Judging & Competition FAQs

How are entries judged?

Judges work in teams: one Technical and one Aesthetic. Technical Judges deduct points for flaws and defects from a perfect score of 50; Aesthetic Judges award points for outstanding characteristics and qualities to a maximum of 50. Learn more about the ACS Judging Process. 

How much cheese should I send, and how should I send it?

Product must be sent in its original form. Cheeses may not be plugged and/or resealed. Cheeses must be entered as whole wheels, loaves, or blocks. Exceptions will only be made for larger form cheeses, i.e. Emmental and Cheddar.  These cheeses must be presented in the form in which they are available for wholesale distribution. (For example, 10 lb. Print, 5 lb. Brick, 20 lb. Wedge, etc.) Any cheese or dairy product under one pound of weight will require 1 retail case of samples or a minimum of 6 pieces.

How are entries awarded?

Minimum scores are required to earn awards and each entry is evaluated on its own merit. Learn more about the Judging process. 

When will I receive my award and/or scores?

Winners of the ACS Judging & Competition will be announced at the Awards Ceremony during the ACS Annual Conference. Winners present at the Awards Ceremony will be presented a medal. Shortly after the conference, you will receive a copy of the score sheet(s) for each of your entries, including the judges’ comments, overall scores, and the number of entries per category.  Winners will also receive an official Awards Certificate and ribbon for each winning entry.

Will my entries be displayed at the Festival of Cheese or Brunch of Champions?

ACS will feature products entered in the Fresh Unripened, Cultured Milk Products, and Butter categories at the Brunch of Champions.  All other products that were judged in the Competition will be featured at the Festival of Cheese.