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Getting Ready for Competition

Things to Keep in Mind When You Enter


I remember the first homebrew competition I entered. I had no idea what I was doing or what was going on.  It seemed very foreign and a world of its own.  Let’s just say that ignorance cost me and I did not do so well in my first competition.  We wanted to share a couple of competition tips to help everybody out with our Pro-Am.  Hopefully these will help in avoiding a lot of the pitfalls and give some who are hesitant the courage to enter and compete!


First is checking out the guidelines for various styles and what is accepted.  Fortunately, with the Cool Springs Pro-Am we aren’t looking for the beer that fits the style guidelines perfectly.  This is a competition for the best and most creative beers! So, don’t worry so much about those style guidelines.  Also, the CSB Pro-Am is accepting just about any style except for lagers because of a logistical issue with time if a lager were to win. So whatever Ale you are comfortable with brewing we can take it!


Another big pitfall is not properly labeling the beers that are entered.  This one has gotten me a couple of times.  For the CSB Pro-Am you must print the form from the website.  A link for the form will appear next to the beers you registered.  Please fill out the entry forms completely. Be meticulous about noting any special ingredients that must be specified. Failure to note such ingredients may impact the judges' scoring of your entry. Remember also to affix the label with a rubber band.


When you ship your beers use UPS or FedEx because the US Postal Service doesn’t ship alcohol.  Do pack as carefully as possible, some people even like to include a couple of freezer packs.  A good tip given to me was ship or drop off early enough for them to arrive a couple days before judging so they can rest and clear properly before being poured.  


When it comes to actually brewing your beer, think about when you are going to be sending it in. A fresh beer is usually better than one thats been sitting around.  But that may change if you plan on entering a big high gravity.  Also, don’t be afraid of high gravity. Here at CSB we have the capability to brew big beers!  


These are just a couple of tips and we hope they have helped in some way.  It can be devastating to mess up because of simple mistakes.  But go for it because you never know what may happen.  Best of luck, Cheers!


Nate Underwood

Marketing Intern

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