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Messages - Bruce B

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: Hospitality suite 2014
« on: November 21, 2013, 01:03:02 PM »
If memory serves we blew through 6 back in 2010.  We had an additional 12 for club night.  The Barons are also thinking about serving as well but we want to see who all ends up getting into the conference before putting too much into motion.

Homebrew Competitions / Schnapp Hans Cup Registration Now Open!
« on: September 01, 2013, 03:20:53 PM »

Hello fellow Home Brewers!

I'm very pleased to announce that the 2013 Delafield Brewhaus Schnapp Hans Cup Competition will be taking place on October 12, 2013. The focus of this beer only competition is on base styles.  No Specialty, Spice Herb Vegetable, Fruit, or Sour beers will be accepted.  This competition will be limited to 300 entries.

Participant, judging, and steward registration for the competition will be coordinated through the web site at  Entries will be accepted September 1st through September 28th at 3 different locations in WI.  Shipped entries should be sent to Northern Brewer in West Allis, WI.  Please refer to the web site for drop off location cut off dates and addresses.

1st, 2nd, & 3rd place awards will be issued for each category and the Best of Show will take home the coveted Schnapp Hans Cup.  Also, one entry from the Best of Show round will be chosen to be ramped up and brewed by the Delafield Brewhaus!

Awards will be announced and presented to participants at the Delafield Brewhaus on October 12th at 7:30 PM central time.  Results will be posted to the competition website shortly after the conclusion of the awards ceremony.

Additional details can be found on the competition web site, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages.  Information regarding judging and stewarding opportunities will be posted shortly. Please pass this information on to your fellow home brewing friends and direct any inquiries to the Contact page on the registration page at

Prosit, Sláinte, Salute, Na Zdravi, Cheers! - Bruce Buerger
Competition Coordinator

Registration is now open!

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Problem with club growth in VA
« on: May 13, 2013, 10:37:17 AM »
Looking at the BJCP scheduled competition page I'm seeing two competitions currently scheduled in VA.  One is in Lynchburg which according to Google Maps is about an hour away from Danville.  Here is the web site for the competition -  Since they will need a hall or location of some sorts to host their event I'd suggest reaching out to these guys and ask them how they're handling it. 

One other suggestion - try exploring other types of facilities like banquet halls, community centers, VFW posts, and church halls.  These places might also have the appropriate licensing needed to host your meetings.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Do other clubs have this problem?
« on: May 07, 2013, 09:45:46 PM »
One way to stir the pot a bit is to champion an event like a public brew session.  Work with the local homebrew shop to do a brew day for beginners, leave the club out of it.  Club members will eventually get wind of it by seeing advertisement at the homebrew shop and some might show up just to check it out.  The idea behind this approach is to find others in your community that are into homebrewing but not necessarily attending your club meetings, as well as a few other interested brewers from your club.  Keep doing the public brew sessions every few months and see where it goes. 


Attention Homebrewers (especially those that lager)!

The Beer Barons of Milwaukee and German Fest are very pleased to announce that the 3rd Annual German Fest Stein Challenge will be taking place on July 25th and 27th, 2013. This BJCP registered, German bier style only competition, is held in conjunction with the 32nd annual German Fest which will be taking place on the Summerfest Grounds in Milwaukee July 25th through the 28th.  Entries will again be limited to 300 this year.  Proceeds from the competition will go towards the newly established Midwest Brewer Scholarship Fund.

Registration opens on June 15th and will be coordinated through the competition web site at  Entries will be accepted June 15th through July 13th at homebrew supply stores in Milwaukee, Madison, and Northern Illinois.  Entries may be shipped to Northern Brewer in West Allis WI.  Please see the competition web site for participating shops and locations.

Judging will take place on July 25th and 27th and the awards ceremony will take place at German Fest on the Summerfest grounds on July 28th.  First, Second, and Third place medals will be awarded to the category winners.  Steins will be awarded to the First, Second, and Third place Best of Show winners.  Finally, one entry from the best of show round will be chosen by the Milwaukee Brewing Company to be ramped up and served at the Milwaukee Ale House!

Accepted categories and additional details can be found on the competition web site.  Periodic updates will be posted to the competition Facebook page.  Information regarding judging and stewarding opportunities will be sent out shortly.  Please pass this information on to your fellow homebrewing friends and direct any inquiries to the Contact page on the registration site at

Best of luck to all that enter!

German Fest Stein Challenge Organizing Committee

Entrants declare their club affiliations when they register.  It's just a matter of coming up with a point system for awarding the winners based on number of entries, entries that placed, and club affiliation. 

The Barons host an all German competition and I know the Rock Hoppers host an all French & Belgian one.  Belle City does a high gravity Winter Warmer competition.  The COC was a great incubator but now there are plenty of other competitions out there that can serve this function.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC regional experiences
« on: May 04, 2013, 09:13:36 AM »
Anyone know if Milwaukee also put in placings?
One of my beers scored a 40, advanced to mini-BOS, but nothing in the place box.
Had high hopes for it as it has placed at every other comp it has been entered into this year.
Yes we did indicate place and mini-bos on the summary sheets.

The email address of the person who judged the entry should be on the score sheet.  If you'd like you could email the judge and let them know that while perhaps well intended, you found the comment to be nonconstructive.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: 501(c)(7) Why?
« on: March 24, 2013, 07:28:15 PM »
Actually, because of our non-profit status we're able to obtain an umbrella policy for our officers.  That might not be a big selling point for smaller clubs but it might be for larger ones.

As a judge and a competition coordinator I'd definitely suggest 16E.  I'd suggest the following for the comments submission - "Belgian White styled IPA dry hopped with Cascade and Centennial." 

Suggestion for any competition - Keep the special comments short and to the point.  Anything more that short and to the point and the competition may need to abbreviate them to accommodate pull sheets or pre-printed labels for the score sheets.  Also competitions get a lot of special comments that border on short history lessons rather than info about the beer.  If you keep the comments short and to the point the judges don't need to summarize and form their own conclusions.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Advice on teaching someone to brew.
« on: March 13, 2013, 11:27:32 AM »
I would suggest making sure that the first recipe is something simple like a brown ale, red ale, low to mid gravity stout.  Something that they can have a good chance of success at and get their feet under them. 

Next just decide if he wants to do it all himself with input from you or you do some things and he assists.  I'm betting you'll work this out pretty easily.

Finally, keep a few things in your car that typically help you through your brew day.  That way if the opportunity exists to improve something you can easily grab it and introduce it.

Best of luck!

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 03:59:35 PM »
As the "random guy in Colorado" I don't feel any need to defend myself or the software. The 100s of competitions that are using or have used this OPEN SOURCE and FREE software are more testament to its success than the issues experienced with the NHC registration on Tuesday.

I was honored that the AHA wanted to use the software for the NHC. I stand by it and welcome anyone's input into its continued development - like I said, it's open source. Admittedly, I am a self-taught php "programmer" - however, I saw a need for a particular product and filled that need for my own uses initially. I've put literally 1000s of hours into the continued development and happily dove into helping the AHA, modifying it to fit their needs.

It's true that the events of the 26th necessitate some serious consideration and remediation. Believe me, I've been in constant contact with the folks at the AHA since 1:05 PM on Tuesday. They are working long hours at 110% to make things right, analyze what went wrong, and figure our what to do about.

At least this "random guy in Colorado" did something about helping the homebrewing community in a way he feels reasonably competent instead of complaining about it in some forum.

That's all I am going to say about the subject.



I've been using BCOE&M on all four competitions I'm involved with since 2008 (then just BCOE) and will continue to do so as long as I stay involved with those competitions and the product remains available.  It provides a great service and I can't imagine doing a competition without it. 

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 11:51:59 AM »
I meant by them not being able to get a beer in the competition, what's their motivation to help out with the rest of the competition? Last year I wasn't able to get a beer in, so I never felt the need to help out and planned on heading skiing that weekend instead. I only judged once the organizer started begging for judges and I did so more as a favor to him, not the NHC.

The two years I was the organizer up here I heard the same type of stories from many of our BJCP judges in the area. They didn't have a beer in the contest so they didn't feel the need to give back.

Wow.  If this is what's stopping people from judging then adding an additional qualifying location would seem  to only be a temporary solution.  Not everyone can move on to the final round so what's to stop people from judging if they are able to submit an entry but unable to move on to the finals?

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