Professional and Homebrewer Competition Entry Analysis

Matt was a great help in narrowing down the proper BJCP category to enter. I had a complicated entry and with his help entered into a category and was advanced to a mini best of show round. Proper category placement is one of the hardest things both based on what you’re entering and what else you may be up against. It helps to have someone with personal experience to guide you.
— Kevin M.

Entering your beer into competition has obvious upside – gaining priceless feedback about your creations, to see how your products compare to your competition and to possibly garner highly sought-after medals, from winning entries.

But as we all know, those medals aren’t only good for your brewer’s self-esteem, their also valuable team builders, uniting your crew around the brand they work so hard to build. And speaking of brand building, we also know that medals provide marketing and promotion that money simply can’t buy. Brewers who win medals at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), typically see a huge uptick in sales, thereafter. Is there a direct correlation? Likely.

But beers entered into the wrong style categories, or are flawed, squander the brewer’s time, money and emotion – unnecessarily. I can tell you from experience, no judging occurrence is worse than sampling an astounding beer, only to realize it hasn’t been entered into the proper style category. What a waste!

The Beer Sommelier® has over a decade of beer judging experience, including at the GABF. With both BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) and Doemens/Siebel Bier Sommelier certifications, we have the palate, skill and experience to assure your entries are placed into the correct style categories and don’t have any fatal brewing or infection flaws that would disqualify them.    

Whether you’re a beginning homebrewer, looking for feedback, or a seasoned pro, it’s always good to have another set of taste buds sampling your products, giving qualified sensory analysis.

For only $100 per professional entry ($25 for homebrewers), we’ll spend time analyzing your prospective competition admission and report back with a full writeup; sensory feedback on an actual judging score sheet (either BJCP or GABF, depending on level).

You’ll also receive our qualified opinion as to what style/substyle category would give you the greatest advantage for what you’ve brewed. Did you create a barrel-aged strong stout, or is it really an imperial porter? Is that kriek lambic you aged in Cabernet wine barrels, really better entered as a Flemish Red? These distinctions may make the difference between a third and first place showing. Or worse, a medal and a loss.

While we certainly can’t guarantee you a competition win, we can give you the advantage of qualified forethought and analysis. Let The Beer Sommelier® help you help yourself.


You make great stuff and can prove it. Ensure before you enter!