By Aaron Pigors
Homebrew clubs often have regularly scheduled meetings that may include brewing-related topic talks, a tour of a local brewery, and of course sampling of homebrewed beer. There are many more activities a club can put on, and one rewarding type of event is running a club competition. A club contest can be a terrific introduction to evaluating and judging beer. Running a successful event requires a few reliable organizers, some good budgeting and planning, and plenty of participation from the homebrew club.
First it is important to decide on what type of competition to have. Examples of five types of homebrew club contests are detailed below. What will the rules be? Is the contest limited to certain beer styles? How are entries collected, sorted, and served? How will scores be assigned, and a winner be declared? Once you have a contest and the rules in mind, it’s time to start an organizing committee of a few reliable volunteers.
An organizing committee can be as small as a couple of people, or as large as necessary. List out needs for the contest to begin assigning responsibilities. Often, club officers can serve as the organizing committee. Some major tasks to assign are: budgeting, ordering supplies (including awards like prize ribbons), collecting and sorting entries, judging coordinator, event host, and servers. Good preparation is key to hosting a successful event.
Once a contest type is decided upon, rules are set, and organizing roles are assigned, there are just a few more steps to holding a competition. Select a venue, set an event date, and begin to gather the supplies. It’s important to communicate early and often to ensure good participation. Get the word out to everyone in your club! Give yourself plenty of time, especially if beer needs to be brewed specifically for your contest. Having advance notice and a 2-3 month lead time is needed for a good pool of contest entrants to fit their brew and fermentation time into their schedule.
With a few good organizers and careful planning and preparation, any homebrew club can hold a fun and rewarding competition. Club contests are a great way to introduce new brewers to competitions, and they can provide helpful feedback for improving homebrewed beers.
All contents copyright 2023 by MoreFlavor Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.