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BoB Lever

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I'd like to hear stories about your experiences.

Do you commonly enter the same beer to multiple competitions? What criteria do you use to determine this?

If you quit entering competitions - why?

Thanks!
 

Andrew Hodgson

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I have only entered 1 beer in 1 competition and I don't think it is a "standard" narrative but this is what dreams are made of?

I started homebrewing in June caught the bug fast and joined my local HBC at the same time. Our annual competition happens in October/November and I volunteered to steward to help out and see what these things are all about. Great learning experience.

I only entered 1 beer and it was mainly because I was helping with the competition and 8$ and two bottles seemed a small price to pay to have people who knew their stuff judge your beer. I know I know, I have heard many people talk about scoring and how it isn't perfect etc. but at this point I only cared if my beer was tasty to me so if it got a 25/50 I would have been happy. It ended up winning the American Wild category and was chosen by a guest judge to be brewed at his brewery. I was shocked, happy, honored, etc.

The thing is this hasn't necessarily led me to submit more beers and if anything is making me more critical when I think about how a judge would critique my beer. The one I submitted was my best work for sure, but it feels like the bar I have set for myself is too whacked out now. I will probably only submit to our competition every year but who knows maybe if I brew a real gem I'd enter it in other comps. For now I still think if I like it enough to drink it and brew it again that's enough for me.
 
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BoB Lever

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I have only entered 1 beer in 1 competition and I don't think it is a "standard" narrative but this is what dreams are made of?

I started homebrewing in June caught the bug fast and joined my local HBC at the same time. Our annual competition happens in October/November and I volunteered to steward to help out and see what these things are all about. Great learning experience.....

Thanks, for the reply. I doubt the common response will be - I did so well on my first competition that I stopped! I get it though.
 

Petra

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I'd like to hear stories about your experiences.

Do you commonly enter the same beer to multiple competitions? What criteria do you use to determine this?

If you quit entering competitions - why?

Thanks!

I have not entered the same beer across multiple competitions. I wouldn’t say that I set a specific criteria for this decision, however I can explain my logic. My partner and I’s first entry to a competition was selected as the winner of a Pro-Am challenge associated with the competition. So, we ended up working with the hosting brewery to develop a clone of the beer we submitted (it could not be recreated as-is, with the amount of raw wildflower honey I used it would not be financially sound to scale it up as a commercial brew!), then we participated in brewing the clone at a commercial scale.

After that experience, I took the judging notes from that brew and applied the information to my next project. I feel like those judging notes are the most important part of the experience, and while submitting the same beer to multiple events would increase the number of judges looking at your beer, you could probably learn more applying what you’ve learned and brewing the next beer. The more you brew, the more you learn.
 

SEndorf

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Over the years I've met only two brewers that constantly ship their beer off to multiple competitions, entering whatever and whenever they can.
I've never entered the same beer twice.
I enter one (sometimes two) per year and tend to like the larger competitions which are very well organized with at least three BJCP judges on each table.
I'd like to think that the feedback is more solid and credible, but I might be wrong on that.
I'm really interested in the comments and scoring, but I'd be lying if I said that ribbon didn't matter.
 
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I entered my 1st comp. 3 years ago and won. It was a local, non-BJCP event but I won a brew-with-a pro day. I submitted the same beer to a BJCP event later and it got a respectable score, but did not place in it's flight. The following year I won the local event again and brewed with a different brewery. That year I caught the bug and entered several BJCP comps. with different beers and did pretty well- a few 2nds, thirds, and 1 1st. This year I got a 2nd in the local event, but have entered about 8 different BJCP comps and Nationals. Mostly because I want to get feedback on my beers. The ribbons and swag are nice too. Mostly I enter different beers in each competition, but have submitted the same beer to a few. The scores were not necessarily close, but the comments are always helpful.
 
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BoB Lever

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The scores were not necessarily close, but the comments are always helpful.

Are the comments close? If I had more of a recent entry on hand, I'd submit it to another comp to see if the judges had the same comments. I wonder how flight positioning effects scoring and comments.
 

Andrew Hodgson

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Are the comments close? If I had more of a recent entry on hand, I'd submit it to another comp to see if the judges had the same comments. I wonder how flight positioning effects scoring and comments.

It is something to consider. When I stewarded a competition they threw me right into the fire helping with the IPA category. We had 6 groups of judges doing about 6 beers each. Let me tell you that without judging myself, by the time they get to that last IPA any of us can attest to your palate being fatigued. Some judges who have been around the block have you organize the pull sheets (used to order the beers to be judged) so the IIPA's are last so you aren't completely fried. But I think it does make a difference, as a submitter you will never know these details though.

I think some do submit to multiple competitions for the reason you mentioned, take a "sample" of 2-3 comps and see what the common threads are in the judging of the beer.
 

WBCo

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I've entered three competitions, received a ribbon in all three, even winning a BOS and getting to brew my recipe with a local brewery. That was three years ago and I haven't entered a competition since. I really felt like the feedback was all over the map and not really helpful. I am not BJCP certified, but I have guest judged a BOS show round before, so I understand it's not an easy task to judge beer. I also don't necessarily brew any of my beers "to style" except for my IPAs, which tends to be an overcrowded category. I'm also very nervous about how a my hoppy beers are handled on their way to the competition, since they are very susceptible to less than stellar handling conditions. I wouldn't mind entering another comp if I ever have a beer that I think would do well in some category. I'm working on a few mixed ferm beers that might end up getting shipped off if they turn out ok.
 
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BoB Lever

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Yes. I've found comments are more often similar than the scores they receive.

That's encouraging! Thanks. I've run out of the beer that I would've liked to submit to another competition. I certainly agree that the comments (and potential swag) are the best part of competing.
 
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