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General Category => Events => Homebrew Competitions => Topic started by: donger on March 05, 2012, 04:35:26 pm

Title: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: donger on March 05, 2012, 04:35:26 pm
Dang.... Why not limit it to 4 entries per brewer max in your own region? You brewing machines that enter 15+ cannot be that desperate for ribbons. C'mon!

Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 05, 2012, 04:45:00 pm
I feel your pain, but there's more than 30K AHA members, and what, a million or so homebrewers?
They can't please everyone.  Heck, I brewed 42 times last year; 4 entries is a 3-day weekend.   ;D

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: donger on March 05, 2012, 04:51:51 pm
I dunno... something needs to be changed. There has been this problem in the past - I think capping the number of entries per brewer at 4 allows more to participate.
Just my .02
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 05, 2012, 05:24:35 pm
We're definitely looking for a solution.  I'll pass along the 4 entry limit idea.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: mkultra69 on March 05, 2012, 05:33:56 pm
I agree something needs to be fixed. I've been planing on this for a year now (as I live 20min from Seattle) and now what's the point. Every thing on the west cost was filled up by the time I got home from work Friday night. Think I'm going to end up getting a refund on the confrence tickets now.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 05, 2012, 05:46:30 pm
I say boohoo to you if you missed the entry window.  Apparently you have different priorities than entering NHC if you could not make any of your beers in before the number hit 7500.

You could have entered 5 different regions all day saturday.

I don't think there should EVER be a limit on how much homebrew you enter!!!!  Maybe a solution is to add like 5-10 more "first-round" judging centers and then make it a three round competition.

OR

Early bird gets the worm. 

its funny how most people who complain about homebrew competitions, never volunteer for them.

Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 05, 2012, 05:57:59 pm
Using Gordon Strongs 3 entries to 1 medal ratio, if you want to be confident that one of your beers will get a medal, 9 entries is not a lot i.e. 3 advance and 1 places in the 2nd round.

Things have changed a lot since I went to my first NHC in 2003.  I have entered the last 3 and the competition is getting pretty tough.

The conference location will be an issue in the future, it will need to be in a bigger convention city with good sized hotels that can handle a bunch of people.  I remember when the NCAA final 4 was plangyed in 20,000 seat arenas, or smaller.  It used to be at Kemper arena in KC often when the NCAA was headquartered in KC.  Not anymore, it is in larger cities with a stadium large enough to seat a huge crowd, adn the hotels that can handle that.  Not saying it will be that big, but the needs of a larger conference will force changes to where it can be.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: theDarkSide on March 05, 2012, 06:02:19 pm
  It used to be at Kemper arena in KC often when the NCAA was headquartered in KC.  Not anymore, it is in larger cities with a stadium large enough to seat a huge crowd, adn the hotels that can handle that.  Not saying it will be that big, but the needs of a larger conference will force changes to where it can be.

Outdoor football stadiums!! ;D

Mkultra69:  Were you not aware that you didn't have to enter in your region?  Sorry you missed the cutoff, but I'd still go to the conference, especially when it's in your backyard!!
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tom on March 05, 2012, 06:06:19 pm
Think I'm going to end up getting a refund on the confrence tickets now.
Dont' do that.  There is a lot more at the NHC than just the competition.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: donger on March 05, 2012, 06:19:40 pm
I say boohoo to you if you missed the entry window.  Apparently you have different priorities than entering NHC if you could not make any of your beers in before the number hit 7500.

You could have entered 5 different regions all day saturday.

I don't think there should EVER be a limit on how much homebrew you enter!!!!  Maybe a solution is to add like 5-10 more "first-round" judging centers and then make it a three round competition.

OR

Early bird gets the worm. 

its funny how most people who complain about homebrew competitions, never volunteer for them.

Edith,
You make a lot of assumptions...  I volunteer for a lot of comps in several states and am also an exam grader. ANYWAY - I think capping is a good way to allow lots of brewers to push forward their best beers to the competition. I also think registering in your own region is best, too.

Lots of people have other priorities over entering in the first 24hrs... like, oh, maybe, working?  Geezus you're a insensitive goob.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: aod on March 05, 2012, 06:27:55 pm
I've judged at the NHC First Round a couple times and found there to be quite a mix of good beers and problematic beers.  Definitively folks apply the "shotgun entry method" instead of sending their best forward.  Or is it, Enter Early, Enter Often? ;)

My opinion is the judging is often not the best larger competitions due to the number of entries, workload per judge, time constraints, etc.  Entering beer in the NHC to get feedback is not the best idea; especially at $10 an entry to boot.

~Adam
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 05, 2012, 06:28:19 pm
Question:  About what % of entries come from non-AHA members?
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: punatic on March 05, 2012, 06:29:48 pm
The conference location will be an issue in the future, it will need to be in a bigger convention city with good sized hotels that can handle a bunch of people.  I remember when the NCAA final 4 was plangyed in 20,000 seat arenas, or smaller... 

I think a better analogy for homebrew competitions would be a bowling league.

There is a lot more at the NHC than just the competition.

Amen brother!
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: theDarkSide on March 05, 2012, 06:34:19 pm

I think a better analogy for homebrew competitions would be a bowling league.

Puna...this wasn't your house I hope:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-05/hawaii-lava-evacuation/53361612/1

Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 05, 2012, 06:42:43 pm
Question:  About what % of entries come from non-AHA members?

I'm not 100% certain, but I think you have to be an AHA member to enter.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bluesman on March 05, 2012, 06:46:50 pm
Question:  About what % of entries come from non-AHA members?

I'm not 100% certain, but I think you have to be an AHA member to enter.

They allow non-members to enter but the fee goes up.

AHA memebers: $10
non-members: $15
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: theDarkSide on March 05, 2012, 06:47:02 pm
Question:  About what % of entries come from non-AHA members?

I'm not 100% certain, but I think you have to be an AHA member to enter.

I think you are given the option to join to get the $10 entry rate, but I think I remember seeing $15 for non-members.  I could be wrong...I tend to drink a bit  ;D
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: punatic on March 05, 2012, 06:57:37 pm
Puna...this wasn't your house I hope:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-05/hawaii-lava-evacuation/53361612/1

No, not mine.  I know Jack and have been to the Lava House many times.

It's end was inevitable, but sad none the less.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 05, 2012, 07:03:19 pm
Question:  About what % of entries come from non-AHA members?

I'm not 100% certain, but I think you have to be an AHA member to enter.

They allow non-members to enter but the fee goes up.

AHA memebers: $10
non-members: $15

yeah, just wondering if it is a significant number.  I don't want to limit entries but making it truly an AHA-only competition doesn't seem unfair.  *shrug*

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 05, 2012, 07:45:38 pm
I tend to drink a bit  ;D

You, too, huh?   :o
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: gmac on March 05, 2012, 07:48:20 pm
What's the average # of entries per person?  Just wondering.  I'd be fine with 4 or 5. 
I entered a lot more because of a side competition at the Canadian competition but after this year, I don't see myself entering anything but my absolute best efforts, if at all. 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 05, 2012, 09:23:57 pm
if you cap the number of entries....then the ninkasi award will just become pointless.  Even with the "shotgun" approach there are ties for ninkasi every year.  Plus, the best homebrew you ever make can score 23 in one competition and 45 in another.

If you want to be competitive for the NHC, then you have to show up to the game. 

I think that capping entries at such a ridiculously low number like 4 will hurt the competitiveness of NHC.  You might as well just assign everyone a lottery number and just do a drawing for the metals.

now for a better idea.....

most competitions are registered with the AHA.  What if to enter NHC, you must win a gold in your category of that registered competition?  How this might work is if a competition gets 500+ entries, then the AHA will give them 28 tickets to nationals.  The competition organizers hand out those tickets to the first place.  That way, the less experienced homebrewer gets feedback from the smaller competitions and the more competitive homebrewer needs to win first before "shotgunning" the first round.


Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 05, 2012, 09:28:03 pm

Edith,
You make a lot of assumptions...  I volunteer for a lot of comps in several states and am also an exam grader. ANYWAY - I think capping is a good way to allow lots of brewers to push forward their best beers to the competition. I also think registering in your own region is best, too.

Lots of people have other priorities over entering in the first 24hrs... like, oh, maybe, working?  Geezus you're a insensitive goob.

you had 2 days to enter before all regions closed.  I don't know many people that work for 2 consecutive days but maybe you do. 

I didn't mean to direct the non-volunteering comment to you....its just that in general, most people that complain about competitions don't volunteer.

It took me 6 minutes to enter my 18 beers into the first round.  I told my boss I was going to do it.  IF he didn't agree, I'd take the day off!
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: punatic on March 05, 2012, 09:31:35 pm
now for a better idea.....

most competitions are registered with the AHA.  What if to enter NHC, you must win a gold in your category of that registered competition?  How this might work is if a competition gets 500+ entries, then the AHA will give them 28 tickets to nationals.  The competition organizers hand out those tickets to the first place.  That way, the less experienced homebrewer gets feedback from the smaller competitions and the more competitive homebrewer needs to win first before "shotgunning" the first round.

See the MCAB
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: Hokerer on March 05, 2012, 09:43:36 pm
now for a better idea.....

most competitions are registered with the AHA.  What if to enter NHC, you must win a gold in your category of that registered competition?  How this might work is if a competition gets 500+ entries, then the AHA will give them 28 tickets to nationals.  The competition organizers hand out those tickets to the first place.  That way, the less experienced homebrewer gets feedback from the smaller competitions and the more competitive homebrewer needs to win first before "shotgunning" the first round.

See the MCAB

And see Denny's response to that suggestion in the other thread...

or go the mcab route and have other contests act as qualifiers.

That's been discussed and unanimously voted down by the Governing Committee as being to exclusive.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: theDarkSide on March 05, 2012, 09:50:42 pm
Maybe it should be set up like the Miss America pageant.  Each state will have a qualifiy competition and the winners will go on to compete in the Nationals.

AARGGGHH!!!! I just pictured the Swimsuit competition  :P
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 05, 2012, 09:51:38 pm
most competitions are registered with the AHA.

Comps are registered with the BJCP, not the AHA.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: jeffy on March 05, 2012, 10:22:17 pm
I kind of like the idea of capping the number of entries per brewer.  It would level the field and show which brewers consistently make the best beer.  If you capped it at say 10 and nobody cheated (entered more in the name of the significant other or the dog), then those people who had 10 advance must be some pretty awesome brewers.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: marty on March 05, 2012, 10:58:50 pm
entries were open for 3 days, if you didn't get in you either only have yourself to blame or have something far more pressing than a homebrew competition going on
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 05, 2012, 11:06:39 pm
entries were open for 3 days, if you didn't get in you either only have yourself to blame or have something far more pressing than a homebrew competition going on

that's a little harsh, considering registration was set up to last until March 28th.
I mean, everyone *knew* it would fill up before then, but maybe some people would like to compete but needed some of those extra 24 days to figure out what they had that was ready/worth sending...maybe some people were brewing to be ready for Nationals in late March/early April, not March 1st...whatever the reason, there is clearly unmet demand, and "you have only yourself to blame" really misses the point IMO.


cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: marty on March 05, 2012, 11:17:08 pm
sorry Michael I couldn't disagree more

I read a lot of homebrewing forums, I saw threads everywhere about "Wow the NHC is almost full!", I didn't see a single thread about how bad it is that things are filling up ... until they finally filled and it's "WE NEED TO CHANGE the RULES"

same as last year, and the year before and the year.. etc... well except now no one can blame the bogeymen Gordon or Jamil

Registration opened on time (ok, it opened a day or 2 late!) it wasn't a secret that this was happening. An additional region was created.

If someone didn't get in, they either didn't take it serious enough, or have something going on far more serious than a homebrew comp to worry about. And if someone reading this did have a more serious issue going on, like being hospitalized or their flight home from Bagram was delayed then please let the AHA know and I'd bet they'd find some spots for someone that couldn't control their circumstances
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 05, 2012, 11:20:53 pm
simple question marty:

was there room for everyone to enter?  Being full in 2.5 days says there wasn't.

(no, no, no, this is not a criticism of Janis at all!  )
 
Hi everyone,

The NHC online registration that was supposed to open Tuesday, February 28, will be available at 10 a.m. Mountain Time on Friday March 2, 2012 instead.  I apologize for the delay, and I appreciate everyone's patience and understanding.

The online registration will be available from 10 a.m. MT, March 2 through 6 p.m. MT March 28, 2012.  There is an additional competition added this year, so there should be room for everyone to enter.  Each of the 10 U.S. competitions has a maximum limit of 750 entries.  Once the entry limit has been reached in a competition, the competition will be closed to any further entries.  See the top story on the AHA home page for tips to entering online, and look in the 2012 NHC Rules & Regulations for information about the competition.

Good luck in the competition!

Cheers,
Janis
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: marty on March 05, 2012, 11:26:56 pm
simple question marty:

was there room for everyone to enter?  Being full in 2.5 days says there wasn't.

(no, no, no, this is not a criticism of Janis at all!  )
 
Hi everyone,

The NHC online registration that was supposed to open Tuesday, February 28, will be available at 10 a.m. Mountain Time on Friday March 2, 2012 instead.  I apologize for the delay, and I appreciate everyone's patience and understanding.

The online registration will be available from 10 a.m. MT, March 2 through 6 p.m. MT March 28, 2012.  There is an additional competition added this year, so there should be room for everyone to enter.  Each of the 10 U.S. competitions has a maximum limit of 750 entries.  Once the entry limit has been reached in a competition, the competition will be closed to any further entries.  See the top story on the AHA home page for tips to entering online, and look in the 2012 NHC Rules & Regulations for information about the competition.

Good luck in the competition!

Cheers,
Janis

There was room for everyone whom it was important enough to spend a few minutes over the course of three days to enter
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 05, 2012, 11:40:06 pm
cool, we'll agree to disagree on this one.

have a great evening--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: punatic on March 05, 2012, 11:41:03 pm
Good grief... So contentious.

An idea that might help spread things out a bit:

Have the online registration site only accept a portion of the total registrations available per day.  Once the total for the day has been reached registration closes until the next scheduled registration day.  Spread the registration days over a few weeks so that everyone has a chance.  Put a calendar of registration days and times up on the registration site so there is no doubt when to register.

I was reading Keith's thread about tornados in Alabama and it occured to me that some people may have been a bit preoccupied with other things when the registration window opened (and closed).
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: weithman5 on March 06, 2012, 12:11:31 am
I've judged at the NHC First Round a couple times and found there to be quite a mix of good beers and problematic beers.  Definitively folks apply the "shotgun entry method" instead of sending their best forward.  Or is it, Enter Early, Enter Often? ;)

My opinion is the judging is often not the best larger competitions due to the number of entries, workload per judge, time constraints, etc.  Entering beer in the NHC to get feedback is not the best idea; especially at $10 an entry to boot.

~Adam

i submitted one beer.  and it is not because it is one of my best but because it was different and i want to know what other people think.  worth the 10 bucks for me. 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: weithman5 on March 06, 2012, 12:17:00 am
Good grief... So contentious.

An idea that might help spread things out a bit:

Have the online registration site only accept a portion of the total

similar. how about limit it to four entries (or such) per brewer per day.  if it is important enough to get all 18 (good grief) entries in then it is important enough to get on your computer 5 days
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: zen_brew on March 06, 2012, 12:45:42 am
 An interesting discussion, and some interesting solutions posted. I think a limit of 4 entries is way too low. However a limit of say 10 or 12 may be more reasonable. We have competitions in WA putting 12 beer limits in this year. This would at least allow a few more people in. The only problem is any upcoming brewer with the goal of beating the point totals of Jamil or Gordon some day would find that task near impossible.

 I sort of like the idea of having a pre-qualifier like the MCAB does. I'm not sure I would say 1st place only however. Maybe anyone who ribboned a 1st, 2nd or 3rd in an AHA sanctioned competition gets an entry for each one. This would require some thought as the NHC registration is late Feb/ early March. You would have to make the window to place in an AHA conference back at least 6 or 12 months.

 I'm sure the AHA is painfully aware that the conference is not coming close to capturing the amount of attendees who wish to attend and compete in it. The problem there is simply how many regions of the US are capable of hosting the conference and supplying a large enough support pool of judges and events for conference attendees. Then how may regions can host the qualifier competition with 750 or more entries. We already saw last year that some regions were strapped and sluggish in their processing of the entries and results.

 There are some smart people on the governing board working through these issues, and I'm sure we'll see modifications in the future as they become feasible.

Cheers
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: joeysmokedporter on March 06, 2012, 01:31:49 am
Somehow I think this is a good problem to have. Every year it seems the competition has more and more entries and/or fills up faster. It means that brewing is alive, well, vibrant, and growing.

That said it is still a problem. More options to consider:

- raise price (even more) to limit demand (and maybe limit shotgunning)
- Move from fewer (9-10) large centers to many more (25? 35? more?) smaller centers to reduce logistical constraints and allow more judges and clubs to get involved - obviously math needs to work so total entries can increase
- require AHA membership for entry - if nothing else, perhaps more membership dues can subsidize paying judges
- if you do go to a "prequalification" type event I like the idea of placing in a local competition to qualify for NHC, rather than placing first--makes the competition somewhat more exclusive but also limits lower-quality shotgun entries
- develop a capping system that takes into account the history of a brewer's performance in NHC - start at a cap of 3 entries for brewers who have never made it past round 1; bump up to 6 if brewer has made it past round 1 but not placed; unlimited if you have placed (or some variant). Probably would require some type of database system to manage that could possibly be subsidized by higher fees and requiring AHA membership. Or cap entries for non-members first, then graduate it up for members based on their history.

Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tjleitch on March 06, 2012, 01:33:10 am
Apologies for being trivial, but there already is a maximum limit of entries per brewer - 80 in the beer category (or however many BJCP substyles there are), and probably a similar limit in Mead and Cider. So we shouldn't be arguing about whether a limit is acceptable, but rather what the acceptable limit should be. And I think it should be 80.

Then again, I got all 9 of my entries in before it filled up, and I'd probably feel different if I hadn't.

Also, I'm probably lucky in that I live in Bermuda - I have no "regional" entry center, and could just as easily have picked any of them (DHL, if you're reading this, I promise it's soda I'm shipping).
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 06, 2012, 01:54:31 am
- develop a capping system that takes into account the history of a brewer's performance in NHC - start at a cap of 3 entries for brewers who have never made it past round 1; bump up to 6 if brewer has made it past round 1 but not placed; unlimited if you have placed (or some variant). Probably would require some type of database system to manage that could possibly be subsidized by higher fees and requiring AHA membership. Or cap entries for non-members first, then graduate it up for members based on their history.

Well that would be good for me, but how about the current "homebrewer of the week" Dave Motter if rule this was in place last year?  He did pretty well for a first time entrant.

This from the last question in the series.

I entered my first NHC in 2011 and was humbled with 2 medals and was part of a 3 way tie for Ninkasi (losing due to first round points).
 
I submitted beers into 10 categories and advanced 4 to the final round, taking Gold with my American Amber Ale and Silver with my English Mild Ale.  I made it to the semi-finals in the Samuel Adams longshot competition with my Dopplebock.  It was pretty cool getting feedback from Jim Koch, although a free trip to GABF and having it brewed by SA would have been better.
 
 
< back


Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: mkultra69 on March 06, 2012, 02:16:24 am
Well one thing that I think would help a bit is only count an entry that has been paid for. I has come to my attention that there is quite a lot of slots floating in limbo out there. In fact i managed to round up 7 today from a region that sold out the first day :-\ 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tschmidlin on March 06, 2012, 04:52:46 am
We have discussed some options in the past for how to address this, and we will again in the future.  We really didn't anticipate the competition would sell out this fast - it took much longer last year and we increased capacity by ~10%.  We'll look into any number of options.  Things we have discussed that are coming up here:

1. Pre-qualifying is too exclusionary in my opinion, and I would not support that.
2. Having many smaller first round sites would only increase the number of final round entries, so judging at the final round would take more than 1 day like it used to in the bad old days.
3.  Adding more regions might be a good option, even though it increases the number of entries in the 2nd round it wouldn't as much as 25 regions judging 400 beers.  This still depends on judge turnout for the 2nd round though, and finding enough judging centers that can definitely handle 750 beers.
4.  Raising the price would curb entries somewhat, and might be something we do.

Keep the ideas coming though, we are open to new ideas.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: dbeechum on March 06, 2012, 08:08:33 am
I've suggested in the past that we don't necessarily increase the number of first round regions (for the reasons Tom mention), but instead that we increase the number of satellite regions from the first round.

In LA we used to take a set of classes up from the San Diego regional site and utilize the local judging population. We haven't done it in a few years, because it was a fair amount of work and the guys in SD stepped up and covered the load.

We'd have to have a better solution for moving the classes around, but it's a thought.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: theDarkSide on March 06, 2012, 01:06:59 pm
Also, I'm probably lucky in that I live in Bermuda - I have no "regional" entry center, and could just as easily have picked any of them (DHL, if you're reading this, I promise it's soda I'm shipping).

Just so you know, anyone can pick any regional center...you just have to send all of them to only one.  I was contemplating a new region if my region sent to Sarasota this year, but luckily they went back to Philly.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 06, 2012, 01:21:07 pm
Drew's idea looks to be a good one.

Everyone needs to think about the work that goes into judging 750 beers.  There was a local competition this last weekend that had 1034 entries.  There were 5 sessions over 3 days.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun also. The judges also came from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois in fair numbers.  There was one guy each from Texas, and California (featured speaker John Palmer).

You will not get the participation from all of the states in the area if there are other judging center close by.  I am thinking of going down to Indianapolis to help with the judging, just need to sign up and do it.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 06, 2012, 01:32:06 pm
We have discussed some options in the past for how to address this, and we will again in the future.  We really didn't anticipate the competition would sell out this fast - it took much longer last year and we increased capacity by ~10%.  We'll look into any number of options.  Things we have discussed that are coming up here:

1. Pre-qualifying is too exclusionary in my opinion, and I would not support that.
2. Having many smaller first round sites would only increase the number of final round entries, so judging at the final round would take more than 1 day like it used to in the bad old days.
3.  Adding more regions might be a good option, even though it increases the number of entries in the 2nd round it wouldn't as much as 25 regions judging 400 beers.  This still depends on judge turnout for the 2nd round though, and finding enough judging centers that can definitely handle 750 beers.
4.  Raising the price would curb entries somewhat, and might be something we do.

Keep the ideas coming though, we are open to new ideas.

I just hope that what ever change is made is not to discourage the hobby of COMPETITIVE homebrewing.  It seems like its the CASUAL homebrewers that have a problem with the current set up.   
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 06, 2012, 01:35:21 pm
would they ever limit the beers advancing to the final round to just gold, or just gold and silver winners in the first round?  That would make those 25 regions judging 400 entries not so hard on the final round.

And yes, I know there is history of first round bronze winning final round gold.  But if they really want to keep the final round to a single day they're not going to be able to grow this contest much further without a significant change...

if they just want to keep adding first round sites, maybe having some smaller locations could help make it feasible for smaller clubs to host.  500-entry sites qualify their Gold and Silver winners while 750-entry sites send all three.  *shrug*  whatever, the growth of the hobby is a good problem to have!

cheers--
--Michael

Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: phillamb168 on March 06, 2012, 02:09:49 pm
Not all AHA members live in the US. If I ever wanted to enter the NHC comp I certainly wouldn't be able to meet the criteria of having won a medal at a sanctioned comp, especially since there are no BJCP judges in my country. I do think that the way things are now, though, I would be able to enter without a problem if I really wanted to. People who weren't able to enter because of work or whatever, I understand those obligations, but there's always the ability to ask a friend to fill out the form for you.

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bo on March 06, 2012, 02:12:10 pm

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.

^^^^^^^^That
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tygo on March 06, 2012, 02:59:07 pm

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.

^^^^^^^^That

Well, if that's the case then the AHA is contributing to the "problem" since they've set up the largest competition in the world.  Some people compete to get feedback, some people compete to win, and some people don't compete at all.  I don't think any of those groups of people has a problem.  It's just another aspect to the hobby.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: Pinski on March 06, 2012, 03:10:38 pm
I'm itching to see a histogram distribution of number of entries per contestant.  That could be an informative step for the govening committee as they look at the "problem". 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 06, 2012, 03:27:32 pm

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.


are you suggesting they change the name from "homebrew competition" to "homebrew feedback" ? 

two years ago I won a trip to sierra nevada for beer camp because I won a gold at NHC....so HELL YEAH, I enter to win medals. 

so, why are people coming on here to complain if they should just RDWHAHB..... ::) 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: phillamb168 on March 06, 2012, 03:30:19 pm

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.


are you suggesting they change the name from "homebrew competition" to "homebrew feedback" ? 

two years ago I won a trip to sierra nevada for beer camp because I won a gold at NHC....so HELL YEAH, I enter to win medals. 

so, why are people coming on here to complain if they should just RDWHAHB..... ::)

Don't ask me, I wasn't complaining ;)
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 06, 2012, 03:36:30 pm

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.


are you suggesting they change the name from "homebrew competition" to "homebrew feedback" ? 

two years ago I won a trip to sierra nevada for beer camp because I won a gold at NHC....so HELL YEAH, I enter to win medals. 

so, why are people coming on here to complain if they should just RDWHAHB..... ::)

Don't ask me, I wasn't complaining ;)

CHEERS man!
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: Jimmy K on March 06, 2012, 03:43:30 pm

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.

^^^^^^^^That

I like competitive homebrewing. It is competitive competition entering that I object to.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: weithman5 on March 06, 2012, 04:10:25 pm

Also 'competitive homebrewing' as opposed to 'casual homebrewing' say wha??? What happened to RDWHAHB? All homebrewing should be casual - not saying it doesn't hurt to get feedback on recipes, but if the whole reason someone is homebrewing is to get medals, there's a problem somewhere.

+1.  i entered specifically for the feedback. 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: punatic on March 06, 2012, 05:00:46 pm
Competitive and casual are the only choices?  Too funny.  I know quite a few serious brewers who could not care less about beer competitions.

I'm betting the feedback to ego ratio on homebrew competitions is around 1:4. 

I think it's great that there are venues for those who like to compete.  I also think it is an odd paradigm.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: donger on March 06, 2012, 05:55:19 pm
Don't forget about the mega-clubs entering in all the different regions. That fills up a region a lot faster than you you might think. It's a well thought out strategy. I don't fault strategy but the comment earlier about feedback to ego ratio is pretty correct. 1:4  Clubs included! :o

Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: richardt on March 06, 2012, 06:49:08 pm
Hypothetically, what if there was no cap limit on entries? 
With our local competitions, don't we always seem to find a way to get it done and send the best on to the next round?  My only beef would be that, given the current BJCP experience point table and the points cap, there's no benefit for the judges to go along with this approach.

However, that could change as long as the BJCP and AHA are willing to give judges credit for the number of flights judged over many different days (or, even weekends).  Our point accumulation should not be limited by a points cap--which exists for most competitions.  Otherwise, it makes no sense for local judges at the various regional centers to put out additional effort to help judge the surplus entries.  It is great that we get the occasional judge from one state or another, but the bulk of the judging is going to be done by the local club (or clubs).  The current points table seems to favor the judge who comes into town for the competition weekend.  The local club has already pre-judged the "first round" of entries and screened out all the inferior beers; only the good beers get pushed onto the next round.  The out-of-town judge ends up judging better beers in the second round and mini-BOS (and even BOS), and potentially maxes out on judging points within 48 hours (and may only judge one flight per session).  However, local club members who put in countless hours and (multi-flight) sessions over several weeks to cull the inferior beers and make the number of entries more manageable for the weekend competition don't necessarily get the benefit of the same number of points. 

In other words, if I judge one or more flights a day Fri-Sat-Sunday for three weekends straight, then I should be able to get 9 BJCP points (0.5 pts/session*, 1 session/day, 1.5 pts per 3 day weekend x 3 weekends).  However, Table 1 on the BJCP EXPERIENCE POINT AWARD SCHEDULE shows us to be capped at 5.5 judging points max regardless of the number of comp entries.

*A session is one or more flights per "sit down period," e.g. morning, or afternoon, or evening).

You'll need more entry locations (to entice more local judges--i.e., the ones who won't travel to a more distant regional center) or you'll need to be able to give the judges more points if they've earned it.  Otherwise it'll be hard to entice judges to take their valuable personal time and money to judge (for nothing).  In fact, as it stands, judges would do better to just judge one flight per session and then go hang out in the hospitality room, or leave the judging area--there's no reward for being "helpful" to the organizers.  Meanwhile, the comp organizers are unsuccessfully trying to recruit judges for the next flight and everyone seems disinterested--as one comp organizer recently described to me, "it is like herding cats."

This could be improved--we need to reward the effort.  Perhaps the BJCP and AHA governing committees could address this.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: punatic on March 06, 2012, 06:58:47 pm
But that does not take into account the altruistic nature of judging. 
Or do egos play a part in judging too? 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: gmac on March 06, 2012, 11:07:26 pm
I'm almost afraid to enter this fray but what if you separated the Ninkasi Award from the NHC?  Before you kill me, hear me out.

Up here we have a Canadian Brewer of the Year Award that goes to the brewer that accumulates the most points from sanctioned events.  It's not the result of just one "event".  This would allow the serious "competitive" brewer to satisfy their desire to pay entry fees and ship beer.  It would keep some people from shotgunning the NHC to get points because by the time you get to the NHC (assuming you have the NHC as the final event of the "brewing year"), people will have a sense of whether or not they are close.  Reward the best of show at NHC more.  Or, keep things the way they are and come up with something different for people who want to compete all year and work towards the big prize.

I think it would also encourage entries into smaller competitions if they are "sanctioned" because people would want to get more points. 

Anyway, just a suggestion.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bo on March 06, 2012, 11:35:50 pm
I'm almost afraid to enter this fray but what if you separated the Ninkasi Award from the NHC?  Before you kill me, hear me out.

Up here we have a Canadian Brewer of the Year Award that goes to the brewer that accumulates the most points from sanctioned events.  It's not the result of just one "event".  This would allow the serious "competitive" brewer to satisfy their desire to pay entry fees and ship beer.  It would keep some people from shotgunning the NHC to get points because by the time you get to the NHC (assuming you have the NHC as the final event of the "brewing year"), people will have a sense of whether or not they are close.  Reward the best of show at NHC more.  Or, keep things the way they are and come up with something different for people who want to compete all year and work towards the big prize.

I think it would also encourage entries into smaller competitions if they are "sanctioned" because people would want to get more points. 

Anyway, just a suggestion.

That's the way chili cook offs are done. You accumulate points for various sanctioned events and those with the highest or at a certain level, get invited to the finals.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: hopcircle on March 07, 2012, 01:39:52 am
     I don't think the NHC is broken and needs to be fixed.  It is just fine as it is.  It wasn't until the last two years when regions reached limits that anyone said boo about this.  I think brewers even admired Jamil and Gordon for their ability and dedication to home brewing.  That being said, I do have one possible solution to this issue.
     How about for the first week of the entry period you limit the amount of entries to 5 per person.  After the week it over open it up for unlimited entries again.  If you have 15 beers you want to enter, if there is still room, you can go ahead and enter the remaining 10 after the initial week is up.  No one can complain that they didn't get a chance to get their entries in, given they had a week. 
     Obviously, I'm throwing out 5 as the initial number but the staff at AHA has the actual data and could figure out the best initial number to limit.  Easy math.  I don't think you can keep adding regions making the 2nd round bigger and bigger.  I don't think you can raise the limit per region after seeing what happened last year in the New York region.  Plus, you don't want more inexperienced judges doing larger portions of the judging, which would happen.
     Of course feedback is one of the great results of entering beers into competitions.  However, if feedback is the only reason for entering beer into the NHC than you can't cry if you didn't get your beer in.  There are competitions out the wazoo all over the country in all times of the year you can enter and get feedback from.  This sounds like sour grapes.  It's as close as most of us not so highly tuned athletes will get to having a chance for gold.  It's our olympics man!  Don't water it down!
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 07, 2012, 01:21:03 pm
     I don't think the NHC is broken and needs to be fixed.  It is just fine as it is.  It wasn't until the last two years when regions reached limits that anyone said boo about this.  I think brewers even admired Jamil and Gordon for their ability and dedication to home brewing.  That being said, I do have one possible solution to this issue.
     How about for the first week of the entry period you limit the amount of entries to 5 per person.  After the week it over open it up for unlimited entries again.  If you have 15 beers you want to enter, if there is still room, you can go ahead and enter the remaining 10 after the initial week is up.  No one can complain that they didn't get a chance to get their entries in, given they had a week. 
     Obviously, I'm throwing out 5 as the initial number but the staff at AHA has the actual data and could figure out the best initial number to limit.  Easy math.  I don't think you can keep adding regions making the 2nd round bigger and bigger.  I don't think you can raise the limit per region after seeing what happened last year in the New York region.  Plus, you don't want more inexperienced judges doing larger portions of the judging, which would happen.
     Of course feedback is one of the great results of entering beers into competitions.  However, if feedback is the only reason for entering beer into the NHC than you can't cry if you didn't get your beer in.  There are competitions out the wazoo all over the country in all times of the year you can enter and get feedback from.  This sounds like sour grapes.  It's as close as most of us not so highly tuned athletes will get to having a chance for gold.  It's our olympics man!  Don't water it down!

+1 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: repo on March 07, 2012, 03:07:12 pm
Reading most of these I feel like it's either a comedy central skit of some kind or a mix of kingpin meets dodgeball meets best in show.  It's unfortunate there is not enough room for everyone who wanted to enter. What occured this year was unprecedented, people had a resonable expectation to sign up at their leisure. Now they know they better not hesitate to sign up. Next year they will have no one to blame but themselves, or possibly their internet service-sign up for 4g now.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: dbarber on March 07, 2012, 04:31:04 pm
What occured this year was unprecedented, people had a resonable expectation to sign up at their leisure.

I agree that the entries maxing out in 3 days is unprecedented, but so was the conference selling out in 2 days.  Given that, people should have had a pretty good idea that entries were going to fill up fast.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 07, 2012, 04:41:50 pm
What occured this year was unprecedented, people had a resonable expectation to sign up at their leisure.

I agree that the entries maxing out in 3 days is unprecedented, but so was the conference selling out in 2 days.  Given that, people should have had a pretty good idea that entries were going to fill up fast.

I agree, David.  If anyone was surprised, they were not paying attention.

The hobby has become popular and is growing.  How to deal with the growth will keep the Governing Commitee and the AHA staff (which is 3.5 people or so) busy for the next several years.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 07, 2012, 04:44:46 pm
And let me point out that hate mail to the AHA staff won't help with the situation.  I'm sure most people are sympathetic to their plight, but after hearing about some of the things that have been sent their way, I'm appalled at the way some people act.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 07, 2012, 04:51:14 pm
And let me point out that hate mail to the AHA staff won't help with the situation.  I'm sure most people are sympathetic to their plight, but after hearing about some of the things that have been sent their way, I'm appalled at the way some people act.

Just saw a post on facebook that makes me think they are taking a lot of flack.  Sad.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bluesman on March 07, 2012, 05:34:25 pm
What occured this year was unprecedented, people had a resonable expectation to sign up at their leisure.

I agree that the entries maxing out in 3 days is unprecedented, but so was the conference selling out in 2 days.  Given that, people should have had a pretty good idea that entries were going to fill up fast.

I agree with this David. I had my finger on the trigger knowing the speed at which the conference sold out.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bo on March 07, 2012, 05:36:53 pm
Someone is trying to organize an Occupy AHA protest over at Facebook. :D ;)
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: markaberrant on March 08, 2012, 02:08:34 pm
My suggestion last year was to go from 2 rounds to 3 rounds.

Say have 20 1st round sites at 500 entries each = 10,000 entries (33% increase).  2nd round could be 4 sites with 420 entries each.  Then the final round would only have 336 entries to judge and would presumably be the cream of the crop, and you could also get away with only using National judges or higher in the final round, and it wouldn't be such a burden for the Conference itself.

There are pros and cons to this:
- increase the number of entries, and allows room for growth (you could increase 1st round sites to 25, or entries/site to 600, boosting total entries again to 12,000-12,500, and still not have to add another 2nd round site).
- lightens the load for all judging sites, very easy to judge 336-500 entries.
- increases coordination effort for the AHA, as you would have 3 rounds and 34 sites to coordinate.  This is not insignificant, they do A LOT of work already, though maybe increased entry revenues could allow more staff to be added?
- 1st round would likely have to start in Feb, 2nd round in April, 3rd round at NHC.  We all know what time can do to certain beers, but it also allows the opportunity to rebrew fresh entries.
- entrants may have to ship 3 entries to 3 different sites if they advance to the finals.

That being said, I have zero beef with the way things are run now.  Decisions regarding the competition are not taken lightly, there are a pile of people working very hard every year to make this thing work, I don't think anyone could predict the insane growth over the last few years.

Just my thoughts,
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: richardt on March 08, 2012, 03:19:49 pm
Good ideas, Mark.  But I'm not following the math for round two.  Probably a typo.

20 first-round sites x 500 entries/site = 10,000 entries total (math is OK here).  Assuming entries are evenly distributed across all 28 BJCP categories (which we all know they are not), that comes to nearly 18 entries per flight.  Realistically, some categories would have an abundance of entries, while others have a relative deficiency of entries.  IME, we've had multiple flights (2, 3, or even 4) in the really popular categories (like IPA's) just to keep the number of entries manageable for the judges in each flight and limit palate fatigue/intoxication.

4 second-round sites x 480 entries/site = 1,980 entries.  Error is in red.

From each site, I'm assuming only 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each of the 28 BJCP categories will get pushed on into the second round (assuming each one scores 30 points or better in the first round, of course).  All other entries that scored above 30 points (but did not get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd; i.e., "honorable mention") would not get pushed on into the second round.  The AHA NHC competition guidelines do state:  "...scoring a 30 or better does not guarantee advancement to the Final Round."  If that's the case, then the math would look like this:

20 first round sites x [1 second round site/5 first round site] = 4 second round sites.

28 categories/first round site x 3 winning entries per category x 5 first round sites = 420 entries per second round site.  Flights (1 of 1) would have 15 entries.

28 categories/second round site x 3 winning entries per category x 4 second round sites = 336 entries in the final round.  Flights (1 of 1) would have 12 entries max

I think this is certainly worth considering.  I do like how it opens up the number of first round judging centers and involves more local judges closer to their homes.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 08, 2012, 03:57:24 pm
so it's currently 11 sites with 750 entries and 3 winners in 28 categories for max of 924 final round entries?
And obviously 750 entries is too many for many potential judge sites to support?

I'd say add 11 more (or however many more is reasonable) sites but make them 1/2 size.  375 instead of 750 entries.  Or use 400 and 800.  Large sites move their gold and silver winners to the final round, while small sites only move on gold.  Let local clubs choose which size competition they can support.
22 sites at 1.5 winners per site is the same 924 final-round entries, but max entries increases 50% to 12375.

I'm sure there's some obvious flaw I'm missing, so flame away.   8)

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: narvin on March 08, 2012, 04:22:27 pm
No matter what way you slice it, you're going to need more judges.  Also, organizing these things is a big undertaking.  There were issues with a new judging center last year... I can just imagine the uproar if a bunch of new sites are added and the quality or timeliness of judging isn't up to par.

One thing that has been mentioned before is paying judges for travel.  More money would help get more judges and set up more judging centers, and also raise the price of entry which possibly would limit the number of entries.  At some point you hit an equilibrium.  The only thing you need to realize is the dangers of growing too fast.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bo on March 08, 2012, 04:28:38 pm
Raise the entry fee substantially and there will be plenty of space and you'll stop a lot of the shotgunning.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: markaberrant on March 08, 2012, 04:41:38 pm
Good ideas, Mark.  But I'm not following the math for round two.  Probably a typo.

I think this is certainly worth considering.  I do like how it opens up the number of first round judging centers and involves more local judges closer to their homes.

Yup, typo, original post has been modified.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: markaberrant on March 08, 2012, 04:43:02 pm
Raise the entry fee substantially and there will be plenty of space and you'll stop a lot of the shotgunning.

Depends on if the long term goals of the AHA are to allow the competition to grow organically in a manageable fashion, or artifically stifle growth.  Kind of a fundamental "values" thing to consider.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: markaberrant on March 08, 2012, 04:48:15 pm
One thing that has been mentioned before is paying judges for travel.  More money would help get more judges and set up more judging centers, and also raise the price of entry which possibly would limit the number of entries.  At some point you hit an equilibrium.  The only thing you need to realize is the dangers of growing too fast.

This would raise costs significantly, as well as entry fees.  You'd start getting into territory where you would need to also offer cash prizes, similar to BBQ comps, otherwise no one is going to enter just for the feedback, medals and glory.

Homebrewing has always been a very grassroots sorta thing, friendly competition, people willing to share recipes and ideas, and volunteer their time.  Making it more about money will certainly change this, though it may be where we are headed.  Again, a fundamental values sort of thing to consider.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: theDarkSide on March 08, 2012, 04:53:00 pm
Raise the entry fee substantially and there will be plenty of space and you'll stop a lot of the shotgunning.

Problem is if you raise it too much, you might price out people who have outstanding beer.  I can afford multiple entries, but if it goes up too much, I'll just not bother out of principal, and possibly make me rethink my annual membership with the AHA. 
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: dbeechum on March 08, 2012, 04:53:22 pm
I know there's been talk of running this thing in three tiers before and I believe expense/staff time have been the two biggest killers of it so far.

I can just see poor Janis face if you tell she now has to find at least 10 more sites of reliable judges. :)
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 08, 2012, 04:57:37 pm


I can just see poor Janis face if you tell she now has to find at least 10 more sites of reliable judges. :)

yeah, talk about a thankless job.  Janis works her ass off for this competition and I bet the only thing she ever hears is the people to b****.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: theDarkSide on March 08, 2012, 05:05:02 pm
yeah, talk about a thankless job.  Janis works her ass off for this competition and I bet the only thing she ever hears is the people to b****.

Didn't some guy give her a big hug at a conference a couple years ago?   :o

Probably not the thanks she is looking for.  ( are the databases done yet? ;) )
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: udubdawg on March 08, 2012, 05:06:20 pm
I can just see poor Janis face if you tell she now has to find at least 10 more sites of reliable judges. :)

I totally get this!
However, I made the 5-hour drive to Dallas last year.  And as many well-documented problems as that site had, I'd point out that us largely out-of-town judges DID knock out about half the entries that first weekend.  People drove from Houston, Tulsa, Wichita, and beyond, to help out.  750 was just too many for Dallas that close to Bluebonnet.
I would make that drive again this year, but can't make the 8-11 hour drive to Denver/Minneapolis/Chicago/Indy this year.  So no judging for me.  Hopefully Tulsa or KC will get it next year...

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: markaberrant on March 08, 2012, 05:49:21 pm
I know there's been talk of running this thing in three tiers before and I believe expense/staff time have been the two biggest killers of it so far.

I can just see poor Janis face if you tell she now has to find at least 10 more sites of reliable judges. :)

Asolutely, it is the biggest "con" to increasing the number of sites/going to a 3 round comp.  Like I say, would need to crunch the numbers, see what the increased admin costs and effort would be, what the increased revenue would be, and see if it makes sense to hire more people.  I personally don't think there is anyway this thing can continue to grow at the rate it has been with just one paid staff person managing the whole thing.  That isn't to say Janis isn't doing an outstanding job, I get to work directly with her and it is fabulous, but one person can only do so much.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: richardt on March 08, 2012, 05:52:17 pm
I know there's been talk of running this thing in three tiers before and I believe expense/staff time have been the two biggest killers of it so far.

I can just see poor Janis face if you tell she now has to find at least 10 more sites of reliable judges. :)

I'm not following, so enlighten me--why would Janis (and the AHA staff) bear a larger burden if Mark's ideas were implemented?  Just delegate it to the comp organizer for each first-round site.  Most homebrew clubs have easily managed their annual competitions involving 500 entries (or more).  I know mine has.  I think it really opens up your available pool of judges.

You could even have 26 sites total.
20 first round sites--none of which also serve as 2nd round sites.
5 second round sites--none of which serve as 1st or final round sites.
1 final round site.

No shortage of judges, IMO.  No thorny issues of compensation for judges having to travel long-distances.  Most judges would already live near one of these sites.  Just be sure to reward them fairly (via BJCP judging points) for their efforts.  I dislike judging multiple flights (e.g., 2 or 3 flights of 9-15 beers) and having it only count as one session (0.5 BJCP judging points).  If it stays that way, don't be surprised to see more judges saying "one and done" and going to hang out in the hospitality room.  It makes it harder to get the comp done.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: dbeechum on March 08, 2012, 06:08:49 pm
Each of those locations requires coordination on Janis's part, wrangling on her part. Plenty of people say they can handle it, but then they flake or other circumstances arise and now you've got panic. There's now three sets of mailings, another even more expensive round of supplies (to wade through 10k initial front). There's coordination on transitioning beers between rounds.

I'm not trying to stop the idea cold, it has a ton of merit, but I think its being unduly optimistic to think it doesn't increase the burden on Janis and the staff.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 08, 2012, 06:47:26 pm
Each of those locations requires coordination on Janis's part, wrangling on her part. Plenty of people say they can handle it, but then they flake or other circumstances arise and now you've got panic. There's now three sets of mailings, another even more expensive round of supplies (to wade through 10k initial front). There's coordination on transitioning beers between rounds.

I'm not trying to stop the idea cold, it has a ton of merit, but I think its being unduly optimistic to think it doesn't increase the burden on Janis and the staff.

Exactly right, Drew.  I think it's great that people are trying to think outside the box to help find solutions, but a lot of the things that have been mentioned have already been discussed found to be unworkable.  But please, keep posting ideas!
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: Beertracker on March 08, 2012, 07:28:34 pm
... I would make that drive again this year, but can't make the 8-11 hour drive to Denver/Minneapolis/Chicago/Indy this year.  So no judging for me.  Hopefully Tulsa or KC will get it next year... cheers-- --Michael

I think part of the solution is more 1st round sites capped at the current 750 entries, so to that end my homebrew club (FOAM) has volunteered to host the Old West region in Tulsa, OK (previously DFW) next year.  Most of us have been traveling to help out our regional sites anyway, so we'll just save gas money and hold one here next year!  We just came off a successful year as an MCAB Q with our annual FOAM Cup competition in November which saw a 25% increase over the previous year's entry #'s (626), but we required some out-of-state judges (10-15%) such as udubdawg to get the job done. Thanks again!  :)  Now with another round of new judging recruits from our 3rd year-in-a-row BJCP BiCEP/Exam we'll ready for the "big dance" in 2013... even if no "foreigners" show up in the Sooner State to help us out. The real logistical problem will be how to handle 36+ entries/category in the final round as the NHC numbers approach the 10,000 mark!  :o
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: marty on March 08, 2012, 10:07:19 pm
Instead of limiting entries per person (check the numbers over the past few years and you'll see the average # is about 4 per), or making a whole new round of judging (there aren't the resources for this) how about limiting the number of entries per category.

There are only 750 entries for 28 categories, cap the entries per style category at 40. Total still capped at 750 (no not every category would be able to reach it's max, but most don't hit 40 anyways)

Want to enter something in 10, 13, 14, 16, 18, 23? Then you better enter the first day as soon as it opens, because they will fill up. Have entries in the less overloaded styles? There will be about 500 entries left per region for those once the Big 6 categories fill up. Don't want to risk not getting your Melomel or Doppelbock in? Go ahead and enter the first day as well, but you'll probably be able to wait

Benefits:
Encourages people to brew new styles, go out of their comfort zones instead of Pale Ale, IPA, Stout, Belgian, Pale Ale, IPA, Stout, Belgian ...  These make up about 40% of NHC entries!
Simplifies Judging, no need to setup 4, 5, 6 judging tables to pass beers to a final round in the overloaded categories
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bbkf on March 09, 2012, 02:41:09 pm

Exactly right, Drew.  I think it's great that people are trying to think outside the box to help find solutions, but a lot of the things that have been mentioned have already been discussed found to be unworkable.  But please, keep posting ideas!

1) the AHA membership has grown
2) NHC has grown
3) Janis hasn't cloned herself yet!

maybe we should work on number 3 above.  seriously though, would it help to grow the competition by having the AHA hire another Janis-like workaholic to keep up with the growth of NHC?
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 09, 2012, 03:59:05 pm

Exactly right, Drew.  I think it's great that people are trying to think outside the box to help find solutions, but a lot of the things that have been mentioned have already been discussed found to be unworkable.  But please, keep posting ideas!

1) the AHA membership has grown
2) NHC has grown
3) Janis hasn't cloned herself yet!

maybe we should work on number 3 above.  seriously though, would it help to grow the competition by having the AHA hire another Janis-like workaholic to keep up with the growth of NHC?

I'm sure it couldn't hurt, but I don't know if the budget is there for it.  Also, it wouldn't solve the problem of having enough judges for the entries.  AFAIK, the PNW region is struggling to find enough judges as it is.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: jeffy on March 09, 2012, 05:37:23 pm

Exactly right, Drew.  I think it's great that people are trying to think outside the box to help find solutions, but a lot of the things that have been mentioned have already been discussed found to be unworkable.  But please, keep posting ideas!

1) the AHA membership has grown
2) NHC has grown
3) Janis hasn't cloned herself yet!

maybe we should work on number 3 above.  seriously though, would it help to grow the competition by having the AHA hire another Janis-like workaholic to keep up with the growth of NHC?

I'm sure it couldn't hurt, but I don't know if the budget is there for it.  Also, it wouldn't solve the problem of having enough judges for the entries.  AFAIK, the PNW region is struggling to find enough judges as it is.
Isn't there a $750 x $10+ increase in income from having a new region?
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tschmidlin on March 09, 2012, 06:15:19 pm
I'm sure it couldn't hurt, but I don't know if the budget is there for it.  Also, it wouldn't solve the problem of having enough judges for the entries.  AFAIK, the PNW region is struggling to find enough judges as it is.
Isn't there a $750 x $10+ increase in income from having a new region?
Yes, but much of that $7500 goes to actually hosting the event - cups, printing, food for judges, etc, let alone paying for a person to help Janis.

Denny, are you talking about the first round or the second round?  As far as I know there are no shortages for the second round, and we are sending a bunch of people down to Portland for the first round.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: richardt on March 09, 2012, 06:23:04 pm
What is the process for becoming a first-round judging site for the NHC? 
If a club (or group of clubs) is willing to offer, whom do they contact?
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tschmidlin on March 09, 2012, 06:45:16 pm
What is the process for becoming a first-round judging site for the NHC? 
If a club (or group of clubs) is willing to offer, whom do they contact?
Janis.

She will expect your group to have a proven track record of running larger competitions and not have a competing site very close.  Seattle tends to alternate with Portland, it makes it easier on the organizers and our judges can travel back and forth pretty easily.  Not everyone makes the trip every year of course, so it reduces judge strain as well.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: Hokerer on March 09, 2012, 06:55:30 pm
She will expect your group to have a proven track record of running larger competitions and not have a competing site very close.  Seattle tends to alternate with Portland, it makes it easier on the organizers and our judges can travel back and forth pretty easily.  Not everyone makes the trip every year of course, so it reduces judge strain as well.

Seems like this sort of backs up someone's earlier suggestion of "more smaller" first round sites.  Rather than alternate between Portland and Seattle each year, why not do a half-size competition at each?  Talk about reducing judge strain, travel strain, all kinds of strain.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tschmidlin on March 09, 2012, 07:08:03 pm
She will expect your group to have a proven track record of running larger competitions and not have a competing site very close.  Seattle tends to alternate with Portland, it makes it easier on the organizers and our judges can travel back and forth pretty easily.  Not everyone makes the trip every year of course, so it reduces judge strain as well.

Seems like this sort of backs up someone's earlier suggestion of "more smaller" first round sites.  Rather than alternate between Portland and Seattle each year, why not do a half-size competition at each?  Talk about reducing judge strain, travel strain, all kinds of strain.
Because more smaller first round sites creates a bigger second round.  Besides, it seems for us the judge strain comes from the days committed t judging, not the number of beers judged in a day.  This time of year is known as "competition season" around here, we have a lot of opportunities to judge so that creates a strain.
Title: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 09, 2012, 07:09:41 pm
I'm sure it couldn't hurt, but I don't know if the budget is there for it.  Also, it wouldn't solve the problem of having enough judges for the entries.  AFAIK, the PNW region is struggling to find enough judges as it is.
Isn't there a $750 x $10+ increase in income from having a new region?
Yes, but much of that $7500 goes to actually hosting the event - cups, printing, food for judges, etc, let alone paying for a person to help Janis.

Denny, are you talking about the first round or the second round?  As far as I know there are no shortages for the second round, and we are sending a bunch of people down to Portland for the first round.

Not my quote, Tom.


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Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tschmidlin on March 09, 2012, 07:38:29 pm
Not my quote, Tom.


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That's fine, I just want to know which round is having the problems?  I'll bug PJ.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: bluesman on March 09, 2012, 07:49:01 pm
Not my quote, Tom.


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That's fine, I just want to know which round is having the problems?  I'll bug PJ.

It's fun being the Grand Poobah Tom... :o  :)

Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tschmidlin on March 09, 2012, 08:16:06 pm
Not my quote, Tom.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
That's fine, I just want to know which round is having the problems?  I'll bug PJ.

It's fun being the Grand Poobah Tom... :o  :)


Just trying to help - I can get the word out to the locals (again) about the 1st round, but we have a comp this weekend so I can spread the word then too.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 09, 2012, 09:00:22 pm
Not my quote, Tom.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
That's fine, I just want to know which round is having the problems?  I'll bug PJ.

Yeah, he'll have to tell you.  It may not be as dire as the original email he sent out made it sound.
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: tschmidlin on March 09, 2012, 10:33:00 pm
Not my quote, Tom.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
That's fine, I just want to know which round is having the problems?  I'll bug PJ.

Yeah, he'll have to tell you.  It may not be as dire as the original email he sent out made it sound.
We're slow to commit but rally when the time comes :)
Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: gmac on March 10, 2012, 05:09:10 pm
So is anyone re-considering their choice to run for NHC governing committee?  Sounds like a fun but contentious couple of years ahead.
Title: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: denny on March 10, 2012, 07:58:34 pm
So is anyone re-considering their choice to run for NHC governing committee?  Sounds like a fun but contentious couple of years ahead.

When I was first elected to the GC, pretty much all we were allowed to do was mess with the bylaws of the GC.  Gary started asking us for ideas and acting on them, and they worked!  This forum is one result of that.  That kind of progress makes up for the headaches.


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Title: Re: NHC Entries closed....
Post by: dbeechum on March 11, 2012, 06:29:46 am
...pretty much all we were allowed to do was mess with the bylaws of the GC.

and such pretty by-laws they are!