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Messages - Janis

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Homebrew Competitions / NHC 2016 Style Guidelines Announced
« on: November 20, 2015, 11:46:26 AM »
Hi all,

Thanks for your patience; the new style guidelines for the 2016 National Homebrew Competition (NHC) have been posted on the NHC Competition Information page as a downloadable PDF.

Please read the discussion at the beginning of the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines as well as the Appendices with suggested rearrangement techniques for the new styles. 

The AHA looked at the entry data from NHC 2014 and NHC 2015 to analyze the best adaptation of the new styles for the 2016 NHC.  Ultimately the decision was made to use Appendix A, Method 2 for sorting the styles into a modified version of the 2008 Guidelines.

Here are the pertinent changes to the NHC categories.
  • The number of categories has increased from 28 to 31.  Specifically, the categories with the most entries (American Ale, Stout, and IPA) have been split into two categories each to make the entry count across categories a little more even.
  • There are more subcategories in many of the categories (including the Specialty Beer category!) than there have been in the past.  The NHC restriction of one entry per subcategory still applies.
  • The categories requiring special ingredients have changed, so please read the category description for this requirement.
  • There is now a Specialty IPA subcategory; do NOT enter IPAs in the Specialty Beer category, use the Specialty IPA subcategory for these beers.
  • Each subcategory heading also includes a cross reference to the original BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines  If you have questions, please refer to the original document.

Keep in mind that the entry numbers from two years of NHC entries were used to create the NHC 2016 Style Guidelines.  If the entry numbers in the 2016 NHC show the need to rearrange some styles for the following year, that will be addressed following the conclusion of the 2016 NHC.   

Good luck in the competition!

Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pro-Am legalities in California
« on: October 22, 2015, 10:42:40 AM »
Hi Josh (?),

Someone else will have to address the current CA homebrew laws with regard to your plan.  I can address the scenario from the GABF Pro-Am Competition perspective.

Please have your Pro pay attention to the GABF registration dates which will probably be June/July.  They can register a Pro-Am entry even if they haven't picked the homebrew/homebrew recipe.  If they register the entry before they know what it is, they will need to be on top of it enough to edit the entry information when they know it.  The resulting beer must be commercially available (sold on tap/in bottles) before the entry shipping date (August/September).

Your Big Brew competition should be registered with the BJCP if possible.  The homebrewer with the winning entry must be an AHA member by the time the entry is registered (June/July 2016), and the membership must be valid when the GABF Pro-Am competition is judged (September/October 2016).  Be sure to read all of the rules for the Pro-Am, commercial and homebrewer ( The dates are for this year and will be updated, but the overall rules will be similar.

Good Luck with your competition and the GABF Pro-Am!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 NHC Medal Categories?
« on: August 06, 2015, 09:06:48 AM »
Hi all,

The AHA Governing Committee's Competition Subcommittee is reviewing the 2015 BJCP style guidelines using NHC entry information from 2015 and before, and a decision will be made and announced in August or September 2015 detailing the changes for the 2016 National Homebrew Competition styles.

The 2008 guidelines had 23 beer categories, 3 mead categories, and 2 cider categories.  I do not anticipate simply transitioning to the categories in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines.  Instead, we will use a modified version of the 2015 BJCP styles, with the possible addition of a few new styles.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« on: June 01, 2015, 01:33:39 PM »
Hi all,

If you are willing to steward, then please sign up as a steward.  If you are willing to judge, then please sign up to judge.  If you are told you will not be needed to judge, then you can always offer your services to steward.

Thanks for volunteering!


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Finals Shipping Address Confusion
« on: May 29, 2015, 12:56:34 PM »
Google has
AleSmith Brewing Company
9368 Cabot Dr, San Diego, CA 92126

Preprinted Label states...
AleSmith Brewing Company
9990 Empire Street, San Diego, CA 92126

Entry Information states...
AleSmith Brewing Company
9990 AleSmith Court, San Diego, CA 92126

FedEx doesnt recognize AleSmith Ct. Empire St puts you 2 blocks away from the brewery. So where are we shipping entries? ??? I'm going with Cabot Dr if I dont hear otherwise in the next hr.
If the shipping company does not recognize the AleSmith Ct street name, use the EMPIRE Street address.  They are exactly the same place.

Follow the directions.

Do NOT take your entries to the Cabot address.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up - Take 2
« on: May 27, 2015, 09:43:29 AM »
Janis/Bruce - is this for trying to get it all done in the morning? Or getting it done in one day?

I assumed (probably incorrectly) that it would run like last year where the beer was done in the morning and mead/cider in the afternoon.
Hi Amanda,

This is for doing the score sheet judging and category BOS of all 28 categories in the morning.  Only the BOS Beer, BOS Mead, and BOS Cider will be judged in the afternoon.  At least that is how we would like to do it. If we don't have the judge numbers then it will probably be more like the last couple of years when we judged the 23 beer categories and beer category BOSes in the morning, and all Mead judging and cider judging was done while the Beer BOS was being judged in the afternoon.

To judge all 28 categories in the morning with 2 judges per flight and 4 flights per category will require a minimum of 224 judges.


Homebrew Competitions / NHC Final Round Sign Up - Take 2
« on: May 27, 2015, 08:01:05 AM »
Hi all,

The NHC Final Round is in need of more judges at this point.  There is no BJCP rank requirement.  When we make the judge assignments, we will pair more experienced judges with the less experienced judges.

All levels of judges are needed.  Please consider volunteering, if you have not done so already.

See you in San Diego!


I received a message from Carol Hiller stating that I volunteered to work at NHC.   I do recall volunteering to judge the final round at NHC.   However, I do not recall volunteering for anything else at NHC.  Maybe, I am just having a senior moment?  Has anyone else received a message from Carol Hiller?

Hi all,

Sorry for the confusion.  I have heard from Carol Hiller about the e-mail.  The list of volunteers she was given for the message did not distinguish NHC judge/steward volunteers from seminar beer sample pourer volunteers for the seminars, so everyone who volunteered in some capacity got that message.  If you volunteered as a judge or steward for the competition, you can ignore the message from Carol Hiller.  Thanks.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« on: May 22, 2015, 07:33:02 AM »
Well, let me put this response in as non-coded language as I can muster.  If I am not judging, I am not working.  It's that simple.  As Gordon has mentioned many times, beer judging is not the same thing as bikini judging.  Beer judging is work.  In fact, working a contest in any capacity is work.  NHC is the most expensive per person vacation that I will take this year.  As an East Coaster, I am spending a boat load of money to attend the event.  Judges and stewards are not getting "comped" for the conference, which means that they are paying to work.  Many of the judges in my area who are attending the conference have stated that they will judge if needed, but would rather not do so for the same reason.  None, and I mean none have expressed interest in stewarding the contest.
Hi S.,

Thanks for sharing your reasons for not volunteering.  Your argument against judging is more applicable to 8 or 9 years ago when the competition ran all day Thursday, and into Friday which really cut into the seminar tracks, and thus was a huge disincentive for people to judge. 

This year, if all goes to plan, the score sheet judging and category BOS for all 28 categories will all be completed in the morning.  The conference seminars don't start until 12:45, so judging doesn't even compete with the seminars.  If you're already in San Diego at the hotel, and probably awake quite early, why wouldn't you volunteer to help out the competition? 

Your chance of judging is drastically better if you sign up to volunteer ahead of time.  Bruce is going to assign judges on Sunday, June 7, so sign up before that if you want to judge.

Also, just to let you know there are already some BJCP judges volunteering to be stewards in the competition, and for that I am very grateful.  In a competition judged largely by very experienced judges, it helps to have stewards with more than a basic understanding of how a competition works.

Thanks to all of the volunteers in the First Round and in the Final Round!  This competition could not happen with out your help!

Anyway, the choice is yours.  See you in San Diego!


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC score sheets - Zanesville
« on: May 21, 2015, 10:29:25 AM »
Hi Jeff,

They were sent out by the competition staff a little later than the other First Round competitions.  Hopefully, you have gotten them by now.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Final Round Sign Up
« on: May 21, 2015, 10:27:14 AM »
Hello all,

We’re still in need of judges and stewards for the NHC Final Round Judging in San Diego on June 11th.  If you’re planning on attending the conference or if you able to travel to San Diego that day, consider signing up.  Working with several high ranking and experienced judges and staff from all over the country is quite an experience.  This year’s goal is to get all of the category judging completed in the morning session, leaving the best of show judging for the afternoon and allowing folks to enjoy the Homebrew Expo or the San Diego craft brew scene.  Judging assignments will go to the highest ranking judges first, Grand Master, Master, and National in the past, but there is a chance that some Certified judges may be called upon. 

If you’ve already registered for the competition and had in entry in the first round you can sign up by logging into the NHC website here  You can indicate your willingness to judge or steward by clicking on the Edit My Info link under the My Info and Entries menu item at the top of the screen.

If you were not a first round entrant you can sign up here

Hope to see a lot of you in San Diego!

Bruce Buerger
NHC Final Round Judge Coordinator
Hi all,

Unfortunately Bruce's directions have a minor mistake in them.  The only records in the Final Round app are the records of the advancing entrants, not everyone from the First Round.

If you had no advancing entries from the First Round competition, you will need to create your account in the Final Round app from scratch.  Got to the Final Round app and click on the link in the blue box.  You will need to create a username and password (you can probably use the same ones you had in the First Round) and then you can enter the information in your account.

Sorry for the confusion.  Thanks for volunteering!  I hope to see you in San Diego!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2nd Round Labels Question
« on: May 05, 2015, 10:24:27 AM »

There was a problem with the Final Round labels if you printed them before 4 p.m. yesterday (5/4/2015).  If the bottle labels do not have a bar code and an entry number on them, you must log into your Final Round competition account and print the bottle labels again.  The AHA will be sending an e-mail with this information to all entrants today.  Sorry for the problem.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHCompetition Registration is Open
« on: February 27, 2015, 06:20:47 PM »
Still toying with the wording of a beer going into 23. My poor search skills can't locate this answer. When is the last day that you can edit your entries.

March 11th.  Good luck!


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC first round judging?
« on: February 04, 2015, 09:57:15 PM »
Have the judging dates for each of the sites been announced yet?  If so, where can I find them?

Hi WV Brewer,

The competitions are all registered with the BJCP, and can be found on the BJCP Competition Calendar.  The AHA Calendar also lists the judging locations and dates, since it is a direct RSS-feed from the BJCP web site.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC first round judging?
« on: February 04, 2015, 09:54:34 PM »
Hi Mac,

As with any competition that you have entered and also are volunteering to judge, you may not judge or steward any category in which you have an entry.

In the Final Round, a large number of BJCP-certified judges attend the conference, and we do not have very many problems getting enough highly qualified judges to volunteer.


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