The Cleveland Labor Day Weekend Oktoberfest “Best Oktoberfest Microbrew” competition will be held Friday, August 31st– Monday, September 3rd, 2018 at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, OH – just outside Cleveland. The hours for the competition are 4PM-Midnight Fri, 2PM-Midnight Sat & Sun, and 2PM-8PM Monday. The Bier Garden will be cooking with the sounds of E5C4P3 (Journey), Hotel California (Eagles), Faction, The Spazmatics, My Manic Episode, Hard Days Night (Beatles), Walt Sanders (Elvis), and Project Diamond (Neil Diamond). Friday night will feature the judging and awards ceremony, and on Monday, your votes will be tallied to determine the People’s Choice for the Best Oktoberfest Microbrewery. I think we can all drink to that! Participating Breweries include:
The Cleveland Oktoberfest Microbrew Competition will be held Friday-Monday Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31st-Sept. 3rd, 2018. Microbrew Competition hours are from 4PM-Midnight Fri, 2PM-Midnight Sat & Sun, and from 2PM-8PM Monday. Oktoberfest will provide volunteers to pour, so brewers need not be present to participate, with the exception of Friday night. Since medals are handed out Friday night, we would like to have at least one brewery rep from each brewery present. An 8′ x 10′ space will be provided to each participating brewer. No fee will be charged for space. Only established breweries will be considered for inclusion. Though non-German beer styles are permitted, this being an Oktoberfest, we’d prefer that brewers concentrate on German styles (see categories below). Non-German styles will only be eligible for awards in the People’s Choice and Best of Show categories. Brewers may submit up to three beer styles for consideration.
The Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest will purchase as much beer as necessary to meet demand, which for most brewers should be roughly 9 kegs total (not per style), though brewers who went through more than that in previous years are free to bring more. Should demand exceed supply, Oktoberfest would wish to purchase additional kegs from any brewers who are able to restock on the fly. Oktoberfest will provide keg tubs, though we ask that entrants bring their own jocky boxes. Ice will be freely available upon request. Brewers wishing to participate should email email@example.com. Prior to the competition, we like to have a list of beers being submitted by each brewer. This gives our judging panel a chance to properly prepare to judge all entries. Note that Oktoberfest reserves the right to accept or reject any application for any reason. Space is limited, so brewers who wish to participate should submit applications for consideration as soon as possible.
On Friday there will be a panel judging, and on Monday the People’s Choice ballots will be tallied and a winner announced. The panel judging Friday night will award the best beer in four separate categories, as well as a Best in Show.
Brewers may submit into multiple categories. Should a brewer wish to bring a beer that does not fit into one of the categories listed below, that’s fine, though again, that beer would only be eligible for the People’s Choice and Best in Show awards.
the categories are:
Best “Classic” Oktoberfest
Best German Light Lager
Best German Ale
Best German Bock or Dark Lager
All German Best of Show
Open: Non-German Styles
Best of the Rest of the World
People’s Choice (The People’s Choice award will be judged by Oktoberfest patrons, who will be issued punchable cards and must purchase at least five 3oz. samples to be eligible to vote. When a patron purchases a sample, their card will be punched. The cards will double as ballots, which must be submitted no later than one hour prior to the close of Oktoberfest on Monday. After the ballots are counted, the winner will be announced and the award handed out, or delivered to the brewer if not present.)
Overall Best of Show
Oktoberfest will provide volunteers to dispense beer, though Brewers are encouraged to have a rep on hand to speak about their beer and brewing process. We encourage brewers to decorate their space to make it easily recognizable. Brewers are also welcome to sell other promotional items, such as T-Shirts and beer cozies, though glassware may not be sold.
The Best Oktoberfest Microbrew Competition will be located in the Bier Garten. When loading and unloading, Microbrew Reps will be allowed to drive right up to rear of the Bier Garten using the Vendor Entrance or Main Entrance, though if using the Main Entrance, all vehicles must be off the Midway one hour prior to gate opening. There will be a refrigerated truck behind of the Bier Garten to hold all beer not in use. There will also be an easily accessible ice chest in the Bier Garten for icing down kegs, and each brewer’s station will be furnished with two keg tubs (though again, brewers will need to bring their own jocky boxes). To view a map of the grounds, click here (the Vendor Entrance is located in the upper left hand corner of the map).