Just this past weekend I sat on a Best Of Show panel for a homebrew competition with over 400 entries. In case you have never witnessed a BOS round, basically the beers are the top winners from each of the flights and represent the best of the best. Typically the beers are delivered to the table one by one and you make a quick evaluation and impression and move on to the next. After all the beers are on the table the judges begin to discard beers from the table. The reason for discard is simple, they are not one of the three best beers and don’t fully represent their style. Generally we will have 25-30 beers and whip through half before coming to a screeching halt. On Saturday the halt never came. Most of the beers on the table had no business being in the BOS round. What that tells me is the brewers were not brewing to style or missed the mark. Competitions are really for those who need feedback and for those who are chasing a ribbon. In this case I have to assume more were after feedback than a ribbon or we would have had a better group of beers in the BOS round. We whipped through the beers in 15-20 minutes and were done which is not something I have ever experienced before. Most of the time we arrive at 5-7 beers and stall, but this time the beers just kept going away and then there were three. I have no doubt the best beer won, and the second deserved a place in the top three as well. The third beer is one I would have discarded, but in hindsight I am not sure what would take the place of that beer. I hope the next BOS requires more discussion and thought than this most recent. We easily found the winner and it should certainly be a more difficult decision.

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