1 Technical Installation is Second-to-None
A distinguishing feature of these competitions is their unrivalled technical integrity, thanks to the combined expertise of the experienced team of dispense technicians who ensure all beers/ciders are presented in the best possible condition.
Keg, cask and smallpack entries are maintained and dispensed in separate areas with their own requirements individually managed.
2 All Entries Shown at Their Best
Extensive planning, good teamwork and, above all, good technical knowledge go towards ensuring every entry has the opportunity to be presented at its best.
The proper handling of entries up to the point of judging ensures that quality is maintained when it is poured – just as the brewer/cider maker would hope when their product reaches the point of sale.
Prompt and careful stewarding, labels for entries with sediments and timely venting of working casks are just some of the details that receive careful attention to ensure a great presentation.
3 Handling of Entries by Professionals
When entries are received – whether they be in cask, keg, bottle or can – they are professionally handled and carefully stored at a suitable temperature to protect the integrity of the beer.
Packaged entries will be unpacked when appropriate to be chilled to the selected judging temperature .
4 Choice of Temperatures For Judging of Bottled and Canned Beers/Ciders
Entrants for bottled and canned products are given the choice of 2 temperature-controlled refrigerated cabinet sets for their beers to be stored and poured for judging. Bottle and canned beer will be stored at either, 4, or 8°C
5 Keg and Cask Beers - Attention to Detail
The Cask Conditioned ale category will be judged at 12C +- 2C . The casks will be stored and jacketed in a separate area and vented and dispensed from tap to ensure quality . The keg beers will be dispensed through a python cellar system specially installed for the judging and cooled to either 4oC or 8°C. Mixed gas or carbon dioxide dispense will be at the entrants choosing.
6 Anonymity Assured
The entries remain entirely anonymous throughout the judging process. All entries will be presented to judges as poured samples in a numbered glass.
The numbers used do not reflect the entry numbers but rather a judging code.
Anonymity of samples is controlled by a system of double codes and designated restricted access areas for judges. The judges will not judge their own entries until the Championship stage where all judges are required to vote on the final selection.
7 The Best Equipment Employed
A large variety of equipment is necessary to ensure the correct storage and dispense for each of the entry categories .
The Organising Committee of the International Brewing Awards express their sincere appreciation to the technical sponsors who provide the quality equipment and support to make this event so technically proficient.
From the large and obvious cooling systems and cabinets , to the dispense gases , python tubing , taps , connectors and other fittings glasses through to a host of other specialist items, all are essential for the smooth and efficient running of the judging.
8 The Right Conditions for Judging are ensured
The judges’ programme is designed to keep the judges free of distractions and focussed on the sensory assessment of entries.
Judges work in teams and the number of samples is broken into manageable groupings interspersed with regular breaks. Moderation in food flavours during any breaks is also carefully considered.
The Chief Steward coordinates a team of specially selected stewards to provide the care necessary in the collection, pouring and presentation of samples for judging. The judges’ social programme after judging is also planned. This provides opportunities for interaction with sponsors and media away from the judging area.
Transparency in judging is provided through access by media and other special visitors to the judging in a way that minimises intrusion on the judges at work.
9 Control and Analysis for Integrity
Control at all stages of installation and judging is a key factor in maintaining fairness and equality for all entrants.
Control of the process of storage and dispense of samples is overseen by the Chief Steward. Control of the Judging Process from judges briefing to the actual judging is overseen by the Chairman of Judging.
Control includes factors such as dividing the judging up into blocks of entries of similar size, so that the judging pattern is consistent and manageable. Thus, no entry should be disadvantaged by being judged at the end of too large a block. Also, as the entries are thinned-out in each category down to those in line for an award, the contenders are analysed for ABV% to ensure they fit the class entered.
10 Anyone Can Win
The panel of judges comprises professional, experienced brewers/cider makers only. The judging relies on consensus rather than definition. This enables innovative beers and unusual interpretations of styles to have an equal chance of winning an award.
The focus is on commercial worth and recognising excellence in beer/cider making more from a market perspective rather than a perspective of tradition. That said, classic styles are well catered for, as for example, with cask beers or beers with sediment which handled with finesse and respect for their special needs.
October 1st 2020
Registration for 2021 International Brewing & Cider Awards
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