Author Topic: 1st round NHC results  (Read 27828 times)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #75 on: April 27, 2012, 03:50:21 PM »
"They have a thankless task."

Yes, this is the best way to put it.  Anyone who blames the AHA for not being able to enter, or go to the conference, needs to step back, take a deep breath and say - RDWHAHB!

Not so long ago the AHA had a dip in membership. The Conference had a dip in numbers. In many ways that was a much bigger problem.
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Offline skyler

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #76 on: April 27, 2012, 08:30:39 PM »
Hey, that's great news. I suppose I heard wrong. And I am happily surprised about the scoresheets! It was implied to me a few times by a few judges that there was a major judge and steward shortage this year. I am glad to hear there wasn't. I live pretty central in Berkeley and received a lot of email and personal appeals about NHC this year and really wanted to volunteer, but couldn't justify the 45-60 min of driving each way and didn't understand why this wasn't just done somewhere central. I am sure there were reasons that I just don't understand. Hats off to people willing to drive all the way from Santa Barbara to judge. I also want to make clear that I find nothing intrinsically wrong with Pleasanton as a city - in fact I grew up nearby in San Ramon. And don't get me wrong, I think moving from Lodi was an improvement. I just think a better improvement would have been Oakland or SF (or even just a BART-accessible part of Pleasanton).

Anyway, congrats on what sounds like it was a well put-together competition. I was involved in World Cup of Beer this year, which had over 700 entries, so I have some idea of how hard it is to put one of these together, but I couldn't imagine actually being the one who coordinated the whole thing. Seriously, hats off.

Skyler,  I am the organizer for the San Francisco region, and I wanted to respond personally to your post. 

The competition for our region ended just this past Sunday, 4/22/2012.  And I can tell you for sure, we were very WELL staffed.  We had approximately 65 judges per session with 4 full sessions.  We had plenty of stewards and even an extra person on the cellar staff this year.  Moving the competition from Lodi (of which we had great times) actually was a boon to the competition this year, as it was much closer to the larger concentration of judges and stewards needed to run a massive competition like NHC.  Lodi would be considered "out in the bonies" by some, while Pleasanton (our drop-off and judging location) is very close to San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, the tri-vallety area, and all of the other East Bay communities.  It is about as metropolitan as you can get.  We certainly can't be close to everyone's location, but it was my decision to move the competition to an area that would greatly ease the challenges of staffing this huge competition.  And I can tell you by our staffing issues from prior years, that decision was a huge success.

Additionally, my staff and I received more compliments this year than I can remember in any prior year: "great job keeping all flight sizes to 7 beers or less", "this judging location was so roomy and comfortable, I want to judge here every year", "this was the most well organized competition I have ever attended...", and many other kind compliments.

From your comments, you mentioned not even participating as a volunteer in the competition, so I find it hard to believe you would have any sense of the "staffing" shortfall you mentioned.  We had judges and stewards drive out from Reno, Las Vegas, San Luis Obispo, Redding, Santa Barbara, and even San Diego.  Some of those are 8, 9, or more hours away.  We must be doing something right to attract people from that far ;-)

As to your scoresheets...  Even though our competition only ended 5 days ago, the scoresheets are mailing out this morning!!!  That amazing feat can be attributed once again to a staff of 12 volunteers that helped me work last night to match all of the scoresheets up by number to the brewers names, and then stuff the hundreds of envelopes with sometimes as many as 36 entries.  I personally was up at 2:30am this morning after the scoresheet sort, labeling, stuffing cover letters, licking and processing all of these score sheet mailers.  I am exhausted, but proud to have organized what I feel is one of the best run competitions in the area.

You should have your score sheets within 1 to 2 days.  Good luck on your entries!

-- Jon Koerber, San Francisco Region Organizer

Offline hamiltont

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #77 on: April 28, 2012, 08:09:22 AM »
I've read all of the comments on this Forum and many of the other Forums as well. It truly is a good problem WE have. Below is something I could endorse:

1) Limit the entries to 5 or 10 (or some number) for the first 2 days, and then open it up for the remainder of the 750 entries after the 2 day limit.

2) Use a graduated scale for pricing. 1st entry $10. 2nd entry $12, 3rd entry $14, etc.. Or something along these lines.

3) Eliminate the Ninkasi Award.

I think it would force brewers to enter their “best” beer or mead initially. Then, if space is left, they could enter more if they wanted. Eliminating the Ninkasi Award might help by limiting the massive entries a few entrants make.

Just my 2 cents….

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Offline cryogen

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #78 on: April 28, 2012, 03:10:56 PM »
I've read all of the comments on this Forum and many of the other Forums as well. It truly is a good problem WE have. Below is something I could endorse:

1) Limit the entries to 5 or 10 (or some number) for the first 2 days, and then open it up for the remainder of the 750 entries after the 2 day limit.

2) Use a graduated scale for pricing. 1st entry $10. 2nd entry $12, 3rd entry $14, etc.. Or something along these lines.

3) Eliminate the Ninkasi Award.

I think it would force brewers to enter their “best” beer or mead initially. Then, if space is left, they could enter more if they wanted. Eliminating the Ninkasi Award might help by limiting the massive entries a few entrants make.

Just my 2 cents….

Cheers!!!

I too had the same idea of limiting entries by period of time.  I figured limit entries to 5 per week or day or something similar.  If there were slots still available, the same brewer could still end up entering lots of beers.

I'm not sure if the pricing scale would affect those folks too much.  Considering they are already pushing in 30+ beers, what's another $100, ha ha.

And there are plenty of other competitions that these brewers can enter throughout the year with as many entries as they like.  The NHC, while the most prestigious, is not the only game in town.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #79 on: April 28, 2012, 03:15:13 PM »
I like the price increasing with the number of entries.  If one is serious, then they could go for it. Ones that are not so serious would back off the number of entries.

Jeff Rankert
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Offline phunhog

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2012, 07:14:43 PM »
Correct me if I am wrong but aren't NHC entry fees already 10 dollars for AHA members and 14 dollars for non members?  That seems like a lot to me especially when you account for shipping. I think what some of you have forgotten is that most people are not entering their beers to "win"....they just want valuable feedback from "good" judges. The NHC is known for this.
On a side note...where does all the entry fee money go? It seems that the NHC is run on the backs of some extremely dedicated volunteers who in return might get a free lunch out of the deal. Assuming every regional comp brings in 8K....does it really cost that much to run a regional comp? Just wondering....

Offline bluesman

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2012, 08:26:21 PM »
The AHA is experiencing some "growing pains".

There are some considerations on the table for discussion.  I think the AHA will adapt to the increasing membership and competition interest in due time.  There are limits to the number of competition entries due to the available resources (judges and staffing).  The GC will have to come up with some creative measures in an effort to overcome the increasing demand for cometition entries.  I for one would like to see all those interested in competing get their entries registered for competition.  However, due to the current limits this will probably not be possible.  Limiting the number of entries per person is one way of increasing the total number of entrants.  There are a lot of ideas to consider.

I'm open to any idea or method that will allow for all interested members to be able to compete.  Let's keep the ideas coming.

 

Ron Price

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #82 on: April 29, 2012, 03:48:17 AM »
I too am against increasing prices for multiple entries. At $10 an entry for members the NHC is already the most expensive one that I enter. I would like to see a total accounting of where that $10 per entry goes, but that is a different issue. Most other competitions with graduated pricing have a DECREASE in price for multiple entries. I am in favor of a limit to total entries (10 sounds good) but as previously stated that might not help reduce total entries much. 5 per day might work.

Perhaps one more regional could be added next year? Texas seems to be the biggest area that does not host a regional.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2012, 05:10:32 AM »
The AHA is experiencing some "growing pains".

There are limits to the number of competition entries due to the available resources (judges and staffing). 
The judging centers are mostly in production breweries. The 750 beers are stored in the cold room for the time they are dropped off to the judging day. That takes up valuable space in the brewery that could be used for product.  Our little 300 beer comp was allowed the area of one pallet for the entries last year. Just another limitation on running a competition. Thanks should go to all of the breweries that allow the time, space and involvement for the Nationals.

 
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Offline Janis

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #84 on: April 30, 2012, 09:56:19 AM »
Correct me if I am wrong but aren't NHC entry fees already 10 dollars for AHA members and 14 dollars for non members?  That seems like a lot to me especially when you account for shipping. I think what some of you have forgotten is that most people are not entering their beers to "win"....they just want valuable feedback from "good" judges. The NHC is known for this.
On a side note...where does all the entry fee money go? It seems that the NHC is run on the backs of some extremely dedicated volunteers who in return might get a free lunch out of the deal. Assuming every regional comp brings in 8K....does it really cost that much to run a regional comp? Just wondering....

Hi Phunhog,

I would be remiss if I didn't thank all of the competition organizers who sacrifice many hours of family time and sleep to organize the First Round competitions, and thanks to the judge coordinators and competition staff who help the organizers accomplish their goal!  A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to all of the volunteer judges and stewards (~1,000) without whom the entries would never get judged.  It takes a small army of volunteers to pull this competition off each year, and it wouldn't be possible without them.

As the Director of the National Homebrew Competition, I can address how some of the entry fees from the competition are distributed.  The NHC is the largest beer competition in the world, this year with over 7,500 entries from 1,800+ entrants. 

I begin working on the next year's competition soon after the prizes are sent out for this year's competition.  The NHC easily takes more than 1/2 of my time throughout the year, so entry fees pay part of my salary.  This is also true for portions of the salaries of individuals in other departments in the Brewers Association that work on the NHC: Graphics, Marketing, Events, Web, Member Services, Finance, etc.  The AHA supplies the pencils, pens, staplers, openers, and corkscrews to all 10 competitions, and each competition gets an advance check for the expenses of the competition, roughly $2k per competition.  After the judging in the First Round, the AHA prints and mails out certificates (roughly 5,000 last year) and letters to all entrants (last year that was 1600+ mailed packages), as well as ribbons to the 84 winners per competition (~840 ribbons).  The AHA awards plaques and trophies to all of the major winners in the Final Round, as well as ~84 medals to all of the winners.  So this is how some of the entry fees are used.

Thanks to all of you who have made suggestions about changes to the competition to make it better next year!  I'm keeping all suggestions posted here and elsewhere on the Forum in my Next Year folder, and each and every idea will be presented to the AHA Governing Committee's Competition Sub-Committee when we start deliberating on the rule changes for 2013.  Keep posting those great ideas!

Cheers,
     Janis
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #85 on: April 30, 2012, 10:11:35 AM »
The NHC easily takes more than 1/2 of my time throughout the year, so entry fees pay part of my salary. 

money well spent.  *raises glass*
thank you for everything you do!

cheers--
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #86 on: April 30, 2012, 10:18:41 AM »
Perhaps one more regional could be added next year? Texas seems to be the biggest area that does not host a regional.

Dallas had it last year; it appears it was simply too close to Bluebonnet to get enough judges.  Us out-of-towners did all we could but they needed at least twice the judges they had.  I can't really blame them - I can see how they'd be fatigued after 1800 beers. 

However, the FOAM guys in Tulsa are hosting a first round next year and IMO they'll do a great job.

cheers--
--Michael

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #87 on: April 30, 2012, 10:44:57 AM »
I think that *if* reducing the number of entries (or slowing the growth in entries) is the goal, then eliminating the Ninkasi and Club of the Year awards makes sense. COTY could be cut outright since there's the Gambrinus Award now, but Ninkasi would probably have to be replaced with the equivalent for an individual (total points divided by total number of entries).

Whether that would make a significant difference or not, I have no idea, but at least it would be easy to implement.
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Offline brewmanator

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #88 on: April 30, 2012, 11:33:45 AM »
Winning a medal from our National Competition is a bucket list item for many homebrewers.  I don't think eliminating any of the major awards (Ninkasi, COTY...) that come along with winning a 2nd round medal will do much to curb the number of entries.  The only reason we don't have 10,000 entries to judge this year is that we set a limit on the number of entries per region. 

From now on this competition will always be exclusionary in some shape or form.  It's just a matter of how many people do we want to shut out. 

One way to include every member into the contest would be to offer every single member one (or two) spot(s) in the competition just based on your membership into the AHA.  The AHA could set a date upon which each member could claim their entry(s) in the competition.  Once a certain date passes the rest of the entries go up to anyone who would like to enter more than one beer.

Based on the statistics Janis listed for this year we'd have 1800 entries locked in, leaving 5700 entries left to fight over.  This way no one can complain about not having the opportunity to enter. 

   
- Mike

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Re: 1st round NHC results
« Reply #89 on: April 30, 2012, 12:53:27 PM »
If every AHA member got 1 entry, there would be in excess of 30K entries.  That would exacerbate the problem.
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