Author Topic: I like the Brewing Network, but....  (Read 17533 times)

Offline elburko25

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #120 on: June 17, 2015, 06:00:20 PM »
I originally liked the idea of a midwest super-club, but I'm starting to think that the formation of a huge club isn't going to solve the problem of huge clubs being the only ones with a chance at winning CoTY.

Amanda's suggestion about GABF-style categories is a good one. I think it could be made even better by splitting the categories into small regional club, medium regional club, large regional club, and internet-based club. With the current entry limits, I don't see how even a club with 200-300 members can compete with a club that has thousands. FWIW, I come from a large club by most standards, but so few of us compete that we'd never win.
These are my exact thoughts as well. I was one of the people originally advocating the large "superclub", but the more I organized my thoughts the more I would like to just campaign to our AHA governing committee. I love the idea of just seeing if we can change the rules to include clubs of multiple sizes. Maybe like a small club (under 50 members) a medium size (51-150 members) a large club (150-500) and the superclubs (500+)
-Kansas City Bier Meisters Vice President
-BJCP Certified Judge

Offline oldstoneface

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #121 on: June 17, 2015, 06:06:45 PM »
I am loving the civility of this conversation and appreciate all the suggestions to fix a problem that is has gone neglected for years. I was reading another thread from 2011 that was discussing this same issue back when the BN won the first time. The final solution suggested in that thread was to "Brew Better Beer." 5 Years later and the BN dominating all 5 years while placing last in Gambrinus, I doubt anyone would agree that solution works considering this has simply become a numbers game.

IMHO, the boos expressed at the banquet were less out the BN and more about the AHA's inaction in addressing this issue. Like everyone else has stated, I don't blame the BN for working within the rules, I blame the AHA for not doing their job to ensure fairness for EVERY AHA member. Even long standing members of the BN were addressing this issue with me, one even went so far as to say "throwing sh*t against the wall to see what sticks" is not what the true intent of this contest should be.

I think the core issue that needs to be address is what the AHA defines as a club. I know there has been a discussion about not disenfranchising any person, despite their club of choice but again, what defines a club. I'm in ASH and our final round Gold Medal came from a member who was a former Zealot. Granted, he did not have to join our club when he moved into town and probably could have entered as a Zealot if he wanted to, but his new home was in Arizona so he joined the local club. ASH also has many former members who are now with QUAFF since they moved to San Diego. BN members (and other National Internet clubs) do not have to deal with this, while local terrestrial clubs gain and lose members due to locale changes.

I know there is the argument that many BN members are too far from a local club to participate but in my mind, that is just an excuse for the majority of those folks. There was a time when none of our clubs existed. It took a bunch of like-minded people to organize and establish a local club. Well maybe you don't like your local club? Many cities have multiple clubs, in fact I know people who belong to a local club but still claim the BN in comps. Too busy to attend meetings? Many clubs like mine have started recording their meetings, in fact we even started live streaming our meetings for those who cannot attend. So while I get that there are many reasons people choose not to organize locally, those excuses really don't tell the whole story. I too do not want to detract from the good the BN has done for the community, but nothing is more effective than a local grass root effort from boots on the ground.

I too felt quite puzzled as to why they were given the mic at the banquet to accept their award when the other winners were not. Yeah I suppose that could have been just something Justin chose to do on his own and the AHA didn’t want to cause a scene, but maybe it’s because they were producing a show. I mean its great publicity for the For-Profit BN. So is the BN a club or a business/sponsor? We really have no way of answering that as the AHA has continuously failed to fully address what defines a club. I do have to question where the line is drawn. I once worked for a company that was a sponsor of American Idol which meant myself, my family, and any personal close friends were ineligible to try out for the competition. Is there a point where a sponsor becomes too intertwined to the host organization to ensure fairness and neutrality?

So how do we fix it (or does the AHA want to fix it)? Lots of good suggestions in this thread. I really like the separating clubs into chapters based on local and also like the final round points being worth more that first round. I also like using an algorithm to balance out the number of entries to number of points. Not sure if those fix the problem, but they are action rather than inaction. Not too keen on the idea of separating based on club size, but that might be more based on the fact that I am in a larger club and would still get our butts kicked by the BN. Of course maybe segmenting it based on total club entries rather than total club members might work, especially for those larger clubs who have very few members compete. As suggested, adding a national or Internet club category might help, but then again the BN would still dominate its category. Oh and while I love the idea of an ASH-ZEALOTS-QUAFF- SPHBC-ETC super competition club (mostly because I love hanging out with all of you), that just seems silly that we have to resort to those tactics because the AHA won’t address this issue (plus I heard it was actually tried before and the AHA squashed it claiming it was “against the spirit of the competition.”) Another idea I have floated is requiring NHC entries to have placed in another AHA sanctioned competition throughout the before they are eligible to enter the NHC comp, but that might require more resources than available.

At the end of the day, it is not our problem to fix as we do not have the authority to do so. Where we do have control is in our elected Governing Board. If we choose to not hold them accountable (and by accountable I mean bringing this issue to their attention, including suggestions on how to fix it), then it will never change. If they won’t speak for their members, then maybe they do not best represent their regions and need to be replaced by people who better understand their constituents.

Apologies for the novel, but I love this community and don’t want to see it splinter over something so frivolous.

CHEERS!

Offline theDarkSide

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2987
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #122 on: June 17, 2015, 06:56:00 PM »
BN members (and other National Internet clubs) do not have to deal with this, while local terrestrial clubs gain and lose members due to locale changes.
Not so. Several people, myself included, who have entered under the BN club in the past find a local club and enter under that club, even though they know there's no chance of winning a COTY or Gambrinus.  Could I enter under the BN and go up on stage during the conference?  Sure, but that's not why I and most people enter.

Many cities have multiple clubs, in fact I know people who belong to a local club but still claim the BN in comps. Too busy to attend meetings? Many clubs like mine have started recording their meetings, in fact we even started live streaming our meetings for those who cannot attend.
A lot of people don't live in a city.  some may be far away from a local club or in a rural area where there aren't a lot of homebrewers or homebrewers interested in being in a club to form one.  Also, a lot of people got their homebrewing chops from the BN and have a connection with the members, chatting in the forums or on the live chat during show and meeting outside of the BN broadcasts to brew, attend beer festivals or just hang out.

So you are saying if you stream your meetings and watch them online, you are a club member and can legitimately join as a member of that club?  Sounds like an internet based club.

I too felt quite puzzled as to why they were given the mic at the banquet to accept their award when the other winners were not.  Yeah I suppose that could have been just something Justin chose to do on his own and the AHA didn’t want to cause a scene, but maybe it’s because they were producing a show.
Do you honestly think Gary would deny the Gambrinus winner time on the microphone?  Even Mark Schoppe was being called out by the crowd to give a speech but he declined.  Obviously, Justin is comfortable addressing a crowd and grabbing the microphone on behalf of the BN Army is second nature to him.

So is the BN a club or a business/sponsor? We really have no way of answering that as the AHA has continuously failed to fully address what defines a club.
Even though Justin accepted the award for the BN Army, he has nothing to do with the forming of the BN club.  It was a listener who didn't have access to his own club and setup the BN Army as a sanctioned club.  He even handed off the trophy to one of the winners for him to take back to his table because it was his award.

Not sure if those fix the problem, but they are action rather than inaction. Not too keen on the idea of separating based on club size, but that might be more based on the fact that I am in a larger club and would still get our butts kicked by the BN.

Of course maybe segmenting it based on total club entries rather than total club members might work, especially for those larger clubs who have very few members compete.
Quaff came within 6 points of winning last year.  It's been rumored that it was only a couple points this year but until the AHA publishes those numbers, it's just a rumor.

Another idea I have floated is requiring NHC entries to have placed in another AHA sanctioned competition throughout the before they are eligible to enter the NHC comp, but that might require more resources than available.
Not sure how well this would work since they are probably already entering in competitions throughout the year.

At the end of the day, it is not our problem to fix as we do not have the authority to do so. Where we do have control is in our elected Governing Board. If we choose to not hold them accountable (and by accountable I mean bringing this issue to their attention, including suggestions on how to fix it), then it will never change. If they won’t speak for their members, then maybe they do not best represent their regions and need to be replaced by people who better understand their constituents.
I've never considered a GC member to be regional.  I expect the folks in CA as well as the East Coast to take the entire membership into account when making suggestions to the AHA.  I'm sure the next monthly phone call is going to be interesting.

Apologies for the novel, but I love this community and don’t want to see it splinter over something so frivolous.
CHEERS!

Agree with you here!  I'm really not trying to be argumentative here as I believe a fair change is necessary, but felt I needed to address some of your statements above.

RDWHAHB and Brew Strong!
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo
------------------------------------------------

Offline oldstoneface

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #123 on: June 17, 2015, 07:50:04 PM »
BN members (and other National Internet clubs) do not have to deal with this, while local terrestrial clubs gain and lose members due to locale changes.
Not so. Several people, myself included, who have entered under the BN club in the past find a local club and enter under that club, even though they know there's no chance of winning a COTY or Gambrinus.  Could I enter under the BN and go up on stage during the conference?  Sure, but that's not why I and most people enter.
I didn’t intend on this being an “absolute” so please don’t take it as such, but members of a terrestrial club are far more likely to switch clubs when they relocate than those of a national club.
Many cities have multiple clubs, in fact I know people who belong to a local club but still claim the BN in comps. Too busy to attend meetings? Many clubs like mine have started recording their meetings, in fact we even started live streaming our meetings for those who cannot attend.
A lot of people don't live in a city.  some may be far away from a local club or in a rural area where there aren't a lot of homebrewers or homebrewers interested in being in a club to form one.  Also, a lot of people got their homebrewing chops from the BN and have a connection with the members, chatting in the forums or on the live chat during show and meeting outside of the BN broadcasts to brew, attend beer festivals or just hang out.
So you are saying if you stream your meetings and watch them online, you are a club member and can legitimately join as a member of that club?  Sounds like an internet based club.
I addressed most of these points in my original comment, but will again offer my opinion that if you can belong to a local club, give it a shot even if that means you being the catalyst to get one started. Heck rally some of your fellow local BN members if needed. Chatting online or video will never replace the awesomeness of in-person interaction.
Do we have an internet presence, yes? But we aren’t “based” on the Internet. By your loose definition, I doubt any local club would not be classified as an “Internet based club”as I would gather we all use the Internet to communicate. In contrast, we hold regular in person meetings with a good chunk of our members present and most of our members live local to Phoenix. 
I too felt quite puzzled as to why they were given the mic at the banquet to accept their award when the other winners were not.  Yeah I suppose that could have been just something Justin chose to do on his own and the AHA didn’t want to cause a scene, but maybe it’s because they were producing a show.
Do you honestly think Gary would deny the Gambrinus winner time on the microphone?  Even Mark Schoppe was being called out by the crowd to give a speech but he declined.  Obviously, Justin is comfortable addressing a crowd and grabbing the microphone on behalf of the BN Army is second nature to him.
Just my observation and I’m not the only one who brought this up on this forum or that night. I learned a long time ago that sometimes perception is just as important as reality.
So is the BN a club or a business/sponsor? We really have no way of answering that as the AHA has continuously failed to fully address what defines a club.
Even though Justin accepted the award for the BN Army, he has nothing to do with the forming of the BN club.  It was a listener who didn't have access to his own club and setup the BN Army as a sanctioned club.  He even handed off the trophy to one of the winners for him to take back to his table because it was his award.
Yes, I know the story, but Justin is the face of the BN both business and club, otherwise someone else would have grabbed the mic and accepted the award. In mine and many other clubs we elect a board and officers. Again, I don’t see how this answers where the line is drawn between a club and a business.
Not sure if those fix the problem, but they are action rather than inaction. Not too keen on the idea of separating based on club size, but that might be more based on the fact that I am in a larger club and would still get our butts kicked by the BN.

Of course maybe segmenting it based on total club entries rather than total club members might work, especially for those larger clubs who have very few members compete.
Quaff came within 6 points of winning last year.  It's been rumored that it was only a couple points this year but until the AHA publishes those numbers, it's just a rumor.
Yes, QUAFF is also a large club, as is mine and I will be the first to admit that this is a numbers game rather than seeking out the club that produces the best beer. I’m sure QUAFF was real close this year too because they have a numerous amount of great brewers.
Another idea I have floated is requiring NHC entries to have placed in another AHA sanctioned competition throughout the before they are eligible to enter the NHC comp, but that might require more resources than available.
Not sure how well this would work since they are probably already entering in competitions throughout the year.
Assuming those competitions are AHA sanctioned then they would count as a way to earn a ticket into an NHC comp. This was actually a suggestion on a survey created by the AHA a few years back.
At the end of the day, it is not our problem to fix as we do not have the authority to do so. Where we do have control is in our elected Governing Board. If we choose to not hold them accountable (and by accountable I mean bringing this issue to their attention, including suggestions on how to fix it), then it will never change. If they won’t speak for their members, then maybe they do not best represent their regions and need to be replaced by people who better understand their constituents.
I've never considered a GC member to be regional.  I expect the folks in CA as well as the East Coast to take the entire membership into account when making suggestions to the AHA.  I'm sure the next monthly phone call is going to be interesting.
Yeah I would hope that the GC work as a solidified team, but it’s those boots on the ground that can visually relay what they see and hear first hand. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that phone call.
Apologies for the novel, but I love this community and don’t want to see it splinter over something so frivolous.
CHEERS!
Agree with you here!  I'm really not trying to be argumentative here as I believe a fair change is necessary, but felt I needed to address some of your statements above.

RDWHAHB and Brew Strong!
Fortunately NHC did not kill my liver so RDWHAHB is still my mantra. CHEERS!

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8956
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #124 on: June 17, 2015, 08:02:56 PM »
GC members are elected at large, no regions for the elections. We do listen to the member input.

Fill out that survey. If you feel strongly about it, e-mail the AHA and the competition sub-committee.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline theDarkSide

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2987
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #125 on: June 17, 2015, 08:16:20 PM »
GC members are elected at large, no regions for the elections. We do listen to the member input.

Fill out that survey. If you feel strongly about it, e-mail the AHA and the competition sub-committee.

Jeff,
I know the survey is mostly going to be looking for feedback from San Diego, but will there be one for the membership as a whole, especially if it provides feedback for future conference and competition rules.  I assume the survey you are talking about is only being sent to those who attended San Diego.

Thanks!
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo
------------------------------------------------

Offline oldstoneface

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #126 on: June 17, 2015, 09:23:10 PM »
GC members are elected at large, no regions for the elections. We do listen to the member input.

Fill out that survey. If you feel strongly about it, e-mail the AHA and the competition sub-committee.

Jeff,
I know the survey is mostly going to be looking for feedback from San Diego, but will there be one for the membership as a whole, especially if it provides feedback for future conference and competition rules.  I assume the survey you are talking about is only being sent to those who attended San Diego.

Thanks!
I know in the past, I have gotten one specifically for the competition and future NHC locations, even if I didn't attend NHC so hopefully that is still in effect.

Offline narvin

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2262
  • Baltimore
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #127 on: June 17, 2015, 10:49:28 PM »
Everyone not in the BN could enter as "Anti-BN" next year.  It's like teaming up with the Russians to destroy Hitler!
Please do not reply if your[sic] an evil alien!
Thanks

Offline Hella Hazy

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #128 on: June 17, 2015, 10:51:45 PM »
Aww man I want to know what the offensive thing said at BNA10 was now.  Could someone fill me in?

Love the BN.  They may be a little crude for some, but once you talk to them they're really a great group of people.  They aren't like their radio personas at all.  Well, except for JP.

Offline troybinso

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #129 on: June 18, 2015, 12:01:57 AM »
Seems to me that most of the arguments about changing the rules can be summed up like this:

"What can we do to make it so the BN doesn't win next year? "

That kind of seems like poor sportsmanship to me.

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4485
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #130 on: June 18, 2015, 12:29:45 AM »
Seems to me that most of the arguments about changing the rules can be summed up like this:

"What can we do to make it so the BN doesn't win next year?"

That kind of seems like poor sportsmanship to me.

The consensus in this thread, having just skimmed it, seems to be more along the lines of "What can we do to ensure that clubs of all sizes compete on a level playing field?"
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #131 on: June 18, 2015, 12:52:46 AM »
I'd be in favor of eliminating this goofy award altogether, but I've already stated that.  I don't want to come up with a way to defeat the BN.  This award, as it is currently written, caters to groups with large numbers. 
I still love the BN, and there is really no arguing their reach and influence in the brewing community.  They're a tremendous asset to home brewers, IMO and have helped my own brewing greatly. 
The award still stinks.   

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk


Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #132 on: June 18, 2015, 02:12:37 AM »
Seems to me that most of the arguments about changing the rules can be summed up like this:

"What can we do to make it so the BN doesn't win next year?"

That kind of seems like poor sportsmanship to me.

The consensus in this thread, having just skimmed it, seems to be more along the lines of "What can we do to ensure that clubs of all sizes compete on a level playing field?"
Agreed Sean.

I believe several of us have said something to the effect of "this isn't about the BN, it's about the AHA".
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline udubdawg

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1080
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #133 on: June 18, 2015, 02:41:16 AM »
if before the competition starts you know the COTY is either Club A or Club B...well, how meaningful is that?

Could anyone really argue with giving it to the club that earns the most points in the Final Round?  The ones with the most bling?  A club version of Ninkasi, basically?  As it is now we give out all these medals for best, trophies for best of the best, and then finish with one "biggest" award.  Woo-hoo.


 

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8956
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: I like the Brewing Network, but....
« Reply #134 on: June 18, 2015, 03:19:48 AM »
GC members are elected at large, no regions for the elections. We do listen to the member input.

Fill out that survey. If you feel strongly about it, e-mail the AHA and the competition sub-committee.

Jeff,
I know the survey is mostly going to be looking for feedback from San Diego, but will there be one for the membership as a whole, especially if it provides feedback for future conference and competition rules.  I assume the survey you are talking about is only being sent to those who attended San Diego.

Thanks!
Yes, I was talking about the SD survey. There is usually a where would you want to see the conference question.

There will be more surveys, participate! One can always contact the AHA. Give your input to the staff or the committee chairs.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!