Author Topic: First Time Judging Beer  (Read 6374 times)

Offline tumarkin

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2011, 07:05:02 am »
oh, and I don't have a beer with lunch

This just keeps getting worse!

Actually, do any of you find yourself catching a buzz when judging?  Should I be wary of that?  I'm no lightweight but some of these styles can be pretty strong.

As for classic examples, we don't know which styles within a category we're getting so I'd be trying several beers from each category.  I've done quite a bit of homework in the past though.  I'll probably just go with the style descriptions and trust my tastebuds in the end.  There aren't many beer styles I don't like, and I appreciate them all.

don't sweat it. in fact, most times the comp provides lunch for the judges/stewards which often includes a beer. when you're judging, you really don't need to drink very much of each sample. an ounce or less is usually enough - though some beers you'll sample more if really searching for something, discussing with co-judge, etc.

let's say you judge two flights in the morning. each flight is usually 10 beers or less (though not always). if you drink an ounce or less per beer evaluated, then you've consumed less than two beers over the course of the morning. You may judge more flights in that time, but if so, usually there are less beers per flight. ditto for the afternoon. so can you 'catch a buzz?' sure, it's beer after all, but you're not going to get sloshed.

though I do remember judging at a NHC where a judge at a neighboring table kept drinking his sample and asking the steward to repour... again, and again. I was told he was a local club member, not an experienced judge - and (thank the beer gods) this is very unusual.

as for the classic examples, many competitions don't use calibration beers. if they do, it's just one. just judge each beer against the style guidelines and you'll be fine.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: First Time Judging Beer
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2011, 08:26:53 pm »
Thanks for all the advice, it helped calm the nerves a bit as I entered my first judging gig.  I enjoyed it and now I understand why the BJCP test is so demanding in terms of time.  Its a lot like the actual judging!  We did 7-10 beers per 2hr session.  The more experienced judges did a nice job of helping me out without trying to steer me one way or another.  I think I did a reasonable job for a first effort, although I will work on developing more positive comments.  The best judges seemed to have those at the ready at all times.  The 1oz per beer was more like 3, I wasn't buzzed but there was a certain amount of fatigue at the end of the porters and Scotch/Irish ales.  I also worried that the beers were served fairly cool and they really changed (for the better) as they warmed.

I'm looking forward now to seeing the judges' comments on my own entries, I think I'll learn some more about judging from those.
Hannibal, MO