We're talking gold medal final round recipes, not first round ones.
Also the quotation marks implied that it's not always true.
Understood, but an important point still applies to final round beers too. They are not all 'great'.
Drawing a parallel to my other hobby, showing goats, the grand champion of the day is the least worst of the goats at that show.
This just happens to be the largest goat show in the world, and has four rounds of judging with about four months in between. The final judging (final round mini- BOS) being done by some of the highest ranked judges in the country. Of course they're not all great (June shipping the biggest factor IMO, lack of freshness from beers not rebrewed being second,) but a medal in the final round means more than a numerical score in some regional competition from less experienced judges. There may be some dud recipes in there, but there's going be 20-25 great recipes in there. If the recipe doesn't look right, don't brew it, or brew it to see how it turns out. Them's the options.
I for one, love the fact that the AHA publishes these recipes. Doing so gives new homebrewers a ballpark recipe for every style, each and every year. While they may not ALL be great, they have been more rigorously judged than any other entries you'll find.
Congrats to the winners, and thanks for sharing. Even the baaaah-d ones.