Author Topic: Competition Reviews  (Read 371 times)

Offline aufrankie

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Competition Reviews
« on: August 01, 2018, 04:20:28 PM »
I've searched and have been unable to find a forum or link on the AHA main site for possible competition reviews. Can anyone direct me, if there is one? Have only been entering for the last 10 months but have learned a lot about well organized vs not so well organized. Not trying to defame any organizer, just don't want to enter another comp where literally 90% of the medals went to 2 local clubs out of 400 entries? I've gotten great and constructive feedback in comps I didn't medal in and "meh" feedback in ones I received gold in. I've asked organizers of many of them if they knew of such a place on AHA and none of them knew. Any guidance is appreciated!

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Competition Reviews
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 07:33:28 PM »
I keep track on my own of which competitions I believe to be the best & worst based on the experiences of mine and my friends.  However, I am not aware of any online reviews.  I would think publishing such a thing would not be very kind, given that many/most competitions are not out to make much if any profit, and that different volunteers with different qualifications are involved from year to year.  It's true that competitions can be a crapshoot, and that any given comp can be good one year and bad the next.  This exact topic is part of the reason why I no longer enter very many competitions anymore (there are many other reasons also that I won't get into here, besides the obvious: "laziness"!).

While I do think there is *some* consistency in performance at the same place, same people, same time, etc., I also know for a fact there can be a LOT of changes and variability from time to time, much like the stock market where it is often said "past performance is no guarantee of future performance" or words to that effect.  I'm also aware of at least one or two examples of competitions where after several years, the club apparently had finally gone through enough grief that they replaced the organizer and basically started over from scratch, but still same place, same time, same name of the competition.  I'm sure there are other similar examples out there all over the place.

So no, I don't know if you can or should find such reviews, nor should you necessarily even base entrance to a comp on such reviews.  Understand first and foremost that competitions are ALWAYS a crapshoot, then knowing that key fact, choose whether or not you want to enter anyway.  Maybe you do, maybe you don't.  And/or, keep track on your own.  That's what I do.  That's the more polite thing to do, I think.  I'm not going to badmouth publicly any competition where I think the judges suck every year.  I *know* this *does* happen.  But I'm not going to shame them publicly.  Sometimes a judge just has a bad day, too.  We're not perfect machines.  We're humans, and we have subjectivity and bias and all that.  Never going to be perfect, nor even consistently pretty great or whatever.  If you find a comp you don't like, don't enter it anymore.  Find another one.  There are HUNDREDS of comps you can enter if you don't mind shipping.

I feel like I'm rambling so I'll stop here.  Cheers and good luck.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 07:35:20 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Competition Reviews
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 12:18:16 PM »
If this was a properly run, anonymous-sample contest, there is no way that favoritism had an impact on awards or feedback. The judges and organizers just don't know if they're dissing or celebrating their buddy's beer. That fact that the awards went to the local clubs is more likely to mean: They have better beers.

Um, the other reason that 90% of the awards went to the locals is that they probably made up the lion's share of the entries. Just assuming that their brewers are just as capable as more distant brewers, the rules of probability still indicate that they are going to take more medals due to their greater entry numbers. 
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Competition Reviews
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 12:27:48 PM »
+1 to all Martin's comments as well.  I know when my club runs a competition, probably a good 1/4 to 1/3 of all the entries are from our club.  Reasons being that we don't need to ship, it's just easier to enter, and of course the organizers and directors are in our club pestering us to enter too -- not because we want to win the majority of all the awards, but just because it is so easy to enter and we talk about it a lot so we are repeatedly reminded of it.  There is probably a competition this weekend within 100 miles of me.  But will I enter it?  Probably not, because it's not RIGHT IN MY FACE reminding me a lot that it exists.  If I need to drive a long way or ship an entry, it just stands to logic that I'll be much much less likely to enter than if the comp is within 10 miles and all my buddies keep reminding me about it.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Competition Reviews
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 12:53:15 PM »
Another factor is proper handling. It's rare that a beer benefits from 10 days of bouncing around in a 100° trailer