Q: How is this competition different than other competitions?
A: This is an AHA/BJCP certified competition but will have some unique features to it. First, this competition will not be targeting all styles. See the list of breweries and styles to figure out which styles are desired. Second, the best of show round will be evaluated by the breweries. Due to brewery considerations, the highest scoring beer may not win. This does not mean that brewing a high-quality beer is important, but brewing a very good tasting beer will be extremely important. While awards will be given for the best scoring beers, the biggest rewards, having your beer brewed by a professional brewer, will be given for the best tasting beers.
Q: Are non-AHA members allowed to enter?
A: Yes. All entries will be judged and scored. The breweries will have the option to select AHA members or non-AHA entries. Those selecting non-AHA entries will not be able to send the beers to the GABF; however, the beer will still be produced on their system. To maximize your chance of having your beer brewed, join the AHA before the competition (entrants must be members by June 6th to be eligible for the GABF Pro-Am). There are tons of good reasons to join the AHA as it is; now you've got another: the chance to win a gold medal at the GABF. However, there is a chance that the GABF will relax the entry rules and allow entries to be submitted from non-AHA members provided that they join the AHA by mid June.
Q: What style(s) should I brew?
A: Each brewery has either specified a few BJCP styles that they will pick from or will review all entries to pick the one that they have the best chance of producing. You may want to target a particular brewery or try with a few. Keep in mind they may make their decision based off of the following things:
- - Ability to recreate the recipe (breweries may not be able to get obscure ingredients)
- - How the beer fits into their product line (if the brewery already has a porter, they may not want to pick a porter)
- - If they think they can sell the beer
- - Personal preferences
- - Time required to produce the beer (long aging beers may be out of the question)
Q: What will increase my chances of winning?
A: Keep in mind the things that a brewery has to in order to keep in business. To that effect, you will want to:
- - Brew top quality beer
- - Brew creatively and with passion
- - Use fresh ingredients
- - Control and document your process well
- - Brew styles that may be out of a "normal" product line but still good and marketable
- - Maybe target a particular brewery and brew a style that is in line with their "philosophy"
Q: Can I win with more than one brewery?
A: Only one entry per homebrewer can be sent on to the GABF. So, you can win a slot with a GABF submitting brewery and possibly also with a non-submitting brewery.
Q: Are extract recipes eligible?
A: Yes, simple conversions can be made to recreate the beer on the professional system. Even for all-grain recipes, breweries will need to tailor the recipe to create the closest profile to your beer.
Q: Are organizing officials, judges, and volunteers eligible to win?
A: Yes. We want everyone to be able to participate and not penalize anyone for helping make this competition happen. We will be ensuring that entrants participating in the event will not have any opportunity to bias the results (judges will not judge categories that they have entries in, stewards will not assist on tables that they have beers on, etc.)
Q: I just won? What happens now?
A: Congratulations! We will work with you and the brewery to pick a brewing date where you will be welcome to come into the brewery and be a part of creating the beer. This will occur between June and August, depending on the brewery schedule and timing required to have the beer at its peak condition. Details will be worked out with individual breweries and homebrewers.
Q: Will I get any proceeds from the beer sales?
A: No. If having your beer brewed is not enough of a reward, we need to talk.
Q: Do I get to name the beer?
A: We encourage you to suggest a name and work the brewery to come up with a name. Ultimately, it is the choice of the brewery.