Author Topic: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur  (Read 1530 times)

Offline trubgerg

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Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« on: April 10, 2016, 03:24:43 AM »
If someone wants to enter a beer they brew in a homebrew competition, what is the dividing line?  Some competitions say that you must brew a beer on anything but professional equipment.  Others say that you must not be a professional brewer... but people who brew professionally can also be homebrewers. Right? 

My take is that the competitions that say "no professional brewers" are trying to eliminate the people who might be really good.  While I agree that commercially brewed beer should not be allowed in homebrew competitions, I think that people who brew professionally should be allowed to enter beer they brew at home into any homebrew competition. 

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Offline santoch

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 03:37:45 AM »
Some comps allow pros.  Others don't.  Some comps would allow beer brewed in a brew-on-premises facility.  Others won't.  It is always up to the competition organizer(s).  Its their comp, so they set the rules.  If the entrants don't like it, then they will vote with their feet.

Honestly, I see nothing wrong with restricting entries in this way, so long as those restrictions are prepublished as part of the rules.

All that said, you mention getting the "very best" brewers.  Why would guys like Vinnie Cilurzo, Sam Calagione, Matt Bryndlson, or Tomme Arthur want to enter a homebrew competition? They wouldn't.  I also would think that once I went pro, I'd be more interested in competing in comps with other pros.

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 03:45:54 AM »
Some pros brew crap beer

Offline trubgerg

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 04:10:59 AM »
Quote
All that said, you mention getting the "very best" brewers.  Why would guys like Vinnie Cilurzo, Sam Calagione, Matt Bryndlson, or Tomme Arthur want to enter a homebrew competition? They wouldn't.  I also would think that once I went pro, I'd be more interested in competing in comps with other pros.

I agree.  If I get the brewery I'm planning up and running I will definitely not enter a homebrew competition, but if my master brewer or anyone else at the brewery wants to compete, they should.  Technically they would be professional, but if they brew beer at home and enter that beer, then it's all good. 
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 04:30:39 AM »
I think a pro entering in a homebrew contest is potentially a no win situation. Ribbing for winning, ribbing for losing. Depending on the competition, getting ribbed for losing could be the more likely scenario.

Offline santoch

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 03:56:04 PM »
If they are a "new pro" trying to make a name for himself (in a good way, not in a "I'm going to be a douche and win BOS in my 11th comp in a row" way), I don't really see a problem with that, either.  In the end, it's up to the individual and he needs to keep it in context.  At some point, he should probably be good enough to win a few ribbons and then back down.  He also has to live with his own conscience.
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Offline denny

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 04:38:24 PM »
Some pros brew crap beer

THIS^^^^^^ 
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Offline denny

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 04:39:43 PM »
I don't think I've ever run across a comp that barred commercial brewers (I don't call them "pros") as long as the beer is brewed on homebrew equipment.  I mean, what more could a commercial brewer know or do on homebrew equipment that most homebrewers don't already know and do?
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Offline toby

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 04:41:57 PM »
If someone wants to enter a beer they brew in a homebrew competition, what is the dividing line?

Simple: the rules of the competition.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 04:48:37 PM »
As an interesting side note, Cigar City scales up a homebrew winner for the pro-am at GABF each year.  This year the Florida Circuit Homebrewer of the Year was not eligible for this honor since he has become a pro brewer in the meantime.
They went with the runner-up instead.
As Jim says, it may not be a winning situation for a pro brewer, unless  of course he truly just wants feedback.  Most pro brewers are overconfident in their products and don't really want feedback.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2016, 04:51:37 PM »
Definitely a Lose-Lose for a commercial brewer to enter in a homebrew contest. However, I expect that they might enter under a pseudonym to get feedback on their beers. That's problematic since you never know what the judge's skill level and experience are. They are always better off having a qualified judge come by their brewery and give them feedback directly. I've had breweries invite me in for that purpose.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Homebrew Competitions: Homebrew vs. Amateur
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2016, 06:39:01 PM »
I'm starting to wish there were more comps with a 50/50 mix of homebrews and commercials, so we could find out for sure how things stack up.  I'd find it interesting.  I actually do something similar to this when running my own homebrew club's small club-only comps -- I always add an extra commercial example to compare blindly with our homebrews.  Funny how the commercial beer has blindly never ever gotten any higher than 4th or 3rd place maximum (out of an average 8-9 entries), and is often much lower.  Wish I could see this done on a bigger scale.  Bottom line really in my view is that it shouldn't matter.  These days, homebrewers are making beers every bit as good as commercial, or even better.  It wasn't always like this, but it definitely is like that now.

I can also see how a commercial brewer could never really "win" a homebrew comp.  They'll be ribbed either way like others said unless they entered as a pseudonym.  And maybe they do, once in a while, but not that any of us should really care either.  What difference does it really make?  None.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 06:42:27 PM by dmtaylor »
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