351 Homebrews

by Christopher O'Brien

How do 50 beer judges tackle 351 entries of 28 styles of home-brewed beer, mead, and cider in one day? Lunch, water, and bread aid in the process, as do a 2300 square foot room at a brewery, 25 additional volunteers, and a handy “BJCPStyles” smartphone app. Judges and volunteers reported to Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, Connecticut at 8:30 in the morning on Sunday, October 13 for the 24th Annual Southern New England Regional Homebrew Competition (SNERHC), and by 5:30 that evening, all of the entries had been sipped, sniffed, and judged.

BJCP stands for Beer Judge Certification Program, and the judges at SNERHC ranged from beginner to BJCP Grand Master. BJCP judges have studied a lot, drank many a beer, have probably brewed their own, and they’ve passed a series of exams covering technical aspects of beer brewing, international beer styles and history, and judging procedures and ethics.

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