Although a few more entries may show up it seems that 183 judges at the World Beer Cup, held in Chicago in April just before the Craft Brewers Conference begins, will have more than 3,400 beers to judge over the course of two days.
Does that sound like work or like fun to you?
The 2010 WBC will be the largest commercial competition ever, eclipsing the 3,331 beer entries set at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.
The judges come from 27 countries including the United States, with 63 percent of them from outside the U.S. Several countries not represented in 2008 will be this year: Benin, Cambodia, Fiji, Greece, Haiti, Ireland, Mongolia and Namibia.
Before you haul out the calculator, 3,500 beers for 183 judges works out to less than 20 beers each. Oh, were it that simple. Each beer is judged by by six judges in each round, and multiple times if it advances (the more popular categories require three rounds).
Now does it sound like work?
More about the judging process (from the 2006 competition in Seattle).