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Which Category: Specialty or Dark Lager?

I plan to enter the AHA competition for the first time this year. One of my prospective entries is a dark lager, except that I primed it with honey (didn’t realize I had run out of corn sugar until the middle of the bottling process…oops.). After four weeks of bottle conditioning, I’m amazed at how strong the honey flavor is given that I used it only as a priming sugar. I think this is a testament to the fact that I did a decent job creating a well-attenuated dark lager (which is also well carbonated) with minimal roast flavors. But now the beer no longer seems to fit the dark lager category because the honey is very noticeable – though not unpleasant.

Thus, I’m wondering whether this would be a suitable entry for a specialty beer. I hesitate to enter it as a specialty because I don’t think of specialty beers as being defined by a priming sugar. Do anyone with experience in competitions have any advice? Thanks…

if you can taste honey in your beer that means you now have an entry in 23A specialty beer.

Is it safe to say that if you prime with honey, that flavor will show up in your beer. Or, not necessarily. Thoughts?

I don’t know, as I’ve never tried it. Honey can have a strong flavor, especially the darker and/or wildflower honeys. I would think in such a small amount of honey used for priming, it wouldn’t have a great effect on flavor, but I also believe it if you say that it does because I’ve never tried it.

Why not just enter it in both and hedge your bets?

Yup I’d agree with that!

Hey … Not a bad idea. I guess I didn’t realize I could do that. But why not?

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