In addition to supporting competitions in the region by sending in entries, you can also help out by volunteering to be a judge or steward.
Stewards act as helpers to judges, bringing beer to the judging table, clearing away used glasses and bottles, bringing judges supplies and otherwise helping out as needed. If you’ve never been to a homebrew competition before and want to see what it’s like, stewarding is a great place to start.
Judges write scoresheets for each beer in a “flight,” assign scores and determine winners within a particular flight or category. While competitions prefer judges who have taken the BJCP exam, almost all will take non-BJCP ranked judges, especially folks who are studying to take the exam. If you are an experienced brewer and/or have been attending the monthly BJCP tasting sessions, you’re probably qualified to judge.
If you haven’t take the exam you will be paired with a BJCP-ranked judge. If you intend to take the BJCP exam within the next couple of years, judging in competitions is a great way to get experience which will help you do better on the tests.
If there is sufficient interest in out-of-town competitions, we might be able to organize carpools and/or shared hotel rooms.