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A Glance Into One Of The World’s Most Important Beer Competitions

03/12/2019

A behind the scenes look into the London Beer Competition, one of the most important beer competitions across the globe.

The London Beer Competition is one of the world’s most important beer competitions. This is because unlike other competitions that judge the beer based on only its quality, London Beer Competition covers the three main aspects of a beer that actually matter - Quality, Value, and Packaging. These three parameters are what buyers look at every time they’re adding a certain beer to their lists. The London Beer Competition also offers international exposure to all winning brands, which helps them step into the market they’re looking to get into.

Now, of course, the London Beer Competition is a closed-door event - however, we’re taking you behind the scenes and giving you an overview of what actually goes on before, during, and after the competition.

  1. Flighting with experts and unpacking

Once all submissions have ended and entries have been done, beer bottles are flighted by our experts and unboxed at the warehouse according to the flights. This process takes about 10 days, to make sure no bottles are hampered with, and things are done the right way so there’s no mistake when the judging day approaches. So in a span of 10 days, about 1500 to 2000 bottles are flighted and unboxed, getting prepped for the judging day.

LBC Behind the scenes 2

  1. Quality check

Once bottles are unboxed and grouped, then comes the quality check. Quality check is one of the most important parts of the competition process. It’s important to make sure the bottles are fine, nothing is broken, nothing is opened or spilled - or else it will hamper with the judging process on the judging day. The quality check takes about two days in our warehouse, to make sure all bottles are in impeccable condition.

  1. Scanning and data matching

To make sure all bottles are in the warehouse, and to prep them for the judging day - it’s important to get them scanned and get them matched with the data of the entrants. Here, our experts make sure that all bottles are matching with the data provided by the brewery and producer, for accurate judging.

  1. Judging sheets

Once all the work is done in the backend, the London Beer Competition gets one step closer to the main judging day. However, before the judging day approaches, the main step that is taken is the prep of judging sheets. The judging sheets include all the parameters needed to judge each beer. In the London Beer Competition, these parameters include Quality, Value, and Packaging.

  1. Who are our judges?

The London Beer Competition invites judges from across the globe. These judges include beer sommeliers, beer writers, bartenders, and industry experts who are involved in the direct buying and selling beer trade. The judges are handpicked by us to make sure that all aspects of the beers are judged, including how they would do on a retail shelf, how they would do in a restaurant or a bar, and the worth of the beer according to its quality and packaging.

LIST OF JUDGES

  1. Judging day

Once the judging day approaches, all of our judges gather at the venue, getting ready to taste and assess the beers. Judges are split into teams, with each team including a Trade buyer involved in the direct buying of beer around the world. Beers that are entered in the London Beer Competition are judged on the basis of Quality, Value, and Packaging. Judges look at every aspect of the beer that would matter to the consumer. Quality, of course, ranks first - however, the retail price of the beer, meaning if the beer is actually worth the price tag it has on is also very important. And of course, there’s packaging.

“People drink with their eyes so packaging has to be very important and its definitely crucial. I think if you forget the packaging, everything else can be right but it's still not going to move off the shelves or the bar” said Mitch Adams, Operation Manager and Beer Buyer for Euroboozer, UK - and a judge at the 2019 London Beer Competition.

So in terms of judging, the London Beer Competition covers every aspect that beer needs to excel in, in order to get on a restaurant or bar’s list, and on retail shelves.

  1. Rejudging day

Post the first day of assessing the beers, the London Beer Competition also has a rejudging day. This is well the judges gather, and re-taste beers which have been ranked above 90 points to make sure there are no ties, and the scores they’ve allotted are accurate. For example, two beers could have been tied for Beer of the Year on the first day of judging, but the rejudging day would solve that matter as the judges would sit down and reevaluate the beers and come to a final decision. This is also where all our special category awards are finalized.

The London Beer Competition offers Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals - along with 6 special category awards, namely:

  • Beer Of The Year

  • Brewery Of The Year

  • Best Beer of The Year by Quality

  • Best Beer of The Year by Value

  • Best Beer of The Year by Package

  • Best In Show By Country

LIST OF 2019 WINNERS

  1. Validation week

Once the scores are allotted by judges, then the process of getting them validated starts. Our experts make sure that the beers are assessed on all fair basis, and things are looking good on the scoring end. This process takes about one week before the winners are announced.

LBC Behind the scenes 1

  1. Winner announcement

Lastly, the London Beer Competition announces their winners after the entire process is through and everything is validated. The list of winners is sent to trade professionals and beer buyers across the globe. Winners are also backed by a year of digital promotion by London Beer Competition. The digital promotion includes a press article announcing the winners separately, interviews with the brewery/brewer, and social media exposure for one year.