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General Category => Events => Homebrew Competitions => Topic started by: udubdawg on April 07, 2013, 05:18:38 PM

Title: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 07, 2013, 05:18:38 PM
There have been a lot of changes, new locations, and more interest than ever before.
So, I'm interested in hearing how they are going!

I can report that the Kansas City Bier Meisters did a great, great job of organizing a successful judging weekend in KC.  I know they are exhausted now but I hope they consider hosting a regional in another year or two.  Some solid and some excellent beers from around the country, and judging done by around 5pm yesterday.  Sufficient lighting and not overcrowded.  The food was great and plentiful, thanks.  Quite a few judges made really long drives to help out.  Janis even flew out to help!  Yeah I did some b****ing about a few long flights, but that is practically my calling card.    ;D

Looks like Category 16 is the most popular these days.  People love their Belgian Specialties...

How are the others regions going?

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: james on April 08, 2013, 02:04:32 AM
I drove over to Seattle to judge this weekend.  We did 1 session Friday night and 2 on Saturday.  Wrapped up by 5:30 on Saturday.

Really well organized and everything went smoothly.  Having the 2nd bottle for mini-BOS is awesome.

Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: AmandaK on April 08, 2013, 01:59:04 PM
I can report that the Kansas City Bier Meisters did a great, great job of organizing a successful judging weekend in KC.  I know they are exhausted now but I hope they consider hosting a regional in another year or two.  Some solid and some excellent beers from around the country, and judging done by around 5pm yesterday.  Sufficient lighting and not overcrowded.  The food was great and plentiful, thanks.  Quite a few judges made really long drives to help out.  Janis even flew out to help!  Yeah I did some b****ing about a few long flights, but that is practically my calling card.    ;D

Michael, thank you for the kind words! Yes, we are all exhausted, but it was well worth it. We certainly could not have pulled it off without the help of everyone - something Janis also commented on. When a snafu arose, there was always someone there to figure it out and make it a non-issue.

We had AMAZING food crafted by one of our members, a great staff, and a whole lot of volunteers from all over the midwest (and some beyond!).

I do hope we can do this again next year. If we can improve on a "great, great job", then I think we're in business!

PS - I'm going to have to get the recipe for that peach cider you handed me.  ;D
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 08, 2013, 02:36:52 PM
I forgot about the second bottle for mini-BOS...Mostly because it caused everything to go smoothly, and is generally an awesome change.  The competition isn't perfect but this is a big improvement.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: santoch on April 09, 2013, 05:36:24 AM
I agree that the 2nd bottle was a huge win during judging.  I was able to pull flights from large categories when extra judges showed up, because the mini-BOS could be delayed until all flights finished with no detrimental effects.  Even during the bottle sort, the larger number of bottles wasn't that big of a deal, as we finished the sort in a little over 3 hours.
It did take 2x the space though.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 22, 2013, 04:29:59 PM
I thought I'd bump this up to see how the other regions have faired...are we all done?

I judged Th/Fri/Sat in Tulsa.  I believe they finished up the last few categories on Sunday.

An unfortunately-timed Tulsa Craft Beer Week really ate into the local volunteer pool, but I was impressed with the organization.  The FOAM club does a nice job, and Desiree Knott is an amazing organizer.

Several judges came from Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas to help out.  Gary Glass also flew out to help, which gave us a certain street cred...not as much as if we'd had Janis, but beggers can't be choosers.   ;D
I think a good time was had by all.  I saw a lot of really well-filled-out scoresheets.

Once again the single best improvement to this competition was the 2nd bottle. 
In review I'd be happy to send entries to Tulsa again and would judge there again, especially if they work on the local Fest scheduling to increase the volunteer pool.

any other regions/volunteers want to chime in?  Things you're happy with?  Areas for improvement?

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: rjharper on April 22, 2013, 05:10:00 PM
I thought I'd bump this up to see how the other regions have faired...are we all done?

I judged Th/Fri/Sat in Tulsa.  I believe they finished up the last few categories on Sunday.

An unfortunately-timed Tulsa Craft Beer Week really ate into the local volunteer pool, but I was impressed with the organization.  The FOAM club does a nice job, and Desiree Knott is an amazing organizer.

Several judges came from Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas to help out.  Gary Glass also flew out to help, which gave us a certain street cred...not as much as if we'd had Janis, but beggers can't be choosers.   ;D
I think a good time was had by all.  I saw a lot of really well-filled-out scoresheets.

Once again the single best improvement to this competition was the 2nd bottle. 
In review I'd be happy to send entries to Tulsa again and would judge there again, especially if they work on the local Fest scheduling to increase the volunteer pool.

any other regions/volunteers want to chime in?  Things you're happy with?  Areas for improvement?

cheers--
--Michael

I judged & stewarded on Saturday in Tulsa with the FOAM guys and High Gravity. Kudos to a well organized judging (lunch was great too!). Got to put a few faces to names I see on here or competition results pages.

Ross
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: bbkf on April 22, 2013, 05:13:19 PM
I judged Saturday in Zanesville and everything appeared to run smoothly.  I was not involved with any organization.  Those dudes seemed to keep things running and at least looked pretty well organized.

As a judge, I liked having the second bottle for mini-BOS.  Although its like there is a cup shortage now....
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: Beertracker on April 22, 2013, 05:58:43 PM
Thanks to the both of you (Michael & Ross) & all of our guest judges for helping us out at the NHC (1st Round) in Tulsa, OK. We had some great beers & meads with some solid catered food from the 907 Café to lay down some good "belly mortar" for enjoying all of those fine homebrews. It's always nice to see entrants putting forth effort to help judge a competition they have vested interest in. I agree that we were "short-handed" due to Tulsa Craft Beer Week (TCBW) compared to our normal judging pool, but we also had a great crew on the other side of town at the festival speaking "the good beer (homebrew) gospel" and received alot of publicity for craft & homebrewed beer in Oklahoma. We'll definitely coordinate better & offset the dates IF High Gravity (Desiree) decides to host it again next year, but this year it was totally out of our control. Thanks again to you both! P.s. It was very nice to finally meet you Ross "Angry Scotsman" Harper. You're really not as "Angry" as all of that!  >:(  :P
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: Frank Barickman on April 22, 2013, 06:40:04 PM
Thanks bbkf! 

From an organizers standpoint, I think it ran fairly smooth in Zanesville this weekend.  We judged 721 beers Friday - Sunday.  We were down about 20 judges compared to previous years that I have run the event.  We have a pretty good sized judge pool in our region so its not for lack of numbers. 

Reasons:

1.  I heard from numerous people that they were not judging this year cause they were frustrated with registration and/or having to ship their beers to a different region.

2. I heard from people that they were not entering or judging this year cause they were shut out of the conference and just did not care.

3. Several regional clubs had some events planned (normal meeting night, brewout, etc.)

On the flip side, we had a Friday session with 14 of 16 judges being National or higher and most other sessions were pushing closer to 20 of 50 being National or higher. 

Thanks to all that are lurking and came out to help!

Cheers,

Frank Barickman
"I'm not bitter"
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: phunhog on April 22, 2013, 06:51:00 PM
I believe that all the 1st round judging has taken place right?  Does that mean maybe this week the AHA will post 1st round results?  May 4th is too far away!! :(
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: AmandaK on April 22, 2013, 07:14:06 PM
I believe that all the 1st round judging has taken place right?  Does that mean maybe this week the AHA will post 1st round results?  May 4th is too far away!! :(

All of the regionals have to get their results to Janis and she has to process all of them. Be patient, young grasshopper.  8)
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 22, 2013, 07:59:54 PM
Family obligations got in the way of judging in Zanesville. Had a good time at Indy last year. Zanesville is even closer to home.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: thetooth on April 23, 2013, 06:18:25 PM
I drove down to judge a couple of flights for the San Diego location.  It was very well run and a pleasure to judge.  Kudos to Eric DuRose and the rest of the organizers and stewards.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: phunhog on April 27, 2013, 12:04:08 AM
I believe that all the 1st round judging has taken place right?  Does that mean maybe this week the AHA will post 1st round results?  May 4th is too far away!! :(

All of the regionals have to get their results to Janis and she has to process all of them. Be patient, young grasshopper.  8)

OK  the NHC says all results have been processed!!  Now can we get the results?....or do we have to wait another week?
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: vikeman on April 27, 2013, 06:59:41 PM
OK  the NHC says all results have been processed!!  Now can we get the results?....or do we have to wait another week?

I dunno.  But New York was one of the first regions 'processed' and I haven't seen my score sheets yet.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 27, 2013, 07:17:22 PM
OK  the NHC says all results have been processed!!  Now can we get the results?....or do we have to wait another week?

I dunno.  But New York was one of the first regions 'processed' and I haven't seen my score sheets yet.
that sucks.  3 weeks ago, right?  Got mine from Tulsa today, and they just finished 6 days ago.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 27, 2013, 07:32:38 PM
OK  the NHC says all results have been processed!!  Now can we get the results?....or do we have to wait another week?

I dunno.  But New York was one of the first regions 'processed' and I haven't seen my score sheets yet.
Some region have the sheets in the mail on Monday, others not so quick. Most years I have waited for the online post by Janis to see if I had placed.

Hope she posts on Monday, as all are processed, and the official results can go out on the web.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: bucknut on April 27, 2013, 10:52:55 PM
OK  the NHC says all results have been processed!!  Now can we get the results?....or do we have to wait another week?

I dunno.  But New York was one of the first regions 'processed' and I haven't seen my score sheets yet.
that sucks.  3 weeks ago, right?  Got mine from Tulsa today, and they just finished 6 days ago.

Mine went to Tulsa also and haven't heard anything yet?? Maybe soon :(
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: theDarkSide on April 29, 2013, 01:17:44 PM
There's a rather long thread on Homebrewtalk regarding the first round results and inconsistencies in each region (which have sent to a member of the GC so they could be aware for next year ).  Some are valid, like the scoresheets for some regions being sent out the next business day while other regions judge the same day haven't sent them out yet (not going to say who but it rhymes with Blue Snork Ditty  ;D ). 

Others are ridiculous, like saying "how hard is it to enter info into a database and put them online".  Very few of us (me not included) knows how much work Janis puts into getting the results posted.  Some are just comical, like the poster who said the reason region 11 had so many issues is that people in NYC are just busier than everyone else.

Everyone likes to throw the "perceived advantage" thing around but having 3-4 extra weeks to rebrew one or more of your entries is definitely an advantage.  I have no problem waiting for the May 4th deadline, but feel that some will have a 4 week jump on others just doesn't seem fair.

I'm not sure how to fix it and don't envy those who are assigned the task.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: AmandaK on April 29, 2013, 02:11:16 PM
There's a rather long thread on Homebrewtalk regarding the first round results and inconsistencies in each region (which have sent to a member of the GC so they could be aware for next year ).  Some are valid, like the scoresheets for some regions being sent out the next business day while other regions judge the same day haven't sent them out yet (not going to say who but it rhymes with Blue Snork Ditty  ;D ). 

Others are ridiculous, like saying "how hard is it to enter info into a database and put them online".  Very few of us (me not included) knows how much work Janis puts into getting the results posted.  Some are just comical, like the poster who said the reason region 11 had so many issues is that people in NYC are just busier than everyone else.

Everyone likes to throw the "perceived advantage" thing around but having 3-4 extra weeks to rebrew one or more of your entries is definitely an advantage.  I have no problem waiting for the May 4th deadline, but feel that some will have a 4 week jump on others just doesn't seem fair.

I'm not sure how to fix it and don't envy those who are assigned the task.

I've been following that thread for a little while now.

A couple thoughts:
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: theDarkSide on April 29, 2013, 02:30:21 PM
  • If we know some regions are a bit slow, why are we still sending our beers to them? Somewhat local and well organized are my requirements for any competition. If I wasn't allowed to enter my beers in KC, I would have picked either Tulsa or St. Paul because I know they can run a great competition.
Amanda, last year my region was Philly and I had my scores back in a few days.  Obviously they are a little busy this year so NYC picked it up.  The year prior was Saratoga Springs, and you can look back at old forum posts on that one.  ::)

I hope Philly decides to do it again next year.  Otherwise you may see my entries heading your way.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 29, 2013, 05:12:37 PM
There's a rather long thread on Homebrewtalk regarding the first round results and inconsistencies in each region (which have sent to a member of the GC so they could be aware for next year ).  Some are valid, like the scoresheets for some regions being sent out the next business day while other regions judge the same day haven't sent them out yet (not going to say who but it rhymes with Blue Snork Ditty  ;D ). 

Others are ridiculous, like saying "how hard is it to enter info into a database and put them online".  Very few of us (me not included) knows how much work Janis puts into getting the results posted.  Some are just comical, like the poster who said the reason region 11 had so many issues is that people in NYC are just busier than everyone else.

Everyone likes to throw the "perceived advantage" thing around but having 3-4 extra weeks to rebrew one or more of your entries is definitely an advantage.  I have no problem waiting for the May 4th deadline, but feel that some will have a 4 week jump on others just doesn't seem fair.

I'm not sure how to fix it and don't envy those who are assigned the task.
The most I got out of that thread was that the Ohio scoresheets are mailed.

That, and that I need to get a life, as I have free time on my hands.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 29, 2013, 06:09:18 PM
I know we've had a few cover sheets not marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did advance.  It happens.
What about ones marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did not advance?  Anyone seen that mistake?

I'd like to see just the top 3 on each web site the second that the last region finishes judging.  But maybe it takes a long time to go through scoresheets and flight summary sheets and double check...

the reason I asked is post-Tulsa judging my name wasn't on the list of top 3 in Cat 14.  Yet my scoresheet shows up Saturday, and in addition to the 4 I knew about, my 14C says "3rd."
Hmm...maybe I'll hold off on draining that keg for a few more days.

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: AmandaK on April 29, 2013, 07:25:55 PM
I know we've had a few cover sheets not marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did advance.  It happens.
What about ones marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did not advance?  Anyone seen that mistake?

I haven't seen that at the NHC personally, but it has happened to me for one of the comps in the High Plains Circuit. I had cover sheets marked for everything from 9th to 3rd. Funny thing was that they didn't mark my actual second place beer. So when they sent out the medals, I didn't get a silver, I got a bronze. I emailed the organizer and she basically told me "Tough s**t".

Don't think I'll be entering that one again! :o
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: Tim Thomssen on April 29, 2013, 09:14:32 PM
My Denver score sheets showed up in the mail today. On the cover sheets, some of the places were marked 1, 2, 3, etc. Some marked DNA and some with the place awarded space left blank. I'm waiting for the official AHA results to be posted before I re-brew anything.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: Chris Rauschuber on April 29, 2013, 09:44:17 PM
Everyone likes to throw the "perceived advantage" thing around but having 3-4 extra weeks to rebrew one or more of your entries is definitely an advantage.  I have no problem waiting for the May 4th deadline, but feel that some will have a 4 week jump on others just doesn't seem fair.

I'm not sure how to fix it and don't envy those who are assigned the task.

Why can't we have the first round judging happen earlier in the year(or even before the holidays)? If we could lengthen the time between first round results and final round shipping(to months instead of weeks), then a four-week advantage wouldn't matter as much. This would mean that a lot more beers would *have* to be re-brewed(wheat beers, hoppy beers, etc.), but at least you'd have time to plan.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 29, 2013, 11:30:31 PM
all entries were due at the same time, right?

I had two bottle-conditioned lagers, a fresh Kolsch still clarifying and two slightly green hoppy beers.  I rushed to get stuff ready, entered them in the later of the two regions available to me.  I had two weeks of additional cold-conditioning in Tulsa vs if they had been judged in KC.
advantage?

some got to drop off entries vs ship them.  IMO, huge advantage.

Chance to find out two weeks earlier whether I'd advanced or not? I didn't perceive it as enough of an advantage to make it worthwhile to enter KC.  YMMV.

I won a category that had only 4 entries, while just missing top 3 in one with 55.  The competition level isn't equal.

if someone has a way to run a competition where national interest level probably approaches 20,000 entries, so that no one has any advantages, I'd love to hear it.

Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: capnjb on April 29, 2013, 11:41:23 PM
If we know some regions are a bit slow, why are we still sending our beers to them? Somewhat local and well organized are my requirements for any competition. If I wasn't allowed to enter my beers in KC, I would have picked either Tulsa or St. Paul because I know they can run a great competition.

Well, this doesn't work for first time entrants who have no idea about the regions.  It also doesn't work because the registration process was a complete disaster.  It also, also doesn't work because once the entrant registers they are unable to register elsewhere.

This has been my first (and likely last) attempt to participate in the NHC and/or anything AHA related.  Due to the size and prestige of 'The Worlds Largest Homebrew Competition' (and the exorbitant fees) I was expecting a certain level of professionalism and it has been anything but.  I feel like I participated in a hobby group that got out of the organizers hands.  Lesson learned I suppose.

 

Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: bucknut on April 30, 2013, 12:07:04 AM
I know we've had a few cover sheets not marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did advance.  It happens.
What about ones marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did not advance?  Anyone seen that mistake?

I'd like to see just the top 3 on each web site the second that the last region finishes judging.  But maybe it takes a long time to go through scoresheets and flight summary sheets and double check...

the reason I asked is post-Tulsa judging my name wasn't on the list of top 3 in Cat 14.  Yet my scoresheet shows up Saturday, and in addition to the 4 I knew about, my 14C says "3rd."
Hmm...maybe I'll hold off on draining that keg for a few more days.

cheers--
--Michael

Michael, I got my scores back today from Tulsa judging and I only had one beer entered, it was in the 14C cat. I scored a 36.5 and it says advanced to mini-BOS, I take that meant that it went to a second judge cause I have two score sheets. My question is that the "place awarded" box was blank, I guess that means I didn't place or will that be announced on the 4th? This was my first competition so not sure how this all works. Thanks
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: vikeman on April 30, 2013, 12:26:24 AM
Michael, I got my scores back today from Tulsa judging and I only had one beer entered, it was in the 14C cat. I scored a 36.5 and it says advanced to mini-BOS, I take that meant that it went to a second judge cause I have two score sheets.

In a Mini-BOS, entries are ranked, but not normally scored.  Those two sheets you got back would have been from the two judges who judged your beer before the mini-BOS.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: biggerk on April 30, 2013, 12:37:00 AM
I got mine from the Zanesville OH judging center...

biggerk
CAMRA Charlottesville VA
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: phunhog on April 30, 2013, 01:05:57 AM
If we know some regions are a bit slow, why are we still sending our beers to them? Somewhat local and well organized are my requirements for any competition. If I wasn't allowed to enter my beers in KC, I would have picked either Tulsa or St. Paul because I know they can run a great competition.

Well, this doesn't work for first time entrants who have no idea about the regions.  It also doesn't work because the registration process was a complete disaster.  It also, also doesn't work because once the entrant registers they are unable to register elsewhere.

This has been my first (and likely last) attempt to participate in the NHC and/or anything AHA related.  Due to the size and prestige of 'The Worlds Largest Homebrew Competition' (and the exorbitant fees) I was expecting a certain level of professionalism and it has been anything but.  I feel like I participated in a hobby group that got out of the organizers hands.  Lesson learned I suppose.

I feel a bit of the same way...This was my first time entering the NHC .I don't know I was just expecting it to run more smoothly for the hoops I had to jump through and high fees I had to pay just to enter.  Thank goodness my entries got moved to Seattle.....I received my scoresheets literally within days of the competition. Of course I don't know if my high scoring beers even went to the mini BOS since nothing was marked and there is some confusion if judges were supposed to fill them out. I don't know if I will enter next year but either way I don't expect the AHA to change. There is no need when demand out strips supply.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 30, 2013, 01:20:14 AM
If we know some regions are a bit slow, why are we still sending our beers to them? Somewhat local and well organized are my requirements for any competition. If I wasn't allowed to enter my beers in KC, I would have picked either Tulsa or St. Paul because I know they can run a great competition.

Well, this doesn't work for first time entrants who have no idea about the regions.  It also doesn't work because the registration process was a complete disaster.  It also, also doesn't work because once the entrant registers they are unable to register elsewhere.

This has been my first (and likely last) attempt to participate in the NHC and/or anything AHA related.  Due to the size and prestige of 'The Worlds Largest Homebrew Competition' (and the exorbitant fees) I was expecting a certain level of professionalism and it has been anything but.  I feel like I participated in a hobby group that got out of the organizers hands.  Lesson learned I suppose.

I feel a bit of the same way...This was my first time entering the NHC .I don't know I was just expecting it to run more smoothly for the hoops I had to jump through and high fees I had to pay just to enter.  Thank goodness my entries got moved to Seattle.....I received my scoresheets literally within days of the competition. Of course I don't know if my high scoring beers even went to the mini BOS since nothing was marked and there is some confusion if judges were supposed to fill them out. I don't know if I will enter next year but either way I don't expect the AHA to change. There is no need when demand out strips supply.
From the perspective of a long time member, the NHC has changed for the better in my memory. The Governing Committee was a positive change, as it is made up of members like you and me, who hear member voices and try to make changes for the better.

The problem is the rapid growth of the hobby, and how to respond to and manage the growth. 
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 30, 2013, 03:34:06 AM
I know we've had a few cover sheets not marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did advance.  It happens.
What about ones marked with a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place that did not advance?  Anyone seen that mistake?

I'd like to see just the top 3 on each web site the second that the last region finishes judging.  But maybe it takes a long time to go through scoresheets and flight summary sheets and double check...

the reason I asked is post-Tulsa judging my name wasn't on the list of top 3 in Cat 14.  Yet my scoresheet shows up Saturday, and in addition to the 4 I knew about, my 14C says "3rd."
Hmm...maybe I'll hold off on draining that keg for a few more days.

cheers--
--Michael

Michael, I got my scores back today from Tulsa judging and I only had one beer entered, it was in the 14C cat. I scored a 36.5 and it says advanced to mini-BOS, I take that meant that it went to a second judge cause I have two score sheets. My question is that the "place awarded" box was blank, I guess that means I didn't place or will that be announced on the 4th? This was my first competition so not sure how this all works. Thanks

fyi, my friend scored 37.5 in this category and finished 2nd.  I also scored 37.5 and while it said "3rd" I found out tonight that I did not advance.  I'm fairly annoyed, truth be told.  The only reason I wasn't super excited is I was there when they announced someone else's name in that spot.  This is not an error we can make without people getting pissed off...

long story short - I wouldn't trust this category in this particular region until the NHC releases official results...
*edit* - sent you a PM to better describe queued judging and mini-BOS.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: phunhog on April 30, 2013, 05:21:31 AM
If we know some regions are a bit slow, why are we still sending our beers to them? Somewhat local and well organized are my requirements for any competition. If I wasn't allowed to enter my beers in KC, I would have picked either Tulsa or St. Paul because I know they can run a great competition.

Well, this doesn't work for first time entrants who have no idea about the regions.  It also doesn't work because the registration process was a complete disaster.  It also, also doesn't work because once the entrant registers they are unable to register elsewhere.

This has been my first (and likely last) attempt to participate in the NHC and/or anything AHA related.  Due to the size and prestige of 'The Worlds Largest Homebrew Competition' (and the exorbitant fees) I was expecting a certain level of professionalism and it has been anything but.  I feel like I participated in a hobby group that got out of the organizers hands.  Lesson learned I suppose.

I feel a bit of the same way...This was my first time entering the NHC .I don't know I was just expecting it to run more smoothly for the hoops I had to jump through and high fees I had to pay just to enter.  Thank goodness my entries got moved to Seattle.....I received my scoresheets literally within days of the competition. Of course I don't know if my high scoring beers even went to the mini BOS since nothing was marked and there is some confusion if judges were supposed to fill them out. I don't know if I will enter next year but either way I don't expect the AHA to change. There is no need when demand out strips supply.
From the perspective of a long time member, the NHC has changed for the better in my memory. The Governing Committee was a positive change, as it is made up of members like you and me, who hear member voices and try make changes for the better.

The problem is the rapid growth of the hobby, and how to respond to and manage the growth.
Don't get me wrong I think the AHA does a fantastic job by and large!!  I understand how homebrewing has exploded in the last few years and the problems dealing with that growth.  I think that at some point the AHA "might" have to realize that they can no longer put on the NHC in its' current form
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: tschmidlin on April 30, 2013, 06:02:13 AM
Don't get me wrong I think the AHA does a fantastic job by and large!!  I understand how homebrewing has exploded in the last few years and the problems dealing with that growth.  I think that at some point the AHA "might" have to realize that they can no longer put on the NHC in its' current form
We have already realized this and the competition committee is currently talking through the changes we are considering for next year.  We are also planning to survey the membership to find out what they want/expect from the competition so that we can make sure they are positive changes.  While I can't guarantee we will fix all of the problems and make everyone happy, it won't be because we didn't try to anticipate the needs of the competition.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: AmandaK on April 30, 2013, 12:14:36 PM
Don't get me wrong I think the AHA does a fantastic job by and large!!  I understand how homebrewing has exploded in the last few years and the problems dealing with that growth.  I think that at some point the AHA "might" have to realize that they can no longer put on the NHC in its' current form
We have already realized this and the competition committee is currently talking through the changes we are considering for next year.  We are also planning to survey the membership to find out what they want/expect from the competition so that we can make sure they are positive changes.  While I can't guarantee we will fix all of the problems and make everyone happy, it won't be because we didn't try to anticipate the needs of the competition.

You guys are awesome. Keep it up!  8)
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: narvin on April 30, 2013, 04:31:43 PM

fyi, my friend scored 37.5 in this category and finished 2nd.  I also scored 37.5 and while it said "3rd" I found out tonight that I did not advance.  I'm fairly annoyed, truth be told.  The only reason I wasn't super excited is I was there when they announced someone else's name in that spot.  This is not an error we can make without people getting pissed off...


Did it say "3rd" on the summary sheet for your entries, or just in the box on the cover sheet for that beer?

Also, how do you know you didn't advance?  When did they "announce" the results?
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: jeffy on April 30, 2013, 04:43:02 PM
I got my score sheets from Zanesville yesterday.  Unfortunately there must have been better beers on the table.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on April 30, 2013, 04:44:36 PM
Did it say "3rd" on the summary sheet for your entries, or just in the box on the cover sheet for that beer?

Also, how do you know you didn't advance?  When did they "announce" the results?

They read the regional results out loud at the conclusion of judging to the volunteers in attendance.  They are supposed to do this at each regional.  We looked at list of winners too to double-check, and my name wasn't on there.  I didn't see the Flight Summary Sheet and it wouldn't have done any good anyway, as it was just a number and not a name.  It was only a week later that I received the surprise of a Cover Sheet that said I finished 3rd.  I suspect a judge number of 5006 or other number that looked similar to my 5060 is the one that advanced.  Without the Flight Summary Sheet I cannot be sure.

Since I was there it was obvious a mistake was made, and was just a matter of determining which was correct - winner list or cover sheet.  If Desiree says I didn't advance then I trust her.  But what about the 90% of entrants who weren't in Tulsa?  Those 90% of people would have been excited to receive cover sheets that say they advanced and then pissed when finding out later that they didn't actually advance...

cheers--
--Michael 
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 30, 2013, 04:48:29 PM
I got my sheets back yesterday. Most of my beers were knocked down for one reason or another, doing some tasting last night, I agree.

The CAP saved the day, with a 1st. Now I will be nervous at the banquet, but will know the results fairly quick in the awards ceremony
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: tesgüino on April 30, 2013, 04:51:46 PM
New York scoresheets . . . Anyone?  :'(
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: theDarkSide on April 30, 2013, 04:54:58 PM
New York scoresheets . . . Anyone?  :'(
Not yet.  Rumor on another forum says envelopes were being stuffed this past weekend so I expect they were put in the mail yesterday.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: bbkf on April 30, 2013, 05:21:02 PM
New York scoresheets . . . Anyone?  :'(

I know someone who entered NYC and he got his scoresheets yesterday.  You should get yours soon too i presume. 
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: dbarber on April 30, 2013, 05:38:53 PM
New York scoresheets . . . Anyone?  :'(

I know someone who entered NYC and he got his scoresheets yesterday.  You should get yours soon too i presume.

No scoresheets in today's mail....maybe tomorrow.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: AmandaK on April 30, 2013, 05:40:03 PM
Since I was there it was obvious a mistake was made, and was just a matter of determining which was correct - winner list or cover sheet.  If Desiree says I didn't advance then I trust her.  But what about the 90% of entrants who weren't in Tulsa?  Those 90% of people would have been excited to receive cover sheets that say they advanced and then pissed when finding out later that they didn't actually advance...

This is exactly why I did an audit of every winner marked on the cover sheet versus the database before I started stuffing. I would hate to go through that myself.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: bbkf on April 30, 2013, 05:43:39 PM
This is exactly why I did an audit of every winner marked on the cover sheet versus the database before I started stuffing. I would hate to go through that myself.

you rock!

 8)
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: theDarkSide on April 30, 2013, 05:53:39 PM
I think Amanda should expect her region to fill up quickly next year if they decide to do it again. 
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: bphad on April 30, 2013, 05:56:02 PM
Anyone know if Milwaukee also put in placings?
One of my beers scored a 40, advanced to mini-BOS, but nothing in the place box.
Had high hopes for it as it has placed at every other comp it has been entered into this year.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: bbkf on April 30, 2013, 06:27:19 PM
I think Amanda should expect her region to fill up quickly next year if they decide to do it again.

I entered KC.  I think they did an outstanding job.  I entered 15 there and I think I had a master level judge on 12 of the 15.  14/15 of my entries scored above 30.   I'm quite pleased and would totally enter their region again....but I think this is the last year of NHC for me.  Its time to let some of the newer brewers have the fun.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: jeffjm on April 30, 2013, 06:51:19 PM
I think Amanda should expect her region to fill up quickly next year if they decide to do it again.

As opposed to the incredibly long time it took to fill up this year?  ;)
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: james on May 01, 2013, 05:41:39 PM
First round results are up

http://bit.ly/13MxsL3
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: alikocho on May 01, 2013, 06:12:20 PM
I went and logged in. I have no scores against my entries. Is anyone else seeing the same, or did my beers not make it to the shipping destination.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: udubdawg on May 01, 2013, 06:22:17 PM
I went and logged in. I have no scores against my entries. Is anyone else seeing the same, or did my beers not make it to the shipping destination.

my scores show up...
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: alikocho on May 01, 2013, 06:29:54 PM
I went and logged in. I have no scores against my entries. Is anyone else seeing the same, or did my beers not make it to the shipping destination.

my scores show up...

Well I guess mine probably didn't make it. I had to resend after customs rejected a package with a broken bottle. Noone involved in the competition's fault, but annoying all the same.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: saintpierre on May 01, 2013, 09:42:39 PM
Even with all the registration issues, I like the online system.  I might be in the minority on this but I don't remember being able to see my scores before receiving the scoresheets (still no sheets from NYC).

Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: a witty man on May 03, 2013, 02:46:18 PM
I received my NY scoresheets yesterday, and was happy with most of the feedback I received. (I passed 3 beers to the second round, so I can't complain too much!)

This said, I am rather upset about the sheets I received for my entry in the "Wood and Smoked Beer" category. Sure I got a low score and am a bit bitter about that (but don't worry I'm not going to tantrum here and defend the merits of my beer, etc.). What is really disappointing is that this category was paneled solely by a non-bjcp and an apprentice level judge. So, not one of the judges has scored higher than a 60 on the BJCP exam...

For a national competition where prices were rather steep and stakes rather high, I find it extremely disappointing that I did not receive scoring or feedback from a more experienced judge. I understand that there may be a lack of judges, but even at the smallest of competitions in which I have judged there has always been a "recognized" or higher ranked judge on each panel (and typically "certified" or higher). I'm not one of those entrants that throws every beer I brew into the national competition; I only send the beers I think would do well, and I do expect to receive feedback from experienced palates that will enable me to fine tune and better these beers.

To be clear, this has nothing to do with these two particular judges -- I am grateful for their effort in tackling a rather difficult category with limited experience, and will most likely be responding to them individually with my specific responses to their scoresheets. (If you're out there guys, thanks for the feedback, and stick with it!)

I'm curious to hear if others met with similar panels in other NHC regionals, or if this was only a problem in the NYC regional.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: gsandel on May 03, 2013, 03:54:38 PM
Quote
I'm curious to hear if others met with similar panels in other NHC regionals,

@ Witty.

I can only tell you of my experience judging in Denver.  As an inexperienced judge (was unranked at comp time, now am "recognized" and awaiting another exam score from test in March to see if I make grade to become "certified"), I was paired with no less than a National judge or extremely experienced brewer (he had his PhD in Brewing Science from University of Brussells...which was awesome for me....and might have also been national but who cares at that point).  I would guess that Denver has a nice collection of National ranked folks to make this a reality, but my guess is that the organizers make the best pairings they have avaliable and many non-bjcp folks are known to the organizers through club functions to be qualified homebrewers.  Rarely does someone get conscripted off the street except in dire emergency.

Taking tests is not everyone's bag....I know i hate doing it, and will be reluctant to shoot for another higher rank again no matter how much experience I have.

So, it is more likely than not your judges weren't complete newbies, or NY at worst had a dire situation and needs more qualified volunteers (that are willing).  If the sheets were of poor quality, that could be an issue, but rank has little to do with how conscientious the taster is at that moment, nor how many beers he/she had been through before yours in flight and in earlier session(s), too.  Some of the best comments I got from my beers this year were from the less experienced judges...best as in understandable, constructive, and helpful....not that I liked all of what they had to say.

My experience has led me to believe that beer judging is some of the hardest drinking you'll ever do (not in quantity)....it is just a difficult practice.

Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: smkranz on May 03, 2013, 05:41:45 PM
This said, I am rather upset about the sheets I received for my entry in the "Wood and Smoked Beer" category. Sure I got a low score and am a bit bitter about that (but don't worry I'm not going to tantrum here and defend the merits of my beer, etc.). What is really disappointing is that this category was paneled solely by a non-bjcp and an apprentice level judge. So, not one of the judges has scored higher than a 60 on the BJCP exam...

For a national competition where prices were rather steep and stakes rather high, I find it extremely disappointing that I did not receive scoring or feedback from a more experienced judge. I understand that there may be a lack of judges, but even at the smallest of competitions in which I have judged there has always been a "recognized" or higher ranked judge on each panel (and typically "certified" or higher). I'm not one of those entrants that throws every beer I brew into the national competition; I only send the beers I think would do well, and I do expect to receive feedback from experienced palates that will enable me to fine tune and better these beers.

To be clear, this has nothing to do with these two particular judges -- I am grateful for their effort in tackling a rather difficult category with limited experience, and will most likely be responding to them individually with my specific responses to their scoresheets. (If you're out there guys, thanks for the feedback, and stick with it!)

I'm curious to hear if others met with similar panels in other NHC regionals, or if this was only a problem in the NYC regional.

Ditto.  I received a set of score sheets from a provisional judge and non-bjcp.  That's poor.  We offer new judges seats at our competitions, but only when we have a Certified or higher judge (or two!) to pair them with. 

I know from experience that getting judges to sign up can be like pulling teeth, but the NHC has to have judging centers near a sufficient population of ranked judges to do the job, or incentivize judges to travel with a gas stipend, a comp motel room, or both.  Otherwise, people who get score sheets judged at this level will be turned off, like i was last night when i read them.

Last year I traveled long distances twice, to judge at two 1st round centers, on my own dime just for the experience.  This year the closest center was probably over 5 hours away.  I would have liked to go again, but I couldn't justify the expense to the Spousal Unit this year.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: beerrat on May 03, 2013, 09:17:21 PM
Did folk that entered Atlanta get your judging sheets yet?  I have not.

I can see my scores online.  What does Mini-BOS being checked mean on the online entry page?
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: ghumphrey on May 03, 2013, 10:09:46 PM
What does Mini-BOS being checked mean on the online entry page?

It means that your entry was part of what's called a "mini best of show" at the table where your beer was judged. At the NHC, that constituted the BJCP category it was entered into.

A mini best of show is a pool of the "best" entries each judge team chooses. From this "pool," the entries are judged in the same manner as the competition's overall best of show round - no Scoresheet is filled out for them typically.

For example, let's say there are 40 entries at the table and four pairs of judges working their way through them. Each judge pair is usually instructed by the head judge that they can advance a certain number of entries to the mini-BOS - the judges certainly do not have to advance any to a mini-BOS if they do not feel any they judged are worthy.

Let's say each judge pair sends three entries, so there are 12 entries in the mini-BOS pool. Two or more (preferably BJCP ranked) judges then evaluate each of the 12, choosing the first, second, and third place entries after discussion and debate.

Note that making it to the mini-BOS does not mean that an entry placed, it simply means that the entry stood out as a contender to place.

See http://www.bjcp.org/docs/MiniBOS.pdf for a more in-depth explanation.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: tygo on May 04, 2013, 11:41:06 AM
I've been out of town this week so I just got to look at my score sheets last night from Zanesville.  Looks like they switched my Belgian Dark and Golden Strong ales so they were judged incorrectly.  I'm positive they were labeled correctly.  That's pretty frustrating. 
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: duxx on May 04, 2013, 03:29:50 PM
What does Mini-BOS being checked mean on the online entry page?

1+ for Geoff's explanation.

Congrats for making it to mini-BOS.  That is something to be proud of.  If my beers didn't place the first thing I look for is to see if it made it to mini-BOS.  It means that the judge team who evaluated my beer thought it was in the top 20-30% of beers in that flight.  Most flights are between 8-12 beers and most judge teams will advance 2 or 3 of those beers to mini-BOS.

During the mini-BOS, the judges will rank the beers without regard to your previous score.  Therefore, it is possible for a beer that scored lower on the scoresheet to win 1st place.  This was very confusing for me the first time it happened to me.  My beer got a 44 and the beer that won only scored a 42.  How was that possible?  Actually, the mini-BOS removes scoring bias between the judge teams and truely selects the best beer.  Now that I have judged multiple mini-BOS rounds I understand this much better.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: Bruce B on May 04, 2013, 04:13:36 PM
Anyone know if Milwaukee also put in placings?
One of my beers scored a 40, advanced to mini-BOS, but nothing in the place box.
Had high hopes for it as it has placed at every other comp it has been entered into this year.
Yes we did indicate place and mini-bos on the summary sheets.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: beerrat on May 05, 2013, 03:39:43 PM
Did folk that entered Atlanta get your judging sheets yet?  I have not.

I can see my scores online.  What does Mini-BOS being checked mean on the online entry page?

Thanks all for the feedback and education on min-BOS means! 

I receive my score sheets from Atlanta on 5/4.  I had some good beers and bad beers, and the comments for both were very helpful on how to make them all better.  Nice job!
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: Frank Barickman on May 10, 2013, 03:02:48 AM
Hey Tygo, I was the organizer for Zanesville and apologize if something went wrong.  With the method of check-in, scanners, and the label system that was used, it would be very hard for us to switch entries.  Now that being said, when you are checking in 721 X 2 beers it could happen.

Entries were randomly unboxed at several 8x3 tables, they were grouped together (pairs of entries) and then both bottles were checked to make sure they matched.  The pair was then labeled with a random number that had a judge barcode placed on it in three locations (plus the original barcode on the labeled bottle).   From here, they were checked by one person again, and then handed to me (yes I personally scanned each entry).  When scanned they were "checked in" automatically by the scanned barcodes.  Both Entry and Judge barcodes were scanned. This eliminated errors from the labeled bottle disagreeing with the judge number because we never entered entries into a style category by hand.  After scanned and entered into the "system" they were checked again by another person who confirmed they matched (both judge number, entry number, style, and that we had a pair) and then took to the case box for that style for storage until judged.

So basically, after all is said and done, the bottle label was read independently twice, then scanned, and then checked by another person to be placed in a "style" box for serving.  From this process (which is anal), I fail to see how we could have screwed up being that the original labels were NOT removed until the time of judging by the cellar.  Oh yea, at that time they were checked again and reconciled against the cellars pull sheet.

Nothings perfect.  We did have a 10A American Pale Ale, that did not get judged correctly.  It had a name of "3C" and got placed in the 3 "style" box at the time of check-in by a volunteer.  During judging this was caught by the cellar when they checked entries against the pull sheets.  Unfortunately we could not find it until the next day cause the box it was stored in (style 3 box) was the last box in storage and was not accessible.  We searched VERY HARD for it with all the accessible case boxes we had access to in our cold storage (and we tore down the pile very hard!).

With all the checks and processes in place, I am not sure how this could have happened. I have entered many competitions personally, organized dozens of both large and small competitions, and from that try to run competitions in a manner that I would want my beer to be judged and handled.

So all that being said, I personally apologize if we screwed up and any frustration you may have.  I can think of crazy scenarios where I suppose it could happen, but I question if potentially if you mislabeled it? 

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further. 

Thanks

Frank Barickman

I've been out of town this week so I just got to look at my score sheets last night from Zanesville.  Looks like they switched my Belgian Dark and Golden Strong ales so they were judged incorrectly.  I'm positive they were labeled correctly.  That's pretty frustrating.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: tygo on May 10, 2013, 01:54:22 PM
I appreciate the response Frank.  I'm pretty sure I didn't switch the labels but as you said, anything's possible.  I say pretty sure because I didn't take a picture of it or anything.  Either way, it's beer and I'm over it.  The feedback I got from the competition was overall very good.
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: Frank Barickman on May 10, 2013, 02:02:53 PM
Clint,

I hear ya, again, I am sorry.  I will buy you a beer at NHC if you are going to Philly! 

Now, what does disappoint me is that the judges did not bring it to the attention of my staff or me during judging.  A good judge should always question an entry if its clearly out of style in a category.  Its always worth having the organizer do a check in the system and see what they can determine. 

I have seen this where the second bottle was correct (brewer or organizer switched a label or whatever) and I have seen it where it was still wrong and there was not another entry that the brewer could have switched (or even had another entry).  Point is that the judge brought it to someones attention vs. just douche'n on it!

Glad to hear your feedback overall was generally good.  In larger competitions, it's always a challenge to make sure judges are doing what they "should" be doing!

Cheers brother!

Big Frank
Title: Re: NHC regional experiences
Post by: jeffy on May 10, 2013, 02:08:19 PM
Clint,

I hear ya, again, I am sorry.  I will buy you a beer at NHC if you are going to Philly! 

Now, what does disappoint me is that the judges did not bring it to the attention of my staff or me during judging.  A good judge should always question an entry if its clearly out of style in a category.  Its always worth having the organizer do a check in the system and see what they can determine. 

I have seen this where the second bottle was correct (brewer or organizer switched a label or whatever) and I have seen it where it was still wrong and there was not another entry that the brewer could have switched (or even had another entry).  Point is that the judge brought it to someones attention vs. just douche'n on it!

Glad to hear your feedback overall was generally good.  In larger competitions, it's always a challenge to make sure judges are doing what they "should" be doing!

Cheers brother!

Big Frank

I agree that the judges should have said something.  I always do when one of the entries is crearly out of style.
I once had four beers in the NHC finals and two bottles apparently got mixed up.  The notes on the braggot were, "this is a very good APA" and on the APA, "way too much honey flavor."  That was very disappointing.