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Professional Brewers and Individual Limits at Competitions

Hi All,

We are starting our planning and organizing for our 25th annual competition this fall. There are two big issues that we need to tackle this year.

First, we have four people who enter 20+ beers each, roughly 1/4 of the total entries, and go home with 1/3 of the ribbons. We are thinking about limiting the entries to 10 per person. Is this a fair rule? Is 10 the right number? I was thinking of limiting it to 8.

Secondly, we have a member of our club who has been with us for a very long time and has recently opened his own brewery. Preventing him from entering will cause a sh!tstorm of political drama. We are looking at BJCP/AHA rules to see if he is allowed to enter. Should professional brewers be prohibited from entering the competition or be subjected to restrictions? What about homebrew shop owners?

Dan

Bonus question. How do you feel about a homebrew shop owner selling prizes he won at the competition?

Limits should be per category that you offer to judge, one per category is not bad…

NO PROS!

Those are just IMHO…

Not the coolest selling the winnings at a homebrew shop, but winners win and losers shouldn’t complain as long as that person is amateur.

What’s the definition of a pro entry, though?
If someone owns a microbrewery but does a 5 gallon extract batch at home on his stovetop I’d think that would be kosher.
That’s a slippery slope, though. Who would define what level of equipment counts as amateur?
Perhaps batch size is a better limit?

Michael

Standard homebrew comp rules state that no beer or wort produced on commercial equipment can be entered but there’s no reason that a person who owns or who works at a brewery can’t enter beer that they made at home. Just make sure your entry form makes it clear that all beer must be made at home and it’s up to the pros to be honest.

On limits: I think one or two beers per subcategory is restrictive enough. If someone brews like a madman to produce tons of entries and is willing to pay the entry fee for each beer, then more power to them.

One per category is an interesting perspective, but we end up with one of 3-4 people taking first or second in each category, which tends to ruin the fun for most novice brewers.

We are looking at an overall limit to force them to only submit what they consider their best for the year, not just throw a bunch of stuff at us and hope it sticks. It also allows for more entrants and thus a broader audience.

The problem with selling prizes is that we spend a crap load of time sweet talking companies into sending us these prizes. I am not going to work that hard to line someone else’s pockets.

[quote=“Shadetree”]Standard homebrew comp rules state that no beer or wort produced on commercial equipment can be entered but there’s no reason that a person who owns or who works at a brewery can’t enter beer that they made at home. Just make sure your entry form makes it clear that all beer must be made at home and it’s up to the pros to be honest.

On limits: I think one or two beers per subcategory is restrictive enough. If someone brews like a madman to produce tons of entries and is willing to pay the entry fee for each beer, then more power to them.[/quote]

I agree with all of this. As long as the “pro” used homebrewing equipment, no problem. Would you not allow any other very experienced brewer to enter? Of course not! There is nothing magical about being paid to brew. It doesn’t automatically make you a better brewer.

As to limits, one entry per category is standard. I’ve never allowed more than that.

[quote=“CTDan”]
The problem with selling prizes is that we spend a crap load of time sweet talking companies into sending us these prizes. I am not going to work that hard to line someone else’s pockets.[/quote]

How is this any different than any other guy selling it on eBay ,or Craigslist, or to someone else in their homebrew club. What if they trade it? Give it away?

My thought is if someone won something, then they have the right to do what they wish with it. They own it at that point, so what gives anyone else the right to determine how they should use it.

Agreed. The rules should state all beer must not be brewed with commercial equipment but with equipment at a personal residence, then it does not matter who enters. Plus it gives extra bragging rights to a home brewer if they beat a professional brewer.

Limiting the number of entries a brewer can enter per category should be a must. Gives a level playing field. If brewers are entering an unreasonable amount of entries per category then maybe more categories should be added to spread it out.

This is the issue I have with my local homebrew competition. I want to enter for the first time this year and the categories are IPA/stout or porter/lager/brewers choice. Well, I don’t brew IPAs or lagers and that leaves me two categories and I brew quite a bit, so I wish they would add more categories. My first thought was just to enter a good portion of my beers into those categories but have reconsidered because, as a first time competitor, I think it will make me look bad. My solution is just to enter one or two brews but bring a bunch of others for the public to sample.

I would not enter a competition that had entrants with 20+ entries. Doesn’t seem fair to the regular stiffs who don’t have or want to take that much time out of there lives to brew that much. Sure you could walk away with a best of show with 1 entry but someone that has one in every category is more likely to take some ribbon.

Sorry I think 5 or 10 is plenty. Professionals? Well I have had some beer brewed by supposed pros that was not good so if brewed at home, why not?

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