A Beer Judge’s Diary: The Balancing Act

First Round 2016 Nationals: Nashville @ Blackstone Brewery’s production facility
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There are many reasons many of the situations mentioned in this edition shouldn’t happen in a competition, but due to the very human nature of competitions readers need to be aware they can happen, and do happen.-kwc

>strong>By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 How many times have you received score sheets back from some competition and said, “What the &%$#?” While we can’t dismiss the possibility of poor judging, it’s far, far, far more likely there are other reasons including, well, the judges might be spot on with their assessments. Indeed, when you get conflicting comments it’s possible both judges are right. One judge may sense an issue with an entry and describe it one way, the other judge senses the same character but describes it differently. Or each judge senses some different issue and both may be a problem with the entry.
 You probably have heard many of the standard reasons for why judges aren’t “spot on:” last in flight, palate fatigue… both might be valid. While it should have no influence, being the last entry judged, or first, might have made a difference. Big high gravity flights can be tough towards the end. We do our best to pace ourselves, smaller samples… but judges are human.
 If judges have one problematic brew after another, and then what seems a phenomenal one, scores could get skewed. Dare I repeat, “Judges are human?” Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary: The Balancing Act”