde ales and 16 IPAs. It's a numbers game. The odds of 100% of the blonde ales being subpar is much higher than the odds of 100% of the IPAs being sub par.
Sure, and we'll never fully have this multi-nationwide, quarter century long, data. The counter your numbers game though - I wonder how many more obscure styles win BOS vs IPA or Irish Stout? In my experience, GOOD OBSCURE will beat GOOD IPA/Irish Stout more than not.
 

Bobby_M

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Well, I was actually surprised that I couldn't find a table showing the BOS style for each year of the NHC anywhere. Even when you navigate to past results, they list the name of the brewer who won each year but they don't even mention the style. I don't know who is responsible for publishing that area of the AHA site but that's a pretty lame shortcoming. A list like that would definitely be relevant to this discussion. Knowing the scores for every beer that won 1st place in those competitions would also be interesting. For example, it would be very cool to see how often, or not, the BOS winner was in say the top 5 or 10% of scores. I'm positive that the BOS would not always be the highest scoring beer in the comp. That doesn't even happen in the mini-BOS so....

There will be judges who are biased towards giving familiar styles higher praise. There will be some that give extra praise to styles they think or know are harder to make. I'm not suggesting those things don't factor in. I'm just saying it's really easy to get jaded about competitions from making some limited observations and not any hard data.
 

krebs119

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Well, I was actually surprised that I couldn't find a table showing the BOS style for each year of the NHC anywhere. Even when you navigate to past results, they list the name of the brewer who won each year but they don't even mention the style. I don't know who is responsible for publishing that area of the AHA site but that's a pretty lame shortcoming. A list like that would definitely be relevant to this discussion. Knowing the scores for every beer that won 1st place in those competitions would also be interesting. For example, it would be very cool to see how often, or not, the BOS winner was in say the top 5 or 10% of scores. I'm positive that the BOS would not always be the highest scoring beer in the comp. That doesn't even happen in the mini-BOS so....

There will be judges who are biased towards giving familiar styles higher praise. There will be some that give extra praise to styles they think or know are harder to make. I'm not suggesting those things don't factor in. I'm just saying it's really easy to get jaded about competitions from making some limited observations and not any hard data.
Oh right on, and I'm not jaded at all. I just approach competitions differently now than I used to.
When I enter for the sole purpose of taking home hardware or bragging rights my entries are in this order in order to stand out:
1. REALLY exceptionally done beer, regardless of style.
2. Big/imperial beer.
3. Obscure-ish beer.
4. Anything that won't be drowned out by 15 other entries. IE: No IPA, no Irish Stout, no Wheat beer, but maybe an Octoberfest or regular Saison.
 

BeerAndTele

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Every brewery has at least 3 or 4 and the selection in all our beer stores and build your own 6 pack places is always half of the beers are hazies, half of whats left is sours and I can find 4 or 5 clear clean beers in the back of a shelf over in the corner.
This is true and drives me crazy. Another reason to brew my own.
 

WESBREW

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Some good looking comps coming up. Some american pales could be entered and see how they do. I don't have any at the moment but am going to enter a few with some other beer styles.
 
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bwible

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Oh right on, and I'm not jaded at all. I just approach competitions differently now than I used to.
When I enter for the sole purpose of taking home hardware or bragging rights my entries are in this order in order to stand out:
1. REALLY exceptionally done beer, regardless of style.
2. Big/imperial beer.
3. Obscure-ish beer.
4. Anything that won't be drowned out by 15 other entries. IE: No IPA, no Irish Stout, no Wheat beer, but maybe an Octoberfest or regular Saison.
I think IPA is one of the toughest categories. For all the reasons people have already said. Oxygen vulnerability, its usually one of the categories with the most entries and palate fatigue is real so it depends on luck of the draw where your entry lands in the order of tasting. I’ve seen judges get locked onto one of the early entries. Honestly, my ipas haven’t been that great lately anyway but thats a category I avoid if my entries are limited because its one of the toughest to win. In my experience.

Stout can be the same way, strong flavors. But I’ve done better in stouts.

Some lesser brewed styles at least as far as competition entries - American Amber Ale, Kolsch, enter something with chocolate flavor in herb, spice, vegetable which will usually beat the weird stuff with peppers or chipotles or other things, nobody brews biere de garde, as somebody wrote before I’ve never had a commercial one and wouldn’t even know what its supposed to be.
 
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