Poll

The AHA spends quite a bit of time and resources promoting homebrew competitions.  As a member of the AHA do you feel the AHA spends:

Too much time and resources on hombrew competitions?
9 (13.4%)
Not enough time and resources on homebrew competitions?
6 (9%)
The right amount of time and resources on homebrew competitions?
44 (65.7%)
bouef...
8 (11.9%)

Total Members Voted: 65

Author Topic: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions  (Read 4669 times)

Offline lonnie mac

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2010, 08:45:14 PM »
I appreciate the effort AHA puts into competitions even though I don't plan to enter one anytime soon (if ever).  I like to read the stories, read the recipes, etc., and I consider the recipes that come out of these competitions to be a great insight into current interpretations of beer styles. As these recipes accrue, they become historical records of styles "back in the day," as well as a snapshot of the evolving face of homebrewing.

So for me, to the question "how much time/resources does AHA put into competitions," the response would be "just enough." In addition, the AHA advocates for homebrewing, provides this forum, has an excellent magazine, and otherwise gives me a lot of bang for the cost of membership.

I don't care about the dollar amount (not even as a percentage) because it wouldn't make sense out of context of understanding the entire AHA budget, which would take more than numbers on a page.

Jebus H. This is well said!

Offline punatic

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2010, 12:07:02 AM »
...the AHA advocates for homebrewing, provides this forum, has an excellent magazine, and otherwise gives me a lot of bang for the cost of membership...

I'm with you there kgs.  I enjoy my AHA membership and consider it to have excellent value.  Usually, within a day or two of my current issue of Zymurgy arriving I am inspired to fire the kettle.  I really enjoy my interaction with other brewers via this forum too.

I hope that all understand my questioning the reasons people pursue beer competition is curiosity, and is certainly not meant as criticism of the BA or AHA.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2010, 03:37:18 AM »
Sorry if this has been said before, but I think competitions serve as an excellent learning tool. There's nobody out here to sample my beer and tell me what I could be doing better, and I see that as being a function of competitions. You can, of course, have your local club do the same sorts of things with tastings, but with a competition you're getting opinions from people who have been trained to know the styles and can identify exactly what the off flavors might be.
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Offline punatic

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2010, 03:57:38 AM »
...with a competition you're getting opinions from people who have been trained to know the styles and can identify exactly what the off flavors might be.

Sounds good, and that's the way it's supposed to work, but quite often it is not.  Many times I had the exact same beer judged by 6 or 8 different judges and got 6 or 8 different opinions.  Which is correct?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2010, 04:18:19 AM »
...the AHA advocates for homebrewing, provides this forum, has an excellent magazine, and otherwise gives me a lot of bang for the cost of membership...

I'm with you there kgs.  I enjoy my AHA membership and consider it to have excellent value.  Usually, within a day or two of my current issue of Zymurgy arriving I am inspired to fire the kettle.  I really enjoy my interaction with other brewers via this forum too.

I hope that all understand my questioning the reasons people pursue beer competition is curiosity, and is certainly not meant as criticism of the BA or AHA.

I can certainly respect that punatic.  :)
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2010, 04:43:21 AM »
...with a competition you're getting opinions from people who have been trained to know the styles and can identify exactly what the off flavors might be.

Sounds good, and that's the way it's supposed to work, but quite often it is not.  Many times I had the exact same beer judged by 6 or 8 different judges and got 6 or 8 different opinions.  Which is correct?

I should add that I've never entered a comp before - in my mind it should work that way, but if it's not the case... :-(
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2010, 06:19:42 AM »
the reasons people pursue beer competition is curiosity,

The reason:  To win!!  :D Can't believe no one has said it yet.  It's not the reason I brew ( my midsection can attest to that ) but I don't enter a competition just for feedback.  Although that is invaluable too.
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Offline joeysmokedporter

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2010, 06:20:21 AM »
I voted "right amount of time and resources".  I am getting the impression from this thread that the poll question was an indirect way of probing why people enter competitions (and maybe would have been better posed that way).  So I'll address both.

Time and resources - I don't see anything out of line here.  It has been adequately explained by those in the know that the time and resources are relatively limited at the NHC.  Lots of artisanal crafts have competitions - for example, cheesemaking, baking, farm animals, big pumpkin contests...it is not unusual for at least some segment of the people involved to want some way of measuring where their handle of the craft stands against others.  So I have no problem with the AHA's relatively limited application of resources toward the NHC.  It sounds like in some cases, homebrew clubs put a lot of resources into competitions, but this should be separated from the AHA's investment of resources.

Why are people interested? Speaking for myself I enter foremost to get feedback on how to improve my brewing and my process, and I have definitely succeeded here.  Yes, some competitions have provided better feedback than others, but I have found more often than not the remarks from judges to be very thoughtful and in the spirit of helping me improve my brewing. I admit that I also have a competitive side, but to me any ribbons I have won are validation of research, experimentation, and work to improve and control my process.

If there are others like me who have these interests (and given the responses, I know at least the feedback part is shared by others who enter competitions), then what is the problem with devotion of a limited amount of resources, if it seems to be something that promotes (good) brewing at large?  
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Offline MDixon

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2010, 09:19:21 AM »
Sounds good, and that's the way it's supposed to work, but quite often it is not.  Many times I had the exact same beer judged by 6 or 8 different judges and got 6 or 8 different opinions.  Which is correct?

It could be all are correct or at least some. I remember a beer I had I was entering, but hadn't tasted in awhile got a slight acetadehyde comment at one comp, a moderate at the next and at a third a strong (one of the judges was the same as the first comp). I tasted it an quickly went to watering trees with the brew. So all were correct at any given time.

Sorry you have soured on comps in your area, perhaps you should move  ;D
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Offline hike20

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2010, 10:37:18 AM »
There is no right answer when it comes to judging beers. It's a qualitative process, so of course feedback is going to differ. If you are looking for an absolute, then the only recourse I can offer is to submit your beer to whatever god you worship, if any. You may have to wait a while for feedback, however.

As for why people enter competitions? That's like asking why people do anything at all. Everyone's motivations are different. But in general, people tend to be competitive. Pretty much every hobby or activity I can think of has some sort of opportunity for competition. Some would argue it's human nature. If the AHA didn't offer to run a national competition, I'd bet they would be strongly pressured by the membership to do so.

I can respect that someone who has been brewing and competing for many years might get burnt out of competitions. I don't think of myself as having a strongly competitive disposition. I am a new brewer, however, and am starting to enter competitions because I want feedback. I'm not expecting it to provide me anything other that another person's (hopefully) objective perspective.

As for clubs: My club picks four styles a year randomly for informal competition. I wouldn't say it's the driving focus of our club at all. We have a diverse group and we have diverse activities. If you are not satisfied with how you club is run you are free to start your own club with a different set of goals.

Offline Mikey

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2010, 11:25:13 AM »
Obviously, I don't enter beer competitions. I have to wonder about the people that do. If you started baking would you submit your bread to competitions? How about other styles of cooking? If you are a woodworker do you enter your projects into competitions?

If you do cook, do you stay within a particular style? I make lasagna and I add a little cayenne pepper, but that's probably not done in Italy. In fact, much of my cooking is not traditional. Where does your adherence to "rules" and "styles" stop?

I know what I like and I brew to that style. I'd probably get slammed in a competition.

Offline bluesman

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2010, 11:43:56 AM »
I know what I like and I brew to that style. I'd probably get slammed in a competition.

You're probably right. That's a good reason to avoid competitions.

I know many homebrewers that don't compete that are fantastic homebrewers IMO.

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Offline denny

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2010, 11:44:58 AM »
Obviously, I don't enter beer competitions. I have to wonder about the people that do. If you started baking would you submit your bread to competitions? How about other styles of cooking? If you are a woodworker do you enter your projects into competitions?


Guess you've never been to a state or county fair...they do those things and more!

And it sounds like you've got valid reasons why you don't compete.  But surely you wouldn't want to deny that right to others. 
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Offline Mikey

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #43 on: December 30, 2010, 11:54:36 AM »
Obviously, I don't enter beer competitions. I have to wonder about the people that do. If you started baking would you submit your bread to competitions? How about other styles of cooking? If you are a woodworker do you enter your projects into competitions?


Guess you've never been to a state or county fair...they do those things and more!

And it sounds like you've got valid reasons why you don't compete.  But surely you wouldn't want to deny that right to others. 

Nope, not at all, but I truly don't get why it is so important to some people. I guess braggin' rights means more to some people.

Offline tygo

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #44 on: December 30, 2010, 11:56:43 AM »
Obviously, I don't enter beer competitions. I have to wonder about the people that do. If you started baking would you submit your bread to competitions?

My cousin is a chef.  He entered an apple pie into a pastry combination.  Won some money too as I recall.
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