I've started a project to track what sort of beers are entered into the Belgian Specialty (16E) and Specialty (23A) categories in competition.
I intend to collect data from BJCP-sanctioned competitions for a set amount of time (4-12 months, depending on response rate and volume of data), try to sort the entries by "style" (e.g., Black IPA, Hoppy hefeweizen, etc.) and present the information to the BJCP Style Guidelines Committee for consideration when they next revise the guidelines. Currently, the BJCP doesn't track this information, so it's hard to figure out what sort of "demand" there is for new style categories.
I'm hoping to get a large data sample (~10k entries?) from competitions held across the U.S. and Canada, so that I can pick up regional variations. Once I get the data sorted, I'll release my results, along with the raw data so that the real statisticians can sort through it. I'm anticipating a timeline of at least 6 months, with preliminary results first appearing in August.
Here's how you can help.
1) Contact the competition organizer of you local HB competition and have them send me results of past competitions. I'd especially welcome data from big competitions like the Bluebonnet Brew-Off, Dixie Cup, Upper Mississippi Mashout, Indiana State Fair, etc.
2) If you are an organizer, registrar, or other competition official, please send me data.
Send me a private message, I'll send you an email link.
Here's the data I need:
1) Name of the competition
2) Date it was held.
3) City/Region where the contest was held (e.g., Houston, TX, Peoria, IL).
4) ANONYMIZED special ingredients and base style information for all beers entered in categories 16E and 23A. That is, no names, addresses or scores, just info like "Belgian Tripel made with Cascade hops," "Midas Touch clone" or "Black IPA." Obviously, the more complete this information is, the more useful it will be.
5) Total number of entries in the competition. (So I can get a percentage of specialty beers vs. total entries.)
6) Data can be in any electronic form, although I'll probably end up using Excel.
7) Other info that you think might be helpful. The more info the better.
Helpful comments and suggestions.