They do get very picky with judge qualifications. Even after being vetted there's a waiting list that may turn into a year or two. Getting several judges to award an unknown beer a medal has very little chance of favoritism.Exactly. The people I know that judge the GABF have to have long experience in the industry, have proven their skills, and be vetted. They will spend time on a wait list. I also see how it would be hard to push a beer you might know past the other judges on your flight panel, or get it past mini-BOS.Does anyone here get upset at #2 happening at the NHC? I don't.
Gordon Strong spoke of the quality of the judging as about equal to the BOS round at any large regional competition, so I think that is pretty damn good.
I don't go every year anymore, but I think it's something every beer fan should experience once...that first walk up the stairs and into this enormous room filled with great beer is fantastic.
#4 Zombie Tables is the most legit IMO. I'm way more likely to stop at tables where the brewery staff is working.
I might go - someday - to the members session.
I've been a few times and enjoy the Thursday night session most. You'll find most of the brewers serving in person then. On Friday night they are all out at Falling Rock. On Saturday afternoon they are waiting for their medals. On Saturday night a lot of the good beer is gone and the brewers are elsewhere.
The members session used to be nice before people found out they could get a ticket by buying a membership. Now it sells out right away.
NHC is much more fun.