Author Topic: My first experience competing in the National Homebrew competition.  (Read 1077 times)

Offline capnjb

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I don't enter many competitions but I thought I'd enter the NHC this year because I had a beer that I really thought was exceptional.  I was excited to participate in the worlds largest homebrew competition and sent in two entries.  Unfortunately it has been nothing but a comedy of errors.  It doesn't run like this every year, does it?  This has been my experience thus far...

1)  Registration for two beers took 1.5 hours.  A very frustrating 1.5 hours.

2)  About ready to ship my beers I get an email that I have to ship them somewhere else due to 'space limitations'.

3)  I ship my beers via UPS.  They get from DC to NY in about 18 hours.  They are refused delivery and sit for three days before being delivered.

4)  Judging occurs early but no news is given.  Other sites have score sheets weeks before the NY sheets are mailed.

5)  First round results are announced (still with no scoresheets from NY)

6)  Scoresheets finally arrive from NY!

7)  But only for one beer.  The other one got lost (the beer, not the scoresheet).

8)  Both beers advance.  One with the score of 40, the other with the score of 'Sorry we lost it'

9)  NHC competition site commits egregious PII breach giving me access to the names, addresses, phone numbers, AHA member number and email addresses of two different entrants.  My information likely ended up somewhere else.

10) When I'm able to log into my account I am able to print out my Gold CERTFICATE for the beer they did not lose.  It's a certficate, not a certificate.  Looks legit.

11) Now I need to enter the recipes for the beers that are going to the finals.  Every other competition I've entered that uses this software allowed me to upload my recipe using BEERXML.  That doesn't appear to be an option now.

12  Tedious data entry.

Janis has been fantastic when I've emailed her, but rest has been nothing short of a bad joke.  This can't be typical, can it?



Online denny

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I realize that it will be small comfort to you, but no, it's not how it's typically been in the past.  Beyond that, I'll let someone from the AHA address your issues.  But as a member of the GC, I'm truly sorry for everyone who had to endure the problems that came up this year.  I know that the AHA and the GC Competition Committee feel the same way and are all committed to seeing it doesn't happen again.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline Tim Boyden

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Congrats on your 40 point beer. Sorry to hear about your experience, hopefully by sharing it improvements can be made by the people in charge. At the very least it will be a lesson to potential participants to start early and be extremely patient. BTW, can you post that recipe!  :D

Offline capnjb

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I realize that it will be small comfort to you, but no, it's not how it's typically been in the past.  Beyond that, I'll let someone from the AHA address your issues.  But as a member of the GC, I'm truly sorry for everyone who had to endure the problems that came up this year.  I know that the AHA and the GC Competition Committee feel the same way and are all committed to seeing it doesn't happen again.

I think the best thing I can take away from entering this years NHC is that it's got me away from only posting on the Northern Brewer forums and has gotten me involved in both this forum and the Homebrewtalk forum.

So that's a plus.  :)

Offline capnjb

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And by the way Denny... the beer that got lost and got the Administrative Advance was your BVIP recipe.  I just think that someone heard a BVIP was in town and they absconded with it.   ;)

Offline tomsawyer

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If its any consolation, a lot of the homebrew contests I've been a part of have bordered on being victims of their own success.  I think this is the root of many of the issues you encountered.  Possibly even the misspelling, although that seems to be a dying art.

Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline Janis

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Hi CapnJB,

Each year that I have been the NHC Director (2006-present) has had its own set of issues due to the changes we've made to improve the competition.  This year has been particularly difficult because we have switched from online registration and MS Access databases to a completely online paradigm.

Thank you for summarizing your experience so far.  I will keep your summary in my Next Year folder so that we can try to improve the experience for you next year.  With the exponential increase in participation and interest this year, one thing is certain, this competition will be completely different in 2014 than it is this year.

Good luck in the Final Round!

Cheers,
Janis
Janis Gross
National Homebrew Competition Director
AHA Project Coordinator
janis@brewersassociation.org

Offline udubdawg

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So which one of you jokers got access to my PII data and subscribed my phone to Cat Facts?!?