Can a Beer Judging Contest Help Your Packaging Quality?

Entering a beer contest, be it a regional or state contest from breweries you compete with for shelf space and local consumer dollar share, or national/international awards like the GABF or World Beer Cup, there is a key component to most of them that may help your brewery figure out how well your beer is being packaged.

“Flaws are also very important to receive feedback about,” explained Stoup Brewing co-owner and head brewer Brad Benson. “Signs of oxidations can be very important.

“Most judging occurs over a month after packaging. These competitions are a good measurement of your packaging quality and DO levels.”

When judging feedback, Garage Beer finds all information helpful, whether it’s constructive criticism, complaints, or positive feedback. ​One thing in particular that Bryce Gotuzzo, the brewery’s Digital Marketing Manager, and the Garage Beer team strives to achieve is to have its beer taste as fresh as possible.

“Information regarding the freshness and quality of our beer is particularly valuable feedback to us,” he said. “​We are always looking to improve and be the best we can, and that starts with listening to what the people have to say.”

Gotuzzo feels it is important to note the quality of the feedback, highlighting each judge’s experience in critiquing craft beer.

“However, as a company committed to excellence, we appreciate all honest feedback,” he said. “We are always looking to learn and grow as a company while providing the consumer with the highest quality craft beer.

​Benson said that the ​GABF and the World Beer Cup typically have the best feedback and vetting process for judging and ​he ​feels they​ have more value for ​Stoup.

​”​However we have received great feedback from other national and local contests​,” he said​. ​”​At some point, the brewery needs to weigh the value/cost ratio​​. We have beers we are very proud of and have received personal notes from a judge along with the tasting notes that the beer was on the medal table and that this judge fought for it to be in the top three but the beer did not make it to that final round.

“Notes like these are a mix of good feedback and disappointment.”

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