Further proof, if any were needed, that the GABF is an enormous shill.
The list of beerstyles continues to broaden in what amounts to
self-parody: Specialty Beer and Specialty Honey Beer? What's the
difference between them? or between a Specialty Beer and an
"Experimental Beer"? Now there's a category for coffee beers?
What's the difference between an American-style Wheat Beer and an
American-Style Hefeweizen? And here's a fave: German-Style Pilsner,
Bohemian-Style Pilsner and European-Style Pilsner. What? Germany and
Bohemia have left the continent?
Eight categories of "American" lagers? American-Style "Light" Amber
Lager? WTF is that?
Come one, come all -- everyone gets a medal. What a lame joke, but
hey, it's money in the pocket at the AOB.
Jeff Frane wrote on 28 Sep 2003:
The difference is, of course, that there are twice (three times, in
some cases) the categories for large corporate brewers to enter their
beers and win medals, justifying the money they pay to help sponsor
I was mostly impressed that a Trappist Pale Ale and a Grand Cru won
medals in "Experimental." With the thousand or so categories, these
beers couldn't be fit into a named slot?
Why, in one you leave the yeast in, while in the other, you *can*
leave the yeast in. Big difference.
Euphemism. The big brewers couldn't see themselves entering Michelob
in a select group, so they make up new vague categories. Europils is
the category of Heineken, Stella, and so forth, but they didn't pay
to play, so A-B gets a pretty medal.
Your no dim bulb gigy.
"Dave Witzel" wrote in message
Dunno about the Grand Cru, but I've had Scott's TPA: it's brewed with
brettanomyces. IMO, to have put it in any other category was risking its not
being understood. Good beer, BTW, and I was pleased to see Scott take two
Its clear that the names of the categories are silly, but the European
style pilsner is meant to encompass the type of beer represented by
Heineken or Carlsberg. Hence Michelob winning the category.
Sounds like it was invented just to accommodate Leinie's Amber Light!
Or how bout this one- Category: 2 American Lager/Ale or Cream Ale
Gold: Red Dog - Silver: Milwaukee's Best - Bronze: Old Style
Are any of these beers even lager/ale blends or cream ales? (That is
what they mean by "lager/ale", right? They don't mean either/or, but
that must be how the brewers took it.) Aren't all three just
regular/discount priced NAIL's? Geez, at least give the medal to
Genesee and Little Kings...
I do think they mean Either/or, although that makes this category as weird
as many others.
As to why they didn't give a medal to Genny or LK, one always needs to
keep in mind that its not across all beers, but only those entered in the
competition. Many very good breweries do not send their beers. Victory
for example I believe has not sent anything to the GABF since I've been
I've found, on average, that about half the "greatest breweries" whose
products I worship don't enter the GABF--it costs them too much and/or they
can't spare the beer. I don't think Weyerbacher sends anything, and I
*know* Selin's Grove Brewing in central Pa. (best damn brewpub I've ever
been to for across-the-board, across-the-styles quality) doesn't. On the
other hand, Flossmoor Station, New Glarus, and New Belgium do.
What *I* wanna know is how the same damn beer (Pete's Wicked Ale) took
medals in TWO categories.
"Alexander D. Mitchell IV" wrote in message
Victory entered once, re-thought it, and hasn't gone back.
Easy. Brewers are allowed, and even encouraged to enter beers in more than
one category. They always have been. You can take the view that the style
categories overlap, and that entering multiple categories keeps GABF's
categories from stifling creativity, or you can take the cynical view that
multiple entries makes more money for them on entrance fees. To tell the
truth, I don't know if the fees are high enough (compared to costs) to make
them much money; but some people are very skeptical about the funding of the
whole thing. Anyway, there was supposedly a back-channel system for ensuring
that a beer wouldn't win a medal in two different categories, but obviously
it either failed, or it never existed.
Despite loud, emotional defenses of GABF judging, IT IS FLAWED. That's not a
blanket condemnation, it's an observation. It could be improved. Any
rational human would admit that.
Amen, Lew: you should have seen his expression when he won the second medal.
REAL happy, I tell ya. Thrilled. His was a popular table at GABF.
I'm happy to say I brought back a whole mixed case of his brews from my trip
up for the Kennett fest. Mmmm. Cheers, Chuck C.
Yep. And not only the big boys do this either.
I had a few off the record discussions about this with a number of breweries
and brewery reps, some from larger breweries, and many felt that the rules
should be changed to 1) increase the fees for entering a beer, and 2) only
allowing a particular beer to be entered in one style category competition.
Final decision up to AOB, I guess....I never heard of any back channel system
for a beer not winning two medals.
Having stewarded all three days of the 2002 judging, I can say I saw no funny
business and was impressed with the methods used to present the beers to the
judges and the actaul judges discussions over which beers to award medals to.
All the judges are kept out of the staging room where the beer is prepared to
be taken into other rooms in numbered drinking cups.
The only thing I could say that is happening is that, if the same or
virtually the same set of judges is used every year, and after years they know
what X beer tastes like, which is entered every year, they could probably pick
that beer out by taste. If they wanted to award it with a medal, they could
theoretically lobby for it.
As stewards, part of the job is to be in the judging room if the judges need
something. You get to hear all there discussions and never once did any beer
names ever come up. I honestly just don't see how any funny business or
cheating could occur. Chuck C.
I'd say any widely-drunk (termed coined with care) beer geek
would at least on occasion be able to pick a particular commercial
beer out in a blind tasting. For example, I'd be surprised if
I couldn't pick Sierra Nevada Bigfoot and Avery's Hog Heaven out
of a blind barleywine tasting.
Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots
"Resorting to personal harassment is a tactic of desperation."
I have entered beers in the GABF from 1992 - 2001. I won a silver medal in
93, bronze in 94 gold in 98 & 99 (same catagory for the golds). I quit
entering beer for two reasons: BIG money venture with little to no return
and the judging. I have known 4 judges (who still judge). These judges all
tell stories of being able to pick out certain beers, which win year after
year and a even more appalling tale that the winners always come from the
first ten beers tasted per flight. So hypothetically, I could've entered
my APA in a catagory with 71 entries this year to find that I didn't get a
fair shake because I wasn't in the first ten tasted. Please...