This weekend the judging of the 2010 SOBA National Homebrew Competition takes place. I will be flying to Hamilton to help judge over 300 beers in two days. This is a pretty staggering task, at the pro brewing competitions I have judged at we would usually do 60-80 beers a day , even with three tables working independently we will have to be knocking off far more than that a day.
I always look forward to judging the NHC (even if I didn’t really want to this year as I wanted to enter!) as the range of beers on offer is always far more interesting than in pro comps. The overall standard might be lower but the standard rises each year. Several years ago the most common fault was bacterial infection with some absolutely intense infections still featuring in some judges nightmares, however more recently it has been the more subtle faults of the sort you find at commercial competition. The best beers are always absolutely fantastic and a tribute to the standard of homebrewing culture that is developing in this country.
Good luck to all who have entered and wish us judges luck in the task ahead!