As promised in our last post, we got in touch with Raymond at iBrew and he’s replied really swiftly with news about the judges and evaluation process for iBrew this year.
Unlike last year, where Brian Fitzgerald, a Perth-based BJCP-certified judge who also runs a brewing equipment business (thanks Raymond!), was present to lend the proceedings a bit more weight, this year’s panel will be an all-Singapore team. They are:
Raymond Lee, owner of iBrew
Meng Chao, owner of Brewers’ Craft bottle shop and Smith Street Taps
Hayman TKM, brewer at Pump Room (which is also owned partly by Archipelago)
Edward Allen, provisional BJCP judge and a homebrewer himself.
The Bottle Challenge
In an email to us, Raymond mentioned that the bottles submitted will be tagged with a number and judging done blind, using the new 2014 edition of the BJCP style guide for reference and BJCP scoresheet to award points. The first round of tasting will see the group shortlisting five beers in each category, and in the subsequent round of tasting, a winner, runner up and best of show will be named.
He also mentioned that the best of show beer that is selected by the group will be pit against the winner of the People’s Choice round on the day of the iBrew Challenge to determine the ultimate winner of the bottle challenge.
The Keg Challenge
As for the pre-judging process for the keg challenge, hang in there. We’re getting in touch with Raymond again to find out what the process will be like. UPDATE: Raymond’s replied and has told us, ‘The judges will be taking small samples from each keg and will decide based on consensus the beer’s drinkability, balance and taste. We won’t be using any scoresheet.’
Entry to the keg challenge is by invite only. Brewers taking part in the keg challenge will need submit at least 18-litres of beer with a minimum gross weight of 21kg – only Cornelius kegs allowed – on the event day.
We know though, that the brewers shortlisted for the top five will have to serve their own kegs on the day of the event itself and we’re happy about that – this is definitely a step up from the last year, as it’ll give the non-homebrewing crowd in attendance an opportunity to really speak to a brewer, and for the homebrewer to be able to sell his or her own beer and explain the work he or she put into it.
Did you take part in the iBrew Challenge last year? Are you planning to take part again this year? Tell us your thoughts about the judging process, or things that you hope will improve at this year’s festival in the comments below!