Brew or Cry 2018

BREW OR CRY:  Brewers Challenge 2018

This year we’re continuing with the format set forth in 2017, giving brewers a few styles from which to choose.  We’ve made a few minor tweaks to ensure tables aren’t stuck judging 15 beers, nor a 3rd of 3 entry scoring the same as 3rd of 15.  Please read the updated rules below.

The Rules
• There will be 3 regular rounds of competition, with 4 styles in each.
• Limit TWO entries per team, per category, per round.
(5 teams X 2 entries = 10 maximum entries to be judged)
• Each team will be responsible for at least one entry into each category, for rounds 1-3.
• The 4th and final round will be for the winning team and top individual brewers.*
• Collaboration brews:
         -You must declare the head brewer, only they will receive individual points for this beer
         -Co-brewers cannot judge in a category in which they brewed/assisted
         -You must declare if you were involved in brewing any collaborations
         -If a team has only one entry in a category, but all individual brewers have submissions,
         the team can submit a team-collaboration brew, which will receive TEAM points scored only.

• Styles are based on the 2015 BJCP Guidelines.
• Brewers must bring a smartphone with a reasonable battery charge for online scoring system.
• Brewers must submit 32-36oz. of beer for competition nights to ensure enough for judging process.  Bring extra if you want to share with everyone.
       Ideal packaging for your entries will be in non-distinct bottles, growlers (ie. no stainless steel, branded etc..)
       – TWO 22oz generic brown glass bomber, THREE 12oz generic brown glass bottles, ONE 32oz swingtop brown glass bottle or ONE 32oz growler

*Top individual brewers are invited to the final round as a way to recognize outstanding brewing prowess, despite an overall team loss.  The final number of these invites will be determined at the conclusion of the 3rd round (historically 4-6 additional brewers make the cut)
**The Brew or Cry Challenge is, and always has been voluntary. We hope that you want to have some fun, and that this new format is something that interests all members enough to participate.


The scoreboard has moved to it’s own page:

You will be seated with others who brewed the same style as you.  If you collaborated, please make board members aware if there is a potential that a brew you were directly involved in, might be judged by you.  We will reassign you to a non-conflicting category for judging night as you are not permitted to judge in a category you brewed in.

Scoring will all be done online.  We will provide a link for each beer style.  Judges must use their real name, erroneous entries will be audited and omitted if necessary.

The board has chosen these 12 common styles for the 2018 competition.  This provides a fair amount of choice to all competitors, in each round.  The selection of styles increase in difficulty each round, while still leaving options for brewers of all skill levels.

ROUND 1 – March 22nd
Origin Styles Level
American 19a. American Amber Ale Basic
Belgian 25b. Saison Basic
British 13c. English Porter Basic
 German  5b. Kolsch Intermediate
ROUND 2 – May 24th
Origin Styles Level
American 18a. Blonde Ale Basic
Belgian 24a. Witbier Intermediate
British 12c. English IPA Basic
German-ish 3b. Czech Premium Pale Lager  (3a also accepted) Advanced
ROUND 3 – September 27th
Origin Styles Level
American 18b. American Pale Ale Basic
British 14a. Scottish Light Intermediate
Belgian 26d. Belgian Dark Strong Ale Advanced
German 8b. Schwarzbier Advanced

2015 BJCP Style Guidelines

*Additional beer styles may be added if club membership increases enough to necessitate expansion.

The scoring system has been overhauled for 2018.  Your combined average score is how many points you will receive.  If you score a 19.5 out of 25, then 19.5 is your score for that beer.  This new scoring system allows for beers to be ranked, and also ensures that a beer that just didn’t turn out right doesn’t get a few unearned points in an uncontested category.

Bonus Points
We want to recognize the brewers who dare to tackle the more challenging styles with bonus points.  Just by brewing a more complicated beer style, your average score will increase by 1 point.  No this doesn’t mean you can enter a glass of water for your team and score a 2 out of 27 in the Czech Pilsner category.

BONUS Basic Intermediate Advanced
Points 0 1 2
Best Score
Best Score
Best Score

*The board reserves the right to reevaluate scoring system to maintain a fun competition, while continuing to challenge brewers.

BJCP Bonus Points
Individual bonus points can be awarded if you enter your beer from Round 1 or 2 into a BJCP sanctioned competition and submit your score sheets to  These points will only count towards individual’s scores.

BJCP Score Bonus Points
46-50 4
40-45 3
30-39 2
20-29 1

*The board reserves the right to reevaluate scoring system.


A mix of 2017 & 2018 exec board members have volunteered to serve as the 5 Team Captains.  Teams were built using the 2017 scores to keep teams balanced and filled with active brewers.

Greg Vander Velden Jeff Scanlan Nate Hughes Kevin Karls Dan Nieman
Matt Boyd Charlie Marcotte Peter Schroder Jason Mayerl Zak Lee
Zak Holmes Andy & Michelle Gerver Alan Oakland Brian Brockman Garry Puzach
Alex Benedict Gene Wittenheiller Dan Mickelson Andy Atwood Karl Siekart
Mary Martin Rod Melotte Kris Hinzman Alan Ledrowski Peter Zoelner
Chris Erickson Nick Skuban Jason Boynton Greg Schultz Jim Albrecht
Joel Franke Brian Sellung Josh Kurutz  Matt Zanon Hannah Stoffs
 Adam Joyce  Evan Lamberg  Joseph Ronshausen  Jarrod Schleus

*As new members join, they will be assigned to a team at the discretion of the board.
** If you were drafted on a team and do not wish to participate in a single round, please inform a boardmember so we can make adjustments.

The Final Round
The winning team after 3 rounds will disband to compete against each other for the grand prize and bragging rights as the  2017 Brewer of the Year for the SPWH!  Top individual brewers will be invited to final round at the discretion of the board.

*If a brewer on the winning team failed to enter a single beer in 2017 competition, they will be excluded from the final round.

The winner of Round 4 will go on to brew that beer at One Barrel Brewing Co. and have their beer released during Madison Craft Beer Week.
(updated 1/29/2018)