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Messages - wxgod

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Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Index for Commercial Calibration in Zymurgy
« on: February 12, 2014, 02:42:44 AM »
Unfortunately Denny, that doesn't help much. I am looking for an index too, and haven't been able to find one yet. Need to access a printable version (pdf) for use in our club setting. I can take an old issue and scan it, but that isn't the best solution, nor does it solve the need to quickly see what beers have been part of the "Commercial Calibration".

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 12:49:26 AM »
I like the brainstorming going on. I like the ideas. Pretty much anything should be considered, no matter how crazy. Whatever comes out after mulling it all through "should be" the best answer - at least for now/next competition.

* Not sure the idea of giving "entries" for attending certain events, judging, entering events is going to work. Many of us don't have an option to help out at any BJCP sanctioned events (location, time, work duties, etc), thus we eliminate a portion of the potential entries and AHA members right off the bat.
* Sort of like the idea of relating the NHC to medaling in BJCP sanctioned events, but as pointed out, this might not work either. Plus, it could be nightmare to database.

Ultimately, simpler is best. The more complexity we add to it, the greater the potential to fail some where along the way.

Maybe we need to answer this question first: what is more important - ability to participate or amount of entries? My opinion continues to land on "participation".

More diversity enriches the competition. It draws from a broader base of brewers. Different talent levels. Different backgrounds.

I disagree that the capping the amount of entries will result in the same problems as this year. Sure, its possible it could go as fast - but, there would be many more individuals who were able to register and enter their beers. Yes, capping alone does not address the current issues, but it is a step. So is early registration.

Anyway, good conversation, good sharing, hopefully some of this banter will help in the end...

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 04:13:45 PM »
The 15 limit is new this year, in an attempt to open up more entries. That had to have debate, as there is this thing called the Ninkasi award. It is based on the most points in the second round. Do you know there have been ties in something like 3 or 4 of the last 5 years? One year it was a 3 way tie. The tiebreaker was first round points. To have the opportunity for first round points there were good brewers entering > 30 or even 40+ beers. With fewer beers they have added a lot of other tie breakers, maybe up to 7, with a coin flip as the final tie breaker.

Get rid of the Ninkasi and have 5 entries? You can look up the chance of that on

Having been an AHA member for awhile (and going to one conference), I am familar with the Ninkasi award, but thank you for pointing it out to me.

I understand your points - very valid. Did not know about all the tie breakers. So thanks for that info. All I was trying to do was present another option. It has the potential to lessen the crush on the software/hardware, and allow for more opportunities to more brewers. It does not necessarily mitigate the Ninkasi award.

The forum is full of individuals lamenting that they couldn't get in their 2 to 3 beers they wanted. They weren't going for the full Monty of 15. They just wanted to get in their "best", as they saw them. This was part of my point - my opinion - that many who enter are just trying to enter a few. See how they do. Hope to make the final round. They don't have 15 beers to enter, let alone 15 GOOD beers. But they want the opportunity. In many ways, by allowing such a large number initially, it prevents many of these kinds of brewers the chance to see if they can get "that glory" that you and BBKF speak of.

Again, I was just presenting another option, and as I stated - not necessarily the right one.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 04:04:52 PM »
NHC is not about getting feedback about your beers.  If it were, then no one would ever complain about not being able to enter it.  You could always enter ANY homebrew competition for that kind of feedback.

NHC is about fame and glory.  That is why so many people get upset about not being able to enter it.  You can possibly become the next Jamil or Gordon by doing well in NHC.  If you disagree then you are lying to yourself

If NHC is that important to you AND its entry window conflicted YOUR work schedule, then maybe you should have taken the day off from work!  I did because it was important to me.

BBFK - note, I did get in. I did pay for my enteries. I was lucky that I was home to do so. I don't know many people that can afford to take off work to register for any competition, let alone a beer one. And can you image how upset they would be if they did with what happened this year? I am sure the NHC is not going to reimburse everyone for the loss of a day off on account of the registration process not going smoothly.

I understand your points. I was just trying to start a dialogue. I was stating one point of view. Note that I never said it was the "right one". Doubtful that there is one. Disagreement is part of the process and can be healthy.

You mentioned that so many people "get upset when they can't enter", yet you seem to disregarded my suggest of starting with a limit - thus allowing for MORE people to enter, and then expanding that limit after a set amount of time. This would seem to address your point with people not "getting in" while also allowing for the ablity to enter more entries after a set period. 

Anyway - here is hoping they can iron out the issues in a short manner, and come up with some solutions that will make most happy.

Events / NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 03:16:34 PM »
Gary, community, et al...
I would venture that when asked why you became a homebrewer your answer would NOT be "I love entering competitions". Still, after awhile, many of us desire feedback. It helps us get better. It's an invaluable part of the learning process. Plus, awards are cool affirmation that you are figuring out how to make killer beer (or have captured lightning in a bottle - which is still cool).

So - times like this, with the issues for 2013 NHC this year, can lead to a lot of frustration. On the whole, the homebrewing community is pretty laid back and understanding (relax, have a homebrew), but that doesn't mean we don't get irked at times.

With that in mind, I would like to *respectfully* offer up some suggestions to how potential issues like this could be addressed/eliminated in the future. Yes, I understand this could fall under the "too many cooks in the kitchen" mantra. And yes, I understand that the AHA governing committee and those that are in charge of the NHC has looked at these issues ad nauseam. But, perhaps, a brainstorming session from a group of AHA homebrewers might lend a kernel or two of goodness that, when applied, can help with these issues (and/or future ones).


This issue is partially due to software and hardware limitations, but its mostly due to scarcity. Because there is a limit to how many entries can be accepted at each location (and you can only enter at one), individuals "have to" register and complete their entries ASAP if they have any hope of getting in. Its like trying to get into Ticketmaster for Springsteen tickets. If it doesn't happen within 10 minutes, you are out of luck.

My proposals...

1) Start registration early - perhaps a week in advance. BUT, don't enter beers at this time.

2) When opened for beer entries, LIMIT TO 5. Come on - 15 entries? Seriously, that is just greedy. If everyone who got in did that, it would be 50 people per site.  Limit to 5 - you have at least 150 homebrewers who get the opportunity to enter.

3) Give all those who enter their 1 to 5 beers ONE (1) week to complete their registration (pay). So, if beer entries start on Monday, March 4th for instance, beer entries AND payments must be made by midnight on Sunday, March 10th.

4) After this time, the ability to enter MORE beers is opened - an additional 5 entries can be entered for those that entered 5 the first week, for 10 total. Let's say start that on Monday, March 11th at 5 pm EST (in this current example). By doing it this way, you give MANY more homebrewers the opportunity to get a beer in. And, if there are slots left over, well, you can have your "free for all" there. BUT - the bottom line is more opportunities, more diversity, more happy brewers. Let's not be greedy.

For example: when registration opened this year, it was mid week, during the middle part of the day. Most were probably at work. Many probably didn't have access to a computer. Perhaps they don't get home until 6 pm. Chances are, if they would have tried to login after that they would have discovered that all the regions were filled. Not really fair is it?

Let's curb our "need" to enter every beer we have in our stash (some likely great, others not so much). Changing the rules will prevent us from being greedy, help curb this "scarcity" issue, and give so many more homebrewers a chance to get in. It will also easier on the software/hardware. It's about community. I've helped run our local club for years now - and the word "greedy" has never come to mind. If we can't police ourselves, let's set up some rules that will help us.

All in all, I think these are sensible ideas for sensible solutions. They aren't necessarily the right ones, but at least maybe it's the start of a dialogue between us and the NHC - to make a better competition for all.

Thanks for you time...happy brewing!

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