Stoney Creek Homebrewers

So yesterday was the first Stoney Creek Homebrewers competition held at General Lafayette Inn in PA.

This competition went pretty well. Both Robert and I went up to judge. Yes, Robert has now judged two BJCP competitions as a beer judge, and yes he has not taken the test yet, but hopefully will be in 2009. I also had two beers entered the Plain Porter as a Brown Porter and the Abbey Ale as a Dubbel, neither did very well, bummer. Here is a snippet of what each judge had to say about each beer:

  • Abbey Ale – 18B – Belgian Dubbel -26/24 – “This beer is an OK example but the flavor is lacking the complexity found in this style.” – “Belgian character seems low, suggest higher fermentation temperature.”
  • Plain Porter – 12A – Brown Porter – 25/26/23 – “The roast character is more reminiscent of a dry stout than a brown porter, technically well made however.” – “I would enter this beer as a robust porter, well brewed, no bad fermentation characters.” – “”Really nice dreamy head, this beer has a good base, it’s a good start.”

So it sounds like the judges didn’t think my Belgian Beer was Belgiany enough and my Porter wasn’t Portery enough? Whatever. Being a judge I know how these things go. I think if any one of those five judges would have drank a full glass of either of those beers they would have said they were good and within style. I’m not sweating it, I just thought I’d share.

6 Responses to “Stoney Creek Homebrewers”

  1. garrett Says:

    Having enjoyed a full growler of your porter, I agree with you – Very good porter. So as far as the judges go…. WHATEVA!!!

  2. Brian Says:

    Thanks, dude.

  3. Andrew Says:

    I’ve entered into 5 competitions (nothing placed as yet) and I also had a “WTF?” score also on a nice German Hefeweizen that I felt was very representative of style and a good (if not great) beer. I’m not a judge myself but it seems to me that it has to be a hard job to maintain focus well enough to give accurate analysis of a full flight of beers. Probably best if you write off some of the outlier scores to sampling error 🙂

  4. Brian Says:

    Andrew, judging is harder than most people realize, in the sense of being fair and accurate. Almost more than palate fatigue, I feel a real down side is the serving size. Really you are only sampling a 2oz sample, and really you are looking for flaws – it’s tough. I’d say 90% of the beer I judge I’d enjoy a pint of, but at 2oz a pop I would put it more at 50/50. Also, each beer is judged individually (only fair), but I feel if they were judged side-by-side in the same category (ie all 10 at the same time) it would be much easier to pick out the top three for instance. Just my two cents though.

  5. andrew Says:

    that’s interesting, so you’re saying that each beer is scored individually, but for picking the category winners, you are allowed to go back. Resample, and make comparisons between different entries? If so, that makes some of the things I’ve heard about the process make more sense ( specifically that the winners may not be the top 3 in points scored)

    Hadn’t considered the serving size angle but that also makes sense. It would be very difficult to judge a flight accurately if you had to down a fill pint of each entry 🙂

  6. Brian Says:

    Yes. Typically the judges will reserve up to what they think are the top six beers, and if there wasn’t a clear number one pick or if it was fuzzy between number two and three they will typically go back and resample. Most of the time the top three points wise turn out to be the top three best beers, most of the time.

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