Beer (rec.drink.beer) Discussing various aspects of that fine beverage referred to as beer. Including interesting beers and beer styles, opinions on tastes and ingredients, reviews of brewpubs and breweries & suggestions about where to shop.

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Old 11-10-2003, 10:04 PM
Scott T. Jensen
 
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Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

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



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Old 11-10-2003, 10:08 PM
nicholas peter dempsey
 
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Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

In article ,
Scott T. Jensen wrote:
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
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Old 11-10-2003, 10:41 PM
Oh, Guess
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

On Sat, 11 Oct 2003 16:04:30 -0500, "Scott T. Jensen"
wrote:

[...] 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

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Old 12-10-2003, 01:50 AM
Douglas W. Hoyt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

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.


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Old 12-10-2003, 02:40 AM
Scott T. Jensen
 
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Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

"Oh, Guess" wrote:
"Scott T. Jensen" wrote:
[...] 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.

...- 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




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Old 12-10-2003, 02:42 AM
Scott T. Jensen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

"nicholas peter dempsey" wrote:
Scott T. Jensen wrote:
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
--
Got a business question, problem, or dream?
Discuss it with the professionals that hang out at...
misc.business.consulting, misc.business.marketing.moderated
misc.business.moderated, and misc.entrepreneurs.moderated


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Old 12-10-2003, 02:49 AM
Scott T. Jensen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

"Douglas W. Hoyt" wrote:
Scott Jensen wrote:
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.

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.


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Old 12-10-2003, 05:25 AM
Roy
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

On 10/11/03 5:08 PM, in article ,
"nicholas peter dempsey" wrote:

In article ,
Scott T. Jensen wrote:
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.

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Old 12-10-2003, 06:33 AM
Steve Jackson
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

"Scott T. Jensen" wrote in message
...

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


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Old 12-10-2003, 07:00 AM
Scott T. Jensen
 
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Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

"Steve Jackson" wrote:
"Scott T. Jensen" wrote:
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




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Old 12-10-2003, 08:44 AM
Cwrw42
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest - GABF Judging.

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.


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Old 12-10-2003, 02:54 PM
Kevin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

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/...m#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

=====================================

"Scott T. Jensen" wrote in message
...
"Douglas W. Hoyt" wrote:
Scott Jensen wrote:
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.

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.




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Old 12-10-2003, 03:44 PM
Scott T. Jensen
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest - GABF Judging.

"Cwrw42" wrote:
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


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Old 12-10-2003, 03:51 PM
Douglas W. Hoyt
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

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.


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Old 12-10-2003, 04:13 PM
Steve Jackson
 
Posts: n/a
Default Is there a consumer's beer contest?

"Scott T. Jensen" wrote in message
...

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




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