The Ames Brewers League
A community of homebrewing enthusiasts in the Ames, IA region
We are a diverse group of brewers, young to old, extract to all-grain, that enjoy brewing and drinking quality beer. As a club, we have regular meetings monthly at 7:00 PM on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Morning Bell Coffee Roasters (111 Main Street) in Ames, IA. Everyone is welcome to the monthly meetings.
We begin our monthly meetings by addressing outstanding club business and introducing new discussion topics. After business discussion and member announcements, we move into the competition portion of the meeting. Monthly brewer competitions center around a particular set of styles in order for members to experience and judge beers of closely-related categories. Any attending member is welcome to submit a beer, mead, or cider into the competition, provided that it falls under the list of acceptable styles for the given month. All members participate as judges for the submissions, evaluating and scoring each entry according to the guidelines for the declared style.
From a brewer's standpoint, the competitions provide a way to receive feedback from tasters of various experience levels. As an added challenge, each month the evaluated brewers are awarded points based on their placement in the competition. First place is awarded 3 points, second place 2 points, third place 1 point, and remaining participants 0.5 point. The brewer with the most cumulative points at the end of the calendar year is deemed the "Brewer of the Year" for the Ames Brewers League.
As judges for the competitions, we are challenged to analyze submissions and evaluate subtle differences between beers. This practice encourages us to observe, smell, and taste samples critically. Additionally, competitions help member-judges to recognize characteristics of and develop an appreciation for various beer styles. Evaluation also gives members who are training to become certified beer judges practice in distinguishing and differentiating the various flavor, aroma and appearance characteristics of the style being judged.
We follow the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. Find out more about the BJCP and see the guidelines here.