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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: senorpantalones on April 16, 2010, 08:46:24 PM

Title: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: senorpantalones on April 16, 2010, 08:46:24 PM
This isn't a dig at the NHC. I think the costs for submitting entries is fair considering how much they have to do for this thing. I just wonder if the way some people blast the competition with entries, makes for a less welcoming kind of competition. Especially when in the Midwest region this year, they reached their max. I can guarantee you there were a number of people who spent literally hundreds of dollars on entry fees to enter beers in almost every category. Meaning some people who wanted to enter, could not. Seem silly to anyone else?

I'd like to see the NHC put a cap on how many beers you can submit. The competing for the Ninkasi award just seems like it gets a little out of hand. Anyone else? This is just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: theDarkSide on April 16, 2010, 08:58:00 PM
I think we could all assume the midwest was going to fill up this year due to the conference being in their region.  I wouldn't be surprised if 50-60% of those are from Saint Paul's.  The NE filling up was a bit of a surprise I guess.

I'd much rather spend the hundreds of dollars on other things like food, clothes, better brewing equipment ( I think Gordon Strong said once he spend the equivalent of a one weeks paycheck one year ). 

Caps on number of entries may be in the future, but I thought you couldn't enter more than 1 in a category already ( but I may be thinking about a different comp ).

Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: babalu87 on April 16, 2010, 10:34:00 PM
I think we could all assume the midwest was going to fill up this year due to the conference being in their region.  I wouldn't be surprised if 50-60% of those are from Saint Paul's.  The NE filling up was a bit of a surprise I guess.

I'd much rather spend the hundreds of dollars on other things like food, clothes, better brewing equipment ( I think Gordon Strong said once he spend the equivalent of a one weeks paycheck one year ). 

Caps on number of entries may be in the future, but I thought you couldn't enter more than 1 in a category already ( but I may be thinking about a different comp ).



Wasnt a surprise if you had access to the numbers from last year
Someone should have had the foresight and adjusted accordingly.

http://mindbet.com/allregions.php
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: sienabrewer on April 17, 2010, 01:39:00 PM
Are people able to enter multiple beers per style?  If that is the case I agree with you.  If they are entering just one per category I don't think I have much of an issue with that.  And by category I mean the by the lowest level, i.e. American IPA, English IPA, etc. not IPA in general.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: a10t2 on April 17, 2010, 01:52:48 PM
Are people able to enter multiple beers per style?

No, you can enter at most 80 beers, one per subcategory. (And some people do.)
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: senorpantalones on April 18, 2010, 12:26:35 AM
Are people able to enter multiple beers per style?

No, you can enter at most 80 beers, one per subcategory. (And some people do.)

Yup, one per style.
But the people who do enter dozens and dozens of beers are just ruining the experience for other people IMO, especially since they're crowding people out. I mean 80 beers at $9 per entry is $720. That's just unnecessary, and the point system right now incentivizes it. 
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: marty on April 18, 2010, 01:30:40 AM
Wasnt a surprise if you had access to the numbers from last year
Someone should have had the foresight and adjusted accordingly.

http://mindbet.com/allregions.php

the Northeast went from 620 in 2009 to 750, a 20% jump

a 20% jump isn't surprising????

A Midwest jump could be expected, but a jump from 550 to 750?  And wasn't the Midwest region adjusted because of the location this year?
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: MDixon on April 18, 2010, 11:30:46 AM
But the people who do enter dozens and dozens of beers are just ruining the experience for other people IMO, especially since they're crowding people out.

Crowding people out for what exactly? If you want to win the category, brew the best beer.

Granted if you want to win the entire shooting match (Ninkasi) you'll need excellent beers in multiple categories. Really want to be the best, win Homebrewer of the Year (BOS) and the Ninkasi. I cannot recall the last time that happened.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: narvin on April 18, 2010, 03:44:34 PM
But the people who do enter dozens and dozens of beers are just ruining the experience for other people IMO, especially since they're crowding people out.

Crowding people out for what exactly? If you want to win the category, brew the best beer.

Granted if you want to win the entire shooting match (Ninkasi) you'll need excellent beers in multiple categories. Really want to be the best, win Homebrewer of the Year (BOS) and the Ninkasi. I cannot recall the last time that happened.

Crowding people out of the 750 spots for entries in the region?  If you enter 80 beers (including the same beer in multiple style categories, as some people do), that's 10% of the entry cap.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: denny on April 18, 2010, 03:47:27 PM
OK, so how many people enter 80 beers?  I'd be willing to bet not too many.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: MDixon on April 18, 2010, 05:00:09 PM
Less than 10 per region  ;D
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Beertracker on April 18, 2010, 05:16:51 PM
OK, so how many people enter 80 beers?  I'd be willing to bet not too many.

Since Jamil has reportedly "retired"... that's one less!  ;D
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: a10t2 on April 18, 2010, 05:24:54 PM
OK, so how many people enter 80 beers?

People with more free time than I.

For those 80 beers to be *good* you'd have to be brewing what, at least twice a week?
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: denny on April 18, 2010, 05:28:05 PM
Less than 10 per region  ;D

Astounding math skills!  :)
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: marty on April 18, 2010, 05:40:29 PM
OK, so how many people enter 80 beers?  I'd be willing to bet not too many.

Since Jamil has reportedly "retired"... that's one less!  ;D

the most I've heard of is about 50 beers from Jamil and Gordon, since Jamil didn't even enter, and since Gordon is in the East region - which didn't even fill up, I'm not sure what the complaint even is
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: MDixon on April 18, 2010, 06:38:54 PM
Less than 10 per region  ;D

Astounding math skills!  :)

Amazing isn't it, works out to exactly the number of fingers I have  ;)
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: a10t2 on April 18, 2010, 06:42:15 PM
Amazing isn't it, works out to exactly the number of fingers I have  ;)

Doing division on your fingers is hard though. Well, maybe not hard, but you can only do it once.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Beertracker on April 18, 2010, 07:03:08 PM
...the most I've heard of is about 50 beers from Jamil and Gordon, since Jamil didn't even enter, and since Gordon is in the East region - which didn't even fill up, I'm not sure what the complaint even is...

I agree. If someone wanted to enter in one of the regions that CAPPED then they should've got off of their duffs. I'm sure the situation will be assessed for next year, but I'm not sure an entry CAP is the answer?   ::)
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: MDixon on April 18, 2010, 07:22:52 PM
I don't speak for anyone with the AHA, but as someone who has been involved with the NHC regionals before I'm fairly confident the cap is to allow the comp to finish in time. When we held in in NC I judged on 5 or 6 different days to work our way through the 600+ entries. 750 would be a nightmare and would not be something we could confidently achieve. I think a note went out the South (in GA) was going to judge 3 days in a row to pull it off this year...
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: denny on April 18, 2010, 07:58:34 PM
That's pretty much it, Mike.  I've asked Janis to weigh in on this.  She won't be able to do it til next week, because she's judging this weekend!  It was a topic of our last GC conference call, and I'm sure it will be a major topic at our meeting in Minneapolis.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: marty on April 18, 2010, 08:35:52 PM
I agree. If someone wanted to enter in one of the regions that CAPPED then they should've got off of their duffs. I'm sure the situation will be assessed for next year, but I'm not sure an entry CAP is the answer?   ::)

The closed North East region was only at 500 entries a week before the entry window closed (4 or 5 WEEKS into the entry window), I know because I added more beers at that time. The last 250 entries came in the last week. The region closed 3 days before the entry deadline. Any beers entered after it closed would have required 2 day or overnight shipping and would've cost an arm and a leg.

No one got shut out because of mythical people entering 80 beers
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: MDixon on April 19, 2010, 12:14:09 AM
Denny - my suggestion would be to take a look at a cap on how many entries per person and see if that would change so no area ends up with a cap. IMO, 25 entries from one brewer is a gracious plenty.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: babalu87 on April 19, 2010, 02:14:09 AM
Any beers entered after it closed would have required 2 day or overnight shipping and would've cost an arm and a leg.

You're not real familiar with UPS shipping maps are you?

This map is for shipments originating from just outside of Boston

(http://www.ups.com/using/services/servicemaps/maps25/map_0011.gif)
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: senorpantalones on April 19, 2010, 04:00:49 AM
That's pretty much it, Mike.  I've asked Janis to weigh in on this.  She won't be able to do it til next week, because she's judging this weekend!  It was a topic of our last GC conference call, and I'm sure it will be a major topic at our meeting in Minneapolis.

I'm glad you guys are talking about it, Denny. My intention wasn't to complain, and I realize that no one is actually entering 80 beers. My thought was just that since judging more than 750 beers in a weekend is a nightmare, and since regions are bumping up against that cap, the few people who do enter more than 20 or 30 beers (which is A LOT) are just taking more than their share of the resources. Since the huge monetary commitment of entering that many beers is not a deterrent, it seems like there should be some other type of limit.
Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: rabid_dingo on April 19, 2010, 05:48:48 AM
For rich people...Hmmm....I still don't like that at club night you have to pay to give your beer away.

 >:(

I will never pay to give something away...Sorry, still a sore point from when the Conference was in Denver.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: dbeechum on April 19, 2010, 07:29:49 AM
Eh, I never view it (Club Night) or our annual SoCal Homebrewer's Festival in the light of "paying to give something away". I tend to look at it from the pov, I'm paying to enjoy my time and the other brewer's beer and I'm offering my beer to let them do the same. (ETA - I also view these events as life savers. If I tried to drink anywhere near the amount of beer that I brew - I'd be dead in a few months)

On the subject of the regions: an entry cap on entrants is interesting. Whether or not it would be effective would be entirely dependent on the number of large entrants per region you have. I know both Gordon and Jamil have entered in the 50 beer range, but I'm not aware of there being large numbers of folks entering similar numbers.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: bluesman on April 19, 2010, 10:38:26 AM
OK, so how many people enter 80 beers?  I'd be willing to bet not too many.

My bet is none.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: marty on April 19, 2010, 04:42:46 PM
Any beers entered after it closed would have required 2 day or overnight shipping and would've cost an arm and a leg.

You're not real familiar with UPS shipping maps are you?

This map is for shipments originating from just outside of Boston

(http://www.ups.com/using/services/servicemaps/maps25/map_0011.gif)

North East region closed the night of 3/29

shipping would have originated on 3/30

overnight would get it to Philly (from Boston) on 3/31

2 day would get it to Philly (from Boston) on 4/1

Deadline was 5:30 on 4/1

2 day or overnight shipping, to get it there by 5:30 on 4/1 just like the map I'm supposedly not too familiar with says

Ground shipping isn't guaranteed to arrive within the days shown on that map. I've had shipments take 3 or 4 days to get to a 2 day zone. 2day and overnight is guaranteed.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: babalu87 on April 19, 2010, 05:22:11 PM
I work with the shipping department at work

Shipments from business to business taking longer than what UPS says they will are like hens teeth.
Twice in about ten years and one of those was due to weather.

Bottom line, anyone in the Northeast could have got their beers to Philly in plenty of time as it would be a max of 2 days going ground (the cheapest)
There wouldnt be a need for a 2 day shipment as ground gets it there in 2 days
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Janis on April 19, 2010, 08:23:40 PM
This isn't a dig at the NHC. I think the costs for submitting entries is fair considering how much they have to do for this thing. I just wonder if the way some people blast the competition with entries, makes for a less welcoming kind of competition. Especially when in the Midwest region this year, they reached their max. I can guarantee you there were a number of people who spent literally hundreds of dollars on entry fees to enter beers in almost every category. Meaning some people who wanted to enter, could not. Seem silly to anyone else?

I'd like to see the NHC put a cap on how many beers you can submit. The competing for the Ninkasi award just seems like it gets a little out of hand. Anyone else? This is just my 2 cents.

Hi Senor Pantalones,
Thanks for your suggestion on how the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) can be improved.  I will add your suggestion to the list that the the AHA Governing Committee's Competition Sub-Committee will consider for next year's competition.
Cheers,
    Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: senorpantalones on April 20, 2010, 07:49:43 PM
Hi Senor Pantalones,
Thanks for your suggestion on how the National Homebrew Competition (NHC) can be improved.  I will add your suggestion to the list that the the AHA Governing Committee's Competition Sub-Committee will consider for next year's competition.
Cheers,
    Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org


Janis, Thanks for responding. I'm really glad to see that you guys take the time to look at issues like this, even if the decision doesn't go the way I was hoping.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Janis on April 20, 2010, 07:56:45 PM
Sorry I didn't respond sooner; I was traveling when you first posted.
It's great that you have a suggestion on how to improve the competition.  If you have any other ideas in this regard, please let me know, and I'll see what I can do to incorporate your suggestions.

Cheers,
   Janis

janis@brewersassociation.org
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: gsandel on April 21, 2010, 12:47:09 AM
Fifty beers....if that is what it takes to win the Ninkasi, that is running the tables, and that favors the richest and most prolific brewers among us.  I would rather each brewer enter their best beer (one entry), but since most of us enter for feedback (rather than believing that we can actually win in such an environment) that would punish the moderate hobbyist for the excesses of the win at all cost set.  Perhaps we need to institute limits.  Enter as much as you like, but only the average of your 5 best entries count towards the Ninkasi, or better yet, have each brewer wishing to enter 5 beers for the Ninkasi have to choose their best 5 (if they entered more than 5) for consideration.  They would have to know which 5 to choose.

Rewarding the person who enters 50 beers (albeit good beers to have enough to place that highly) seems like a rather silly award.  Again, I always hate to see a competition dominated by just a few participants as I often see in brewing comps.  If you are that good, it is time to give up your eligibility and get on the pro circuit.

Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: karlh on April 21, 2010, 02:08:15 AM
Fifty beers....if that is what it takes to win the Ninkasi, that is running the tables, and that favors the richest and most prolific brewers among us.  I would rather each brewer enter their best beer (one entry), but since most of us enter for feedback (rather than believing that we can actually win in such an environment) that would punish the moderate hobbyist for the excesses of the win at all cost set.  Perhaps we need to institute limits.  Enter as much as you like, but only the average of your 5 best entries count towards the Ninkasi, or better yet, have each brewer wishing to enter 5 beers for the Ninkasi have to choose their best 5 (if they entered more than 5) for consideration.  They would have to know which 5 to choose.

Rewarding the person who enters 50 beers (albeit good beers to have enough to place that highly) seems like a rather silly award.  Again, I always hate to see a competition dominated by just a few participants as I often see in brewing comps.  If you are that good, it is time to give up your eligibility and get on the pro circuit.


I entered a single beer, and feel that it has a fighting chance (for what its worth).  I think that it's a pretty good beer, and if I hear back that it has gone on to the second round, I will send in whatever they ask for and wait.  I obviously will not win the Ninkasi award, but who cares... I only entered one beer for crying out loud!  I learned a long time ago that if you enter two beers in a twelve beer competition that its no suprise when you come home with two 3rd place ribbons.  The whole point of entering a beer in the nationals for me is taking something I'm proud of and seeing how it does.  The worst I can do is get feedback from judges on how I might improve the beer, and then try again. 

I'm not rich, so I can't game the system with 50 entries.  The thought of spending that kind of money on a single beer contest boggles my mind.  I tried hard competing in the midwest homebrewer of the year in 2009, and did well by sending one of each beer I brewed to regional competitions. It was cheaper than $9 per entry, and spread out over several months.  For me, the situation has changed, an I can't afford many competitions or the NHC.  But I still feel like my one entry has a chance of going on to the second round and even placing or winning.  So, even if someone else has twenty entries ahead of me, I still think there's a chance my beer is better than their's and the judges will see it that way. 
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: marty on April 21, 2010, 01:46:40 PM
Rewarding the person who enters 50 beers (albeit good beers to have enough to place that highly) seems like a rather silly award.  Again, I always hate to see a competition dominated by just a few participants as I often see in brewing comps.  If you are that good, it is time to give up your eligibility and get on the pro circuit.

if they're that good, it's time for other people to step up their brewing

Winning in a competition that successful brewers are barred from entering wouldn't mean squat. I'd rather compete against the best and see if I can beat them, even if it's for only one category.

If people aren't allowed to enter 50, then there will be complaints about people entering 40, then 30, then 20, then 10.

Then it will be 'if you take 1st in a category, you shouldn't enter that category in the future so everyone else can have a chance.'
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: a10t2 on April 21, 2010, 02:54:59 PM
if they're that good, it's time for other people to step up their brewing

Couldn't agree more. Ninkasi is a points competition, and if you've decided to go for it, it would be downright illogical for there to be a rule barring you from earning as many points as possible.

Not to mention that no matter how good a brewer you are, to have a shot at it you need to enter enough beer to get a good statistical representation. The beers are judging by human beings, so no matter what, some will always end up ranked higher or lower than they should be.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: theDarkSide on April 21, 2010, 03:10:15 PM
If I'm not mistaken ( which has happened in the past, present and future ), in 2007 Jamil won Ninkasi with 3 golds and 1 bronze...just 4 beers.  And in 2008, Gordon Strong won with just 2 golds...just 2 beers.  It's all based on 2nd round winners, right?  So brew 3-4 kick ass beers and you could win Ninkasi too. 
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 21, 2010, 03:25:23 PM
If I'm not mistaken ( which has happened in the past, present and future ), in 2007 Jamil won Ninkasi with 3 golds and 1 bronze...just 4 beers.  And in 2008, Gordon Strong won with just 2 golds...just 2 beers.  It's all based on 2nd round winners, right?  So brew 3-4 kick ass beers and you could win Ninkasi too. 

In 2008, Gordon and another brewer both had 2 golds.  There was a tie breaker involved.  I can't remember exactly, but was it the number that advanced to the second round?

Gordon also said that in 2009, he was between jobs, and used one unemployment check for his entries. 

I entered more this year than last, as well, it is the Nationals.
It all comes down to what is it worth to you!
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: a10t2 on April 21, 2010, 03:26:38 PM
It's certainly possible. I was just saying that it's unlikely. No matter how good the beers are, they won't all advance. Gordon Strong entered 50 beers into the first round.

The tiebreaker is total first round points, so there could be some additional value in that too.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: babalu87 on April 21, 2010, 03:32:14 PM
It's certainly possible. I was just saying that it's unlikely. No matter how good the beers are, they won't all advance. Gordon Strong entered 50 beers into the first round.

The tiebreaker is total first round points, so there could be some additional value in that too.

To your earlier point sending say a 9 A, B, C, D and E certainly improves ones chances of moving on in that Category

Suffice to say, nobody is winning a Ninkasi without sending North of about 30-40 beers

I mean Jamil had 29 beers place in the first round...................... dumb luck is going to tell you that he needed to enter more than 29 to have 29 beers place.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: theDarkSide on April 21, 2010, 03:33:55 PM
I never expect to win anything ( although I did get a cool certificate for a 27 point American Stout last year  :D ), but I am mainly looking for feedback from some good judges.

Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: babalu87 on April 21, 2010, 03:35:41 PM
I never expect to win anything ( although I did get a cool certificate for a 27 point American Stout last year  :D ), but I am mainly looking for feedback from some good judges.



Regional competitions do that for you

New England Homebrew competition had 350 entries last year.

VERY well run competition too
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: theDarkSide on April 21, 2010, 03:42:44 PM
I never expect to win anything ( although I did get a cool certificate for a 27 point American Stout last year  :D ), but I am mainly looking for feedback from some good judges.



Regional competitions do that for you

New England Homebrew competition had 350 entries last year.

VERY well run competition too


Yeah..I had an IPA in that last year and got a 40 ( but didn't place :( ).  Not to mention I can drop off locally and save on the outrageous shipping cost.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Janis on April 21, 2010, 04:23:40 PM
If I'm not mistaken ( which has happened in the past, present and future ), in 2007 Jamil won Ninkasi with 3 golds and 1 bronze...just 4 beers.  And in 2008, Gordon Strong won with just 2 golds...just 2 beers.  It's all based on 2nd round winners, right?  So brew 3-4 kick ass beers and you could win Ninkasi too. 

In 2008, Gordon and another brewer both had 2 golds.  There was a tie breaker involved.  I can't remember exactly, but was it the number that advanced to the second round?

Gordon also said that in 2009, he was between jobs, and used one unemployment check for his entries. 

I entered more this year than last, as well, it is the Nationals.
It all comes down to what is it worth to you!

In 2008 the Ninkasi tie was between 5 brewers.  The tie breaker was the points from the First round of the competition.  The Ninkasi Award is given to the brewer who accumulates the most points in the Final Round with at least one entry placing in the  23 beer categories.

For the two brewers in the years you have mentioned, both had entered a significant number of brews in the competition to win the Ninkasi Award.

Cheers,
     Janis
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: bluesman on April 21, 2010, 04:52:43 PM
Unfortunately money plays a role in the NHC just as it does in baseball, football and hockey but not nearly as great.

A homebrewer with more entries has a better chance of acheiving points than one with fewer entries simply by the "play to win" rule, but doesn't necessarily mean that individual will win. Brewing great beer to style is the key in my mind.

Work in = Work out

A great homebrewer who enters multiple entries has a much better chance of winning than a great homebrewer who only enters one or two entries. It depends on your goal and your strategy.

If someone wants to win the Ninkasi they better be able to brew damn good beer and lots of it. They also better be prepared to enter beers in as many categories as humanly possible. This effort is a matter of knowledge, skill, committment and hard work. Alot of blood, sweat and tears.

Anyone who can pull that off not only has earned but deserves the Ninkasi in my book.

Good Luck folks!
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: gail on April 21, 2010, 05:57:11 PM
I agree with you, Bluesman.  I also know that Gordon is a great brewer and puts a ton of work into his entries, just like I had heard Jamil went about it in previous years.  Gordon definitely puts in the time and the hard work needed to really have a shot at the Ninkasi.  Anyone who works that hard at it really deserves some payoff IMHO.  If anyone ever gets a chance to ask Gordon about what effort he puts into his competition entries, I believe you will be amazed.  At least I was.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 22, 2010, 03:59:12 AM
Are people able to enter multiple beers per style?

No, you can enter at most 80 beers, one per subcategory. (And some people do.)

Do not forget the ales and ciders, which push it up to 98.  Jamil was rumored to have entered in all of those last year. 

I have no problem with that. 

Last year I entered 4.  Spent more on shipping than on the entry fees.  It paid off for us!   ;D
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: dean on April 27, 2010, 08:50:22 PM
If somebody has the cash to pay for 50+ entries, go for it.   :D 
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: markaberrant on April 27, 2010, 10:13:58 PM
The Ninkasi award is for obsessive, consistent, quality homebrewers with enough free time and cash to devote to the hobby. 

All other NHC awards and medals require just a few bottles of 1 great beer and a $9 entry fee (plus shipping).

I don't see what the concern is, let alone see a need to make any changes.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Kaiser on April 28, 2010, 01:33:14 PM
Interesting topic. And as someone who tends to stay away from competitions I do still fill compelled to leave my 2 cents.

As I see it our hobby has grown a lot and it is no secret how to brew excellent beer. Most of us are very willing to share and as a result most experienced and serious home brewers can brew excellent beers. That pushes all of them into the region where it is not so much the skill as a brewer that matters but simply luck. At that point it does help to have as many entries as possible as much as it helps to buy as many lottery tickets as possible if you want to win the lottery. Just that in our case you increase your odds not only by entering more beers but also by brewing the beers as good as you can.

In the end you can definitely “buy” Ninkasi or BOS. The most extreme form is to have enough money that you can brew full time and enter in all categories. You still have to be a skilled brewer though but with the ability to brew that much the odds are definitely stacked in your favor.

And you don’t even have to brew a batch for each entry. There are a number of styles which can be created by blending. I think I could make a decent Maerzen out of a Helles and a Dark Bock, for example. Though it may not be a candidate for a medal it should still get me 30-40 points just for the cost of an entry fee. Maybe the tie breaker should not be the total number of 1st round points but the average score of 1st round points.

I think an entry cap per person is a fair approach to curb the number of entries in the future. Someone who brews a lot still has a leg up since he/she can select their entries from a larger pool. It would also be fair to keep this cap for only the first 3 weeks of the entry window. If there are still spots available after these 3 weeks they can be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Kai

Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Janis on April 28, 2010, 02:59:35 PM
Interesting topic. And as someone who tends to stay away from competitions I do still fill compelled to leave my 2 cents.

As I see it our hobby has grown a lot and it is no secret how to brew excellent beer. Most of us are very willing to share and as a result most experienced and serious home brewers can brew excellent beers. That pushes all of them into the region where it is not so much the skill as a brewer that matters but simply luck. At that point it does help to have as many entries as possible as much as it helps to buy as many lottery tickets as possible if you want to win the lottery. Just that in our case you increase your odds not only by entering more beers but also by brewing the beers as good as you can.

In the end you can definitely “buy” Ninkasi or BOS. The most extreme form is to have enough money that you can brew full time and enter in all categories. You still have to be a skilled brewer though but with the ability to brew that much the odds are definitely stacked in your favor.

And you don’t even have to brew a batch for each entry. There are a number of styles which can be created by blending. I think I could make a decent Maerzen out of a Helles and a Dark Bock, for example. Though it may not be a candidate for a medal it should still get me 30-40 points just for the cost of an entry fee. Maybe the tie breaker should not be the total number of 1st round points but the average score of 1st round points.

I think an entry cap per person is a fair approach to curb the number of entries in the future. Someone who brews a lot still has a leg up since he/she can select their entries from a larger pool. It would also be fair to keep this cap for only the first 3 weeks of the entry window. If there are still spots available after these 3 weeks they can be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Kai

Hi Kai,

Thanks for your thoughts on the NHC awards.  I'll keep these in mind when the AHA GC Competition Sub-Committee begins discussion for next year.  One thing that I don't think we'll do is to change from the First Round Points to the average scores of the First Round entries earning points.  There is enough variability of scores between flights of a category in one competition, much less from one competition to another, that I don't think that would be a meaningful way to do a tie breaker.

Keep the ideas coming!

Cheers,
   Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: tankdeer on April 28, 2010, 03:44:08 PM
Ninkasi is for people with money, Homebrewer of the Year is for people who brew great beer.  :D
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 29, 2010, 01:40:30 PM
Curiosity made me look at the past Ninkasi and Homebrewer of the year awards.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/competitions/national-homebrew-competition/winners/past-nhc-winners

2 guys have won both in the same year (from what I could see).      This is a difficult feat to accomplish. 

As for the thinking that you can buy an award with many entries, I do not agree.  First you have to put in the effort making outstanding beer in many categories, which is a lot of planning, time, hard work, organisation, and ingredient cost upfront.  The money spent on entries is the price to play if you are going for it. 

We all have to decide to enter, and how many to enter.  No one is making us do it.  I don't see the angst over the number of enteries, be it 1 or 98.

Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: lostralph on April 29, 2010, 05:24:51 PM
Instead of limiting the number of entries a person can enter, why not figure out a way for more entries to be handled?  From the sound of it, 750 is the maximum that can be handled at one location, so why not split the judging centers.  After all why do Belgian Beers need to be judged at the same place as American Lagers, except for logistics?  If two places can only handle 500 each, that would still provide a 33% increase in capacity.  Even if you limit the number of entries per person, as the AHA grows you'll still have to handle over 750 entries per region.

As for the number of beers needed to win the Ninkasi, anyone could have beat the person who won the Ninkasi with 5 gold medal beers.  Even with Gordon Strong and Jamil Zainasheff entering their entire collection of beers on tap.

From the website, points are awarded in a weighted system for medals, and first round points are only considered in case of a tiebreaker.  Gold - 6 points, Silver - 4 Points, Bronze - 2 Points

So five gold medals would give you 30 points.

2003 Curt Hausam:     2 Gold, 12 points total
2004 Jamil Zainasheff: 2 Gold,  3 Silver, 1 Bronze,  26 Points
2005 Paul Long:          2 Gold, 12 Points
2006 Joe Formanek:    2 Gold, 1 Silver,  16 Points
2007 Jamil Zainasheff: 3 Gold,  0 Silver, 1 Bronze,  20 Points
2008 Gordon Strong:    2 Gold,  12 Points
2009 Gordon Strong:   2 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze, 28 Points

So if all you can submit is five entries, it they are all worthy of gold medals, you can win the Ninkasi.  Even withpout other people  being limited to five entries.

Sorry for the book, but I don't like placing limits on competitions.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Janis on April 29, 2010, 07:42:23 PM
Instead of limiting the number of entries a person can enter, why not figure out a way for more entries to be handled?  From the sound of it, 750 is the maximum that can be handled at one location, so why not split the judging centers.  After all why do Belgian Beers need to be judged at the same place as American Lagers, except for logistics?  If two places can only handle 500 each, that would still provide a 33% increase in capacity.  Even if you limit the number of entries per person, as the AHA grows you'll still have to handle over 750 entries per region.
<<SNIP>>

Sorry for the book, but I don't like placing limits on competitions.  <<UNSNIP>>

Hi Ralph,
On the surface, expanding the number of regions would seem to be the easiest solution.  Unfortunately it isn't that simple.  Currently we have 10 regions that contribute 3 beers each in each of the 28 categories.  That's a potential 840 entries in the Final Round of the competition that we have to judge in one day at the National Homebrewers Conference (HBC).  For every new region created, the potential entries in the Final Round increases by 84.  Currently the Final Round judging is done on Thursday of the conference and the seminars that are offered that day are repeated on Friday and Saturday so that judges are able to attend any/all of the seminars for which they have paid.  Even with the judging innovations of the last 3 years in the Final Round, I think we'd be pushing it to get the judging done in a day if we added more regions.  Not to mention the non-trivial amount of work associated with having another First Round site to organize and manage.

Of course, it probably wouldn't be as bleak as all that, but you get the idea--it's not as easy as it looks.

Cheers,
    Janis

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org
 
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: tygo on April 29, 2010, 08:03:44 PM
If you only allowed the 1st and 2nd place winners in each category to advance to the second round you could add 5 more regions and keep the overall number of second round entries the same.  That doesn't solve the problem of organizing more first round sites but would address the problem of numbers in the second round.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: lostralph on April 29, 2010, 08:16:53 PM
Bleh, yet again I fail at explaining one of my ideas.

Thank you Janis for the reply, and the reminder about how at there are limits as to how many can be judged at the final round.

What I intended is that more than one site in a region can be used to judge entries.  For example Site 1 could judge Categories 1-13, and Site 2 could judge categories 14-23.  The same number of beers would be passed to the next round.  Just that more beers per category could hopefully be judged at the beginning, since hopefully it would provide separate groups from which to draw judges, and other personnel to handle the load.
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: Janis on April 29, 2010, 08:21:36 PM
Hi Ralph,

Oh well, now that's different.  Never mind.....  LOL!

That's a good idea, and I will propose this to the AHA GC Competition Sub-committee when we meet to discuss the NHC.  The only downside to this scenario is that it basically doubles the expenses for the competition in that region.  Still, we may figure out how to make it work.  Thanks!

Cheers,
    Janis
Title: Re: Is the NHC for rich people?
Post by: bfogt on May 08, 2010, 05:55:59 AM
Don't forget that the number of judges is not infinite and giving up time and, for many, travel expenses puts a crimp on availability.  East and Great Lakes tried to use some synergy to get judges to do both regions, but that makes it two weekends in a row, likely with two nights in a hotel each weekend to do the whole contest.  Even with synergy, both regions were begging for judges up to the end, literally at the end of Saturday judging for GL.  Honestly, the judging points aren't worth it.  But some of us are addicts or owe favors.

And we don't want to lower judging quality, do we?

Maybe if no contests would be sanctioned in the month of April, more judges would be available or if the fee was increased to make travel stipends available, we'd have more judges available.  Dare I suggest asking Three Floyds to check the NHC schedule before scheduling DLD?

It's a conundrum.  I feel that they do an incredible job at running the contest.  If we've learned anything, you need to strategize and save up to go for some prizes.  No one's mentioned how much it takes to win the club prize and how some clubs make it happen and others don't. 

Thanks for being receptive to constructive commentary, Janis and AHA reps.