Just entered a contest at a local pub. We are given 5 gallons of finished wort and then we have to finish the brew and bring it back to be judged after fermentation and bottling . We have to pitch the yeast or dry hop or whatever we want. The wort is an american pale ale. Any suggestions?
Who's doing the judging? Professional brewers? BJCP judges? The drinking public?
You didn't mention anything about the specifics of the wort. What follows assumes that the wort is pale to golden, mildly hopped, and mashed for medium body.
If your beer is going to be judged by regular folk, I'd brew a regular beer. Ferment the wort with WYeast 1056 at 60 F. Dry hop with an ounce or two of cascade and cold condition for a month. This will produce a clean American pale ale with a citrusy hop aroma.
If you're being judged by beer aficionados, you could try something a bit more distinctive. Lots of options here, but a Belgian pale ale might be just the thing. Boil 1 lb of table sugar in a quart of the wort. Cool, and add back to the wort. Ferment with WY3787 at warmish temperatures: upper 60's or low 70's. The sugar will add alcohol and lower the body. The yeast will provide Belgian character: fruity esters and some spice.
Good luck. I wish one of my local brew pubs would stage a contest like this.