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 6347 times)

Offline denny

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #45 on: December 30, 2010, 07:12:54 PM »
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.

Or maybe they want to have their beer evaluated by people trained in tasting.  Beer judges may not be perfect, but they are generally experienced and have had their senses "certified" by others.  Again, that may not be important to you, but everybody should decide for themselves what's important.  What you or I think about it shouldn't matter to someone else.
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Offline denny

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #46 on: December 30, 2010, 07:14:16 PM »
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.

Yeah, there's a woman around here who won (IIRC) $100K in the Pillsbury Bakeoff.  I think competitions for homemade products have been around at least as long as homebrewing has.
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Offline punatic

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2010, 07:35:26 PM »
Sorry you have soured on comps in your area, perhaps you should move  ;D

I did six years ago.  (not due to homebrew competitions though).  :D


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).

The discussion got started on the Competition Ethics thread.  We kind of hijacked stlaleman's question about how to enter a melomel in a competition.

Then there was this exchange and it got me thinking that it would be better to take it to a new thread and pose it as a poll question.

If you are defensive about your experience with competitions, why not just avoid the threads discussing them?

Perhaps there are members of the Brewers' Association who feel that the association spends too much time and resources promoting competition instead of just promoting brewing?

I didn't see that opinion voiced.

I was just wondering about how the homebrew club paradigm has come to look so much like a bowling league.  From the results so far, 2/3 of the respondants like it that way. 

I am enjoying the discussion very much.

And Denny, you are a stand up guy!
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Offline denny

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2010, 07:53:56 PM »
And Denny, you are a stand up guy!

Thanks.  When you make mistakes as often as I do, you learn the virtue of apology!
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Offline johnf

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2010, 08:02:42 PM »


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

This "I don't brew to style" objection doesn't hold much water. As I judge, I have marked beers down for not being to style (although beers that score low are far more likely to have process flaws than style flaws). In most cases there is a better style to have entered it in. The problem isn't brewing to style it is knowing how to enter the beer you have and not the one you thought you made.

I've got just about enough points to be National, nearly all of them judging, and I can't think of one time I had an outstanding beer that wouldn't have scored high in any of the categories. It just doesn't happen.

Offline bluesman

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2010, 08:11:07 PM »
I guess braggin' rights means more to some people.

Winning a competition is something to be proud of...

I for one take alot of pride in my beer and would like to believe every homebrewer does as well.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2010, 08:20:39 PM »
I guess braggin' rights means more to some people.

Has anyone ever heard someone like Gordon Strong brag about winning?  I hear he's won a few medals in the past :)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 08:22:16 PM by theDarkSide »
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #52 on: December 30, 2010, 10:25:51 PM »
Has anyone ever heard someone like Gordon Strong brag about winning?  I hear he's won a few medals in the past :)

Christ, you can't get him to shut up about it!  :o

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Offline lonnie mac

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2010, 10:37:57 PM »
I know I don't really care about winning. So I changed my avatar to prove it!

Offline markaberrant

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #54 on: December 30, 2010, 10:42:50 PM »
This "I don't brew to style" objection doesn't hold much water. As I judge, I have marked beers down for not being to style (although beers that score low are far more likely to have process flaws than style flaws). In most cases there is a better style to have entered it in. The problem isn't brewing to style it is knowing how to enter the beer you have and not the one you thought you made.

I've got just about enough points to be National, nearly all of them judging, and I can't think of one time I had an outstanding beer that wouldn't have scored high in any of the categories. It just doesn't happen.

Just wanted to say I agree wholeheartedly with this (I'm also .5 pts shy of National).  Can't say I have ever come across a great beer that would not have scored well if entered in the proper category.

Offline punatic

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #55 on: December 30, 2010, 11:24:08 PM »
Has anyone ever heard someone like Gordon Strong brag about winning?  I hear he's won a few medals in the past :)

Christ, you can't get him to shut up about it!  :o

 ;D

Strong beers?
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Offline tubercle

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #56 on: December 31, 2010, 01:08:49 AM »
Hopefully anyone that ever wants to enter in a completion gets to and is judged fairly and best wishes to them.

 Tubercle hasn't and has no plans to. No need to judge my beer because it is already to my liking; if not, it would already have been changed.
 
 Besides, as I have said before, I'll mail the judge 3 of my beers when they mail me 3 of theirs. Fair enough.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #57 on: December 31, 2010, 03:58:15 AM »


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

This "I don't brew to style" objection doesn't hold much water. As I judge, I have marked beers down for not being to style (although beers that score low are far more likely to have process flaws than style flaws). In most cases there is a better style to have entered it in. The problem isn't brewing to style it is knowing how to enter the beer you have and not the one you thought you made.

I've got just about enough points to be National, nearly all of them judging, and I can't think of one time I had an outstanding beer that wouldn't have scored high in any of the categories. It just doesn't happen.

My point is, that I don't care to get anal about a particular style. I taste a beer that I like and then make adjustments to my particular  tastes and to what I have in my inventory. If making a beer just to satisfy a judge or to an exact style is important, then go for it. It's just not my thing.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 04:22:25 AM by Mikey »

Offline johnf

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2010, 04:43:50 AM »


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

This "I don't brew to style" objection doesn't hold much water. As I judge, I have marked beers down for not being to style (although beers that score low are far more likely to have process flaws than style flaws). In most cases there is a better style to have entered it in. The problem isn't brewing to style it is knowing how to enter the beer you have and not the one you thought you made.

I've got just about enough points to be National, nearly all of them judging, and I can't think of one time I had an outstanding beer that wouldn't have scored high in any of the categories. It just doesn't happen.

My point is, that I don't care to get anal about a particular style. I taste a beer that I like and then make adjustments to my particular  tastes and to what I have in my inventory. If making a beer just to satisfy a judge or to an exact style is important, then go for it. It's just not my thing.

Thats fine and I don't know any homebrewers that brew to satisfy judges (though I know some that enter and win a lot, which does not imply that competitions rule how they brew, they just make good beer and win a lot). I certainly wouldn't recommend it. I'm just saying that if you brew a technically great beer that "works", there is a category in which it will medal so people shouldn't feel like competitions have no value if they aren't some sort of mythical style nazi.

Competitions are always optional though. I don't try to talk people in or out of doing them.

I agree that the feedback can be of variable quality. My recommendations to people with this concern are typically to enter the best judged competitions (which are the hardest to win, in general) and learn how to parse the feedback. If you like a lot of crystal malt in an IPA and a judge says that it is too much crystal you can recognize this as a difference in opinion or interpretation and ignore it as you know what you like. If the judge says it has diacetyl you should think about whether or not they are right (did other judges pick it up, do you, do you know how your diacetyl threshold compares to others).

I think QA is important in any brewery and competitions are one of the many ways for a homebrewer to engage others in the QA process for their beers.

Offline markaberrant

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Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #59 on: December 31, 2010, 02:02:07 PM »
I agree that the feedback can be of variable quality. My recommendations to people with this concern are typically to enter the best judged competitions (which are the hardest to win, in general) and learn how to parse the feedback. If you like a lot of crystal malt in an IPA and a judge says that it is too much crystal you can recognize this as a difference in opinion or interpretation and ignore it as you know what you like. If the judge says it has diacetyl you should think about whether or not they are right (did other judges pick it up, do you, do you know how your diacetyl threshold compares to others).

I hear this complaint a lot on message boards - the judges suck, they don't know what they are doing, the feedback is poor, etc.  While there should be at least one qualified judge at a table to ensure you get one decent scoresheet and that the consensus score is at least in the ballpark, this isn't always the case either.  So yeah, this bugs me.  HOWEVER, I also recognize that judges need to learn how to be good judges, so I always take poor scoresheets with a grain of salt (except for the one I got from a National judge that had less than 10 words on the whole page... I keep meaning to frame that one).  As long as I feel the competition/organizing club is trying to do the best they can to improve, I will continue to support them.  I suppose things may be different in the US, but in Canada, we just don't have that many competitions (or strong craft beer/homebrewing scenes ), so I try to look at things a little more altruistically, and do my part, so to speak.