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.
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator