Major Beer Competitions

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Mothergoose03, May 8, 2012.

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  1. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,149) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Premium Member

    I just finished reading the winners list for the World Beer Cup and noticed that many of the high-profile breweries that have won awards in certain categories in prior years did not win again. Yet I see some of these breweries win a medal in another style category so I know there was a presence there by those breweries at the judging. My question is whether breweries purposely don't enter the same style competition by choice so that they can let other breweries have a better chance at glory, or is it more likely that they have entered again and just didn't win a medal this year?

    We never know which breweries/beers were entered other than the three winners, but it would be interesting to see the entire list of entrants in each style category. Do brewers like to enter multiple style events if they choose to compete at all, or just a select one or two styles that they feel a good chance for a medal?
  2. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Kinda off topic but I found it odd that Ballast Point boasts a gold medal for Sculpin while it was entered into the American Pale Ale category and not IPA. Not complaining, I just found it wierd. Can anyone shed light on this?

    I also found it a wee-bit shady about 5-7 years ago at the Bistro SINGLE IPA festival in Hayward, Port Brewing entered Hop-15. I didn't find that cool at all being that judging goes on there...
  3. marquis

    marquis Crusader (758) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Also, only breweries which are represented can win a prize! Most "Champion" beers are just the best of the bunch happening to be entered.
    Zimbo likes this.
  4. LiquidTable

    LiquidTable Initiate (0) May 3, 2011 Michigan

    Since competitions are blind tastings, winners change often. Comps are very expensive to enter. Some brewers enter a bunch of categories, some only a few.
    It's all up to the judges...
    yemenmocha likes this.
  5. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Since breweries have zero advertising funds, the competitions and winning a medal are a great way to build cred for their beer. Yes they can be expensive to enter, but if the brewery has the funds, why not enter every year? They also enter the same beer in multiple catagories.
  6. justins

    justins Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2003 Delaware

    Years ago breweries did enter the same beer in multiple catagories, that is no longer allowed.
  7. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    If you blind-rated 20 IPA's today, then rated the same 20 beers next year, either through batch differences, palette differences or a combination of the two, you will have vastly different lists.
    beertunes likes this.
  8. knucks999

    knucks999 Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2008 Colorado

    I've never seen a competition where you can enter the same beer in multiple categories, and know for a fact that it is illegal at the WBC and gabf. Now entering a fresh beer in category X and a vintage version of said beer in the Aged beer category is okay, but must have a year in the title of the beer name to differentiate it.
  9. BrewDogRocks

    BrewDogRocks Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2011 Texas

    Hello. My problem with the World Beer Cup, GABF and all those awards is that it's now like sports for young kids. Everybody gets a trophy. There are just simply too many categories, it waters down the appeal and value of the prize in my opinion. They may as well start making categories like "Best Beer To Be Drank On A Tuesday Afternoon In New York City At 47th And Broadway".........
    KAF, Zimbo, yemenmocha and 1 other person like this.
  10. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona


    Unfortunately, winning medals doesn't mean as much as people make it out to be. You have to have the $ to enter at all, and ones with deep pockets take a shotgun approach and enter the same beer in multiple categories if it is possible, and enter quite a few beers in their lineup - hoping to win something.
    BoneyardBrewer likes this.
  11. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona


    I think it's little more than a roundabout marketing machine. Pay big bucks to enter, chance to "win", then if you "win" you can advertise that "win" for your products.
  12. justins

    justins Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2003 Delaware

    You have to be a cash-poor brewery to not enter, it really doesn't cost that much, trust me. Your talking about 100's of dollars not thousands. Not to mention that the rules specifically prohibit cross-catagory entries.
  13. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    For the GABF? I thought it was like $480 to have just 1-2 served on the floor, and nearly $900 per beer for judging.

    I just thought that was a lot, especially when you see some brewers winning a small handful of medals, and serving quite a few on the floor.
  14. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

  15. marquis

    marquis Crusader (758) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Breweries actually pay to be in an exhibition?We buy our beers through normal channels and all beers are automatically considered for awards.
  16. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

  17. KAF

    KAF Initiate (0) Jun 22, 2007 Iowa

    I agree 100% with the OP. I wish there was a way to see all of the brewers that entered a specific category. I want to know if IPA A which won the gold medal had to compete with what I consider to be my top IPA or the top IPA according to this site. Kudos to brewers for winning, but how are people to put value on this if you do not know the pool of competition which the beat out?
  18. Tashbrew

    Tashbrew Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2007 California

    World Beer Cup, GABF and European Beer Star all only award three medals(or less) per category. The stats on the 2012 WBC was that only 7% of beers entered took medals. 3996 beers entered into 95 categories by 816 breweries from 85 countries. Everyone doesn't get a medal...

  19. Tashbrew

    Tashbrew Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2007 California

    I think breweries that didn't medal would rather not have it known they 'lost'.

  20. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    That would be useful info, then you could go to your favorite brewery and say "Enter, you'll win!"
  21. KAF

    KAF Initiate (0) Jun 22, 2007 Iowa

    That is a good point, never thought of it from the brewers perspective.
  22. AlcoholProfessor

    AlcoholProfessor Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2013

    I would like to add my two cents if possible. I run the New York International Beer Competition as well as the New York International Wine Competition and New York International Spirits Competitions

    A couple of things with our competition
    -A beer is only entered into one category not multiple ones
    - I hate 3rd Grade soccer competitions where over 80% win a medal. On average less than 50% in all of our beer, spirits and wine competitions win a medal
    -We do not post all those who submit as it is still a subjective process. A great beer can have a bad day
    -All of our judges are real trade buyers. They buy beer for their bar, restaurant, distribution and import company.
    -The judges blind taste the beer by its category and actual price. So they will know if that IPA is $8.99 or $9.99 for a six pack.
    - We believe we provide the most real world judging out there for an experienced trade buyer may not like what they are tasting but will know if it will sell and at what price. At the same time they may love a beer but know that at that price the beer will not sell.

    Thanks for letting me add my two cents

    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  23. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,039) Sep 24, 2007 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I recently saw the entry requirements for your competition, and with all respect, I have issues with it. It seems to me that your event is just a way for brewers to reach retailers. A necessary step for sure. But with the vast majority of American breweries being small, local/near regional in my view, there doesn't seem to be a lot of reason for that type of business to enter your event. Again, I'm not running down your event, or saying that there's not a place for it. It's just that with GABF, WBC, and NABA, how many of these "competitions" are needed? Cheers, and I hope your event is a huge success.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
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