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In this time of COVID-19, most competitions have been shut down in the name of safety for the judges. Thinking of staff and judge safety foremost, the St. Louis Brews is sponsoring a new competition this year called VirtuAle. The main idea behind the name is that beers will be judged "virtually", with each judge responsible for individual bottles of beer and they will communicate via Skype, Zoom, etc. to discuss the beer and come up with a consensus score.

The rules and methods of running the competition are going to be different than competitions of the past. We hope that you understand the reasoning behind our decisions, and decide to enter your beer into our competition. The judging will take place over a two week period, from October 26, 2020 through November 7, 2020, with winners being announced on November 8.

Some of the highlights of rule changes are:

  • No Best of Show will take place. Only category winners will be announced.
  • Two bottles are required for entry, one for each judge. If one of the bottles is broken, it will have to be replaced or the entry will be disqualified.
  • Each judge will be getting one bottle and there will not be a mini-BOS. This means that a pair of judges will be responsible for an entire medal category. Because of this, we will be limiting the number of entries in most categories to eight, with a few categories being allowed to have 16.
  • With each judge responsible for a separate bottle, it is possible that there may be differences between the bottles. The judges will do their best to come up with a consensus score in this situation. However, entrants are highly advised to make their bottles as consistent as possible.
  • Because of new judging format, we want to provide schedule flexibility to our judges to find a time where they can judge the beer together. To help with this, we are having a two week judging window. We will do our best to maintain consistency with handling and temperature control for all entries.
  • Because judges will be working from the comfort of their homes and have access to a computer, electronic completion of the score sheets will be permitted and even encouraged (but not required).
  • All entries must be dropped off at one of the locations listed below. We will not be having a ship-to location for this competition.


Entry Information

Registration window is from Monday, October 5, 2020 through Friday, October 16, 2020.

There is a cap of 200 entries. Most categories have a cap of 8 entries, with some having a cap of 16. No more than 6 entries may be submitted by any brewer. This is a unique competition during trying times. Be sure to enter early, and if you find you can't send an entry in, please remember to delete your entry so someone else may be able to participate.

Cost is $8 per entry. Electronic payment via the registration web site is preferred. If you are paying by check, please attach your check in a conspicuous location on one of your bottles. Entries without a payment will not be judged.

Entries must be received by close of business on Friday, October 16, 2020 at the following locations. These locations are ONLY for folks dropping off their entries in person.

St. Louis Wine & Beermaking
231 Lamp Lantern Village
Chesterfield, MO 63017
(314) 230-8277

 

Missouri Malt
2275 Cassens Drive #126
Fenton, MO 63026
(314) 779-6258
 

Design 2 Brew
9995 WingHaven Blvd
O'Fallon, MO 63368
(636) 265-0751

 

Style Guidelines

We will be using the 2015 AHA/BJCP beer style guidelines. Only beers will be judged (no meads or ciders). You can access the beer style guidelines here.


Beer Judging Categories

Styles will be divided into the following judging categories. Each category below lists the BJCP styles for that category, along with the maximum number of entries allowed. Note that these categories may change based on the number of entries received and the number of judges available.

  • Pale Lager (8) 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A, 4B, 5A, 5C, 7C (pale)
  • Pilsner (8) 3A, 3B, 5D
  • Amber Hybrids and Lagers (8) 2B, 3C, 6A, 7A, 7B, 7C (amber)
  • Dark Lager (8) 2C, 3D, 8A, 8B
  • Strong Lager (8) 4C, 6C 9A, 9B, 9C
  • Light Ales (8) 1C, 1D, 5B, 18A
  • Ales of the British Isles (8) 11A, 11B, 11C, 12A, 12B, 12C, 14A, 14B, 14C, 15A
  • English Brown Ales and Porters (8) 13A, 13B, 13C, 20A
  • Stouts (16) 15B, 15C, 16A, 16B, 16C, 16D, 20B, 20C
  • American Ales (16) 18B, 19A, 19C
  • American and Imperial IPA (16) 21A, 22A
  • Specialty IPA (16) 21B
  • German Wheat and Rye (8) 10A, 10B, 10C
  • Belgian and French Ale (8) 24A-C, 25B
  • Strong Belgian/Trappist (8) 25A, 25C, 26A-D
  • Strong Ales (8) 17A, 17B, 17C, 17D, 22B, 22C, 22D
  • Fruit Beers (8) 29A-C
  • Smoke and Wood Aged (8) 6B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B
  • Spice, Herb, Vegetable (16) 30A-C
  • Euro Sour and Wild Ales (8) 23A-F, 28A-C

Register Your Beer

Registration will open on Monday, October 5, 2020 and will close on Friday, October 16, 2020.  There will be a 10 day time period between the close of registration and the start of judging. This is to allow quarantining of the beers to prevent COVID spread from the bottles.

There are caps on each category (see above) and an overall cap of 200 entries.

The registration site is located here.

Register to Judge or Steward

Because of the judging format, stewards are not needed in the same sense that they were in past competitions. However, if you would like to sit in on a judging session to hear comments from the judges, etc., please register as a steward and we will do our best to accomodate you.

Again, because of the judging format, judging will be quite different than in past competitions also. If you would like to judge, please be sure to have access to a computer or tablet, preferably one that can share video.

The judging will take place over a two week period, from October 26, 2020 through November 7, 2020.

Here's the registration form.

Judge/steward registration opens at the same time beer registration begins.

Results

The results of the competition will be posted here on November 8. Individual score sheets will be scanned within a week or so of the competition and will be available electronically for viewing. To view your score sheets, you will need to revisit the registration page.


Sponsors
Alpha Brewing Company   Missouri Malt
Design2Brew   St. Louis Wine and Beermaking
 

All information © 1999 - St. Louis Brews unless otherwise noted.