Discussion:
Is there a consumer's beer contest?
(too old to reply)
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-11 21:04:30 UTC
Permalink
After watching a Food Network special on The Great American Beer Festival,
I'm wondering if there's a beer contest where the judges secretly buy beer
out of stores (the brewer not knowing which store) and then use these to
compare against each other. This seems more honest judging process to
determine which is the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the
specially brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer submitted to The
Great American Beer Festival. Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so
structured?

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
nicholas peter dempsey
2003-10-11 21:08:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
After watching a Food Network special on The Great American Beer Festival,
I'm wondering if there's a beer contest where the judges secretly buy beer
out of stores (the brewer not knowing which store) and then use these to
compare against each other. This seems more honest judging process to
determine which is the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the
specially brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer submitted to The
Great American Beer Festival. Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so
structured?
Consumer Reports did something like this, but I remember Pabst topping
their list.

--NPD
--
___________________________
Nicholas P. Dempsey
Department of Sociology
University of Chicago
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 01:42:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by nicholas peter dempsey
Post by Scott T. Jensen
After watching a Food Network special on The Great American
Beer Festival, I'm wondering if there's a beer contest where the
judges secretly buy beer out of stores (the brewer not knowing
which store) and then use these to compare against each other.
This seems more honest judging process to determine which is
the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the specially
brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer submitted to The
Great American Beer Festival. Anyone know of any beer
contest(s) so structured?
Consumer Reports did something like this, but I remember Pabst
topping their list.
I could see Consumer Reports doing such a contest, but I'm hoping there's
one that's done like this every year. If Consumer Reports does it every
year, that's fine. Do they?

Scott Jensen
--
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Discuss it with the professionals that hang out at...
misc.business.consulting, misc.business.marketing.moderated
misc.business.moderated, and misc.entrepreneurs.moderated
Roy
2003-10-12 04:25:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by nicholas peter dempsey
Post by Scott T. Jensen
After watching a Food Network special on The Great American Beer Festival,
I'm wondering if there's a beer contest where the judges secretly buy beer
out of stores (the brewer not knowing which store) and then use these to
compare against each other. This seems more honest judging process to
determine which is the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the
specially brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer submitted to The
Great American Beer Festival. Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so
structured?
Consumer Reports did something like this, but I remember Pabst topping
their list.
--NPD
I lost faith in Consumer Reports magazine back in the late 1970s...they had
a report on the Saab 99 automobile and they ranked the gas tank safety of
that car as just average...the Saab 99 in the 1970s though had one of the
safest gas tanks in the industry, so in other words the magazine was full of
it so to speak. Figures the would rank Blue Ribbon so well.

Somehow Consumer Reports magazine makes me think of Corn Dogs...I hate Corn
Dogs. :)
Oh, Guess
2003-10-11 21:41:19 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 11 Oct 2003 16:04:30 -0500, "Scott T. Jensen"
[...] This seems more honest judging process to
determine which is the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the
specially brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer submitted to The
Great American Beer Festival.
Eh? The beer submitted to GABF for judging is wha-wha-what? The
beer for judging is normally from plain bottles, and is poured out
of sight of the judges by stewards. The judges normally see nothing
but the beer - no special brewing, bottling, packaging, or other
such folderol. As for delivery, well yeah, the brewers might make
sure the beer is a freshly delivered as possible. Specially brewed?
I know for a fact that the clear majority of brewers bring exactly
the same beers that they make to be bought by the general public.

Nice little conspiracy theory, but that dog don't hunt.
--
Nobody You Know
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 01:40:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Oh, Guess
[...] This seems more honest judging process to
determine which is the best beers that us consumers can
purchase than the specially brewed, bottled, packaged,
and delivered beer submitted to The Great American
Beer Festival.
Eh? The beer submitted to GABF for judging is
wha-wha-what? The beer for judging is normally from
plain bottles, and is poured out of sight of the judges by
stewards. The judges normally see nothing but the beer...
What you've said so far is true and was shown on the special, but that
doesn't really mean anything as far as whether the beer was store-bought or
specially made for the judging ... as they showed on the special.
Post by Oh, Guess
...- no special brewing, bottling, packaging, or other
such folderol. As for delivery, well yeah, the brewers might make
sure the beer is a freshly delivered as possible. Specially brewed?
I know for a fact that the clear majority of brewers bring exactly
the same beers that they make to be bought by the general public.
Nice little conspiracy theory, but that dog don't hunt.
This isn't some conspiracy theory. What I state was SAID by microbrewers on
the show, SHOWN on the show, and even one of the JUDGES that entered in his
own beer (Dark Chocolate Stout ... if I remember correctly) was shown
specially hand-bottling his own beer and stating why he's doing it.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
nicholas peter dempsey
2003-10-12 20:05:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
This isn't some conspiracy theory. What I state was SAID by microbrewers on
the show, SHOWN on the show, and even one of the JUDGES that entered in his
own beer (Dark Chocolate Stout ... if I remember correctly) was shown
specially hand-bottling his own beer and stating why he's doing it.
This is exactly what I saw as well. Brewers tweaking batches until they
had one that they felt was contest worthy. I doubt this is an issue with
the big boys' beer that comprises a large proportion of GABF entries, but
is something the the micro guys do since they don't have the millions
invested in consistency that BMC does.

--NPD
--
___________________________
Nicholas P. Dempsey
Department of Sociology
University of Chicago
Kevin
2003-10-12 20:59:28 UTC
Permalink
I think that your assumption is not correct. The "Big Boys" can tweak if
they want to, but they have long ago tweaked in the pilot brewery, found
their flavor and aroma characteristics that they want, then brew for the
general public with great consistency. If we were to accept your points as
valid, the corollary would be that the "Big Boys" know that they are selling
an inferior product, but are locked in to this product because of the need
for consistency. If the Big Boys want to change the recipe, they can. They
don't do it very much or often, because they are right where they want to be
(selling a whole boatload of beer to the masses--what they brew works for
their needs). The brewpubs and microbreweries don't have the millions
invested in consistency; their product varies from batch to batch, no matter
how much they try to keep the consistency the same. Looking at it another
way, the brewpubs and microbreweries are brewing as best as they can to fit
the style guidelines set out by the GABF for judging. All the entrants know
this--if the Big Boys don't feel that their beer meets the style guidelines
for judging, then don't enter that style category, or change the recipe.
Looking at the some of the style categories for the GABF:

American-Style Light Lager
American-Style “Light” Amber Lager
American-Style Lager
American-Style Premium Lager
American-Style Specialty Lager
Non-Alcoholic (Beer) Malt Beverage
American Lager/Ale or Cream Ale
American-Style Wheat Beer
American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Irish-Style Red Ale
Golden or Blonde Ale

These styles probably encompass the majority of the Big Boy's beer portfolio
(and comprise approx. 15% of the total style categories). They can enter
their beers in the American-Style Lager, and should do well. If they don't
do well, then they may be losing market share, because some other Big Boy is
brewing a better American-Style Lager. If they enter that same beer in the
English-Style Indian Pale Ale, they will lose. You should know what you
brew, and brew it the best you can, then enter it. The Big Boys should have
figured out how to brew it the best long ago, and are just working on
consistency. If not, then they may be losing market share.

Kevin
Post by nicholas peter dempsey
Post by Scott T. Jensen
This isn't some conspiracy theory. What I state was SAID by microbrewers on
the show, SHOWN on the show, and even one of the JUDGES that entered in his
own beer (Dark Chocolate Stout ... if I remember correctly) was shown
specially hand-bottling his own beer and stating why he's doing it.
This is exactly what I saw as well. Brewers tweaking batches until they
had one that they felt was contest worthy. I doubt this is an issue with
the big boys' beer that comprises a large proportion of GABF entries, but
is something the the micro guys do since they don't have the millions
invested in consistency that BMC does.
--NPD
--
___________________________
Nicholas P. Dempsey
Department of Sociology
University of Chicago
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:30:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin
The brewpubs and microbreweries don't have the millions
invested in consistency; their product varies from batch to batch, no matter
how much they try to keep the consistency the same. Looking at it another
way, the brewpubs and microbreweries are brewing as best as they can to fit
the style guidelines set out by the GABF for judging.
I agree with much of what you said. I'm not sure I put as
much weight on the above, though. Craft breweries vary in
their ability to brew a given beer recipe consistently.
For example, I never got a lot of variation from the main
beers of Anchor, Sierra Nevada, or Rogue, to name a few.
(I've noted more variability among some smaller breweries.)
The last sentence may be true of some of the breweries
when preparing beer specifically for the GABF, but I don't
think it's true for mostsmaller breweries most of the time--
they could care less what GABF (or BJCP) guidelines say.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
Kevin
2003-10-13 16:23:02 UTC
Permalink
I should have qualified the statement by stating those brewpubs and
microbreweries that _want_ to brew to style for the GABF. I would expect
some not to care what the style guidelines say, but then they should not be
surprised if they do not win, either. I agree with you too, that some
micros can brew consistently from batch to batch--I was probably
generalizing too much.

Kevin
Post by plutchak joel peter
Post by Kevin
The brewpubs and microbreweries don't have the millions
invested in consistency; their product varies from batch to batch, no matter
how much they try to keep the consistency the same. Looking at it another
way, the brewpubs and microbreweries are brewing as best as they can to fit
the style guidelines set out by the GABF for judging.
I agree with much of what you said. I'm not sure I put as
much weight on the above, though. Craft breweries vary in
their ability to brew a given beer recipe consistently.
For example, I never got a lot of variation from the main
beers of Anchor, Sierra Nevada, or Rogue, to name a few.
(I've noted more variability among some smaller breweries.)
The last sentence may be true of some of the breweries
when preparing beer specifically for the GABF, but I don't
think it's true for mostsmaller breweries most of the time--
they could care less what GABF (or BJCP) guidelines say.
--
"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:25:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by nicholas peter dempsey
Brewers tweaking batches until they
had one that they felt was contest worthy. I doubt this is an issue with
the big boys' beer that comprises a large proportion of GABF entries, but
is something the the micro guys do since they don't have the millions
invested in consistency that BMC does.
FWIW, same things goes for many homebrewers who regularly
participate in competitions. You brew a kick-butt beer in a
certain style, but tend to take a little extra care when
specifically targeting competition.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
Expletive Deleted
2003-10-13 21:15:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Oh, Guess
[...] This seems more honest judging process to
determine which is the best beers that us consumers can
purchase than the specially brewed, bottled, packaged,
and delivered beer submitted to The Great American
Beer Festival.
Eh? The beer submitted to GABF for judging is
wha-wha-what? The beer for judging is normally from
plain bottles, and is poured out of sight of the judges by
stewards. The judges normally see nothing but the beer...
What you've said so far is true and was shown on the special, but that
doesn't really mean anything as far as whether the beer was store-bought or
specially made for the judging ... as they showed on the special.
What they showed on the special was Garrett Oliver hand bottling some of
his normally draught-only Brooklyn Brewery beers.
fr0glet
2003-10-14 19:22:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
This isn't some conspiracy theory. What I state was SAID by
microbrewers on the show, SHOWN on the show, and even one of the
JUDGES that entered in his own beer (Dark Chocolate Stout ... if I
remember correctly) was shown specially hand-bottling his own beer
and stating why he's doing it.
Well, if you saw it on TV, it MUST be true!

fr0glet
Douglas W. Hoyt
2003-10-12 00:50:32 UTC
Permalink
This seems more honest judging process to determine which is the best
beers that us consumers can purchase than the specially brewed, bottled,
packaged, and delivered beer submitted to The Great American Beer Festival.
Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so structured?

My local merchant stopped buying in Allagash lately because he said that the
local distributor was only sending him 6-month old product. If anyone had
bought Allagash here then, it would not have been fair. Any independent
purchaser for a legitimate contest would have to jet all over the country in
a short period of time--and still manage to keep the beer chilled.

On another note, I went into a local brewpub lately because their
Oktoberfest had just medalled at GABF. I tried it--it was rich and sweet.
I commented on it to the publican, and he said that THIS wasn't the
Oktoberfest that had one the medal--that this was actually the Oktoberfest
brewed at the downtown branch--and it was pretty different. Their own
branch had indeed brewed the GABF winner--but they had run out. Then in
came a wedding party. One guy came to the bar and said that all the beers
were weird here, and asked me what was good, since I had a line-up of
tasting glasses in front of me. I knew this was a no-win situation, but the
amber lager was so light it was worthless, so I recommended that one. He
ordered a weiss instead because the bride said it was light. Others came up
and started to get really ornery. They stood there stonefaced after asking
for Stoli--but all the brewpub had was Smirnoff. This was clearly a sin.
And then there was no Yukon Jack (why not just order Canadian Club and add
sugar cubes?!?). I almost suggested that they have English Leather on the
rocks, because that was the only thing they would be able to taste anyway
given how much they reeked of the stuff, but left instead, which seemed the
thing to do.
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 01:49:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
This seems more honest judging process to determine which
is the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the
specially brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer
submitted to The Great American Beer Festival. Anyone
know of any beer contest(s) so structured?
My local merchant stopped buying in Allagash lately because
he said that the local distributor was only sending him 6-month
old product. If anyone had bought Allagash here then, it
would not have been fair.
I'd agree.
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Any independent purchaser for a legitimate contest would have
to jet all over the country in a short period of time--and still
manage to keep the beer chilled.
Or do the opposite. Have the beers bought by a trusted parties around the
country and chill-shipped to the judges so all the beers arrive within a day
or two of each other at the judging location.

Scott Jensen
--
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Steve Jackson
2003-10-12 05:33:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Or do the opposite. Have the beers bought by a trusted parties around the
country and chill-shipped to the judges so all the beers arrive within a day
or two of each other at the judging location.
Or even better: Realize that beer judging, no matter how controlled the
process and how skilled the practitioners, is a highly subjective process
and merely states how well certain beers adhere to certain guidelines, and
that it's kinda daft to base one's drinking decisions on the results of
contests.

In other words, I think your proposal is much ado over nothing.

-Steve
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 06:00:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Or do the opposite. Have the beers bought by a trusted
parties around the country and chill-shipped to the judges
so all the beers arrive within a day or two of each other
at the judging location.
Or even better: Realize that beer judging, no matter how
controlled the process and how skilled the practitioners, is
a highly subjective process and merely states how well
certain beers adhere to certain guidelines, and that it's
kinda daft to base one's drinking decisions on the results of
contests.
In other words, I think your proposal is much ado over
nothing.
You don't care about beer contests. That's fine. It doesn't mean this
discussion is worthless though. There are many people who do care or at
least would like to know who places well in such contests. I'd just like to
know of a contest(s) that uses secretly store-bought beers as the beers that
will be judged.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
Cwrw42
2003-10-12 07:44:31 UTC
Permalink
Yes the judging at the GABF is highly subjective but as a brewer who medaled
this year perhaps I can provide some insights that will allay some of
Scott's fears. I work for a packaging brewery (25,000bbls pa), that ships
to 37 states. We entered beers in 7 catagories, and received one medal. As
the individual who was responsible for making sure that our samples for
judging and the kegs for the festival floor were delivered on time I can
state catagorically that we did not brew or package special samples for the
competition. Samples for judging had to be at the AB distributorship in
Denver by Friday September 6th. For a couple of months leading up to the
festival we set aside a case from each packaging run of the beers we had
entered, and during the last week of August we had a series of tastings to
pick which samples we felt were the most representative of our products and
those were our entries. FYI each of those packaging runs was of a minimum
of 1000 cases and the rest all went out into the market place.

It may also interest you to know that judges who are also brewers are not
permitted to judge any of the catagories that they have entered.

From an industry perspective, what I would like to see as a future
development at the GABF, is to split some of the more heavily contested
catagories, eg, American Style Pale Ale 71 entries, and Americann IPA 94
entries into multiple classes, brewpubs and shipping breweries. I have no
hard data but I suspect that the majority of medals are going to the smaller
breweries with limited distribution and brew pubs. The positive side to
this is that there are a lot of brewpubs brewing some great beers, however
the converse is that many of these beers are brewed in small batches,
transfered to a serving tank and then drunk right where they are brewed. A
very different kettle of fish from brewing a beer in larger batches 50 - 100
bbls, that is going to be bottled and still taste good 60 days later when
the consumer picks it up from the store shelf on the other side of the
country.

Just a few rambling thoughts.
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 14:44:04 UTC
Permalink
As the individual who was responsible for making sure that
our samples for judging and the kegs for the festival floor
were delivered on time I can state catagorically that we did
not brew or package special samples for the competition.
I'm just saying what I saw and heard on that special. That you do this is
fine, but the special clearly showed that extra care was taken by other
contestants that wouldn't normally be done for the average consumer's beer
bought from them.
Samples for judging had to be at the AB distributorship in
Denver by Friday September 6th. For a couple of months
leading up to the festival we set aside a case from each
packaging run of the beers we had entered, and during the
last week of August we had a series of tastings to pick
which samples we felt were the most representative of our
products and those were our entries.
See even you state that you're only sending your best to the contest.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't think you've done anything evil or
misleading. What you and the others did was allowed by the GABF. It's
their contest and how they run it is up to them. I'm just seeking one
that's more likely to represent what us average consumers will be drinking.
It may also interest you to know that judges who are also
brewers are not permitted to judge any of the catagories
that they have entered.
Yes, they made that clear in the special. There was a Black brewmaster (he
makes Black Chocolate Stout) that was also a judge and he stated he doesn't
judge the categories which he enters his beers to.
From an industry perspective, what I would like to see
as a future development at the GABF, is to split some
of the more heavily contested catagories, eg, American
Style Pale Ale 71 entries, and Americann IPA 94 entries
into multiple classes, brewpubs and shipping breweries.
First, should there be a category then for homebrewers? Then again, are
homebrewers even allowed into the contest?

Second, this would be a step in the "right" direction (as far as I'm
concerned). I would just hope that the beers selected for the shipping
brewery categories were store bought.
I have no hard data but I suspect that the majority of
medals are going to the smaller breweries with limited
distribution and brew pubs. The positive side to this
is that there are a lot of brewpubs brewing some great
beers, however the converse is that many of these
beers are brewed in small batches, transfered to a
serving tank and then drunk right where they are
brewed. A very different kettle of fish from brewing
a beer in larger batches 50 - 100 bbls, that is going to
be bottled and still taste good 60 days later when
the consumer picks it up from the store shelf on the
other side of the country.
I would totally agree.
Just a few rambling thoughts.
Thanks for sharing.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
Steve Jackson
2003-10-12 15:28:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
See even you state that you're only sending your best to the contest.
Why is that surprising? No brewery is going to go "What are we going to do
with that one infected batch we had? I know! Let's enter it in a contest."
Of course they're going to grab their freshest stuff. It's sort of like how
if you're going out on a date with that woman you've been chasing for
months, you don't just grab your workout shorts and the t-shirt you wear
when working on the car. You're going to dress your best.

Neither move is surprising in the least.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Now don't get me wrong. I don't think you've done anything evil or
misleading. What you and the others did was allowed by the GABF. It's
their contest and how they run it is up to them. I'm just seeking one
that's more likely to represent what us average consumers will be drinking.
That wouldn't be very fair to the breweries, IMO. In the typical retail
environment, the beer's been out of the brewer's hands for a long while, and
had a few stops over which the brewery has absolutely no control. Perhaps
the store stores the beer warm, under bright lights. Perhaps the beer sits
in the back of the store in an unrefrigerated room. Perhaps it sits in a
warm/hot warehouse at the distributor. Perhaps the distributor sits on it
for months.

These are not all worst-case scenarios. These are common occurances in the
three-tier system. Even the most dilligent brewers have difficulty
maintaining quality control throughout the supply chain.

Your criteria - buy the beer at a store - is unfair to the brewers and
invites a whole new range of complications. Which stores do you buy the beer
from? What if one store keeps their craft beers well, but another doesn't?
Then the breweries represented at the latter store are put at an automatic
disadvantage through no fault of their own.

And, as I mentioned earlier, what are you going to do about draught-only
beer? Many craft breweries sell their beer only this way. Brewpubs,
certainly. You going to send out armies of people with growlers, who then
have to haul the beer to the testing site overnight since draught beer
sitting in a growler goes south pretty quickly?
Post by Scott T. Jensen
First, should there be a category then for homebrewers? Then again, are
homebrewers even allowed into the contest?
No, they're not, and no they shouldn't. The GABF is a brewery competition.
There are loads of homebrew competitions, including the national one put on
by the AHA (which shares the same parent as the GABF) to cover the
homebrewers.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Second, this would be a step in the "right" direction (as far as I'm
concerned). I would just hope that the beers selected for the shipping
brewery categories were store bought.
See the problems outlined above. How is this better?

Doubtless, some breweries are brewing special things just for the
competition. Breweries do this sort of thing a lot - brewing special beers
for festivals, contests, etc. But, usually, it's a special style or variety
they don't often do. For breweries that have a regular, staple beer that
they're entering, it's too much time and expense to suddenly brew a special
batch of it. Someone like Sierra Nevada need the pale ale to be consistent,
and they're not going to suddenly put an inconsistent batch out on the
market just because they want a "speical" batch for a contest. Doubtless
some do that. But I'd say it's in a vast minority.

And, by the way, don't believe everything you see on TV. A good rule of
thumb that most people learned years ago, but very applicable to beer. Most
TV stories and newspaper articles get basic details very, very wrong (such
as the NY Times talking about fermenting hops a few months ago).

-Steve
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 16:12:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
See even you state that you're only sending your best to
the contest.
Why is that surprising?
It isn't surprising. That's the whole point of this thread. I know it is
going on with the GABF.
Post by Steve Jackson
No brewery is going to go "What are we going to do with
that one infected batch we had? I know! Let's enter it in a
contest." Of course they're going to grab their freshest stuff.
From the special, it is clear that some brewmasters go beyond just sending
their freshest.
Post by Steve Jackson
It's sort of like how if you're going out on a date with that
woman you've been chasing for months, you don't just
grab your workout shorts and the t-shirt you wear when
working on the car. You're going to dress your best.
And that's fine. What isn't fine is if you then lie to your date that you
always dress this way whatever you do. That's what I'm talking about.
Post by Steve Jackson
Neither move is surprising in the least.
Correct. However, it doesn't mean either is the "true" beer or person that
you'll normally be able to buy or meet.
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Now don't get me wrong. I don't think you've done
anything evil or misleading. What you and the others
did was allowed by the GABF. It's their contest and
how they run it is up to them. I'm just seeking one
that's more likely to represent what us average
consumers will be drinking.
That wouldn't be very fair to the breweries, IMO.
It would be more fair to the consumers though.
Post by Steve Jackson
Your criteria - buy the beer at a store - is unfair to the
brewers and invites a whole new range of complications.
Which stores do you buy the beer from? What if one
store keeps their craft beers well, but another doesn't?
Then the breweries represented at the latter store are
put at an automatic disadvantage through no fault of their
own.
See my 10/12/2003 reply to "Kevin" in this thread for how I'd have the
contest deal with this.
Post by Steve Jackson
And, as I mentioned earlier, what are you going to do
about draught-only beer? Many craft breweries sell
their beer only this way. Brewpubs, certainly. You
going to send out armies of people with growlers, who
then have to haul the beer to the testing site overnight
since draught beer sitting in a growler goes south pretty
quickly?
No, I'm not interested in a contest that takes into consider draught-only or
home-brewed beers. Just those that the average consumers can purchase
without having to be within driving distance of the brewer.
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
First, should there be a category then for homebrewers?
Then again, are homebrewers even allowed into the
contest?
No, they're not, and no they shouldn't. The GABF is a
brewery competition. There are loads of homebrew
competitions, including the national one put on by the
AHA (which shares the same parent as the GABF) to
cover the homebrewers.
And I'm merely seeking and advocating one that is just done on store-bought
beers. All store-bought beers. Not just the microbreweries.
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Second, this would be a step in the "right" direction
(as far as I'm concerned). I would just hope that the
beers selected for the shipping brewery categories
were store bought.
See the problems outlined above. How is this better?
See my explanation above and elsewhere in this thread.
Post by Steve Jackson
Doubtless, some breweries are brewing special things
just for the competition.
And that's the problem I have with such contests. That there are these
contests is fine with me. I wish them the best of luck. I'm just seeking a
contest that would be closer to judging what us average consumers can
purchase.
Post by Steve Jackson
Breweries do this sort of thing a lot - brewing special beers
for festivals, contests, etc. But, usually, it's a special style or
variety they don't often do. For breweries that have a regular,
staple beer that they're entering, it's too much time and
expense to suddenly brew a special batch of it.
As the special clearly showed, enough do this to, in my opinion, call into
question if who wins the GABF is regularly producing the beer us average
consumers actually purchase.
Post by Steve Jackson
Someone like Sierra Nevada need the pale ale to be consistent,
and they're not going to suddenly put an inconsistent batch out
on the market just because they want a "speical" batch for a
contest. Doubtless some do that. But I'd say it's in a vast minority.
A "vast minority"? Anyway...

That some do calls into question the contest itself for what I seek. That's
all I'm saying.
Post by Steve Jackson
And, by the way, don't believe everything you see on TV. A
good rule of thumb that most people learned years ago, but
very applicable to beer. Most TV stories and newspaper
articles get basic details very, very wrong (such as the NY
Times talking about fermenting hops a few months ago).
I'm a marketing consultant by trade so I'm well aware of this. However, to
discount everything you see on TV is just as foolish. The special didn't
just have a commentator talking all the time. It had a lot of the
brewmasters speaking for themselves and showing them do their stuff. It
came across as a nicely done show that was relatively fair and balanced.
They didn't seem to have an agenda. They seems well informed.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:44:56 UTC
Permalink
I'm a marketing consultant by trade...
I'm sorry. ;-)
...so I'm well aware of this. However, to
discount everything you see on TV is just as foolish. The special didn't
just have a commentator talking all the time. It had a lot of the
brewmasters speaking for themselves and showing them do their stuff. It
came across as a nicely done show that was relatively fair and balanced.
They didn't seem to have an agenda. They seems well informed.
I've been interviewed several times about beer, and beer
competitions. The newspapers the resulting articles appeared
in quoted me. Even ignoring misquotes and misattributed
quotes (which is just a wee bit more difficult to do on
television, I grant you), there were some large misrep-
resentations and straight out unfactual things that got
into those articles. The process has left me aware of how
things can easily be made into something other than what they
are.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:37:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
I'm just saying what I saw and heard on that special. That you do this is
fine, but the special clearly showed that extra care was taken by other
contestants...
How many were shown on the show, and how many breweries enter
the GABF? I've seen TV shows that grossly distort facts by
showing only what they want to show. Just something to consider.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:39:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
First, should there be a category then for homebrewers? Then again, are
homebrewers even allowed into the contest?
Scott, no offense, but if all your info came from the TV show
and it wasn't made clear that the GABF is a competition for commercial
beers, you are basing all your discussion on a very narrow set of
facts.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
Expletive Deleted
2003-10-13 21:18:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
As the individual who was responsible for making sure that
our samples for judging and the kegs for the festival floor
were delivered on time I can state catagorically that we did
not brew or package special samples for the competition.
I'm just saying what I saw and heard on that special. That you do this is
fine, but the special clearly showed that extra care was taken by other
contestants that wouldn't normally be done for the average consumer's beer
bought from them.
You missesd some important detail. Aside from those brewed and bottled at
Matt's, the Brooklyn Brewery beers are draught at the brewpub.
Garrett was simply bottling those beers so they could be submitted. Its
nothing special.
Steve Jackson
2003-10-12 15:13:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
You don't care about beer contests. That's fine. It doesn't mean this
discussion is worthless though. There are many people who do care or at
least would like to know who places well in such contests. I'd just like to
know of a contest(s) that uses secretly store-bought beers as the beers that
will be judged.
I'm just pointing out that I don't see how using store-bought beer (and what
are you going to do about the huge number of draught-only beers in that
scenario?) is really going to make any difference. It's still a subjective
contest in an artificial environment that simply states a certain beer
measures up best against certain criteria. And, knowing how judging often
plays out - the biggest or bitterest beer wins 90 percent of the time - I
find the results even more worthless.

Are you actually making purchasing decisions based on judgements at beer
contests? That's what I'm saying is daft. Sure, everyone finds out about
beers they might not have otherwise via these contests, but I've seen enough
cases where an award winning beer isn't any better than a lot of similar
beers out there.

I'll try stuff out of curiosity, because I respect the brewery, because of
its reputation, because of friends' recommendations, etc. Winning a contest
is pretty low on the list. But maybe that's just me.

-Steve
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 15:44:08 UTC
Permalink
[Some cutting and pasting was done below so points could be properly
addressed and not appear too jumbled.]
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
You don't care about beer contests. That's fine. It doesn't
mean this discussion is worthless though. There are many
people who do care or at least would like to know who
places well in such contests. I'd just like to know of a
contest(s) that uses secretly store-bought beers as the beers
that will be judged.
I'm just pointing out that I don't see how using store-bought
beer is really going to make any difference.
For the simple reason that the beers then tasted would be ones the consumers
would be able to purchase and not ones specially brewed for the contest.
It's like doing drive tests on cars secretly purchased from car dealership
rather than cars delivered to the testing grounds by the manufacturer.
Sure, some car manufacturers are going to ship to the contest cars randomly
picked off the assembly line, but there's no guarantee that all car
manufacturers are going to do likewise. Add into this equation some
perceived value of winning the contest and the temptation to send only your
best is just that much stronger.
Post by Steve Jackson
(and what are you going to do about the huge number
of draught-only beers in that scenario?)...
I'm not seeking a beer contest that takes into consideration all the
different beers. Just store-bought beer. The beer most us will be able to
purchase from our local retail store and not need to live within reasonable
driving distance to taste. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with
draught-only beers ... or home-brewed beers for that matter. It just isn't
what I'm seeking in a contest.
Post by Steve Jackson
It's still a subjective contest in an artificial environment that
simply states a certain beer measures up best against certain
criteria.
Correct. All I'm seeking is a less artificial environment than what GABF
has ... as far as store-bought beers are concerned.
Post by Steve Jackson
And, knowing how judging often plays out - the biggest or
bitterest beer wins 90 percent of the time - I find the results
even more worthless.
That's your opinion and that's fine for you to have. We've already
established that you don't care about beer contests.
Post by Steve Jackson
Are you actually making purchasing decisions based on
judgements at beer contests?
Yes. There are a lot of beers out there and I wouldn't mind knowing what
experts in the field think are the best. I do this all the time with almost
anything important that I buy.
Post by Steve Jackson
That's what I'm saying is daft.
I would consider you thinking that contests don't help the purchasing
process is rather daft.
Post by Steve Jackson
Sure, everyone finds out about beers they might not have
otherwise via these contests, but I've seen enough cases
where an award winning beer isn't any better than a lot
of similar beers out there.
Again, that's your opinion. Perhaps your tastebuds are not that
discriminating.
Post by Steve Jackson
I'll try stuff out of curiosity, because I respect the brewery,
because of its reputation, because of friends'
recommendations, etc. Winning a contest is pretty low on
the list. But maybe that's just me.
Yeah, I'd say that's probably just you. By profession, I'm a marketing
consultant so I do understand the importance of winning awards for
businesses. Any business that was a client of mine that would take your
attitude towards awards would be one that I'd consider to have a problem.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
Steve Jackson
2003-10-12 15:52:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
(and what are you going to do about the huge number
of draught-only beers in that scenario?)...
I'm not seeking a beer contest that takes into consideration all the
different beers. Just store-bought beer. The beer most us will be able to
purchase from our local retail store and not need to live within reasonable
driving distance to taste. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with
draught-only beers ... or home-brewed beers for that matter. It just isn't
what I'm seeking in a contest.
That makes no sense to me at all. If we're looking for a contest that is
judging the best beers as people can buy them - well, people buy a lot of
draught beer. In some parts fo the country, draught sales are huge and is
the primary way people drink their beer. Why rule that out right off?
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
And, knowing how judging often plays out - the biggest or
bitterest beer wins 90 percent of the time - I find the results
even more worthless.
That's your opinion and that's fine for you to have.
That's an opinion shared by many more people than just me.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
We've already
established that you don't care about beer contests.
You've established that, and it's not very accurate. I don't care about beer
contests for making my purchase decisions. There's a big difference between
that and not caring about beer contests. The fact that I've judged at some
professional beer contests would be kinda weird for me to do if I didn't
care about contests.

I think contests are a good thing and a good way for breweries to get
exposure and recognition. However, I know enough not to regard contests as
pointing out the best beers available, etc. I simply view them for what they
are, not as some larger statement on who brews the best beer in the country
or whatever.

And contests often serve as a great chance to go to where the contest is
held. As the three days I spent at the Great British Beer Festival this year
amply illustrates. I definitely cared about that particular event.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
Sure, everyone finds out about beers they might not have
otherwise via these contests, but I've seen enough cases
where an award winning beer isn't any better than a lot
of similar beers out there.
Again, that's your opinion. Perhaps your tastebuds are not that
discriminating.
Perhaps you have no clue who I am, how refined my tastebuds are and
therefore have no basis to make such a statement. I could play that little
game too and say that perhaps you're too lemming-like and will just
appreciate whatever the "experts" tell you to appreciate. I don't think
that's a fair statement to make, however. Just like saying my tastebuds are
not that discriminating isn't a fair statement to make. Especially on the
basis of a statement like I've seen plenty of cases where award-winning
beers weren't better than other beers available out there. Why does that
seem such an absurd statement? Especially considering how a
not-insignificant number of well-regarded breweries don't bother with
contests?
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Yeah, I'd say that's probably just you. By profession, I'm a marketing
consultant so I do understand the importance of winning awards for
businesses.
Oddly enough, my job is marketing as well. There's a difference between what
I'd recommend for a business to do and what I do. Let's take awards. My
current client is an automaker. They have a new car that has won gobs of
awards, including some of the most prestigeous ones out there. Has it helped
their sales? Nope. They are well, well below their sales targets.

Awards are important for one thing: creating recognition and getting a
product more visibility in the marketplace. It does not mean the product is
better - or that it's going to be commercially successful. Beta was widely
considered better than VHS, and look which format survived. There are
countless other examples.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Any business that was a client of mine that would take your
attitude towards awards would be one that I'd consider to have a problem.
Tell that to, say, Victory then. A brewery which, IIRC, has stopped entering
contests. Are they a "problem," even though they're one of the most highly
respected and sought-after breweries in the business?

-Steve
Steve Jackson
2003-10-12 15:58:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Jackson
Oddly enough, my job is marketing as well. There's a difference between what
I'd recommend for a business to do and what I do. Let's take awards. My
current client is an automaker. They have a new car that has won gobs of
awards, including some of the most prestigeous ones out there. Has it helped
their sales? Nope. They are well, well below their sales targets.
That wasn't very clear. The awards commentary is separate from the
difference between what I'd recommend for a client and what I'd do as a
consumer. Imagine there's a paragraph break before "Let's take awards."

As far as the differences between business behavior and consumer behavior:
there are lots of marketing behaviors that I would recommend and encourage
because I know that most consumers aren't very careful or dilligent, and
therefore are susceptible to persuasion. As an educated consumer in certain
areas, I'm less susceptible to such marketing messages, because I can see
through the fluff. Therefore, even though there may be an approach on the
table that I know wouldn't work with me, that doesn't mean I wouldn't
recommend it because I know most consumers will go for it.

And that's the deal with beer contests. They're good (though not necessary)
for raising exposure and recognition for a brewery. As an educated and
experienced consumer, I know that they're not representative of what they
claim to be: this is the best beer in the country.

-Steve
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 15:01:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Jackson
And that's the deal with beer contests. They're good (though not necessary)
for raising exposure and recognition for a brewery. As an educated and
experienced consumer, I know that they're not representative of what they
claim to be: this is the best beer in the country.
OK, here's where I call Steve a doo-doo head. Steve, you doo-doo
head, no rational consumer (I know, I know) will accept a statement
as patently absurb as "this is the best beer in the country because
it was voted that way" as meaning "everyconsumer will like this
beer." I'd go further than that for "consumer educated about the
product and rating procedure" which includes many of us here.
There's no such as as "best beer in the country" for any reasonable
set of consumers.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 16:52:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
(and what are you going to do about the huge number
of draught-only beers in that scenario?)...
I'm not seeking a beer contest that takes into consideration
all the different beers. Just store-bought beer. The beer
most us will be able to purchase from our local retail store
and not need to live within reasonable driving distance to
taste. Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with
draught-only beers ... or home-brewed beers for that
matter. It just isn't what I'm seeking in a contest.
That makes no sense to me at all. If we're looking for a
contest that is judging the best beers as people can buy
them - well, people buy a lot of draught beer. In some parts
fo the country, draught sales are huge and is the primary way
people drink their beer. Why rule that out right off?
Because unless you live within reasonable driving distance of that
draught-only brewery, you'll very likely never have an opportunity to sample
and enjoy their beer. What I'm seeking is a contest amongst those that
distribute their beer thus are more available for the consumer to possibly
purchase, drink, and enjoy. Just as GABF doesn't accept home-brewed beers,
my contest wouldn't accept draught-only beers.
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
And, knowing how judging often plays out - the biggest
or bitterest beer wins 90 percent of the time - I find the
results even more worthless.
That's your opinion and that's fine for you to have.
That's an opinion shared by many more people than just me.
Did I say it wasn't? And are you saying your opinion is everyone's opinion?
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
We've already established that you don't care about beer
contests.
You've established that, and it's not very accurate. I don't
care about beer contests for making my purchase decisions.
That was what I was referring to.
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
Sure, everyone finds out about beers they might not have
otherwise via these contests, but I've seen enough cases
where an award winning beer isn't any better than a lot
of similar beers out there.
Again, that's your opinion. Perhaps your tastebuds are
not that discriminating.
Perhaps you have no clue who I am...
I have no clue who you are.
Post by Steve Jackson
...how refined my tastebuds are...
Note that I said "perhaps".
Post by Steve Jackson
...and therefore have no basis to make such a statement.
Given your statement that winning beers taste like "a lot of similar beers
out there" and that I used the word "perhaps", I think my statement was
reasonable.
Post by Steve Jackson
I could play that little game too and say that perhaps
you're too lemming-like and will just appreciate
whatever the "experts" tell you to appreciate. I don't
think that's a fair statement to make, however.
Have I ever said in this entire thread that I'd only appreciate what experts
say is the best? No. What I have said is that I'd like to know what the
experts would say if a contest was more geared for the average consumer.
Post by Steve Jackson
Just like saying my tastebuds are not that
discriminating isn't a fair statement to make.
I stand by my statement for the reasons I've just given above.
Post by Steve Jackson
Especially on the basis of a statement like I've seen
plenty of cases where award-winning beers weren't
better than other beers available out there. Why does
that seem such an absurd statement?
Did I say it was an absurd statement? Please don't go the strawman route.
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Yeah, I'd say that's probably just you. By profession,
I'm a marketing consultant so I do understand the
importance of winning awards for businesses.
Oddly enough, my job is marketing as well.
Odd. I would have then assumed that if you're a marketing consultant you
would have always had a spellchecker look over your posts before letting
them go.
Post by Steve Jackson
There's a difference between what I'd recommend for a
business to do and what I do. Let's take awards. My
current client is an automaker. They have a new car that
has won gobs of awards, including some of the most
prestigeous ones out there. Has it helped their sales?
Nope. They are well, well below their sales targets.
Perhaps that's due to the one that is handling their marketing. ;-)
Post by Steve Jackson
Awards are important for one thing: creating recognition
and getting a product more visibility in the marketplace.
That's incorrect. Awards can also help in the consumer decision process.
Many consumers do pay attention to what awards products and services earn
and they are wise to do so. If you're a marketing consultant, it is rather
odd you don't know this.
Post by Steve Jackson
It does not mean the product is better...
It does, however, lend credence to that view.
Post by Steve Jackson
...- or that it's going to be commercially successful.
Quality does help sales, but no business should depend on just that to
generate sales.
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Any business that was a client of mine that would take your
attitude towards awards would be one that I'd consider to
have a problem.
Tell that to, say, Victory then. A brewery which, IIRC, has
stopped entering contests. Are they a "problem," even though
they're one of the most highly respected and sought-after
breweries in the business?
I think you misunderstood what I wrote. Victory brewery would not "be" a
problem if they didn't enter contests. I would, however, view their lack of
participation as a problem that I would need to address if I was their
marketing consultant. Perhaps there's sound reasoning behind not entering
such contests. Then again, perhaps things have changed at their brewery
that now they don't feel they can adequately compete and have thus withdrawn
to insure their past glory isn't tarnished. It is hard to say. It could be
other factors as well. Again, as I said, I'd consider their lack of
participation a problem and one that I'd look into if I was their marketing
consultant.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
Steve Jackson
2003-10-12 18:02:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Because unless you live within reasonable driving distance of that
draught-only brewery, you'll very likely never have an opportunity to sample
and enjoy their beer. What I'm seeking is a contest amongst those that
distribute their beer thus are more available for the consumer to possibly
purchase, drink, and enjoy. Just as GABF doesn't accept home-brewed beers,
my contest wouldn't accept draught-only beers.
Well, it strikes me as being arbitrary and not fitting with the supposed
goal of finding the best beer available to consumers. But, hey, it's your
contest. Go crazy.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
And are you saying your opinion is everyone's opinion?
Nope. I'm just saying I'm far from alone in that opinion.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
Post by Steve Jackson
Sure, everyone finds out about beers they might not have
otherwise via these contests, but I've seen enough cases
where an award winning beer isn't any better than a lot
of similar beers out there.
Given your statement that winning beers taste like "a lot of similar beers
out there" and that I used the word "perhaps", I think my statement was
reasonable.
Except that's not what I said. I preserved the original above. I said that
I've had award-winning beers that are *no better* than similar beers.
There's a difference between that and tasting the same.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
Especially on the basis of a statement like I've seen
plenty of cases where award-winning beers weren't
better than other beers available out there. Why does
that seem such an absurd statement?
Did I say it was an absurd statement? Please don't go the strawman route.
OK, fine. You didn't say "absurd." But you've chosen to pick on that
statement twice now as some sort of indicator that my opinion on that point
is wrong and somehow calls into question my ability to have discerning taste
when it comes to beer.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Odd. I would have then assumed that if you're a marketing consultant you
would have always had a spellchecker look over your posts before letting
them go.
I'm capable of telling the difference between professional and formal
communications, and personal and information communications. Usenet is
neither professional nor formal. That's no excuse for bad use of the
language. But typos do not constitute bad use of the language.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
There's a difference between what I'd recommend for a
business to do and what I do. Let's take awards. My
current client is an automaker. They have a new car that
has won gobs of awards, including some of the most
prestigeous ones out there. Has it helped their sales?
Nope. They are well, well below their sales targets.
Perhaps that's due to the one that is handling their marketing. ;-)
The little smiley face doesn't mitigate the fact that you're approaching
asshole territory right here. I'm not questioning your professional acumen.
I'd appreciate it if you'd extend me the same courtesy. I could go on and on
about why the company's missing its sales targets, how it's unrelated to the
particular marketing areas I'm involved in, etc. but it's irrelevant here.
Other than to suggest that you stick to topic you actually have a basis to
comment on.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
Awards are important for one thing: creating recognition
and getting a product more visibility in the marketplace.
That's incorrect. Awards can also help in the consumer decision process.
Many consumers do pay attention to what awards products and services earn
and they are wise to do so.
It depends. If car is one of Car and Driver's 10 Best, yes, that's something
that a consumer can take a lot of stock in. But, there are a lot of contests
(and, to be pedantic, something like Car and Driver's awards and reviews
aren't technically contests) that are bogus and not at all indicitive of
quality.

Take the classic example of a restaurant advertising it's been recognized as
having "the best burger in town." By whom? A lot of times the cites aren't
even listed. Is it dumb for the restaurant to say that? No. Because most
consumers aren't going to bother checking into it or even noticing that
there's no indication of who said it was the best burger in town. Same thing
goes with movie reviews: take a look at the citations on a lot of the
glowing praise in movie ads, especially for movies of marginal quality.
They're often from organizations that you've never heard of, from TV
stations in Wichita and Indianapolis, etc.

Again, certain ratings, awards, etc. are important ones to have. Getting JD
Power's top quality rating is huge, for instance. But, to speak in broad
abstracts, awards are more important for raising visibility and recognition
than as a mark of quality. Again, because most consumers will not do the
homework to check into an award's veracity and pertinence. There are
exceptions for well-known ones, like the examples I've cited.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
If you're a marketing consultant, it is rather
odd you don't know this.
If you're a marketing consultant (that's only part of my job, by the way),
it's rather odd that you as a consumer don't recognize the shortcomings of
awards.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
It does not mean the product is better...
It does, however, lend credence to that view.
No. It leads to the *perception* of that view. Subtle, but huge, difference.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
...- or that it's going to be commercially successful.
Quality does help sales, but no business should depend on just that to
generate sales.
Most certainly. The marketplace is littered with the lower-quality product
having hte dominant market share. The Betamax/VHS example I cited earlier is
a textbook example.

-Steve
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 15:08:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
That makes no sense to me at all. If we're looking for a
contest that is judging the best beers as people can buy
them - well, people buy a lot of draught beer. In some parts
fo the country, draught sales are huge and is the primary way
people drink their beer. Why rule that out right off?
Because unless you live within reasonable driving distance of that
draught-only brewery, you'll very likely never have an opportunity to sample
and enjoy their beer.
Same holds for most smaller regional breweries. Many places
don't get Victory beer, or Bell's beer, or Three Floyd's beer,
or Bridgeport's beer, etc. All are bottled. If you just want
a competition between megabreweries and the handful of craft
breweries that distribute nationally, that doesn't address,
except in a very small part, what the average person in any
given state or region can buy locally.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Have I ever said in this entire thread that I'd only appreciate what experts
say is the best? No. What I have said is that I'd like to know what the
experts would say if a contest was more geared for the average consumer.
Experts are not, by definition, average consumers. To get the
"average consumer" take, look up that Consumer Reports article
from a couple years back. Fairly useless if you ask me.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Did I say it was an absurd statement? Please don't go the strawman route.
Furrfu.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Odd. I would have then assumed that if you're a marketing consultant you
would have always had a spellchecker look over your posts before letting
them go.
Ooooh, look spelling flames! That's certainly better than
"the strawman route" as a method of discussion.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:56:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
Sure, everyone finds out about beers they might not have
otherwise via these contests, but I've seen enough cases
where an award winning beer isn't any better than a lot
of similar beers out there.
Again, that's your opinion. Perhaps your tastebuds are not that
discriminating.
Ah, the ad hominem attack. That'll win him over.
FWIW, I know Steve Jackson, I've drank beer with Steve Jackson.
His tastebuds are fine. (FWIW, I've also argued with Steve Jackson,
so it's not like I'm his best friend who would defend him in
everything he does.)
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Steve Jackson
recommendations, etc. Winning a contest is pretty low on
the list. But maybe that's just me.
By profession, I'm a marketing consultant...
And I'm a brewer and certified beer judge. That and $3.50
will get me a pint of beer at a Chicago brewpub.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:50:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Jackson
I'm just pointing out that I don't see how using store-bought beer (and what
are you going to do about the huge number of draught-only beers in that
scenario?) is really going to make any difference. It's still a subjective
contest in an artificial environment that simply states a certain beer
measures up best against certain criteria. And, knowing how judging often
plays out - the biggest or bitterest beer wins 90 percent of the time - I
find the results even more worthless.
Yes, I agree it would be less valuable-- you'd be using a
single data point using a random batch of a given beer with
random (mis)handling of it. What does that tell a consumer,
other than that that particular batch of beer bought at that
particular shop at that particular point in time (beer does
age) was rated as X by a particular panel of judges (average
consumers with no given experience, I assume)? At the very
best, it tells you exactly what the GABF tells you, except
the beers may or may not be in decent shape, and barring a
statistically significant sampling over time and location,
gives no no clue as to whether you. personally, will like
that beer where you personally by it.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
Kevin
2003-10-12 13:54:26 UTC
Permalink
Here is the other thing to think about, and this of course does not apply to
a brewpub, which serves their beer on premise. A lot of the beers made in
this country quickly leaves the control of the brewer, and is at the mercy
of the distributor and retail merchant. They are the ones who are
responsible for making sure that the beer you buy has been handled properly
and is delivered to your hands in the best possible condition. Having a
competition where beers are bought off the shelf and judged, would be more a
competition to see who is the best beer distributor or retail merchant.

I know of two stores in my town that have well-stocked beer shelves and
coolers, both deal with the same distributor, but one shop consistently has
the better-condition beers than the other, because the first shop has a
person who sole job is to rotate the stock and pull off the shelf any beer
that did not sell, and is past its flavor prime. The second shop just
leaves the old bottles on shelf, and dusts off the bottles periodically. If
you bought the beers for judging off the shelf at the second merchants
store, you would have incredibly worse beers than beers bought at the first
merchant.

I watched the GABF special, and can relate to those brewmasters that
hand-bottled and took some extra care to make sure the beer arrived to the
judging in the best possible condition. The judging is about the beer, not
how others may mistreat the beer before the consumer can get his hands (or
taste buds) on it.

Additionally, looking at the GABF rules about the beers entered for judging,
which can be found at
http://www.beertown.org/events/gabf/gabf_guidelines.htm#confirmation ,
under "Entering Your Beers Into the GABF Judging", is found this
requirement: "Entries must be commercially available and brewed in the US".

So, all of these beers at the GABF should be available for the consumer
somewhere in the country, it is just a question if has been treated well
before you bought it.

Kevin

=====================================
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
This seems more honest judging process to determine which
is the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the
specially brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer
submitted to The Great American Beer Festival. Anyone
know of any beer contest(s) so structured?
My local merchant stopped buying in Allagash lately because
he said that the local distributor was only sending him 6-month
old product. If anyone had bought Allagash here then, it
would not have been fair.
I'd agree.
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Any independent purchaser for a legitimate contest would have
to jet all over the country in a short period of time--and still
manage to keep the beer chilled.
Or do the opposite. Have the beers bought by a trusted parties around the
country and chill-shipped to the judges so all the beers arrive within a day
or two of each other at the judging location.
Scott Jensen
--
Like a cure for A.I.D.S., Alzheimer, Parkinson, & Mad Cow Disease?
Volunteer your computer for folding-protein research for when it's idle.
Go to http://www.distributedfolding.org/ to sign up your computer.
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 15:18:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin
Here is the other thing to think about, and this of course
does not apply to a brewpub, which serves their beer
on premise. A lot of the beers made in this country
quickly leaves the control of the brewer, and is at the
mercy of the distributor and retail merchant. They are
the ones who are responsible for making sure that the
beer you buy has been handled properly and is
delivered to your hands in the best possible condition.
Having a competition where beers are bought off the
shelf and judged, would be more a competition to see
who is the best beer distributor or retail merchant.
This would merely be something that my type of a beer contest would
naturally take into consideration and work to insure a level playing field.
The contest evaluating the beer distributors and retail stores. Secretly
purchasing bottles from what's considered the best distributors and retail
stores. Clearly publicly stating what standards these distributors and
stores would have to have for the contest to purchase beer from them. On
the bright side, this might improve beer distribution and retail
presentation if the contest were to give it's stamp of approval and allow
the stores to advertise this. "This retail store and its distributors are
approved by the International Honest Beer Contest. Beer bought from this
store is beer considered to be properly handled by its beer distributors and
the store itself. Because of this, beer sold in this store might be
secretly purchased and judged for IHBC." For beer connoisseurs, this could
be the thing that would make them buy their beer from one local store rather
than another.

For the judging, I would hope the contest would let the public know where
and when the winning beers were bought. For the brewers, this information
would be given to them so they know the where and when ... regardless if
they won or not.
Post by Kevin
I watched the GABF special, and can relate to those
brewmasters that hand-bottled and took some extra care
to make sure the beer arrived to the judging in the best
possible condition. The judging is about the beer, not how
others may mistreat the beer before the consumer can get
his hands (or taste buds) on it.
No, if we saw the same special, it clearly showed that some of the
brewmasters were making special batches (taking at least extra special care
when they're brewed) for the contest.
Post by Kevin
So, all of these beers at the GABF should be available for
the consumer somewhere in the country, it is just a question
if has been treated well before you bought it.
I'd disagree. From watching the special, it has more to do with you being
luck enough to have beer from the same specially-brewed batch of beer that
was tapped for the contest. Not that the beer they normally make is the
same beer that the judges taste.

Now if there's common seasonal beers, I'd hope my type of a contest would
then be done again at these times so these seasonal beers are tasted at the
time they'd be tasted by the public. Handing out maybe something like
Winter Beers awards.

Unfortunately, as no one has brought up a contest structured as what I'm
seeking, I guess it just doesn't exist. Too bad. If I had money to throw
around, I'd start it up but I don't.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
Kevin
2003-10-12 16:23:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
This would merely be something that my type of a beer contest would
naturally take into consideration and work to insure a level playing field.
The contest evaluating the beer distributors and retail stores. Secretly
purchasing bottles from what's considered the best distributors and retail
stores. Clearly publicly stating what standards these distributors and
stores would have to have for the contest to purchase beer from them. On
the bright side, this might improve beer distribution and retail
presentation if the contest were to give it's stamp of approval and allow
the stores to advertise this. "This retail store and its distributors are
approved by the International Honest Beer Contest. Beer bought from this
store is beer considered to be properly handled by its beer distributors and
the store itself. Because of this, beer sold in this store might be
secretly purchased and judged for IHBC." For beer connoisseurs, this could
be the thing that would make them buy their beer from one local store rather
than another.
I agree with you 100%--but this does put the breweries at a disadvantage if
the distributors and retailers don't care squat about the proper handling of
beer. Most of these individuals approach it from the perspective of the
megaswill--which is pasturized and/or treated with products to increase
shelf life, as well as having the advantage of moving off the shelf fast.
Most retailers don't understand the fragility of most microbrewed beer, and
couldn't care a less about it either. I wish they all knew and cared, but
they don't. I'm not sure if having a contest like you advocate would change
their minds, as long as most of their business is the megabrews.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
(The GABF special) clearly showed that some of the
brewmasters were making special batches (taking at least extra special care
when they're brewed) for the contest.
Like anyone who is going to have their work scrutinized more carefully on a
certain day than on an any other average day, they are taking extra special
care to do the job as perfect as possible for the event. This doesn't mean
that the recipe is different (i.e. special ingredients, etc.), but extra
care is taken to make sure the batch has as little mistakes or flaws as
possible. Compare it to an average day on any job, versus that same day
with the boss looking over your shoulder all day. I bet the day with the
boss looking over your shoulder is different than the other days (not much,
but different).

Being a homebrew judge, I would venture that the difference between the
"special batches" and the "standard batches" would be little to none, with
the little differences being minor flaws that would escape the palate of the
average consumer. Not that the average consumer has poor taste buds, but
these judges have trained their palate to pick up very subtle off flavors
and aromas, and that is what they are looking for in these beers (most all
of these beers in a given category are "good", but the judges need to rank
them best to worst--basically nit-picking subtle differences between each
beer). The average consumer would enjoy either version, and probably not
notice the difference (if any).
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Unfortunately, as no one has brought up a contest structured as what I'm
seeking, I guess it just doesn't exist. Too bad. If I had money to throw
around, I'd start it up but I don't.
If anyone ever managed to get a contest like that off the ground, I would be
excited to see the results, and put the results to good use in buying my
beers.

Kevin
Scott T. Jensen
2003-10-12 17:39:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
This would merely be something that my type of a beer
contest would naturally take into consideration and work
to insure a level playing field. The contest evaluating the
beer distributors and retail stores. Secretly purchasing
bottles from what's considered the best distributors and
retail stores. Clearly publicly stating what standards
these distributors and stores would have to have for the
contest to purchase beer from them. On the bright side,
this might improve beer distribution and retail
presentation if the contest were to give it's stamp of
approval and allow the stores to advertise this. "This
retail store and its distributors are approved by the
International Honest Beer Contest. Beer bought from
this store is beer considered to be properly handled by
its beer distributors and the store itself. Because of this,
beer sold in this store might be secretly purchased and
judged for IHBC." For beer connoisseurs, this could
be the thing that would make them buy their beer from
one local store rather than another.
I agree with you 100%...
That's nice to know.
...--but this does put the breweries at a disadvantage if
the distributors and retailers don't care squat about the
proper handling of beer.
It might however spur them to seek out better distributors and retailers.
It might also spur these distributors and retailers to improve to keep these
microbreweries as clients and providers.
Most of these individuals approach it from the perspective
of the megaswill--which is pasturized and/or treated with
products to increase shelf life, as well as having the
advantage of moving off the shelf fast. Most retailers don't
understand the fragility of most microbrewed beer, and
couldn't care a less about it either. I wish they all knew
and cared, but they don't. I'm not sure if having a contest
like you advocate would change their minds, as long as
most of their business is the megabrews.
A few points:

1) The smaller the business, the more important each customer is to them.

2) For the non-chain, non-supermarket liquor stores, the IHBC seal of
approval would likely give them an edge over these mega-stores that they'll
very likely view as a good way to be competitive with them. If the IHBC
were to come about, I could easily see small IHBC-approved liquor stores
heavily advertising this fact.

3) The mega-stores intensely monitor their sales. Sales fluctuations of
even the smallest amounts are closely scrutinized as they should be. You
want to catch trends at the start and not after it's too late. And this
means both good and bad trends. For the good trends, you want to maximize
the opportunity as much as you can.

Given the above...

If small liquor stores promoted their IHBC stamp of approval and a small
fraction of beer consumers (the beer connoisseurs) were to change their
purchasing habits because of this, the small liquor stores would see an
important improvement in revenue and the mega-stores would notice an
unwanted downward movement in sales. The mega-stores might then seek IHBC
approval to hopefully regain those lost consumers as well as stop any
further loss of them. The end result could be vastly improvement handling
of all beers by distributors and small and mega stores.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
(The GABF special) clearly showed that some of the
brewmasters were making special batches (taking at
least extra special care when they're brewed) for the
contest.
Like anyone who is going to have their work scrutinized
more carefully on a certain day than on an any other
average day, they are taking extra special care to do the
job as perfect as possible for the event. This doesn't
mean that the recipe is different (i.e. special ingredients,
etc.), but extra care is taken to make sure the batch has
as little mistakes or flaws as possible. Compare it to an
average day on any job, versus that same day with the
boss looking over your shoulder all day. I bet the day
with the boss looking over your shoulder is different
than the other days (not much, but different).
This is why many businesses wisely hire mystery shopper services. The
mystery shopper is someone unknown by the employees and thus catches them as
they normally operate. The IHBC would need to use mystery shoppers. It
would use mystery shoppers to go into the stores and purchase the beers for
the contest. They would be "mystery" shoppers simply in the aspect that the
store employees wouldn't know they're from IHBC. In fact, if I were to run
this contest, I would definitely explore hiring mystery shopper services
around the world to purchase the beers for the contests and then properly
and promptly ship the beers to the judging location.
Being a homebrew judge, I would venture that the difference
between the "special batches" and the "standard batches"
would be little to none, with the little differences being minor
flaws that would escape the palate of the average consumer.
I can definitely see this for home-brewed beers. However, those are not the
beers I'd want my beer contest to evaluate.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Unfortunately, as no one has brought up a contest structured
as what I'm seeking, I guess it just doesn't exist. Too bad.
If I had money to throw around, I'd start it up but I don't.
If anyone ever managed to get a contest like that off the ground,
I would be excited to see the results, and put the results to good
use in buying my beers.
That's good to hear. And the contest would be relatively simple to set up.
It just needs a backer for at least the initial years. Eventually, the
contest could decide to support itself through charging stores for the
privilege of being able to advertise that their store(s) are IHBC approved.
No entry fee to brewers. In fact, by not depending on financial support
from the brewers, the beer judged would be judged regardless if the brewer
wanted their beer judged or not. The contest judging all beers and not just
those willing and able to fork over the money to be judged. Personally, I
think this independence from the brewers would further improve the
creditability of the contest results.

Scott Jensen
--
Peer-to-peer networking (a.k.a. file-sharing) is entertainment's future.
If you'd like to know why, read the white paper at the link below.
http://www.nonesuch.org/p2prevolution.pdf
Kevin
2003-10-12 18:42:48 UTC
Permalink
It might however spur (the breweries) to seek out better distributors and
retailers.
It might also spur these distributors and retailers to improve to keep these
microbreweries as clients and providers.
Once again, it comes down to sales volume and market forces. Unfortunately,
craftbrewing comprises only 3% of the US beer market (see
http://www.beertown.org/craftbrewing/statistics.html ). I would expect to
find most distributors and retailers not interested in spending a lot of
time, energy, or money on what happens to the craftbrews, when they can more
effectively spend time, energy, and money on the 86% that comprises the
megaswill market segment.
1) The smaller the business, the more important each customer is to them.
2) For the non-chain, non-supermarket liquor stores, the IHBC seal of
approval would likely give them an edge over these mega-stores that they'll
very likely view as a good way to be competitive with them. If the IHBC
were to come about, I could easily see small IHBC-approved liquor stores
heavily advertising this fact.
3) The mega-stores intensely monitor their sales. Sales fluctuations of
even the smallest amounts are closely scrutinized as they should be. You
want to catch trends at the start and not after it's too late. And this
means both good and bad trends. For the good trends, you want to maximize
the opportunity as much as you can.
Given the above...
If small liquor stores promoted their IHBC stamp of approval and a small
fraction of beer consumers (the beer connoisseurs) were to change their
purchasing habits because of this, the small liquor stores would see an
important improvement in revenue and the mega-stores would notice an
unwanted downward movement in sales. The mega-stores might then seek IHBC
approval to hopefully regain those lost consumers as well as stop any
further loss of them. The end result could be vastly improvement handling
of all beers by distributors and small and mega stores.
Most liquor stores (even the small ones) still depend on the mainstream
market to make the majority of their sales (see my first comment above). I
don't know about where you live, but in Southeast Michigan, I don't find any
stores that specialize in micrbrews ONLY.
Post by Kevin
Being a homebrew judge, I would venture that the difference
between the "special batches" and the "standard batches"
would be little to none, with the little differences being minor
flaws that would escape the palate of the average consumer.
I can definitely see this for home-brewed beers. However, those are not the
beers I'd want my beer contest to evaluate.
However, the judging process is the same for both. All beers (homebrewed
and commercial) are judged by:

A) how closely they meet style guidelines (does it taste like a Pale Ale,
or more like an Amber Ale?), and
B) are there any flaws in the beer (are there "bad" flavors that should not
be there, and detract from the overall enjoyment of the beer?).

How would you have the beers judged? Unless you have a standard set of
guidelines to measure the beers against (and a group of trained and
experienced individuals to judge them), the contest would just devolve into
a debate of "I like this one the best", without any solid rationale as to
why.

Kevin
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 15:13:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
No, if we saw the same special, it clearly showed that some of the
brewmasters were making special batches (taking at least extra special care
when they're brewed) for the contest.
That doesn't clash with the rules.
Post by Scott T. Jensen
I'd disagree. From watching the special, it has more to do with you being
luck enough to have beer from the same specially-brewed batch of beer that
was tapped for the contest.
And the same would be true of your proposed competition,
but you'd be adding purchase location into the mix. How does
that help the "average consumer?"
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Unfortunately, as no one has brought up a contest structured as what I'm
seeking, I guess it just doesn't exist. Too bad. If I had money to throw
around, I'd start it up but I don't.
Or maybe people who have experience with beer competitions
know what they're doing, better than some average USENET poster.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
plutchak joel peter
2003-10-13 14:34:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
This seems more honest judging process to determine which
is the best beers that us consumers can purchase...
Any independent purchaser for a legitimate contest would have
to jet all over the country in a short period of time--and still
manage to keep the beer chilled.
Or do the opposite. Have the beers bought by a trusted parties around the
country and chill-shipped to the judges so all the beers arrive within a day
or two of each other at the judging location.
So you'd not only be judging the beers, but the distributors,
and the retailers. I see as much problem with that as in the
GABF method, which, though not perfect, at least attempts to
judge the beer itself.
To expand a bit, you'd potentially knock a good beer due
to the bad actions of one distribution-retailer combination.
I seriously doubt brewers would want to risk that.
--
Joel Plutchak <plutchak@[...]> | Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots

"I don't like beer. I tried it once and thought it was terrible."
- Overheard at a restaurant
Douglas W. Hoyt
2003-10-12 14:51:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so structured?
Maybe it's better not to have an annual contest, but to do what the Beverage
Testing Institute does:
http://www.tastings.com/search_beer.lasso

Or for that matter, www.ratebeer.com !

GABF sounds like a lot of fun, though.
Expletive Deleted
2003-10-13 21:20:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so structured?
Maybe it's better not to have an annual contest, but to do what the Beverage
http://www.tastings.com/search_beer.lasso
Or for that matter, www.ratebeer.com !
Yep, now theere's your consumer beer contest. Beers are sampled mostly as
is from store shelves and draught in bars. Of course most have the
decency not to rate a beer thats obviously past its prime or has been
mishandled, but for beers that are prone to those kinds of off-tastes, the
consumer ought to know that, and it will be reflected somewhat at
ratebeer.

Its also a large representative sample, except it doesn't really represent
people who drink beer but don't like it (i.e. the swill chuggers of the
world)
Dan Iwerks
2003-10-13 21:47:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Expletive Deleted
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so structured?
Maybe it's better not to have an annual contest, but to do what the
http://www.tastings.com/search_beer.lasso
Or for that matter, www.ratebeer.com !
Yep, now theere's your consumer beer contest. Beers are sampled
mostly as is from store shelves and draught in bars. Of course most
have the decency not to rate a beer thats obviously past its prime or
has been mishandled, but for beers that are prone to those kinds of
off-tastes, the consumer ought to know that, and it will be reflected
somewhat at ratebeer.
Its also a large representative sample, except it doesn't really
represent people who drink beer but don't like it (i.e. the swill
chuggers of the world)
Plus, as someone else will likely point out, Ratebeer tends to attract a
majority of people who like big, aggressive beers (including me).
Pilsners fare comparably badly against, say imperial stouts. That being
said, from a pure data standpoint, it's got the most beer-related data
points of any place on the planet I know of.
--
*****************************************************************
Dan Iwerks thinks that the beer you're drinking probably sucks.
The fundamental problem with Solipsism is it makes me
responsible for the fact that you're a complete idiot.
*****************************************************************
Expletive Deleted
2003-10-13 21:52:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan Iwerks
Post by Expletive Deleted
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so structured?
Maybe it's better not to have an annual contest, but to do what the
http://www.tastings.com/search_beer.lasso
Or for that matter, www.ratebeer.com !
Yep, now theere's your consumer beer contest. Beers are sampled
mostly as is from store shelves and draught in bars. Of course most
have the decency not to rate a beer thats obviously past its prime or
has been mishandled, but for beers that are prone to those kinds of
off-tastes, the consumer ought to know that, and it will be reflected
somewhat at ratebeer.
Its also a large representative sample, except it doesn't really
represent people who drink beer but don't like it (i.e. the swill
chuggers of the world)
Plus, as someone else will likely point out, Ratebeer tends to attract a
majority of people who like big, aggressive beers (including me).
Pilsners fare comparably badly against, say imperial stouts. That being
said, from a pure data standpoint, it's got the most beer-related data
points of any place on the planet I know of.
yup, and even with that kind of bias, if one wants to know what the best
pilsners are, one can search by top ratings in that category and get good
information.
Douglas W. Hoyt
2003-10-13 23:20:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Expletive Deleted
yup, and even with that kind of bias, if one wants to know what the
best pilsners are, one can search by top ratings in that category and get
good information.

True. It's still a cold shower to see all those top ratings at about 3.7 on
a 5 point scale where other styles are well into the 4's. It makes you
wonder what's wrong with those other styles!

And as regards 'big' beers, I picked up a six of Dogfish Head 60 Minute the
other day, and it is knockout. Completely delicious. Makes me weep.
It has all the flowery complexity that I like in Bell's Two-Hearted, but
with even more intricate gothic zooming, yet it scores below other IPA's
that are impenetrable walls of hops.
Dan Iwerks
2003-10-14 16:26:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Douglas W. Hoyt
Post by Expletive Deleted
yup, and even with that kind of bias, if one wants to know what the
best pilsners are, one can search by top ratings in that category and
get good information.
True. It's still a cold shower to see all those top ratings at about
3.7 on a 5 point scale where other styles are well into the 4's. It
makes you wonder what's wrong with those other styles!
And as regards 'big' beers, I picked up a six of Dogfish Head 60
Minute the other day, and it is knockout. Completely delicious.
Makes me weep. It has all the flowery complexity that I like in Bell's
Two-Hearted, but with even more intricate gothic zooming, yet it
scores below other IPA's that are impenetrable walls of hops.
Ah, fine choice. I tend to waffle between that, Hop Devil, or Dominion's
New River Pale as the finest IPA/APAs I've ever had. Still like the
monsters, as stuff like Ruination and Dreadnaught have lots of
complexity, love the battle between the mega-hops and huge malts.

When I first had 60 Minute IPA on draft, I loved it. Now that I can get
the bottled version, the draft just isn't as good any more. Something
about the character of the bottled version makes it incredibly unique,
doesn't seem to carry over to the kegged version. Would love to try it
casked, would be great to compare it directly to the bottled to see the
differences.
--
*****************************************************************
Dan Iwerks thinks that the beer you're drinking probably sucks.
The fundamental problem with Solipsism is it makes me
responsible for the fact that you're a complete idiot.
*****************************************************************
Lew Bryson
2003-10-14 18:34:06 UTC
Permalink
"Dan Iwerks" <dan_iwerksatyahoodottcom> wrote in message
Post by Dan Iwerks
When I first had 60 Minute IPA on draft, I loved it. Now that I can get
the bottled version, the draft just isn't as good any more. Something
about the character of the bottled version makes it incredibly unique,
doesn't seem to carry over to the kegged version. Would love to try it
casked, would be great to compare it directly to the bottled to see the
differences.
Actually, the first time I had 60 Minute on draft, I was amazed at how much
like the bottle it was. It's still good, but hasn't been like that since.
Dunno what happened.
--
Lew Bryson

www.LewBryson.com
Author of "New York Breweries" and "Pennsylvania Breweries," 2nd ed., both
available at <www.amazon.com>
The Hotmail address on this post is for newsgroups only: I don't check it,
or respond to it. Spam away.
Expletive Deleted
2003-10-14 21:16:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lew Bryson
"Dan Iwerks" <dan_iwerksatyahoodottcom> wrote in message
Post by Dan Iwerks
When I first had 60 Minute IPA on draft, I loved it. Now that I can get
the bottled version, the draft just isn't as good any more. Something
about the character of the bottled version makes it incredibly unique,
doesn't seem to carry over to the kegged version. Would love to try it
casked, would be great to compare it directly to the bottled to see the
differences.
Actually, the first time I had 60 Minute on draft, I was amazed at how much
like the bottle it was. It's still good, but hasn't been like that since.
Dunno what happened.
I recall my first and only sampling of the 60 minute: from cask on a
Friday the Firkenteenth at the Grey Lodge sometime in 2001. It was
lovely...as was the Flying Fish Farmhouse ale. Dangit I miss that! Now
I gotta put up with stuff like that silly ass beer dinner in the other
thread.

Lew Bryson
2003-10-13 16:54:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott T. Jensen
After watching a Food Network special on The Great American Beer Festival,
I'm wondering if there's a beer contest where the judges secretly buy beer
out of stores (the brewer not knowing which store) and then use these to
compare against each other. This seems more honest judging process to
determine which is the best beers that us consumers can purchase than the
specially brewed, bottled, packaged, and delivered beer submitted to The
Great American Beer Festival. Anyone know of any beer contest(s) so
structured?
I cannot believe you guys went through all this discussion and horseshit
when there IS such a contest. The US Beer Tasting Championship buys beers in
the store (across a fairly good-sized region; they DO also accept donated
beers from brewers) and judges them. Is it perfect? Of course not. But
Victory and Dogfish Head regularly participate in this one because there are
no fees. I supply this for informational purposes only, as I have no
interest in partaking in this thread otherwise. USBTC is at
http://www.usbtc.com
--
Lew Bryson

www.LewBryson.com
Author of "New York Breweries" and "Pennsylvania Breweries," 2nd ed., both
available at <www.amazon.com>
The Hotmail address on this post is for newsgroups only: I don't check it,
or respond to it. Spam away.
Douglas W. Hoyt
2003-10-13 21:34:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lew Bryson
I cannot believe you guys went through all this discussion and
horseshit when there IS such a contest. The US Beer Tasting Championship
....

We were just trying to wake you from your slumber. Thanks for that
URL--it is a very USEful award list because these are beers that people can
actually FIND somewhere!
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