If you are familiar at all with the 2008 BJCP guidelines (AKA every competition for the past seven years) then you are mostly familiar with the major categories for the 2016 competition–with three differences:
1.American Pale Ale, American IPA, and Strong Stouts (Tropical, Foreign Extra, American, and Imperial) have all been split into separate categories to better distribute entries in highly impacted categories.
2.Specialty IPA is now a sub-category of IPA, so stop entering your Black/Brown/Red/White/Session IPAs in the Specialty Beer category! 🙂
3.Many of the new 2015 BJCP styles have been added to what are essentially the 2008 major categories, so go wild entering your Gose, Wheatwine, and Sahti (amongst others) as first-class styles.
Otherwise everything else should feel pretty familiar, just make sure you review the updated style guidelines; many of them have been significantly updated. For instance, English Pale Ales mention significantly less caramel character than previous years after the guideline committee admitted the older guidelines were based on old/oxidized imported examples (which increases perception of caramel).
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