Author Topic: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?  (Read 532 times)

Offline jweiss206

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Just curious? I was perusing the World Beer Awards and saw that Redhook's ESB won for it's category. Now the Redhook ESB's I'm familiar with wouldn't win any awards in a Homebrew Competition with 7 entries. It got me to thinking, do these larger breweries brew smaller batches for their competition beers or different recipes all together?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2014, 03:47:33 PM »
I beleive they have way more styles in the pro world. In my opinion, redhook seems more APA than ESB, but I don't want to argue it.

What is it about Redhhok ESB that you think would make it lose?

Online gmac

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 07:00:26 PM »
We are starting the Canadian Brewing Award judging tomorrow.  Over 1000 entries, 4 days of judging.  I do know from some in the industry that they do make some special brews for competitions, almost as a testing ground for potential future launches.  But, for the most part almost all of the commercial competitions I've judged (Ontario twice and Canada once before), have entered regular off-the-shelf entries.  It's surprising how some of them do when you aren't biased by knowing the brand.  Not that they are all good but judged blind, things do seem to change a bit.

Offline rjberry

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 06:16:20 AM »
I agree with gmac about not having bias while blind taste testing.  On the other hand, while an "off the shelf" sample seems the most legit for a commercial competition many get supplied by distributors or breweries themselves.  Even if they don't make special, small batches I'm sure they are giving the freshest brews to the competition.  That's a huge difference, especially for an ESB, which is a style that the average person would probably pass up on a store shelf and could easily have been a few months old the last time you tried it and have substantially reduced hop flavor compared to the fresh batch.
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Offline denny

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 07:50:22 AM »
No, I've never heard of a commercial brewery doing a special batch for large comp like that.
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Online dkfick

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 07:52:58 AM »
Hmm maybe not particularly with large breweries... but lots of smaller breweries I think do this.  The award winning brew wins and it's a beer you've never heard of.
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Offline SiameseMoose

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 10:04:00 AM »
At least for a couple of brewpubs I know, when a batch turns out especially well some of it gets set aside for competition.
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Online Jimmy K

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 10:12:38 AM »
Hmm maybe not particularly with large breweries... but lots of smaller breweries I think do this.  The award winning brew wins and it's a beer you've never heard of.
Not quite the same though. OP's asking about breweries entering a better beer as one of their normal products (like a great ESB as Redhook ESB). If they did that enough I think they'd get called out on it.
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Offline jweiss206

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 10:48:18 AM »
Hmm maybe not particularly with large breweries... but lots of smaller breweries I think do this.  The award winning brew wins and it's a beer you've never heard of.
Not quite the same though. OP's asking about breweries entering a better beer as one of their normal products (like a great ESB as Redhook ESB). If they did that enough I think they'd get called out on it.

Yep, that's what I was wondering about. I just used Redhook ESB as an example as I live in their neck of the woods. I'm sure the bottles I usually have are indeed months old, and by that time wouldn't win anything. That's why I was curious if they went out of their way to make sure competitions get the freshest brews, or hoppier versions etc. etc. Never known the answer is all.

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 11:13:58 AM »
Ah, yeah I misunderstood.  I don't think breweries are pulling fast ones and enterering a different beer under their main beer names.  I would guess if Redhook brewed up a special ESB they would enter it under a different name than "Redhook ESB"
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Online jeffy

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 11:24:09 AM »
I've found that some of the bigger breweries will pull bottles off the line before they get to pasteurization to enter in competitions and some smaller breweries dry hop some of their regular beers before entering.
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Online Jimmy K

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 02:34:10 PM »
I'm sure they do everything they can to make sure it is the best example of their beer they can provide.

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Do the Large Commerical Breweries Brew Specifically for Competitions?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2014, 09:44:52 PM »
Ah, yeah I misunderstood.  I don't think breweries are pulling fast ones and enterering a different beer under their main beer names.  I would guess if Redhook brewed up a special ESB they would enter it under a different name than "Redhook ESB"
if it is entered as Redhook ESB it has to arrive in regular Redhook ESB labeled bottles.  Not to say they couldn't put a different beer in the bottle though.  If it is a beer that is not commercially available in bottles it can come with a generic label, but obviously that doesn't apply to Redhook ESB.
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