Some homebrewers are content to keep their creations all to themselves, while others are hoping to someday build a brewing empire by selling their beer. Still others would be satisfied with the bragging rights that come with winning a brewing contest.
Whether it’s because you are hoping to win as a stepping stone to greater things, or you just want to be able to say your beer is the best thing around, here are a few tips to help you win a beer brewing contest.
Nail Down the Perfect Beer Recipe
The small variations from batch to batch are what make homebrewed creations so special. However, to win a competition, you have to be able to recreate the same recipe over and over again. Once you have picked the perfect beer recipe, practice it time and time again until your results are consistent.
Brew a Big Batch in Advance
Most competitions will require you to submit enough beer for all of the judges to have a full bottle to taste. When you are sure you have the best stuff ready to go, set aside 6-8 bottles so that you can have a last bottle or two a few weeks after brewing to ensure the taste hasn’t changed dramatically as the beer has aged.
Remember: It’s Not About You
It’s difficult to keep our personal tastes out of it, but bear in mind that beer contest judges don’t necessarily have the same tastes that you do. A clean finish is a fundamental element of all winning beers. Once you have crafted a beer using fresh ingredients and you’ve taken proper care of sanitation and handling procedures, you’re good to go!
Now that you know what it takes to win, it’s time to enter a contest. As luck would have it, we happen to know of one that’s on right now. There are still a few days left to enter the First Annual Home Brew Off! If you don’t feel like you’re ready to take that step just yet, that’s OK. You can order fresh hops online to hone your craft until next year’s event.