Last Friday, I spent the evening volunteering with Minnesota home brewers at the MN state fair home brew competition. Seeing first hand how the competition was run, and the insane amounts of beer that was entered was incredible. I was invited to judge at the event, but considering that it was my first foray, I decided to steward instead.
The afternoon was spent retrieving beer from the cellar masters and delivering them to the judges, along with any necessary supplies. It is also the duty of the stewards to verify the score sheet math, a very important and necessary safeguard. Math does get exponentially more difficult with each sip. I was very impressed with he intensity and care taken by the judges while determining the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in each category. Watching them whittling down the top contenders to a concise top three was an adventure in diplomacy and esoteric sensory vocabulary.
We are looking forward to going to the State Fair on Saturday to watch, live, the best of show judging and awards ceremony. If we are lucky we will get a ribbon or two for some of the home brew we entered. Regardless, we will get something much more valuable in the mail in a week or two. Our judges score sheets. The information on these sheets can really shed some light on your brewing process. An impartial opinion is a welcome change. Hope to see you at the fair.