I don't see how you'll ever return to this site, or any other one in Canada as it appears one of the major criteria of removing it was the lack of AHA members in Canada. This move won't help. The rest of these explanations/excuses are window dressing and won't solve that problem.
First, they are reasons, not excuses. You may not like the reasons, but it was not a decision we made and then later tried to justify.
Second, I can see several ways in which the 1st round would return to the ALES competition, some more likely than others and some could make it as early as next year. Maybe this will make more sense if we talk about . . .
1. The number of entries we can handle in the second round. We currently set that at 924, or the number of entries passed forward from 11 first round judging centers.
2. The number of entries each judging center can handle in the 1st round. We currently set that number at 750 and keep all of them the same as a matter of fairness.
(a) we are only able to have 11 first round sites, and
(b) we are able to find 11 sites in the US, and
(c) all of the sites sell out easily, and
(d) 10.8/11 AHA members live in the US,
Therefore: we decided to move the Canadian site to the US.
Note, the relative number of members in each location is only one factor that was considered. It only appears to be the main consideration because the other considerations are what they are this year. If any of those givens change we could easily add a site back to Canada.
For example, if we change constraint 1 and decide we can handle an additional 84 entries in the second round that changes (a) to 12 first round centers. If we are unable to find 12 sites in the US (b), the ALES competition would be my first choice for the 12th region. Given the expansion of the conference and the expected expansion of the judging pool for the 2nd round, and the difficulties in finding judging centers in the US, I think it is a very real possibility that this would happen.
Or it could be that (b) we can't
find 11 places in the US where we feel we can get the beers judged well, then we would want to move one to Canada again. Given the struggles we (and by we I mean Janis) often have in finding good judging centers in the US, and those who are willing to do it year after year, and who are far enough from other judging centers to not impact their judging pool, I think you could see this happening. The US sites shuffle all of the time, moving from place to place, and that mostly has to do with local interest and ability to judge the beers during the given time frame.
As another example, if we change constraint 2 and decide each 1st round center can handle 1500 entries instead of 750 (not likely, but incremental changes are possible as local judge pools expand) then we would have increased the number of entries in the first round without changing anything in the second round. If we feel these are not likely to sell out rapidly (c), then there is no pressure for entries in the US and having a Canadian judging center becomes an easy option again.
Less likely scenarios:
If interest in the competition falls to the point where regions are not filling (c), then we could move a region back to Canada.
If the levels of Canadian members increase (or US levels fall) to the point where there are roughly 1/11 (d), then I would certainly push for a Canadian site. If every Canadian joined the AHA then I would push for every 1st round site to be moved there, provided there were enough judges and sites to hold them.
You basically decided that you are keeping your 2nd round quotas for the US based on concentration of AHA members. And that's fine, it's your organization, but there's no sense pretending what happened was because of Canadians wanting to bypass ALES, or lack of entries. Those aren't well founded arguments.
Those are not the main reasons, but they are still reasons - like it or not, there has been interest from some Canadian members in entering at US sites. Brewers in Vancouver can drive their entries to Seattle. It won't work for everyone, but it will work for some. As for lack of entries, it is not just the number that are entered, it is the number that are sent to the second round. Less than 2/3 made it this year, and while I understand a couple were held up by customs that does not account for all of them by a long shot. That is a consistent issue that is not affected by whether the site gets 750 entries or not.
All of these things played into the decision. I don't mind that you don't think they are well founded, but they are not arguments, it is reality.