5 tips to make you the winning hombrewer at a beer festival based on popular voting

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Starter Hops, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Starter Hops

    Starter Hops Member

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    #1 Starter Hops, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    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.
     
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  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    haha, spot on. my buddy and i used this same basic premise for a chili cook off we did years back.

    and we brought candy for the kids so they'd vote for us. yes we were shameless, but we still won best personality :D
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you can't grow a great beard, a cool hat will do. Of course, having the complete text of the Reinheitsgebot in the original German gives you a bit of cred, too....
     
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  4. newmanwell

    newmanwell Active Member

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    Instead of a jockey box I have a "trash can keggerator". A couple taps mounted on the outside of the trash can. It's an attention grabber.
     
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  5. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    i've never liked wearing a beard ...i always thought only men with a weak chin needed them !
    i have a wonderfully masculine jawline so like to show it off , while attending brew shows i may wear a falsie if it helps and may even get some deliciously ironic fake tattoos .

    Another point to make is the name of the beer has to be memorable , a local small scale craft brewery has interesting and memorable names for each beer they produce
    KOL SCHISEL ( play on Cold Chisel , an iconic Aussie pub band ) German pale ale
    F YEAH - APA
    CALIFORNICATOR -IPA
    FRANKENBROWN -American Brown ale
    CHERRY POPPER - Cider

    They do seasonal releases as well , always something that only locals would really understand the reference
     
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