So I’ve been brewing for almost two years now, and for the most part I’ve been pretty humble about my beers. That just changed, I brewed a tripel that is out of this world, fuckin amazing, I’d put it up against anything there is. I want to enter this beer into a competition, because I’m not sure that some Trappist monks could outdo this tripel I just did. How does one go about finding a competition and entering a beer into it? How many bottles of my outfuckinstanding tripel do I have to sacrifice to get the recognition I believe I deserve?
For starters it depends a lot on where you live.
Locate your closest bigger homebrew club, or perhaps better yet, national one, and ask when they have competitions and how you can enter.
Before you send it though, check the rules, likely it will be judged by beer judges as of a style guideline, have a thought as to if that is how you brewed it.
First round of the AHA national competition is in a couple of months. Registration is the 23rd of this month.
Dominion Cup in Richmond, VA, is a big one I was associated with for several years. Lots of good judges there. They were getting several hundred entries per year last time I judged.
To answer your questions more directly…
The web pages for these competitions usually tell you how to enter and how many bottles to reserve. It’s at least 2 per competition, but I think it’s more for AHA (I never entered).
And DO it. I won best of show in a local Homebrew Fest three of the first four times I entered (to my great surprise) - and a good friend of mine made it to the Great American Beer Festival last fall with his beer. The cost of entering your beer in competition tends to be very low. And you might win. And in California there is a competition at the State Fair. So check out all the opportunities.
It is my goal to brew for comps more this year. I’ve entered 2 and actually won a prize in a sour category once. Even if I didn’t win in the second one I really appreciated the honest in depth feedback we got from our scoring sheets. As Hayduke mentionned, it’s usually quite cheap to sign up, so totally worth it!