- Enter your beer in multiple categories; think outside the box. Just because you wanted to brew the style, it may not turn out the way. How did the beer turn out? Put yourself in the judges' seats.
- Mess with the style guidelines. Brew slightly bigger or smaller to style in order to make it stand out but yet still fit in.
- Nail the major parts of the style --- what do you need to add to get the flavors demanded by the style?
- if you're not having fun with it, don't do it!!! Competing shouldn't be negative or aggressive.
- Be a good sport! You should be happy for others, especially those in your club!
Great meeting tonight!
George Thorton, from the Homebrewer (arguably, but I'm biased, the best homebrew shoppe in San Diego county!), talked about the 35th AHA Conference in Philadelphia, inspiring us all to attend in future years. The 2014 conference will in Grand Rapids Michigan, June 12-14. Check it out!
We also heard from Peter Zien of Alesmith (arguably, but I'm biased, the best brewer around!) who encouraged our club to enter homebrew competitions and aim, as a club, to earn the number one homebrew club award. I couldn't type as fast as he could talk, but I did manage to catch some key Zienisms, the best of which I relay to you here:
"Excel in your hobby...it's not just about the glory. It's about making great beer!"
"After these two assumptions---brew clean, brew to style---it's about the numbers and you will get your metals."
"You learn from [entering competitions]. Keep your evaluations and adjust accordingly"
"Feel the joy of peer appreciation. Take that walk."
Peter also shared with us 5 tricks to competing at homebrew competitions: