A Beer Judge’s Diary- Of Stipends and Big Awards

By Ken Carman
By Ken Carman
 It seems to be the latest rage: paying judges for judging. OK, let’s be beer judging-correct, “stipends.” Oh, I’m not saying it’s absolutely new by any means, but I have seen a rather large increase.
 I understand, I have been tempted myself with my competition: The Old Forge BIG Beer and Odd Ale Competition. OFBB is in the middle of nowhere and there are no local homebrew clubs. Getting judges is tough. Hell, getting entries is an adventure.
 But I have seen the result of stipends and I’m not convinced they are that effective. And I have every reason to say otherwise. I love judging, but I have yet to let a stipend influence me if I really didn’t want to go somewhere. The Can Can Awards in Franklin, TN offers decent stipend but, to be honest, I’m no fan of the judging sheet they use that reminds me more of a multiple guess high school pop quiz than a judging sheet. It seems designed by someone who thinks every aroma, every flavor, is sensed exactly the same way by every judge. So, naturally if this was all about just me, I’d avoid Can Can, despite the stipend. Continue reading “A Beer Judge’s Diary- Of Stipends and Big Awards”