Having completed my third homebrew beerfest/competition, among a core brewer group that is now familiar, I can identify some underlying trends that propel the winners to victory. These strategies apply to an open voting system where attendees, who pay admission simply to enjoy the homebrews as fans, vote for their favorite by ballot (not BJCP). Here are my top 5 tips to differentiate yourself. 1. Brew delicious beer even if you don't like it. Extremism. And the price of your brew should be secondary consideration.. it's all about the taste. Use outrageous flavor additions ranging the whole gambit, let your imagination propel these decisions. Nobody remembers your Vienna Lager brewed to spec after 3 hours of pounding 4oz samples. The winner, in a Facebook live segment before the event start, stated there's a 1/2oz hops per pint. That's 20oz hops per 5 gal IPA brew. It worked, but it was his peanut butter cup stout that stole the show. 2. Marketing. Create your own brewery name and act like you produce 50 barrels every night in your sleep, display professionalism and confidence all the way (ahem, arrogance works here too).. Signs, things to read, things to look at should all be present on your table. It keeps conversations going. Act interested in the people sampling your beer, ask where they are from, what they like to drink-- or don't and act indifferent like an artist might, but be consistent with which path you choose. If people walk away after you pour their glass, you won't get the feedback you deserve and they will forget you. Captivate their attention which brings us next to.... 3. Presentation. Your Jockey Box shouldn't look like one. Decorate it and create a unique shell for it and make it one of a kind. Add lights. Use a real draft faucet with custom tap handle if possible. You will die on the vine with a picnic tap. One last note- on dirty sample drinkware: make an explicit, deliberate, performance of cleaning one's glass. It shows you care, but it also builds anticipation for what they are about to taste from you. Swirling clean water in their glass for several seconds is hypnotizing. (Then dump it out of sight). 4. Stack the deck. Anybody can attend these events, so bring a posse. Your fans can be wonderful advocates. If your beer is good, they will share that news with others (OMG this is soooo good, I got it right over there you have to try it go now). They can create buzz and urgency on your behalf. And, you get their votes without even trying. 5. Grow a beard like a boss. Sorry ladies- this is required gear.