Hey Tygo, I was the organizer for Zanesville and apologize if something went wrong. With the method of check-in, scanners, and the label system that was used, it would be very hard for us to switch entries. Now that being said, when you are checking in 721 X 2 beers it could happen.
Entries were randomly unboxed at several 8x3 tables, they were grouped together (pairs of entries) and then both bottles were checked to make sure they matched. The pair was then labeled with a random number that had a judge barcode placed on it in three locations (plus the original barcode on the labeled bottle). From here, they were checked by one person again, and then handed to me (yes I personally scanned each entry). When scanned they were "checked in" automatically by the scanned barcodes. Both Entry and Judge barcodes were scanned. This eliminated errors from the labeled bottle disagreeing with the judge number because we never entered entries into a style category by hand. After scanned and entered into the "system" they were checked again by another person who confirmed they matched (both judge number, entry number, style, and that we had a pair) and then took to the case box for that style for storage until judged.
So basically, after all is said and done, the bottle label was read independently twice, then scanned, and then checked by another person to be placed in a "style" box for serving. From this process (which is anal), I fail to see how we could have screwed up being that the original labels were NOT removed until the time of judging by the cellar. Oh yea, at that time they were checked again and reconciled against the cellars pull sheet.
Nothings perfect. We did have a 10A American Pale Ale, that did not get judged correctly. It had a name of "3C" and got placed in the 3 "style" box at the time of check-in by a volunteer. During judging this was caught by the cellar when they checked entries against the pull sheets. Unfortunately we could not find it until the next day cause the box it was stored in (style 3 box) was the last box in storage and was not accessible. We searched VERY HARD for it with all the accessible case boxes we had access to in our cold storage (and we tore down the pile very hard!).
With all the checks and processes in place, I am not sure how this could have happened. I have entered many competitions personally, organized dozens of both large and small competitions, and from that try to run competitions in a manner that I would want my beer to be judged and handled.
So all that being said, I personally apologize if we screwed up and any frustration you may have. I can think of crazy scenarios where I suppose it could happen, but I question if potentially if you mislabeled it?
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further.
I've been out of town this week so I just got to look at my score sheets last night from Zanesville. Looks like they switched my Belgian Dark and Golden Strong ales so they were judged incorrectly. I'm positive they were labeled correctly. That's pretty frustrating.