I wonder how Charlie Papazian really feels about the state of homebrewing. On one hand, he probably feels pretty good, AHA membership is up, demographics are changing, and things are good for his GABF. The collaboration of craft brewers is legendary....but I can't help feeling that there is a certain something about competitions that rubs him the wrong way.....I know it does me. I think that it is basically reprehensible to "brew for competition"....that is, to brew using techniques that will improve your score in order to increase your chance of winning. That, to me, is akin to rebottling Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and entering it in a comp as an APA....I guess it is not cheating per se, but wanting to win is different from brewing to win.
I don't like the idea of competitions, as each beer and brewery should be different and we should be celebrating diversity of styles. Either you like it, or you don't. I like many professional beers that score in the 30's, and don't like many that score in the 40's....even if I like the style. Also, the idea that passing a test about beer judging making you a qualified and unbiased judge. In my opinion, if I think you are an idiot, I don't think you are a good judge of beer that I would like.....no matter what your standing in the beer world.
Competition brings out the worst in people. Beer is a social thing....and shouldn't be reduced to a 50 point score.
Still, I am starting to feel compelled to take the BJCP test to test my own knowledge about beer. I just don't like the idea of judging a winner....or a loser.