Competition Corner – March 2010

For many beer drinkers, March is associated with the consumption of mass quantities of Guinness Stout, or, all too often, fizzy yellow beer that has been colored to make it green.  For those of us in homebrew clubs, however, March is the warm-up month for homebrew competition season.

We start out at our club meeting on Thursday, March 18th with another Club-Only competition; this time for American Ales, BJCP Category 10.  This includes three of the most popular homebrew styles, American Pale Ale, American Amber Ale and American Brown Ale.   If you have any one of these three (or more than one) bring three 12 oz. bottles to the meeting and make sure you let Carl know they are here.  If possible, please also fill out an entry form, which you can download from  The club picks up the entry fee, so it is free to you.  If your entry is selected, we’ll ship off the two remaining bottles to the national judging site.  If you lose, you can take back the two extra bottles.  Or if you prefer, you can pop them open to console your losses.

Fast on the heels of the COC is the biggest competition of the year:  The American Homebrewers Association’s National Homebrew Competition.  Entries for this event must be registered on-line anytime between now and April 1st at 5:00 PM Pacific time.  The on-line site is at .  You only need to submit one bottle per entry for this round, but if you beer advances to the finals, you need to have three more, which will be due in early June.  Cost for each entry is $9.00 for AHA members or $14.00 for non-members, and must be paid with the on-line site.  Make sure you are registering for the Southwest region.  Bring your bottles to the Culver City shop by April 1st and we’ll transport them down to San Diego for you.

Not far behind is the entry deadline for Maltose Falcon’s Mayfaire competition.  Entries for this are due by April 10th at the Culver City shop.  Note that the Falcons use their own style guidelines, which you can find here: . The entry fee is $7.00 and you need 3 bottles for each entry.  This is a local competition and they’ll need lots of judges.  We will do a preliminary round on Sunday April 18th at the Culver City shop.  The main session Saturday April 24th at Saint Martin’s Church, 7136 Winnetka Ave up in the valley.   This is a great opportunity for those of you who are in the BJCP class.

Looking on the Club meeting on Thursday, April 15th, we have another COC.  The theme for this is Extract Beers.  All BJCP styles are eligible, provided that the beer was made primarily (more than 50%) from malt extract.  This is a great way for you extract brewers to get in the game.  It is also a great way to forget about you taxes.   You can use the same entry form listed above for the March COC.

Don’t give up yet, we have one more to cover:  California State Fair Due at the shop by April 18th.  Since we need to ship these entries off, your bottles must arrive packaged for shipping.  This means plenty of bubble wrap and packed into suitable shipping boxes.  Cost for each entry is $10, but the club will pick up shipping costs.  Entry forms can be found at

OK, now you can sit back and toast a beer to the winners of QUAFF’s “America’s Finest City” Homebrew competition.  Our best showing was put in by Jeff Koehler, who picked up a 2nd for Northern Eng. Brown and a 2nd for his Flanders Red Ale.  Carl Townsend picked up a 3rd for his Schwarzbier, from last year’s Tustin Monster brew.  Also, give a toast to Nick Springer, winner of the January COC for his Moustache Brown Ale.  This gives Jeff 4 point toward the Brewer of the Year award, and Carl and Nick each have 1 point.

Speaking of the Brewer of the Year, we voted at the February meeting to reinstate the 2009 rules.  Note that the Queen of Beer competition and the best keg of at each meeting will NOT count toward the point totals.  The official rules are posted below.

Get those brewkettles going and don’t stop until the 2010 Brewer of the Year has been announced.  If you need still more competitions, you can find the whole list at

2010 Competition Schedule

March 18th COC – American Ales, BJCP Cat 10

April 1st  AHA Nationals

April  10th          Mayfaire

April 15th COC – Extract Beers, all BJCP styles

April 18th       California State Fair

July                   Los Angeles County Fair

July                   COC – Meads,  BJCP Cat 24-26

August              COC – Sour Ales, BJCP Cat 17

September        Pacific Brewers Cup

October           Queen of Beer (open to ladies only)

October           COC – Strong Ales, BJCP Cat 19

December        COC – English Pale Ales, BJCP Cat 8

2010 Brewer of the Year Rules (Approved Feb 18th, 2010)

  1. All members or brewing teams in good standing of Pacific Gravity are automatically entered when they enter beers in selected competitions.
  2. If more than one brewer is listed on the entry form (i.e., a team entry), points are awarded to the team, not to individual brewers.
  3. Points can be earned in the following competitions:
    1. All AHA Club-Only Competitions (COC).
      1. You may enter as many beers as you have that fit the specific style rules for each of the competitions.
      2. The club’s representative beer will be selected by a panel of at least two judges assigned by the Competition Coordinator.
      3. Only one beer can be entered by the club.
    2. The AHA National Regionals and Finals Competitions
    3. America’s Finest City Homebrew competition, Mayfaire, California State Fair, Los Angeles County Fair, Pacific Brewers Cup, and the California State Homebrew Competition.
  4. Entries for competitions at remote locations (except COCs) must be packaged for shipment by UPS.
  5. Points are awarded as follows:
    1. Three points for 1st place, two points for 2nd place and 1 point for 3rd place.
    2. Additional 3, 2 or 1 points for Best of Show, first runner-up and second runner up.
    3. 1 point for the club selection in COC’s and 3, 2, or 1 point for placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at the national level.
  6. Points will be tallied after the results of the Cal State and last COC are in.
  7. The trophy will be presented to the brewer or team with the highest point total at the annual Holiday Party.
  8. In the event of a tie, multiple awards will be given.