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 4800 times)

Offline Mikey

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2010, 03:46:52 PM »
So, how much do they spend in competitions?

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13850
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2010, 03:56:31 PM »
Also, I think it's a mis-perception that the AHA spends all this time and effort on competitions, though the visibility of the competitions can easily lead to the perception.  The AHA does many things that are not as public, particularly the legislative efforts to legalize homebrewing.  Some of these efforts could perhaps use more publicity.

The only comp run by the AHA is the NHC.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3030
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2010, 04:00:01 PM »
The only comp run by the AHA is the NHC.

Mis-perception confirmed.  Thank you, Denny.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1681
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2010, 04:27:48 PM »
ugh
Don AHA member

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4583
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2010, 06:17:27 PM »
I guess I'm sort of confused here, and I've been following both threads.

Are you against competitions altogether?

Or is your concern more along the lines that it appears that the AHA spends too much time/money/effort organizing competitions?

FTR (and I'm repeating myself) I don't compete but it doesn't bother me that they exist.  Kinda like Jerry Springer.  I don't watch, but it's fine if you do.

Also, I think it's a mis-perception that the AHA spends all this time and effort on competitions, though the visibility of the competitions can easily lead to the perception.  The AHA does many things that are not as public, particularly the legislative efforts to legalize homebrewing.  Some of these efforts could perhaps use more publicity.

No, I'm not against beer competitions, homebrew or probrew. I said time and resources, not money and effort.  I don't participate in them any more because I don't find it enjoyable any more.  I'm wondering why homebrewing has evolved into a competitive undertaking for so many.  It seems to me that as soon as your fellow homebrew club members have showed you how to brew, they're pushing you to enter your beer in a competition.  Why?

I find it amusing that johnf say, "So it sounds like you dislike the conference as well. So you don't want the AHA to be involved in competitions or education. What are appropriate activities?"  It confirms my belief that people tend to read what they are thinking not what is written.  I really enjoy going to the NHCs for the social activities.  I just don't care to participate in the competition or judging any more.

It is a bit distressing that Denny says:

Just drink it and enjoy it. Why do you need someone else telling you it's good or bad?

Because maybe you have another reason for brewing than simply "I like it and my drunken friends like it, so it must be good".  If that's your motivation, no problem, but not everyone has the same reasons.

Am I to take this to mean that since I don't enter my beers in competitions my friends are drunks, or am I now the one reading what I am thinking, not what is actually written?

Again, if you like to participate in brewing competitions I'm happy that you have found something you enjoy.  Go for it.  I'm just trying to understand why so much emphasis is placed on competing. 

Probrewers competing for market share makes sense to me.  Homebrewers competing seems like... ?
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907

Offline dbeechum

  • Administrator
  • Brewmaster General
  • *****
  • Posts: 2437
  • Pasadena, CA
    • View Profile
    • Experimental Brewing
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2010, 06:41:34 PM »
I'm not a competition guy (although I organize several). I've won medals, but truthfully, I'm so busy and lazy that I can't be bothered to bottle anything. :)

The AHA does spend time and energy on the competitions like the NHC, the Club Only Comps and the Pro-Am (with the BA in general). Most of that work is done by volunteers with Janis keeping an supervisory eye over it.  It's time well spent because competition keeps a sizable audience engaged and energized. It also provides the group a convenient lever to build contests and rewards around. Put a group of people together in something that takes skill to pull off and at some point, someone will want to prove they can do it better.

Does someone winning tons of medals mean they're a better brewer? Not really. It means they have a tight process and know how to make beer that judges find appealing. There is a lot to learn from that, but it doesn't really mean that they enjoy the beer more than you or your friends do.

And all those folks you see running around at the conference working for the AHA? All but 3.5 of them really are BA employees. (The exceptions being Gary, Kate, Janis and half of Jill)

If you don't like to compete, then do what I do and don't.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
- Vote in the AHA GC Election! - http://bit.ly/1aV9GVd  -
-----
Burbling:
Gnome is in the Details
*Experimental Brewing - The Book*
Tap:
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Tupelo Mead
Farmhouse Brett Saison

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4583
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2010, 06:44:42 PM »
Nicely said dbeechum.  Just out of curiosity, which half of Jill belongs to which association?   ;D
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6197
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2010, 06:54:11 PM »
We go to the NHC and have a great time - that is why we keep going back.  I would be glad to talk to any of you at the next NHC - especially those I have already met at previous ones.

I enter in some competitions, but not that many.  One thing at the NHC, is that if you have a beer in the second round, you tend to pay more attention during the banquet.  I have found this to work for me.

Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline markaberrant

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 251
  • Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
    • View Profile
    • ALES Club
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2010, 07:40:12 PM »
No, I'm not against beer competitions, homebrew or probrew. I said time and resources, not money and effort.  I don't participate in them any more because I don't find it enjoyable any more.  I'm wondering why homebrewing has evolved into a competitive undertaking for so many.  It seems to me that as soon as your fellow homebrew club members have showed you how to brew, they're pushing you to enter your beer in a competition.  Why?

I enter a lot of comps, but I certainly don't take winning/losing seriously.  It is a fun thing, I enter beers, my friends enter beers, we judge the beers, we see where the chips may fall, then we congratulate the winners, have a few a laughs and drink a few more beers.  Good times, and we all become better brewers, judges and friends as a result.

Our club "gently" encourages members to enter comps, but we respect those that do not, and comps are certainly not the focus of our club.  I have probably won more than my fair share of medals, but I get most excited when a new member wins something, I'm usually the first to congratulate them and ask them more about the beer they brewed.

I am not painting you with the same brush as some people I know, but I do know some people that frankly can't handle comps.  They take it too serious; they rub it in when they win, strut around showing off their medals, but then call shenanigans when they lose.  We used to have several of these types in our club, and fortunately they have all dropped out.  I ran into one of them recently, and they flat out told me they could never go back because their personality is just too competitive.

Offline Mikey

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2010, 07:42:30 PM »
Denny, you asked me what is too much when it comes to money being spent on competitions, That implies that money is spent. So, I'll ask you again, how much is spent on competitions?

Offline lonnie mac

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 180
    • View Profile
    • Alenuts
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2010, 08:02:05 PM »
Denny, you asked me what is too much when it comes to money being spent on competitions, That implies that money is spent. So, I'll ask you again, how much is spent on competitions?

Apparently, you do actually have quite a competitive spirit with this question over and over.

Like markaberrant before you, I too have lot's of competitive friends. Most of the ones who are disgruntled against comps had a very LONG loosing streak. :)

Or they are like another friend of mine, who went ballistically haywire on a forum that I run for my club because the very first entry he ever made in his very first comp ever, didn't even pass the first table, and he refused to actually believe someone out there was better. Tell ya what. I usually put in a max of two entries to a comp. I am not sad if I loose. But when I beat someone who put in 75, well, there is a certain gratification of course. But who cares really.

Does the NRA sponsor and participate in shooting event's? If so, is that wrong?

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7657
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2010, 08:10:32 PM »
I'm considering entering into some local comps just for the feedback. Not that a club couldn't do the same- I'm likely to miss the meets.  
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kerneldustjacket

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2010, 08:21:56 PM »
I stopped going to homebrew club functions because the majority of the time at the functions was spent on accolades for recent winners, scheduling packing and shipping for upcoming competitions, and brewing schedules for competitions even further out.  I enjoy the camaraderie that goes with the sharing of homebrew. Training for beer olympics was not fun for me.

I can see your point...if I were placed in the same situation I likely would grow tired of it as well...so no hard feelings from me regarding your attitude towards comps as your personal decision. And obviously, you can respect that others enjoy it and pursue it, as that is their personal choice.
So then, if I read you right, you're really just wondering out loud why there is the appearance, at least in your eyes, that more homebrewers are focused on competitions alone as a pursuit. If true, then yes, that is disturbing...because there is more to homebrewing than winning competitions. I find it hard to imagine how someone would have competitions as their only focus...but maybe some do. Is this closer to what you're getting at?

PS..I certainly meant no offense when I used the word "Haole," I just have no qualms about using self-depreciating humor; if anything just to be clear that I'm no one special....just your run-of-the-mill homebrewer.
And I'm glad you're here.  :)
John Wilson
Savannah Brewers League
Savannah, GA

Offline Kaiser

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1797
  • Imperial Brewing Geek
    • View Profile
    • braukaiser.com
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2010, 08:26:46 PM »
I entered a comp only once and then decided that it is aditional work and money I'm not willing to spend. However, I think that competitions are a great incentive for brewers to work on their process and recipes. Because the judging is done by people there is a subjective side to the results and in order to win on a regular basis it takes more than brewing a really great beer.

The AHA should be involved in competitions as long as this involvement is balanced with other activities.

Kai

Offline kgs

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 771
  • Sonoma County, CA
    • View Profile
Re: The AHA and Homebrew Competitions
« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2010, 08:41:45 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.
K.G. Schneider
AHA Member