general thought: 50 characters is not a lot of space to accurately describe what I've done with some of my creations. This limit is making me reconsider which I enter.
I realize the 50 character limit can pose some problems for the more adventuresome/creative homebrewers entering the competition. My intent was to keep the "my Aunt Bessie loves this beer and thinks I should go pro..." comments out of the description that gets printed on the pull sheets for the judges and also on Avery 5160 labels in the Final Round.
Another thing every homebrewer whose entry requires special ingredients should think about is whether the ingredient is discernable in the finished product. If you add 20 spices to a beer, not all 20 will be distinguishable in the final beer. If all 20 are listed and the judges can only identify 3, the beer may not be scored as high; however, it's a sure thing that not all 20 spices will fit on an Avery 5160 address label.
I'm sure we'll find some interesting abbreviations in the special ingredients this year, and we may even find that 50 characters is too restrictive, but we had to start somewhere. Thanks for the feedback!