Lancaster County Brewers Showdown

So back on October 18th there was a homebrew competition I entered called the Lancaster County Brewers Showdown, same day as HOPS BOPS this year, and I just got my results back yesterday.

I suppose I could complain about their tardiness on getting the results/scoresheets back, but I already knew what my results were. Also, since it was their first year doing it, I’m sure they learned some valuable information on how to run a competition more efficiently next time. So without dragging this out any longer, here’s what they had to say:

  • Abbey Ale – 18B – Belgian Dubbel – 38/34 – 3rd Place – “Overall a great representation of a Dubbel. Smooth and crisp with sweet malt notes that are not overly acrid or bitter. Great beer!” – “Full of flavor, mild breadiness, apple esters, cherry & raisin esters too, smooth, very drinkable.”

I obviously don’t want to be douchey toward anyone’s judging style, to each their own I guess after they pass the exam, but seriously, my two scoresheets couldn’t have been more opposite with the amount of writing. The first judge was very descriptive and almost ran out of room writing in each category. The second judge didn’t even use the whole first line except in one category. I mean, seriously, people pay you money to judge these beers and you have like ten minutes per beer and all you can write for an overall impression is ‘very drinkable’? Wow, that sure helped me improve my beer the next time I brewed it . . .

And on a side note, which many of you won’t care about and I didn’t think that I did either, but what’s the deal with competitions not giving out prizes anymore? It used to be 1st, 2nd, 3rd always got a prize even if it was a crappy keychain or something. I’ve judged/entered three competitions recently and you know what, only one gave out prizes, and it was of course the one I didn’t place in. And it was their first year, and they had lots of good prizes. I’m assuming it can’t be that hard to acquire prizes then. Anyway, like I said, I thought I didn’t care, but I guess I do, enuff.

2 Responses to “Lancaster County Brewers Showdown”

  1. Matt Says:

    I apologize – as organizer I take responsibility for the delay of the sheet. I can tell you judges don’t get paid to give comments though. The judges volunteer and the prizes are either donated or paid for by the club putting on the comp. I learned from putting on a competition for the first time. I appreciated the support from the homebrewing community and the thing went well for the first time overall

  2. Brian Says:

    Hey Matt, I appreciate you taking the time to address some of the things in this post, thanks.

    I totally get it about the prizes, basically no donations equals no prizes, tough place to be.

    BUT, I have to disagree about the judges. I am a Certified BJCP Judge, and I know that judges do not get paid to give comments, but whenever I judge I am volunteering a whole weekend day to do this service. The last thing I want to do waste my own time doing an inadequate service to both myself and the people who paid money and took the time to submit a beer that they thought was worth being evaluated by “professionals” for their opinion. Most of the judges I have ever worked with in this area are good judges, every once in a while there is a lazy one, I think that’s about it.

    Thanks again, and good luck next year!

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