Blind tasting and judging at a well organised beer competition is great fun. Six to eight of you sit round a table assessing samples of beer one at a time, discussing fairly straightforward attributes such as clarity and aroma, and subsequently marking them according to your own judgement. It isn't difficult, you don't need to be an expert, just keen and intelligent enough to be fair minded. Judges are drawn from a diverse pool, ensuring a spectrum from expert to novice is present at each table - the experts explaining the process and the rest just getting on with it and having a laugh. There's plenty of room within that spectrum for beer bloggers too.
The South East Society of Independent Brewers is holding its annual Beer Competition at the South East Beer Festival in Tonbridge, Kent, on Friday the 16th of July this summer. In a marquee on the local sports ground (the Juddians Rugby Club) around 120 beers, from 30 or so breweries based in the South East, will be judged during lunchtime by about 100 keen assessors. Following the judging, which takes a couple of hours, and whilst the scores on the doors are totalled up behind the scenes, the judges mill around enjoying the free beer and lunch they so rightly deserve. The festival opens gates at 5pm and the results are announced about an hour later.
There's some room available for new judges and it's about time more came from the blogging community. If you're interested, get in touch with me, it'll be fun, I promise.