I've done brewing competitions in the SCA where research was part of the competition. If you could justify a particular decision, you'd get more points than you would have if you hadn't made the justification.
Originally Posted by Kublai
But what's wrong with a versus test between the brewing skills in question? The rest of the brewers are irrelevant; just come up with a rival NPC (or better yet, tie it to a relationship or a complication from a failed Circles test) and have them be the effective competition.
-Peter. Or Pete. Or Hey Asshole. Whatever works.