Scottish Craft Brewers Competition 2016

Date: 24th January 2016
The club meeting starts at 12 noon but beer for the competition should be dropped off at 11:30.
Judging starts sharp so make sure your beer is there at 11:30.

Details of the day are available from the event section: The Big January Event

Venue: Andrew Usher & Co, 32b West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DD

What beer Styles can I enter?

Click on the category title for more information.

Overall Impression: Low gravity, low alcohol levels, and low carbonation make this an easy-drinking session beer. The malt profile can vary in flavor and intensity, but should never override the overall bitter impression. Drinkability is a critical component of the style Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, often (but not always) with a light caramel quality. Bready, biscuity, or lightly toasty malt complexity is common. Mild to moderate fruitiness. Hop aroma can range from moderate to none, typically with a floral, earthy, resiny, and/or fruity character. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Appearance: Pale amber to light copper color. Good to brilliant clarity. Low to moderate white to off-white head. May have very little head due to low carbonation.

Flavor: Medium to moderately high bitterness. Moderately low to moderately high fruity esters. Moderate to low hop flavor, typically with an earthy, resiny, fruity, and/or floral character. Low to medium maltiness with a dry finish. The malt profile is typically bready, biscuity, or lightly toasty. Low to moderate caramel or toffee flavors are optional. Balance is often decidedly bitter, although the bitterness should not completely overpower the malt flavor, esters and hop flavor. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-light body. Low carbonation, although bottled examples can have moderate carbonation. Emphasis is on the bittering hop addition as opposed to the aggressive middle and late hopping seen in American ales.

Vital Statistics:

  • OG: 1.030 – 1.039
  • IBUs: 25 – 35
  • FG: 1.007 – 1.011
  • SRM: 8 – 14
  • ABV: 3.2 – 3.8%

Commercial Examples: Adnams Southwold Bitter, Brains Bitter, Fuller’s Chiswick Bitter, Greene King IPA, Tetley’s Original Bitter, Young’s Bitter Tags: session-strength, amber-color, top-fermented, british isles, traditional-style, amber-ale-family, bitter

Overall Impression: A hoppy, moderately-strong, very well attenuated pale British ale with a dry finish and a hoppy aroma and flavor. Classic British ingredients provide the best flavor profile.

Aroma: A moderate to moderately-high hop aroma of floral, spicy-peppery or citrus-orange in nature is typical. A slightly grassy dry-hop aroma is acceptable, but not required. A moderately-low caramel-like or toasty malt presence is optional. Low to moderate fruitiness is acceptable. Some versions may have a sulfury note, although this character is not mandatory.

Appearance: Color ranges from golden to deep amber, but most are fairly pale. Should be clear, although unfiltered dryhopped versions may be a bit hazy. Moderate-sized, persistent head stand with off-white color.

Flavor: Hop flavor is medium to high, with a moderate to assertive hop bitterness. The hop flavor should be similar to the aroma (floral, spicy-peppery, citrus-orange, and/or slightly grassy). Malt flavor should be medium-low to medium, and be somewhat bready, optionally with light to medium-light biscuit-like, toasty, toffee-like and/or caramelly aspects. Medium-low to medium fruitiness. Finish is medium-dry to very dry, and the bitterness may linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. The balance is toward the hops, but the malt should still be noticeable in support. If high sulfate water is used, a distinctively minerally, dry finish, some sulfur flavor, and a lingering bitterness are usually present. Some clean alcohol flavor can be noted in stronger versions. Oak is inappropriate in this style.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-light to medium-bodied mouthfeel without hop-derived astringency, although moderate to medium-high carbonation can combine to render an overall dry sensation despite a supportive malt presence. A low, smooth alcohol warming can and should be sensed in stronger (but not all) versions.

Vital Statistics:

  • OG: 1.050 – 1.075
  • IBUs: 40 – 60
  • FG: 1.010 – 1.018
  • SRM: 6 – 14
  • ABV: 5.0 – 7.5%

Commercial Examples: Freeminer Trafalgar IPA, Fuller’s Bengal Lancer IPA, Meantime India Pale Ale, Ridgeway IPA,

Overall Impression: A pale, refreshing and hoppy ale, yet with sufficient supporting malt to make the beer balanced and drinkable. The clean hop presence can reflect classic or modern American or New World hop varieties with a wide range of characteristics. An average-strength hop-forward pale American craft beer, generally balanced to be more accessible than modern American IPAs.

Aroma: Moderate to strong hop aroma from American or New World hop varieties with a wide range of possible characteristics, including citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, or melon. None of these specific characteristics are required, but hops should be apparent. Low to moderate maltiness supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuit, caramelly). Fruity esters vary from moderate to none. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive.

Appearance: Pale golden to light amber. Moderately large white to off-white head with good retention. Generally quite clear, although dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy.

Flavor: Moderate to high hop flavor, typically showing an American or New World hop character (citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc.). Low to moderate clean grainy-malt character supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuity). The balance is typically towards the late hops and bitterness, but the malt presence should be supportive, not distracting. Caramel flavors are often absent or fairly restrained (but are acceptable as long as they don’t clash with the hops). Fruity yeast esters can be moderate to none, although many hop varieties are quite fruity. Moderate to high hop bitterness with a medium to dry finish. Hop flavor and bitterness often lingers into the finish, but the aftertaste should generally be clean and not harsh. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Moderate to high carbonation. Overall smooth finish without astringency and harshness. Comments: New hop varieties and usage methods continue to be developed. Judges should allow for characteristics of modern hops in this style, as well as classic varieties.

Vital Statistics:

  • OG: 1.045 – 1.060
  • IBUs: 30 – 50
  • FG: 1.010 – 1.015
  • SRM: 5 – 10
  • ABV: 4.5 – 6.2%

Commercial Examples: Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale, Firestone Walker Pale 31, Great Lakes Burning River, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Tröegs Pale Ale

Overall Impression: A decidedly hoppy and bitter, moderately strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. The balance is hopforward, with a clean fermentation profile, dryish finish, and clean, supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.

Aroma: A prominent to intense hop aroma featuring one or more characteristics of American or New World hops, such as citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Many versions are dry hopped and can have an additional fresh hop aroma; this is desirable but not required. Grassiness should be minimal, if present. A low to medium-low clean, grainy-malty aroma may be found in the background. Fruitiness from yeast may also be detected in some versions, although a neutral fermentation character is also acceptable. A restrained alcohol note may be present, but this character should be minimal at best. Any American or New World hop character is acceptable; new hop varieties continue to be released and should not constrain this style.

Appearance: Color ranges from medium gold to light reddish-amber. Should be clear, although unfiltered dryhopped versions may be a bit hazy. Medium-sized, white to offwhite head with good persistence.

Flavor: Hop flavor is medium to very high, and should reflect an American or New World hop character, such as citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc. Medium-high to very high hop bitterness. Malt flavor should be low to medium-low, and is generally clean and grainy-malty although some light caramel or toasty flavors are acceptable. Low yeast-derived fruitiness is acceptable but not required. Dry to medium-dry finish; residual sweetness should be low to none. The bitterness and hop flavor may linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. A very light, clean alcohol flavor may be noted in stronger versions. May be slightly sulfury, but most examples do not exhibit this character.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, with a smooth texture. Medium to medium-high carbonation. No harsh hopderived astringency. Very light, smooth alcohol warming not a fault if it does not intrude into overall balance.

Vital Statistics:

  • OG: 1.056 – 1.070
  • IBUs: 40 – 70
  • FG: 1.008 – 1.014
  • SRM: 6 – 14
  • ABV: 5.5 – 7.5%

Commercial Examples: Alpine Duet, Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Lagunitas IPA, Russian River Blind Pig IPA, Stone IPA

Overall Impression: A malt-focused, generally caramelly beer with perhaps a few esters and occasionally a butterscotch aftertaste. Hops only to balance and support the malt. The malt character can range from dry and grainy to rich, toasty, and caramelly, but is never roasty and especially never has a peat smoke character.

Aroma: Low to medium maltiness, often with flavors of toasted breadcrumbs, lady fingers, and English biscuits. Low to medium caramel and low butterscotch is allowable. Light pome fruitiness in best examples. May have low traditional English hop aroma (earthy, floral, orange-citrus, spicy, etc.). Peat smoke is inappropriate.

Appearance: Pale copper to very dark brown. Clear. Low to moderate, creamy off-white.

Flavor: Entirely malt-focused, with flavors ranging from pale, bready malt with caramel overtones to rich-toasty malt with roasted accents (but never roasty) or a combination thereof. Fruity esters are not required but add depth yet are never high. Hop bitterness to balance the malt. No to low hop flavor is also allowed and should of traditional English character (earthy, floral, orange-citrus, spicy, etc.). Finish ranges from rich and malty to dry and grainy. A subtle butterscotch character is acceptable; however, burnt sugars are not. The malt-hop balance tilts toward malt. Peat smoke is inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low to medium body. Low to moderate carbonation. Can be relatively rich and creamy to dry and grainy. Comments: Malt-focused ales that gain the vast majority of their character from specialty malts, never the process. Burning malt or wort sugars via ‘kettle caramelization’ is not traditional nor is any blatantly ‘butterscotch’ character. Most frequently a draught product. Smoke character is inappropriate as any found traditionally would have come from the peat in the source water. Scottish ales with smoke character should be entered as a Classic Style Smoked Beer. Characteristic Ingredients: Originally used Scottish pale malt, grits or flaked maize, and brewers caramel for color. Later adapted to use additional ingredients, such as amber and brown malts, crystal and wheat malts, and roasted grains or dark sugars for color but not for the ‘roasty’ flavor. Sugar adjuncts are traditional. Clean or slightly fruity yeast. Peatsmoked malt is inauthentic and inappropriate. Style Comparison: Similar character to a Wee Heavy, but much smaller.

Vital Statistics:

  • OG: 1.040 – 1.060
  • IBUs: 15 – 30
  • FG: 1.010 – 1.016
  • SRM: 13 – 22
  • ABV: 3.9 – 6.0%

Commercial Examples: Belhaven Scottish Ale, Broughton Exciseman’s Ale, Orkney Dark Island, Pelican MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale, Weasel Boy Plaid Ferret Scottish Ale

Overall Impression: Refreshing wheat beers that can display more hop character and less yeast character than their German cousins. A clean fermentation character allows bready, doughy, or grainy wheat flavors to be complemented by hop flavor and bitterness rather than yeast qualities.

Aroma: Low to moderate grainy, bready, or doughy wheat character. A light to moderate malty sweetness is acceptable. Esters can be moderate to none, although should reflect relatively neutral yeast strains; banana is inappropriate. Hop aroma may be low to moderate, and can have a citrusy, spicy, floral, or fruity character. No clove phenols.

Appearance: Usually pale yellow to gold. Clarity may range from brilliant to hazy with yeast approximating the German weissbier style of beer. Big, long-lasting white head.

Flavor: Light to moderately-strong bready, doughy, or grainy wheat flavor, which can linger into the finish. May have a moderate malty sweetness or finish quite dry. Low to moderate hop bitterness, which sometimes lasts into the finish. Balance is usually even, but may be slightly bitter. Low to moderate hop flavor (citrusy, spicy, floral, or fruity). Esters can be moderate to none, but should not include banana. No clove phenols. May have a slightly crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium-high to high carbonation. Slight creaminess is optional; wheat beers sometimes have a soft, ‘fluffy’ impression.

Vital Statistics:

  • OG: 1.040 – 1.055
  • IBUs: 15 – 30
  • FG: 1.008 – 1.013
  • SRM: 3 – 6
  • ABV: 4.0 – 5.5%

Commercial Examples: Bell’s Oberon, Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Widmer Hefeweizen

How do I enter my beer?

Rules

• All beers to have been made by the competitor (both extract brewing and all grain brewing are accepted).
• Any style brown 500ml or pint glass bottle (please remove previous labels or markings).
• Any colour crown cap.
• Minimum of 3 bottles per entry.
• Entrants will be provided with their entry numbers via email. Please affix the number to the bottle (printer paper stuck on with milk is suitable)
• Labels: Bottles must only have the registration label that has been sent by email.
• Competitors may enter more than one entry in each class.

Registration Process

• All beer must be registered prior to the event.
• Please use the online registration form either from here or the link at the top of the page. You must register each beer individually.

Please Note

• Judges feedback will be provided for each entry.
• Beers will be offered for sampling to other competitors and visitors after judging.
• Care will be taken of all exhibits but the organisers cannot be held responsible for any loss.
• All bottles not claimed at the end of the show will be disposed of.
• Judges may enter any class but cannot award themselves a placing.
• All judges’ rulings and placings will be final.

Is there a cost for entry?

Scottish Craft Brewers members –  FREE
Non members – £3 per entry

Useful material to help you prepare

Judges checklist: http://www.bjcp.org/docs/Beer_checklist.pdf

Style guidelines you will be judged on: http://www.bjcp.org/stylecenter.php

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