5 Tips for Entering Your First Homebrew Competition

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If you’ve been into the craft of brewing for a long time, the thought of engaging in a homebrew competition surely have already crossed your mind. If that’s the case, then your skills and excitement shouldn’t be the only thing that you have to prepare.

When going to your first brewing competition, here are some tips and things to keep in mind for you to be fully equipped and prepared to have a better chance of success.

  1. Read the rules

Usually, competitions will have the generic and specific set of rules for entries. These rules can involve limitations and caps on recipes, kind of packaging, and volume requirements. You have to familiarize and heed these rules to avoid having all your efforts put to waste just because you overlooked one rule, which led you to disqualification.

  1. Packaging

Most of the time, competitions require at least two or three 300mL of beer, packed in each bottle. The wise option is to use standard crown top bottles for some competitions request that you give them output in quart swing top bottles.

Another thing to consider is the bottle’s appearance. Aside from making sure that it is clean, you should also be sure that there are no identifying marks since most competitions want bottles that are clear from any labeling. This is to maintain the anonymity of the brewer to avoid bias from the judges.

  1. Entry labels

Competitions would usually ask you to fill out a tag and attach it to every bottle. In most cases, they’ll request you to attach the labels with rubber bands. This is a rule that you should always follow to provide the organizers ease in sorting entries.

  1. Classifying

Be sure that you choose the beer to brew in accordance to the competition’s requirements. Aside from that, you also have to make sure that the beer that you produced won’t be miscategorized. If you’re unsure what your beer classification is, it might be best if you find a friend with superb palate and have him/her discern the classification.

  1. Give Back

Usually, these competitions are run by volunteers. These people usually donate their time in support of the craft. With that being said, it would be great if you show a spirit of solidarity by supporting the event by having more understanding and patience whenever there are delays. Or better yet, give them a beer!

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