Author Topic: Maybe next year  (Read 1907 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Maybe next year
« on: May 31, 2013, 07:31:01 PM »
Last fall I knew nothing about AHA or competition or the conference, but my curiosity is piqued for the possibility in the future.

Several questions for the old pros at all of this.

1. I'm thinking I'd like to run a couple samples by an experienced judge, stuff that I think MIGHT be worthy of competition, but not sure. A way to get unbiased expert feedback before making the leap.

2. How is all of this conference stuff usually timed? When do you brew for the first round? When do tickets go on sale? How long available? How much for two people, full tickets and a room?

3. What's it like? I'm sure a long weekend immersed in homebrew would be great for me, but what do spouses do?

4 how did you sell this to your mildly interested spouse the first time you went?

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Maybe next year
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 01:25:50 PM »
Here are my thoughts. I wouldn't call myself an old pro, but I have successfully navigated all of your questions at least once or twice (other than #1)

1. I would send beers you are considering to one of the solid competitions in the area, that is known for good judging. Check the WAHA website for Washington competitions (we have a lot).

2. Conference tickets go on sale in February. The exact date is announced a few months in advance. I would recommend taking the day off from work if you can, the tickets usually sell out within 24 hours. I think this year was within 8.

3. My wife loves to drink beer, but is not overly interested in what is behind making beer. When we went last year, I got a full ticket, and she got a social. That is what we are planning on doing again this year. The social package gives you access to the "drinking" events, such as the hospitality suite, Club Night, Pro night. The only thing you don't get access to is the lectures. My wife plans on exploring the city during the day (likely with a couple other spouses). I also recommend getting a ticket to the banquet (even if you didn't enter a beer). Chef Sean Paxton makes some amazing food with beer, and it is always some great conversation and camaraderie over beer. I think overall (1 full, 1 social, 2 banquet) it was about $400 for the event. I think all tolled (Cross-country flight and 8 nights in the hotel across the street) will be about $3000, including food.

4. Talk about the events. I guarantee if your wife drinks beer, she will want to go to the social events. Pro night is great because a lot of the breweries bring some really interesting beer, and it is all free. Club night will have some of the most adventurous beer you well ever see (Bacon Ancho Porter, Apple-pie Scotch, Wee Shroomy), and everyone is extremely friendly. If you just convince her to go the first time, you won't have a problem getting her to come back. Last year when my wife showed up at pro night, the first thing she said was "Ok, We're going to Philly next year."

That's my 2 cents.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Maybe next year
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 03:52:40 PM »
Thanks. That answers most of my questions. I'll break off a new thread on getting feedback and timing brews in separate thread.

Offline santoch

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Re: Maybe next year
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 11:01:19 PM »
Jim-
We also have "Find a judge" links on the WAHA site so that you can contact experienced judges near to you to help you if you want to talk directly with one, or even meet up and have him/her taste your beer personally.  (We also have "find a mentor" links too, so new brewers can find someone close by who can help guide them to the next level in their brewing.)

http://www.wahomebrewers.org/

These links are available if you register with the site.  Don't worry, you won't get spammed with commercial ads, as the emails are only for minimal announcement use and you can opt out.  (Even if you don't opt out, the email count is quite low, on the order of 1 every couple of weeks in general.)

HTH-
Steve
Mt. Si Brewing Society
Washington Homebrewer's Association (WAHA)
BJCP GM D0799

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Maybe next year
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2013, 07:54:44 AM »
Jim-
We also have "Find a judge" links on the WAHA site so that you can contact experienced judges near to you to help you if you want to talk directly with one, or even meet up and have him/her taste your beer personally.  (We also have "find a mentor" links too, so new brewers can find someone close by who can help guide them to the next level in their brewing.)

http://www.wahomebrewers.org/

These links are available if you register with the site.  Don't worry, you won't get spammed with commercial ads, as the emails are only for minimal announcement use and you can opt out.  (Even if you don't opt out, the email count is quite low, on the order of 1 every couple of weeks in general.)

HTH-
Steve

Apparently I need to spend more time on the WAHA site. I completely missed that.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison