Most homebrew competitions are held in a very similar manner – you can enter a beer into most any of the BJCP categories, where your beer competes against the other brews entered into that same category. Each category receives ribbons, and then there is a best of show award.
However, Mystery Brewing Co. is mixing it up a little bit. To enter their competition, you must brew a Southern English Brown Ale. This makes for a very interesting competition because your beer is directly competing with everyone‘s beer. Typically, if you enter a southern English brown ale into a competition, there are only a handful of entries, and you’re really only competing with the other brown ales for a ribbon. No one will compare your brown ale to my IPA unless we’re both in the best of show round.
Mystery is going a bit further than just the traditional southern English brown ale though. They are dividing it into two sub-categories. One for the traditional brew, and then another category called the “innovative” category.
From the Competition website:
“Entries in the Traditional category will be judged based on their fidelity to the BJCP Style Guidelines for the Southern English Brown Ale style. Judges will be looking for the entry which most faithfully expresses the style of Southern English Brown, as defined under category 11B in the BJCP guidelines.
“Entries in the Innovative category are given a little more leeway, in order that they may present a Southern English Brown to the panel which is truly off the beaten path. Want to make a Cherry Almond Southern English Brown? How about a Wild Fermented Southern English Brown? This is the category for such beers, which will be entered under BJCP category 23.”
I think that this format will lend some excitement to the competition and really test brewers for their style and technique, forcing them to stand out among many other beers of the same category. If you are interested in entering the competition, the details are below:
- Each brewer or team of brewers is responsible for getting 3 bottles of their beer for each entry to Mystery Brewing Company before the 10th of August, 2012.
- Brewers may enter up to five different beers to the competition. When submitting more than once, brewers must submit at least one beer to each of the categories (Traditional and Innovative).
- Each entry must be accompanied by a $5 fee per entry, payable online. The registration form is available here.
- The competition will be capped at 200 entries.
- Any brewer capable of mailing or delivering their beer to Mystery Brewing and returning for brew day in the event of their winning may submit entries to be judged.
- Each bottle entered must be labeled with an official BJCP Bottle Label.
- Entries must be delivered to Mystery Brewing by August 10th, 2012. If Mailing, please send bottles to:
Mystery Brewing Style Competition
437 Dimmocks Mill Road, Suite #41
Hillsborough, NC 27278
I am going to be registering today and sending over a variation of the Nut Brown Ale I created for Fortnight Brewing, and between now and August, I’ll be pondering what should be included to win the “innovative” category…