This weekend was my club’s, Liquid Poets, annual homebrew competition known as the Poetry Slam. This by far is one of my favorite events of the year. Mostly because I look at the cellar of beer that people have poured their heart and soul into and are sending it to a stranger to enjoy. Think about that for a minute! I was able to judge during a few sessions and this got me thinking about homebrew competitions in general and why they are critical to the homebrew scene. Below are a few reasons to enter your beer in a AHA sanctioned homebrew competitions.
Reasons to Enter Homebrew Competitions
- Feedback: As noted above, us homebrewers brew beer that speaks to us, our personality and we do so with such care. Now, sometimes that turns out to be a good thing and every so often, there are the occasional drain pours, but we put ourself into the bottle and share freely. One of the things that I have come to appreciate as a homebrewer, and judge, is honest and critical feedback. It has made me the brewer I am today. Every time I judge a beer, I am giving as much feedback as possible because I know that it could help a brewer take the next big leap towards improvement or confirm that the brewer should keep doing whatever it is they are doing. There is always room for improvement and critical feedback is pinnacle to that growth.
- Support: It costs only a few dollars to enter one of your brews but that money goes towards more than a score you received. Entering your local or state homebrew competition is a great way to support local clubs and the homebrew culture. Show your support for our wonderful hobby and enter a beer in a competition.
- Community: Now, you may be thinking, how do homebrew competitions build community and why would I enter beer for that? I will tell you why. Community is what makes this hobby (or obsession) what it really is. Homebrew competitions are building community across town, state and even the country. When you enter a beer and I judge it, we have formed a connection that is unique. Now, your brown ale might be the 10th one I have judged, but it is unique and I share with you why it is great and how it can be improved. Despite the likelihood of not knowing each other, we espouse and adhere to a set of values of good beer, honest feedback and community that makes this hobby exactly what it is today .
Please, enter your beer in a competition whether it be for feedback, support or community or all of the above. Believe me when I say it will make you a better brewer and continue to propel this fantastic hobby forward. Cheers!
National Homebrew Competitions
The National Homebrew Competition is coming up soon at the National Homebrewers Conference in Baltimore on June 9-11. While its too late to enter, attending the conference is still a valuable experience and a worthy event.
“the event—a three-day extravaganza of homebrewing culture, companionship and competition—features special interactive seminars, workshops and demonstrations that educate and enlighten homebrewers and beer enthusiasts of every level.
The 38th annual conference is also home to the final round of judging in this year’s National Homebrew Competition, the world’s largest beer competition.”