I received my score sheets back from the 2008 Sam Adams LongShot Homebrew Competiton earlier this week. In my last post, I photographed the sheets for the maple porter that I entered. Here are the sheets for my American pale ale.
Since each beer was judged by at least two separate judges, I have two sheets to share. The first one shows the nice note about this “wonderful beer”. Unfortunately, it was deemed out of style.
This sheet points out that I need to ramp up my bitterness to make this beer a true APA.
I learned some things from entering a couple of beers into the LongShot competition:
- Entering a beer into a competition allows you to get constructive feedback from judges who know beer styles
- This feedback is valuable to help you make great beer, or at least beer that will do well in other competitions
- Sometimes this feedback just reinforces what you have already deduced about your beer
Homebrewing Competition Tips
After participating in a few competitions, I have a few tips for homebrewer who really want to compete:
- Brew often. The more you brew, the more data you will be able to collect to perfect your recipes and techniques
- Once you feel like you have perfected a few styles, enter them into competition
- Some successful competition winners enter many beers. Sometimes a beer for every style
- Some successful competition winners enter many different versions of the same beer style
- Either way, competition success is aligned with quantity. More is more!
I think experience plays a big part of it. You have to take the time to learn beer. You have to take the time to take your learnings and put them into your brewing. You have to take time to brew and brew and brew.
It’s no wonder this hobby becomes an obsession so easily.