From the HBD Archive
From: "Roger Deschner " <U52983@UICVM.UIC.EDU>
Subject: Re: Competition Question
Date: 1992-04-23 14:48:19 GMT

eisen@kopf.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Carl West) asks:

What Happens to my Three Bottles when I send them to a competition? Let's
pretend we are your bottles.

We arrive via UPS in a securely packed box, at a generous sponsor
brewery, restaurant, or brew-pub. (such as Goose Island in Chicago,
Anchor in San Francisco, etc.) The nice guys at Goose Island stack our
boxes down in the brew-house in a huge pile, where we wait along with a
lot of other entries. At least down here it doesn't get too warm, and its
chummy with all that other beer around. If we're lucky, we're still
right-side-up. Our maker had written a big "UP" arrow on our box, and so
we are lucky indeed.

In a day or so, a "competition organizer" arrives at Goose Island. He's a
homebrewer just like my maker, and so he draws a pint of Goose Island
Porter, to properly prepare himself to deal with us beer bottles. He
unpacks my box, places a numbered sticker on each of us and writes the
number on my paperwork, and places me in a beer case and leaves me in
Goose Island's cooler. The Organizer guy mutters something about "relax,
don't worry, have a homebrew" and we start to worry as he continues
"...and all this homebrew around and none of it to drink." Another pint
of Goose Island Porter settles him down, and makes us feel safer. It's
dark and perfect beer temperature in here, so I feel fine while my
yeast settles back down after shipping, and my paperwork has taken a trip
to the Organizer's home to be entered into a computer.

On competition day, a couple dozen judges gather in Goose Island's
banquet room. They sit three to a table, and each table will judge one
type of beer. I am a German Bock, and one of my three bottles is brought
to their table along with the other German Bocks. The judges open each
bottle, pour a bit into a glass, and judge it. (This process is covered
at length elsewhere.) The end result of it is ***WE WIN***
***HOORAY!!!***. My maker has made the best German Bock in the
competition, and he wins a blue ribbon. (No, not a Pabst product.) Now,
one of us is consumed and two of us are left.

Then the winner of each category goes into "Best of Show". The most
senior judges gather a second bottle of the winning beer from each
category up from the cooler at a large table, and begin. An immediate
problem: When opening one of the other beers, a Munich Weissbeer, it
gushes all over. The judges figure it must be a bad cap, since the first
bottle of that same Weiss was so good, and so they fetch the third bottle
for that entry. It is OK. Finally, it's down to just us and a really good
British Bitter. Two beers left. The judges, however, have used all the
beer in my second bottle already - so out comes my third bottle, and the
third bottle of that ESB, which the judges open and compare. **WE WIN**
My maker's German Bock is the Best of Show, and he gets a nice engraved
pewter beer stein.

What happens to the second and third bottles of the beers that didn't
win? The assembled judges and organizers have one hum-dinger of a party!
They've earned it, because these things are a lot of work to put on. They
drink ALL the homebrew, and make a serious dent into a keg of Goose
Island Honkers Ale before it all ends. The empty bottles are given to
anyone present who wants them for homebrew.

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