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General Category => Homebrew Clubs => Topic started by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 03:50:52 PM

Title: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 03:50:52 PM
We all new it would happen eventually and it did- The Brewing Network's "homebrew club" won Club of the Year. I am of the opinion that a club that has no meetings, has no officers, collects no dues and exists only in the most general sense of the word and even then, only virtually, is not really a club at all. Further, a club like this can draw hundreds or thousands of "members" from all over the country. Real clubs, brick-and-mortar clubs, cannot. They are typically restricted to members from the local area. This creates a very uneven playing field, IMHO. I know TBN meets the AHA rules for being a club (that is; simply call yourself a club and you are one) but I wonder what the general consensus on this issue is. I have hashed this out over on The Brewing Network forum, but not surprisingly, most there seem to feel that it's tough ta-tas for anybody that doesn't like it. I think the AHA needs to define what a homebrew club is in the competiton rules. Your thoughts?
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: dbeechum on June 21, 2011, 04:06:26 PM
That's the rub isn't it? We went through this a few years ago with the Rats when they first popped on the scene as well.

Part of the problem is that not every club collects dues or has formal meetings, but they can be very real entities. One could make a fair argument that the weekly broadcasts are interactive enough to qualify as meeting.

The other bit of the equation is - what about the people who either don't have a club locally or don't have one locally that fits them?

The one bit of balancer in the equation is that in the first round it is impossible for any club to score greater than 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze.

The potential to draw on the masses is a powerful thing, but how do we respond? You have to be local? Then you lose the historic runs of Jamil (a QUAFF member in Sacramento) or Gordon (Saint Paul, but lives in Ohio).

Obviously, the Competition Committee has a bit of work in front of it, but I suspect the primary focus will be on correcting this year's issues with the first round.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: gordonstrong on June 21, 2011, 04:07:24 PM
Back in 2000-2001, there was a virtual club called The Brew Rats that made a run at CotY.  Came in second, IIRC.  Then the push was to make sure rules didn't hurt clubs that could only enter in 1 region.  That's when the "no more than 12 points per category" rule was adopted.

I don't see a problem with it.  Clubs are groups of people helping each other, and that what happens with TBN.  A lot of people who enter that way don't have any other viable local clubs, and may live in remote areas.

I've met some of the people who live in the boonies and have tried their beer.  I'm convinced they never would have achieved that level of quality without something like TBN, so it does have an impact.

Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: stevo155 on June 21, 2011, 04:12:18 PM
What is the purpose of having a homebrew club?

1.  Educate and share ideas on homebrewing
2.  Meeting new people interested in Homebrewing
3.  Generating interest and expanding membership of the homebrewing community

Sound to me like the Brewing Network has all these covered.  Weekly meetings on the Sunday Session, where members are allowed to present their ideas and feedback.  Even though they are not all read on the air, Justin almost always responds to the emails.  There's even a big annual meeting ( BN Anniversary Party ).  Some of us even pay dues ( gladly ) in the form of monthly donations.

I'm actually shocked to see that it took this long for someone to voice their opinion on the BN winning Club of The Year.

I don't have the actual numbers in front of me with regards to points, but going into the final round, it wasn't like DOZE or QUAFF were getting beaten by a landslide, even with the vast natiowide membership of the BN.

If the AHA decides to change the rules regarding club of the year qualifications, let's pleas make sure it's for the right reasons, not because some think they are a bunch of asshats ( which they are  ;D ).

And not to slight Gordon, but how would you handle his contribution to the Saint Paul Homebrewers when he lives hundreds of miles away.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 04:20:12 PM
You all make valid points, but I still have a problem with it. For instance, in my city there is a private Catholic high school that has had the top-ranked high school footbal program in the country for many years and in fact once had a run of 151 consecutive wins. Much of that came when the team competed in the same league as local public high schools. The private school was able to recruit players from all over the country while the public schools could only draw from their surrounding neighborhoods. I see this situation as identical. Maybe nobody else sees it as an issue and if that's the case, I don't need to spend any more brain cells b*tching about it. Just seems to be an inequity to me, that's all.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: dbeechum on June 21, 2011, 04:23:39 PM
Even if people disagree about whether or not its unfair, any issue of seeming inequity needs to be addressed so that people don't feel cheated, etc.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 21, 2011, 04:27:53 PM
Put me down as saying that I have no problem with TBN winning.  They followed the rules and won.

There are brewers that make a decision as to what club to enter under.  Often the loyalty to the local club has the strongest pull.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 04:29:57 PM
Put me down as saying that I have no problem with TBN winning.  They followed the rules and won.
I'm not saying anybody cheated; clearly TBN meets the current AHA criteria for a homebrewing club. What I'm suggesting is that the criteria need to be changed.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: johnf on June 21, 2011, 04:34:09 PM
Put me down as saying that I have no problem with TBN winning.  They followed the rules and won.
I'm not saying anybody cheated; clearly TBN meets the current AHA criteria for a homebrewing club. What I'm suggesting is that the criteria need to be changed.

Can you suggest what the criteria should be?

As has been mentioned, requiring dues, requiring local members only, etc affect many more clubs than TBN. I think if you want to come at this with a scalpel and invalidate TBN while otherwise maintaining the status quo, you will find that an impossible task. It is easy to say the AHA must redefine "club", it is hard to write out what the new definition should be.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 04:36:41 PM
There's no doubt that it is unequal, but unequal is not the same as unfair.  Unlike in the football example, nothing is keeping any club from accepting members from all over the world.  That's not how most clubs operate, but I'm not going to judge what works for someone else.  They see themselves as a club, I think that's good enough for me.  They do a lot more to help people make better beer than your average club does, so if they are able to win good for them.

But maybe it could be addressed by filtering clubs the way they do the pros at the GABF.  There they use bbls of production (I assume) to determine small vs. large for brewery of the year for example.  It's worth considering adding a category for small vs large club of the year and filter by the number of members who enter the first round.  That could lead to problems in some clubs (don't enter that beer, it's not good enough) but there are few reasonable options for ways to monitor small vs large.  
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 04:37:56 PM
Put me down as saying that I have no problem with TBN winning.  They followed the rules and won.
I'm not saying anybody cheated; clearly TBN meets the current AHA criteria for a homebrewing club. What I'm suggesting is that the criteria need to be changed.

Can you suggest what the criteria should be?

As has been mentioned, requiring dues, requiring local members only, etc affect many more clubs than TBN. I think if you want to come at this with a scalpel and invalidate TBN while otherwise maintaining the status quo, you will find that an impossible task. It is easy to say the AHA must redefine "club", it is hard to write out what the new definition should be.

Well, first off, I've never indicated that a club should only consist of local members. I have said that typically, club members are local to each other. But if Jamil (for instance) wants to be a DOZE member (which he has been) and drive 100 miles from Elk Grove to attend meetings (which he has done) that's fine.

I think a club should have regular, physical meetings to discuss club business (not an internet radio show or a yearly party), should have officers and do the things the club is organized to do.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 04:41:53 PM
I think a club should have regular, physical meetings to discuss club business (not an internet radio show or a yearly party), should have officers and do the things the club is organized to do.
Well then you've invalidated one of my clubs.  We have regular meetings, but we have no club business and no officers.  We gather, taste beers, talk about beer and brewing (among other things), and go home.  It's a nice relaxed club, I've made good friends there.

But we have to be a club, right?  We have t-shirts. ;)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: bluesman on June 21, 2011, 04:43:37 PM
There's no doubt that it is unequal, but unequal is not the same as unfair.  Unlike in the football example, nothing is keeping any club from accepting members from all over the world.  That's not how most clubs operate, but I'm not going to judge what works for someone else.  They see themselves as a club, I think that's good enough for me.  They do a lot more to help people make better beer than your average club does, so if they are able to win good for them.

But maybe it could be addressed by filtering clubs the way they do the pros at the GABF.  There they use bbls of production (I assume) to determine small vs. large for brewery of the year for example.  It's worth considering adding a category for small vs large club of the year and filter by the number of members who enter the first round.  That could lead to problems in some clubs (don't enter that beer, it's not good enough) but there are few reasonable options for ways to monitor small vs large.  

I really like the idea of small club vs. large club idea as it would make it more equitable for all parties involved. Great idea Tom.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 04:44:36 PM
I think a club should have regular, physical meetings to discuss club business (not an internet radio show or a yearly party), should have officers and do the things the club is organized to do.
Well then you've invalidated one of my clubs.  We have regular meetings, but we have no club business and no officers.  We gather, taste beers, talk about beer and brewing (among other things), and go home.  It's a nice relaxed club, I've made good friends there.

But we have to be a club, right?  We have t-shirts. ;)
Maybe your club doesn't meet all my criteria, but it certainly meets the most important one- regular, physical meetings.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 04:49:48 PM
I think a club should have regular, physical meetings to discuss club business (not an internet radio show or a yearly party), should have officers and do the things the club is organized to do.
Well then you've invalidated one of my clubs.  We have regular meetings, but we have no club business and no officers.  We gather, taste beers, talk about beer and brewing (among other things), and go home.  It's a nice relaxed club, I've made good friends there.

But we have to be a club, right?  We have t-shirts. ;)
Maybe your club doesn't meet all my criteria, but it certainly meets the most important one- regular, physical meetings.
One of our members (the founder) hasn't been to a meeting in probably a year because he travels a lot for work now.  So his entries don't count?

I'm just playing devil's advocate, I see your point.  They are a very different kind of club, but that doesn't make them less of a club to me, or less worthy of winning.  They got the most points for making great beers, they should win.

How many years have they been trying?  This is their first success?  Maybe other clubs just need to try harder.  Brew Stronger. ;D
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: dbeechum on June 21, 2011, 04:51:18 PM
I really like the idea of small club vs. large club idea as it would make it more equitable for all parties involved. Great idea Tom.

There was an award added a few years ago - The Gambrinus Club Award designed with that idea in mind -

Quote
Named for King Gambrinus the (unofficial) Patron Saint of Beer, this award is given to the club having the most Final Round points per the number of entries from the club in the National Homebrew Competition. To be eligible, clubs must have a minimum of 5 club members entering the First Round, and a minimum of 2 club members advancing to and at least one entry placing in the Final Round of the competition. Six points are awarded for a first place, four points for a second place and two points for a third place.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: johnf on June 21, 2011, 04:53:53 PM
The potential problem with small vs large is TBN is just as unbeatable in the large category as they are in the single category (I don't think very unbeatable at all, but opinions will vary) and you'll have clubs arranging to just barely qualify for the small category. No brewery is going to restrict production to win a medal, but a club can tell some of the weaker entrants to not put down the club name to win. Defining what makes a club large after the entries are done would eliminate this. Say the top 20 clubs by entries are competing for large club.

Over-weighting the final round would also be an interesting change. Since there are 10 sites feeding the final round (including Canada), weighting final round entries 10 times higher than first round would make it harder to win by carpet bombing the first round and would make sure that the Club of the Year was never effectively decided in the first round.

It must be nice to have people react to your success by calling for rules changes to stop you. Like outlawing serve and volley to stop Pancho Gonzales or the dunk to stop Wilt Chamberlain (not that either of those worked).
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 04:54:41 PM
One of our members (the founder) hasn't been to a meeting in probably a year because he travels a lot for work now.  So his entries don't count?

Nobody is saying that every member has to attend every meeting to be a club member. The particular club's membership are would determine who is, or is not, a member in good standing and eligible to enter beers in competition under the club name.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 04:54:56 PM
There was an award added a few years ago - The Gambrinus Club Award designed with that idea in mind -
Right, forgot about that.  :-\
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 04:56:37 PM
One of our members (the founder) hasn't been to a meeting in probably a year because he travels a lot for work now.  So his entries don't count?

Nobody is saying that every member has to attend every meeting to be a club member. The particular club's membership are would determine who is, or is not, a member in good standing and eligible to enter beers in competition under the club name.
Ah, see, now you've just ruled the BN in.  Members do physically get together on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 05:03:34 PM
One of our members (the founder) hasn't been to a meeting in probably a year because he travels a lot for work now.  So his entries don't count?

Nobody is saying that every member has to attend every meeting to be a club member. The particular club's membership are would determine who is, or is not, a member in good standing and eligible to enter beers in competition under the club name.
Ah, see, now you've just ruled the BN in.  Members do physically get together on a regular basis.
Really? When do they get together for club meetings?
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: greatshaitan on June 21, 2011, 05:03:49 PM
I am on the side that feels there is an unfair advantaged and it irks me quite a bit.  I think its all comes down to what we think of when we thing "Club".  At NHC I asked 2 BN members if they could name anyone else that is in the club that isn't on the radio show, no one could answer. Also when your, lets say "President", has to ask who has won a medal so they can give them the award... seems so impersonal.  That is what irks me most.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: Brewdogz on June 21, 2011, 05:04:57 PM
This is a good topic.  

People have been expressing their "concerns" about internet and forum clubs for some time now.

The main thing clubs need to provide is educating members on how to make good beer.  The second thing is to promote the hobby.  I think The Brewing Network Homebrew Club does both of these things very well.

Talked with Justin at length after the awards Saturday night.  The Brewing Network Club operates separately from the main portion of the TBN.  They hold meetings and share information just like any other club.

They are a club, they won club of the year, and they deserve it, just as much as any club who won it before them.  It's not an easy task, trust me.  It takes dedication of the members and a ton of good entries, and even more luck!!!  They should be proud, happy and still celebrating the victory.

Yeah, Gordon lives a few hundred miles from St. Paul.  Jamil lives a few hundred miles from San Diego.  But that didn't make them any less valuable to the clubs they belong to.  Sharing information and helping other members brew better beer is what makes a member important to the club.  The awards they win are secondary in my opinion.  Gordon has participated in more SPHBC meetings than many of our local members.  I know these two guys very well.  They have added value to multiple clubs, not just the ones they enter competitions under.

If you really want to look at the numbers, St. Paul would have won two of the three COTYs without Gordon's points.  That said, we might not have won without his input.   :)

The thing we learned, and were warned about, in regards to COTY, people will say something isn't fair and complain about it.  And some other club will undoubtedly come after it!

Curt Stock
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: beerpal on June 21, 2011, 05:08:15 PM
They hold meetings and share information just like any other club.
I do not believe that to be the case. When and where are these meetings? None of the "club members" I've had this discussion with ever mentioned meetings.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: bluesman on June 21, 2011, 05:10:55 PM
There was an award added a few years ago - The Gambrinus Club Award designed with that idea in mind -
Right, forgot about that.  :-\

I'm suggesting something a little different.

In beerpal's case, let's assume a small club of less than 50 members vs. a larger club of 500 members that enter the NHC. By the "law of averages" the larger club will win more medals over time due to sheer size. It doesn't necessarily mean they are better brewers. They are in fact a larger group which indicates they will win more medals over time. The catch is that in a larger sample there tends to be a higher potential for prodigies.  :)

For the record...I am a huge fan of the BN and don't want to suggest otherwise. I'm very happy to see them win. I just think that smaller clubs should recieve equitable recognition of some fashion.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 05:15:34 PM
One of our members (the founder) hasn't been to a meeting in probably a year because he travels a lot for work now.  So his entries don't count?

Nobody is saying that every member has to attend every meeting to be a club member. The particular club's membership are would determine who is, or is not, a member in good standing and eligible to enter beers in competition under the club name.
Ah, see, now you've just ruled the BN in.  Members do physically get together on a regular basis.
Really? When do they get together for club meetings?
I'm pretty sure several of them are physically together when they do their broadcasts.  But then there's Sgt. Satan and Dirk McLarge Huge, two guys I met at NHC.  They are BN members, and physically get together frequently.  There are even guys in my own club who are BN members, although they enter under the local club if they enter at all.  any time two of them get together they can call it an official meeting.  My club changes locations half the time and sometimes I don't go because it is too far for me, so you can't say they have to always meet in the same spot.

My point being that you can't make rules to exclude the BN and not end up excluding other clubs that will also be irritated that they are no longer considered a valid club by the AHA.  I prefer to include rather than exclude people and clubs.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: theDarkSide on June 21, 2011, 05:17:37 PM
Now the BN is like the New England Patriots.  After they won their Superbowls, everyone said they cheated and started gunning for them.

So maybe it's time for the other clubs to step it up and start gunning for CoTY...because you know the BN will be next year.


Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: Paul Gagnon on June 21, 2011, 05:23:22 PM
Does anyone know how close QUAFF and DOZE came to the BN? IIRC there was a fairly tight gap (points and entries) heading into the second round, so it was won/lost with the quality of the beers placing in the second round. Even with possibly thousands more entries in the first round spread across nearly all judging centers, I think the 12-point rule did it's job and leveled the playing field.

What really happened was that the BN club members are just brewing better beers, helped by the information from their club, which fortunately, we all have access to. There is a numbers game involved, but if your club is brewing spectacular beer, the cream will rise to the top and you will still win in regions where BN members are entering, thus negating the size of the club issue.

I'm happy for the BN (still wish we could have won!) and will support their right to exist as a club. All the points about people in areas without local clubs are spot on.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: narvin on June 21, 2011, 05:26:07 PM
The one thing that is a little weird is that first and final round medals are weighted the same.  Wouldn't this skew the results toward any of the big clubs, not just the BN?  Seems like it rewards quantity, not quality.

There are 10 regions... final round medals should be worth 10x as much, no?
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 05:32:28 PM
Now the BN is like the New England Patriots.  After they won their Superbowls, everyone said they cheated and started gunning for them.
Everyone knows the Pats cheated. ;D
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: gordonstrong on June 21, 2011, 05:33:24 PM
And not to slight Gordon, but how would you handle his contribution to the Saint Paul Homebrewers when he lives hundreds of miles away.

I belong to their club.  I was the club president.  I go to several meetings a year.  I judge in their competitions.  I proctor exams held there.  I'm active on their email list.  I hang out with them at the conference.  I bring kegs to serve in their booth at club night.  I wear the club shirt at club night.  I go to outside social events with them.  I'll match my interactions with this group with anyone who lives within a couple miles of any other club.  Most importantly, I'm a member of the club because I choose to be.  And I continue to be a member even though I'm done entering the NHC.  Same as I was before I entered the NHC.

And for those keeping count, they would have won Club of the Year even if I didn't enter at all.  Check the numbers from Cincinnati for the best example.  Something like 8 different club members medalled in the 2nd round, many of them golds.  They won it with people with St. Paul zip codes. Don't take that achievement away from them.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: theDarkSide on June 21, 2011, 05:37:10 PM
Now the BN is like the New England Patriots.  After they won their Superbowls, everyone said they cheated and started gunning for them.
Everyone knows the Pats cheated. ;D

I can't hear you over the sound of the Superbowl rings clicking together  :P

Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 05:40:37 PM
Now the BN is like the New England Patriots.  After they won their Superbowls, everyone said they cheated and started gunning for them.
Everyone knows the Pats cheated. ;D

I can't hear you over the sound of the Superbowl rings clicking together  :P
My team's got more. ;)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: bluesman on June 21, 2011, 05:45:35 PM
How about those Yankees.  ;)

(http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww173/prestonjjrtr/Smileys/canofworms.gif)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 05:45:57 PM
The one thing that is a little weird is that first and final round medals are weighted the same.  Wouldn't this skew the results toward any of the big clubs, not just the BN?  Seems like it rewards quantity, not quality.

There are 10 regions... final round medals should be worth 10x as much, no?
I see what you're saying, but that would make the club only competitions and first round much less meaningful, and everything would be based on how you do in the finals.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: theDarkSide on June 21, 2011, 05:46:40 PM
How about those Yankees.  ;)

(http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww173/prestonjjrtr/Smileys/canofworms.gif)

Now you're just being silly.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: bluesman on June 21, 2011, 05:50:25 PM
How about those Yankees.  ;)

(http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww173/prestonjjrtr/Smileys/canofworms.gif)

Now you're just being silly.

Not me...no way...never.  ;D
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: theDarkSide on June 21, 2011, 05:50:31 PM
[I belong to their club.  I was the club president.  I go to several meetings a year.  I judge in their competitions.  I proctor exams held there.  I'm active on their email list.  I hang out with them at the conference.  I bring kegs to serve in their booth at club night.  I wear the club shirt at club night.  I go to outside social events with them.  I'll match my interactions with this group with anyone who lives within a couple miles of any other club.  Most importantly, I'm a member of the club because I choose to be.  And I continue to be a member even though I'm done entering the NHC.  Same as I was before I entered the NHC.

And for those keeping count, they would have won Club of the Year even if I didn't enter at all.  Check the numbers from Cincinnati for the best example.  Something like 8 different club members medalled in the 2nd round, many of them golds.  They won it with people with St. Paul zip codes. Don't take that achievement away from them.

I never intended to take anything away from them.  I was just making a point about how you don't need to be in the same region to belong to a club.  I apologize if it was taken that way.  Pretty impressive resume though.

Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: Janis on June 21, 2011, 06:16:44 PM
Hi everyone,

I have posted the point totals for the top 25 clubs for 2011.  The table is posted on the NHC Winners page and the Club-Only Winners page. 

Anyone suggesting the rules should be changed should download a copy of the Rules & Regulations and reference the section and paragraph for the change, and please include the changes you think should be made to the rule.  I believe there are still links to the Rules & Regulations on the NHC Participate and other NHC pages.

The Competition Sub-Committee of the AHA Governing Committee will be looking at rule changes for the National Homebrew Competition from now until ~November 2011.

I appreciate your input!

Cheers,
     Janis
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: johnf on June 21, 2011, 06:35:44 PM
The one thing that is a little weird is that first and final round medals are weighted the same.  Wouldn't this skew the results toward any of the big clubs, not just the BN?  Seems like it rewards quantity, not quality.

There are 10 regions... final round medals should be worth 10x as much, no?
I see what you're saying, but that would make the club only competitions and first round much less meaningful, and everything would be based on how you do in the finals.

Sure, but that's how Ninkasi works. Also that is how most sports work. The regular season qualifies you for the playoffs, but it doesn't matter after that.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: Paul Gagnon on June 21, 2011, 06:37:19 PM
Hi everyone,

I have posted the point totals for the top 25 clubs for 2011.  The table is posted on the NHC Winners page and the Club-Only Winners page. 

Anyone suggesting the rules should be changed should download a copy of the Rules & Regulations and reference the section and paragraph for the change, and please include the changes you think should be made to the rule.  I believe there are still links to the Rules & Regulations on the NHC Participate and other NHC pages.

The Competition Sub-Committee of the AHA Governing Committee will be looking at rule changes for the National Homebrew Competition from now until ~November 2011.

I appreciate your input!

Cheers,
     Janis

Wow, 18 points separating 1st from third. Could have gone to any of the top 3 clubs. What an exciting finish.

1   202   The Brewing Network   Pacheco, CA
2   188   Diablo Order of Zymiracle Enthusiasts (DOZE)   Concord, CA
3   184   QUAFF   Carlsbad, CA
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 08:46:07 PM
Sure, but that's how Ninkasi works. Also that is how most sports work. The regular season qualifies you for the playoffs, but it doesn't matter after that.
Yes, but this is different.  I like it this way for a bunch of reasons, but for example it rewards making good beers consistently and not one killer beer, more like NASCAR and golf than the Stanley Cup which is head-to-head elimination.  If you want to do it that way then why include the club only competitions or first round at all?  Just go by whoever gets the most 2nd round points.

I have posted the point totals for the top 25 clubs for 2011.  The table is posted on the NHC Winners page and the Club-Only Winners page.  
Janis, thanks for working on your day off. :)

Wow, 18 points separating 1st from third. Could have gone to any of the top 3 clubs. What an exciting finish.

1   202   The Brewing Network   Pacheco, CA
2   188   Diablo Order of Zymiracle Enthusiasts (DOZE)   Concord, CA
3   184   QUAFF   Carlsbad, CA
Thanks Paul, I couldn't find the link.  That was really close, it looks like it definitely could have gone to any of them!  A beer here or there and things would be different.  I don't see there's much room to complain, if they won by eleventy billion points that would be one thing, but if QUAFF or DOZE had entered another great beer or two they could easily have squeezed by.

Well, congratulations to everyone who participated, but especially to my club members and friends Mike and Steve Brown for their silver in the APA category, and of course my friend Randy Scorby, the 2011 Homebrewer of the Year who was kind enough to give me a bottle of the winning beer when I congratulated him at his table.  If you were at my table or the one next to us, you got a sample. ;D
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: bluesman on June 21, 2011, 09:00:35 PM
Well, congratulations to everyone who participated, but especially to my club members and friends Mike and Steve Brown for their silver in the APA category, and of course my friend Randy Scorby, the 2011 Homebrewer of the Year who was kind enough to give me a bottle of the winning beer when I congratulated him at his table.  If you were at my table or the one next to us, you got a sample. ;D

Strange happenings at the NHC.

I was sitting at the same table as Randy Scorby when Ted Hausotter and I were tasting Randy's winning beer. Janis then called out the winner for 2011 Homebrewer of the Year, as Randy jumped up out of his chair in surprise while Ted and I toasted the winning beer at the same time. The timing was incredible.  :)

Congrats to all the winners!
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: koelschbrewer on June 22, 2011, 12:45:14 AM
While I understand BeerPal's concerns, I believe that changing the rules to favor the traditional (stereotypical?) concept of a homebrew club would be a mistake and lead to rather arbitrary rules as to what constitutes a club and what doesn't. My club doesn't have officers, regular meetings, or dues. We are simply a group of friends who run into each other at the shop, bars, the occasional party, or beer tastings, and we feel that changing this would take the fun out of it for us. The same applies to the BN, except that it is national. Any change in rules will disadvantage any club, no matter the size, that doesn't fit the mold of the traditional club, not just the BN. Enforcement is another matter entirely - we are talking about the AHA here, which can't even ensure that round 1 of the nationals is run in a fair and effective manner in all regions (looking at you, NY!)
Should the BN defend its title, I am sure that the other clubs will respond by either focusing on the Gambrinus award or forming their own extra-regional alliances to even the playing field.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: gordonstrong on June 22, 2011, 01:35:00 AM
Should the BN defend its title, I am sure that the other clubs will respond by either focusing on the Gambrinus award or forming their own extra-regional alliances to even the playing field.

Or they could do it the old-fashioned way: brew better beer and more of it.  Brew more styles. Get more of the club to brew under-represented styles. Judge the beers before entering them so you can enter them more appropriately. Take care of packaging and shipping. A successful club effort takes focus and effort from individual members plus more coordination at the club level to maximize coverage of the judging categories.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: a10t2 on June 22, 2011, 01:38:53 AM
Maybe your club doesn't meet all my criteria, but it certainly meets the most important one- regular, physical meetings.

Your assumption that that is the most important criterion smacks of elitism to me. I don't live within two hours of a population center - so by your standards, I'm prohibited from belonging to a club?

The internet isn't going anywhere. Deal with it.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: Norm! on June 22, 2011, 02:08:44 AM
No one mentioned Justin's acceptance speech here....he was quite gracious and acknowledged the fact that they are the club for folks who have no local club, he also advocated local involvement if possible....I side with Gordon...brew more beer and better beer...then talk about the rules!
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: socalbrewer on June 22, 2011, 03:34:34 AM
No one mentioned Justin's acceptance speech here....he was quite gracious and acknowledged the fact that they are the club for folks who have no local club, he also advocated local involvement if possible....I side with Gordon...brew more beer and better beer...then talk about the rules!

I agree and Justin clearly stated that he ask for those that also belong to a club enter there club name over the BN Army. Everyone and myself that is a regular on the Brewing Network you should represent your club first. So by taking the privileges of those that have clubs in their area or surrounding area should have the right to be part of a club of some sort and should have all right to enter as The Brewing Network. Its not about the club its about the brewer brewing the beer that makes the difference. Plus many medal winners that won this year are frequent visitors of The Brewing Network.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tubercle on June 22, 2011, 03:47:20 AM
...then talk about the rules!

  Goal Displacement is a Business Management term.

  It is where rules are established to reach a goal but following the rules becomes more important than reaching the goal.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: jamminbrew on June 22, 2011, 03:56:56 AM
All 3 top clubs hail from California...  hmmm. A state with more people that 48 other states. Might as well say clubs from Cali should be disallowed from entering because Cali has a higher population, and more people to be in clubs, (hell, probably have more clubs period) than the other 48 states...NY, where are ya?
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: narvin on June 22, 2011, 04:06:14 AM
I have nothing to add except that I think it'd be funny if all of the Northern Brewer forum-ites started listing their club as "NB Navy".

AHA Coast Guard, anyone?
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: Norm! on June 22, 2011, 04:22:08 AM
...then talk about the rules!

  Goal Displacement is a Business Management term.

  It is where rules are established to reach a goal but following the rules becomes more important than reaching the goal.

How did you know I'm in management?   ;D
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tubercle on June 22, 2011, 04:24:42 AM
...then talk about the rules!

  Goal Displacement is a Business Management term.

  It is where rules are established to reach a goal but following the rules becomes more important than reaching the goal.

How did you know I'm in management?   ;D

  Takes one to know one ;) 8)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: theDarkSide on June 22, 2011, 12:23:19 PM
I have nothing to add except that I think it'd be funny if all of the Northern Brewer forum-ites started listing their club as "NB Navy".

And here's the Club President.

(http://www.whataboutclients.com/archives/village-people-navy-sailor-costume-4198-p%20(1).jpg)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: gordonstrong on June 22, 2011, 12:26:17 PM
I have nothing to add except that I think it'd be funny if all of the Northern Brewer forum-ites started listing their club as "NB Navy".

And this could be their theme song... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBXu-iY7cw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBXu-iY7cw)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: bluesman on June 22, 2011, 01:42:43 PM
AHA Coast Guard, anyone?

I like it!  :)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: dcbc on June 22, 2011, 04:48:38 PM
Thank goodness for the Brewing Network, my home brew club.  I have no local club.  Were it not for the Brewing Network, I would have probably given up on brewing a long time ago.  Instead, I have poured hours of thought and effort into this hobby and have gained a ton of enjoyment from it as a result.  I entered a couple of competitions last year with the BN listed as my home brew club.  I didn't win, but the feedback I received was very valuable.  I can honestly say my beers have improved dramatically over the last several years because of my "virtual" home brew club, the Brewing Network. 

I know it's not the same playing field to which the brick and mortar clubs, so to speak, have become accustomed.  But it enables the rest of us (those of us who don't have local clubs) to play for a team.  And I do not doubt that those of us who list the BN as our club truly believe it to be just that.  It's a club, it's a family, and I'm proud to watch it continue to grow.

And, yes, I pay dues.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: olllllo on June 22, 2011, 08:29:48 PM
This controversy will all end when clubs offer up their attendance, membership lists, addresses, finances and by-laws for an AHA audit. I just sent mine off to Boulder where a team of bureaucrats will comb through them. ::)

Seriously, I bet 10% of clubs actually take attendance and collect dues on-time.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: zen_brew on June 23, 2011, 04:21:59 AM
 I don't know the answer, but it seems apparent there is an issue. I love the BN and happily acknowledge they play no small part in my own brewing knowledge,  as well as several other online message boards and forums where people happily exchange information with the goal of elevating the level of home brewing overall. I heartily raise my glass in cheers to Justin, Jamil, and the whole crew for what they have done, and for their COY victory.

 But they create an unfair playing field, and certainly the majority of the members do in fact live within regions where there are brick and mortar club options they could choose as clubs. If they focus their efforts, than the only way to beat them will be to form alliances to compete with their numbers, the same way it occurs in business. Already there was an interesting, and I'm sure unintentional consequence of opening entries to all regions from anywhere. You started to see clubs entering in multiple regions. This way if club X has 5 incredible IPA brewers, rather than knock each other out in the regionals where there are only 3 medals available, they could enter in 5 different regions where there are 15 medals to compete for. In effect they could garner 5 gold medals, where previously they would have been limited to 1 gold.

  In the past there have been very strong brew clubs, and they have been difficult to beat in competition.  But you always knew how to do it. Get similar membership numbers and bust your rump refining your club members brewing skills. There was a finite number of categories any club could enter in based on the style brackets. Now with virtual nationwide clubs, and with multiple regions open to any club, you can never be sure how many entries you have to compete against for any given club. Large clubs can saturate or "carpet bomb" the regional portion. This could have the unfortunate result of alienating many smaller and mid sized clubs.

 For me, my local club represents community, camaraderie, friendship, and regular interaction. We attend larger events such as regional or national events to share on a larger level, or to test our skills in friendly competition, but it all starts at the local level. Yes, it takes a village to raise a brewer.    :)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: Norm! on June 23, 2011, 05:23:49 AM
It's pretty easy here, I'd like to  brew the best beer in my hood...all my friends and family drinking it, enjoying it...and having a great meal with it....what more is there?...good nuff right?
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: tschmidlin on June 23, 2011, 05:44:50 AM
For me, my local club represents community, camaraderie, friendship, and regular interaction.
You realize that this is exactly the same thing that BN members get from their involvement?  It's just typically not face to face.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: brewta2 on June 23, 2011, 05:50:57 AM
For me, my local club represents community, camaraderie, friendship, and regular interaction.
And that is what the BN Army Homebrew Club is for me and many others. I will venture to say that we know more about our fellow club members and have more interaction than most other club members do. I was a member of the Oregon Brew Crew for 7 years and with a couple of exceptions, could not tell you anything about my fellow club members except if they could brew or not. Not so in my four years with the BN. The BN Army Homebrew Club is so much more than a homebrew club. We are a club, not an organization, association or company. I will grant you that we are more than a club; we are a community to some and a family to others. Maybe this has damaged our perception since we are open to all. The BN Suite at NHC is open to all, we don't have a password or secret handshake, we only accept people that want to have fun and share a few beers. That works pretty well for us, and I for one want to keep it that way.

It pisses me off when I hear that we are a virtual club and don't know each other. I don't get too pissed with the folks that don't go to NHC because it comes from ignorance, but when it comes from people that have been to any of the last three NHCs or Brewing Network events, it must me based on some agenda that I don't get. Many of us go to NHC, GABF, BN Winter Fest, and meet up at regional events. We know each other! How many of you have paid to help a fellow member come to the NHC from another country? Hands? 60? Thought not. Hell, if one of us is just spending the night in a town, chances are we'll arrange to meet up with at least one BN Army member.

JP has described us as being from the Island of Misfit Brewers, and I think that is spot on. Do me a favor. Go through each region and look where the the brewers with advancing beers hail from. For the most part, they are like me - miles from any club. And the ones that have a club close by? They just might be Misfit Brewers and don't want to associate with the local club. Listening to some of the comments directed at the BN, I can understand this.

To the point of an unfair playing field - Bulls***. DOZE had more beers advancing than did the BNA Club. Yes, DOZE has a higher percentage of Great brewers, and those Great brewers sent more great beer per-capita than the BN. Personally, I figure Nathan Smith got screwed by flight position or bad judges, otherwise they would have beaten us again. The BNA Club isn't a juggernaut. We are not the dynasty that the Sonoma Beerocrats were, maybe if the AHA makes us get organized we will be...

As we go forward our members will reach out to other brewers in their area and form their own clubs or discover clubs they want to be a part of. This has happened since the BN has come onto the scene, and it will continue. We BNA Club members do see the value in a well run local club and as Justin said when he accepted the award on our behalf "If you have a local club - enter for your local club." For those that don't yet have a local club - there's the BN Army Homebrew Club. Join us and pretty soon you might find a few other brewers in your area that you wouldn't have known otherwise, then you can form your own club and pick your own goofy acronym-name.

It's beer, have fun.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: zen_brew on June 23, 2011, 06:24:23 AM
For me, my local club represents community, camaraderie, friendship, and regular interaction.
And that is what the BN Army Homebrew Club is for me and many others. I will venture to say that we know more about our fellow club members and have more interaction than most other club members do.

 I get what you are saying, but the BN forums list over 8000 members. Can you name 10% of them? I have been a member for almost 2 years, what do you know about me?

 I have no agenda against the BN. As I said I love Justin and what he has built and accomplished. I am a monthly doner, and  I will continue to support the BN. I attended the BNA6 event, and it was a great party. I am not speaking against the BN, but rather against the current scoring structure in regards to national clubs. In my opinion the COTY competition operates on a less than equal playing field, and affords advantage to national clubs, and to a lesser extent large clubs entering multiple regions to avoid competing against each other in the first round. It's a simple question of math. If the BN makes a conscious decision to defend COTY, then under the current structure there isn't much the rest of the clubs can do. If each BN member chose to brew one beer, than there would be over 8000 entries. You could literally fill every entry spot if you so chose. That is a pretty serious advantage.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: dbeechum on June 23, 2011, 06:39:17 AM
This way if club X has 5 incredible IPA brewers, rather than knock each other out in the regionals where there are only 3 medals available, they could enter in 5 different regions where there are 15 medals to compete for. In effect they could garner 5 gold medals, where previously they would have been limited to 1 gold.

Just stopping by to point out again that there's a rule in effect that prevents any club from getting more than 12 points for their beers. It is impossible by the rules to garner more than a gold, silver and bronze set of points.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: zen_brew on June 23, 2011, 07:12:15 AM
This way if club X has 5 incredible IPA brewers, rather than knock each other out in the regionals where there are only 3 medals available, they could enter in 5 different regions where there are 15 medals to compete for. In effect they could garner 5 gold medals, where previously they would have been limited to 1 gold.

Just stopping by to point out again that there's a rule in effect that prevents any club from getting more than 12 points for their beers. It is impossible by the rules to garner more than a gold, silver and bronze set of points.

Thanx for pointing that out again Drew. My bad, that was an extreme example. That looks to be a good rule.

 On a side note, thank you for a great presentation on Saisons at the NHC. Looks like that ECY yeast will be unavailable till the fall as they don't want to ship it in the heat. Drats!
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: alan_marks59 on June 23, 2011, 07:46:20 AM
Here is what I posted on the BN forums, take it for what you will...


Lets take a step back for a moment and take a look around us, notice how there has been a fundamental shift in amateur brewing? Many years ago the only way to learn about the hobby was to buy Charley P's book or join a local club or know someone who did it or a newsletter composed on an old IBM Selectric...get it?

Then the computer bulletin board came into vogue, tying up telephone lines all over the country while the geeks among us spent hours writing columns and memos and the newest thing, e-mails, to each other to try to learn more about brewing. the Homebrew Digest came into being and still has many resources to this day.

John Palmer learned about brewing and decided to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for the rest of us to follow, with the coming of the World Wide Web wrote "How To Brew" and gave us a context to figure out the technical details with his nomegraphs and instructions on basic brewing. This too has stood the test of time.

Justin Crosley figured out a way to blend his passions, radio and beer, with his shows on San Francisco radio. When that was too constraining, he created a podcast and with the help of family and many friends, Jon Plise, Jason Petros, Scott Lothamer, created an concept called the Brewing Network, using this new idea called pod-casting and internet radio, where people were not constrained by the barriers of time and distance. His knowledge and talent for communications brought the brewing community past the tipping point; now anyone who cared to could learn about this craft from many modern masters. Who would have known of Jamil Zainacheff if it wasn't for Jon Plise and Justin?

So here we are today, on the leading edge of a new opportunity of amateur and craft brewing. Let those who have ears to hear and the foresight to understand that the genies out of the bottle, so to speak, and that groups of people can come together for a common goal and enjoy the pleasures of each others company without having to actually be in the same room, or town, or time zone. Seems to me that a bunch of folks made a decision a year ago after NHC2010 to become club of the year no matter what, with or without the help of anyone else but our own fellowship. Guess what? THEY DID IT!

Can't take it back now...

Brew better beer,
Alan
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: SiameseMoose on June 23, 2011, 11:08:16 AM
I have nothing to add except that I think it'd be funny if all of the Northern Brewer forum-ites started listing their club as "NB Navy".

And this could be their theme song... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBXu-iY7cw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InBXu-iY7cw)
I thought it was going to be this version:
http://youtu.be/MTwq1_9VH68 (http://youtu.be/MTwq1_9VH68)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: jeffy on June 23, 2011, 11:29:51 AM
Did the BN enter any of the club-only competitions in the past year?  If so, how did they chose which member had the best example to submit?
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: fritzeye on June 23, 2011, 01:28:47 PM
I have nothing to add except that I think it'd be funny if all of the Northern Brewer forum-ites started listing their club as "NB Navy".

AHA Coast Guard, anyone?

Great idea, and to play devil's advocate, maybe the larger brew shops could sponsor a contest pitting all the forums against each other such as:

The Brewing Network
Northern Brewer
More Beer
The AHA
The Brew Board

All enties need to be associated with a fourm, not your local club or as an independent.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: denny on June 23, 2011, 02:44:53 PM
Did the BN enter any of the club-only competitions in the past year?  If so, how did they chose which member had the best example to submit?


Interesting question, Jeff.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: theDarkSide on June 23, 2011, 02:58:15 PM
Did the BN enter any of the club-only competitions in the past year?  If so, how did they chose which member had the best example to submit?

I could be wrong but I do not believe the BN has entered club only comps in the past.  I'm sure there are tons of clubs that do not enter club-only comps as well.

In the past, we have done BN comps where we sign up to do a specific beer recipe.  Then tasting groups from around the country are formed, and the beer is judged, either by meeting up with the other members of your group or through Skype.  The best entries from those regional events are then sent to Pacheco for Justin and the crew to judge.  Seems like this would be a great way to get an entry if the BN club decided to enter club-only events.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: olllllo on June 23, 2011, 04:56:31 PM
This supposed virtual homebrew club juggernaut is really a non-issue.

As I type this now, there is a homebrew forum much much larger than any of the ones listed. In fact there are almost as many registered members on-line right now than BN has in total.

homebrewtalk.com
734 members and 1213 guests
Most users ever online was 2763, 12-21-2010 at 12:17 PM.

There are 77435 active profiles on that site.

I know that some people have used Homebrewtalk Brewers as their club. Most use a local club or the BN. HBT is too large and decentralized for that sort of thing. Compare that to the BN where they have been fairly effective at mobilizing people and utilizing probably a core two dozen members to offer leadership to get things done. All of this despite not having office holders or physical presence, etc.

Lets just say for argument sake, they continue to grow members and entries. It's going to be harder and harder for an organization that size to keep momentum and keep people cohesive.

I say this because I am in arguably the largest homebrew club in the country-- The Arizona Society of Homebrewers (ASH). We have over 250 paid members for the calendar year right now. Historically our numbers will reach 500 by the end of October. Recent surveys indicate that about 350 of those members are brewers or have homebrewed.  By the way, I DON'T know all of the members by name or face.

In years past, most of our resources and energies aren't spent on the NHC. This year we spent a month or two promoting club night and getting people to enter. For the first time in a long time, our club got 7 entries in the final round and we took one gold. I also know that some of our members entered beers under other clubs and also the BN.

You see the larger you get, the more desire there is for some people to get small.  Going back to the Patriots example, it's hard to keep that momentum going repeatedly year after year. You lose people that want to start their own thing or stand out at a more local club.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: brewallday on June 23, 2011, 05:20:35 PM
Just wanted to give my support to TBN.  I've learned more about homebrewing (and beer in general) from TBN than any other source. 

I do have a homebrew club within a 40 minute drive, but I simply don't have time to physically attend meetings. 

I think younger people are more likely to attend a "virtual" club on the internetz than a physical club so these online clubs should not be overlooked as far as competition goes.  My .02
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: denny on June 23, 2011, 05:24:37 PM
Just wanted to give my support to TBN.  I've learned more about homebrewing (and beer in general) from TBN than any other source. 

Well, no wonder...you've only got 8 posts here!  ;)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: dirk_mclargehuge on June 23, 2011, 09:16:38 PM
Since this dead horse as not been beaten enough, I'll add my two cents.

I live in a small town.  There are several homebrewers here, but none of them are interested in a club.  Sometimes, it's like we don't even want to say hello when we see each other in the grocery store, much less get together and brew!  There is a small club in a town about 25 miles south of here.  Then there are clubs in San Antonio and Austin, about an hour and a half from me.  I don't feel comfortable that far, having a few beers, then driving home.  I am an honorary (i.e., non-dues paying) member of a club in Midland/Odessa, four hours away.  But that's because I run their website.  While I wore the colors on club night, I entered my beers under the BN, because that's where I get most of my information. 

This whole argument seems to boil down to meetings.  I would agree that an annual party is not a meeting.  But I have entered a BN forum competition, did a judging on Skype, and we passed along the results to the greater community.  There were several of these judging sessions.  I would say that they qualify as meetings.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: dcbc on June 23, 2011, 09:36:06 PM
Since this dead horse as not been beaten enough, I'll add my two cents.

I live in a small town.  There are several homebrewers here, but none of them are interested in a club.  Sometimes, it's like we don't even want to say hello when we see each other in the grocery store, much less get together and brew!  There is a small club in a town about 25 miles south of here.  Then there are clubs in San Antonio and Austin, about an hour and a half from me.  I don't feel comfortable that far, having a few beers, then driving home.  I am an honorary (i.e., non-dues paying) member of a club in Midland/Odessa, four hours away.  But that's because I run their website.  While I wore the colors on club night, I entered my beers under the BN, because that's where I get most of my information. 

This whole argument seems to boil down to meetings.  I would agree that an annual party is not a meeting.  But I have entered a BN forum competition, did a judging on Skype, and we passed along the results to the greater community.  There were several of these judging sessions.  I would say that they qualify as meetings.


Okay, so 1.5 hours from Austin or San Antonio and four hours from Midland.  Where are you, Fredericksburg?  Kerville?

I'm on the other, dryer (sigh) side of the state.
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: marty on June 28, 2011, 08:24:06 PM
Now the BN is like the New England Patriots.  After they won their Superbowls, everyone said they cheated and started gunning for them.

So maybe it's time for the other clubs to step it up and start gunning for CoTY...because you know the BN will be next year.




And it took the whiners in Indy changing the rules so they could beat the Pats, just like Beerpal wants to do here

boo hoo, there are 3 or 4 clubs that have a realistic shot at Club of the Year with or without the BN involved
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: marty on June 28, 2011, 08:27:29 PM
Should the BN defend its title, I am sure that the other clubs will respond by either focusing on the Gambrinus award or forming their own extra-regional alliances to even the playing field.

Or they could do it the old-fashioned way: brew better beer and more of it.  Brew more styles. Get more of the club to brew under-represented styles. Judge the beers before entering them so you can enter them more appropriately. Take care of packaging and shipping. A successful club effort takes focus and effort from individual members plus more coordination at the club level to maximize coverage of the judging categories.

enter the Club Only Comps, the BN doesn't enter those and they count towards club of the year

congrats to anyone who outworks the BN, no respect for those who decide just to whine about how they were done wrong
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 28, 2011, 09:42:30 PM
My club is more like herding cats.  They will never be organized enough to contend.  That is why I am a member.  :)

Edit - not a knock on my club.  More of a statement on my own organizational skills.  I will never be a Ninkasi winner, but a medal at the NHC now and then is cool!  And I am on my second IPA...
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: sjvworthog on June 29, 2011, 03:58:30 PM
This way if club X has 5 incredible IPA brewers, rather than knock each other out in the regionals where there are only 3 medals available, they could enter in 5 different regions where there are 15 medals to compete for. In effect they could garner 5 gold medals, where previously they would have been limited to 1 gold.

Just stopping by to point out again that there's a rule in effect that prevents any club from getting more than 12 points for their beers. It is impossible by the rules to garner more than a gold, silver and bronze set of points.

The BN is awesome and I consider it to be my third club along with the two local clubs that I am also a member of, so I think they entirely deserve the win. The question I have is in regards to this rule. The rule states that point accumulation will not occur beyond 12, but as I read it the rule does not effectively state whether or not the club can shut out other clubs from garnering the points that they can no longer accumulate.

Could a single club take gold, silver and bronze in the first round (in one or more categories) in several regions, not gain points past 12, but eliminate other clubs from being able to get those points? I realize that they brewed better beer or got the luck of the draw in judging to beat out the competition and they deserve the advancement to the second round. I also realize that this may be an unobtainable goal for a club and that this can be achieved by any club and not just a national club like the BN, but a national club could do this unintentionally whereas a non-national would have to enter into multiple regions intentionally.

So am I reading or interpreting the rule incorrectly? If I am reading this correctly, then this rule could be meaningless in that scenario. I say beat the COtY at their own game and brew better beer.  ;)
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: theDarkSide on June 29, 2011, 04:02:12 PM
BTW...we had a great Homebrew Club meeting on Monday night.  ;D
Title: Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
Post by: gordonstrong on June 29, 2011, 04:09:12 PM
Could a single club take gold, silver and bronze in the first round (in one or more categories) in several regions, not gain points past 12, but eliminate other clubs from being able to get those points?

So am I reading or interpreting the rule incorrectly? If I am reading this correctly, then this rule could be meaningless in that scenario. I say beat the COtY at their own game and brew better beer.  ;)

Yes, a club could lock out other clubs in other regions by getting more than 12 points.  Points are awarded based on medals.  The people who won the medals still get them.  It's just that their points don't count towards COTY.

Yes, brewing better beer always works.  In this case, it's also getting the best beer in front of the judges and then hoping they don't screw it up.  Repeat after me, judging is subjective...