Author Topic: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support  (Read 14745 times)

Offline johnf

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #75 on: May 05, 2011, 05:34:20 PM »
For me to judge my region, I would have to drive over 20 hrs round trip. It's a logistics issue that kept me from judging the first round this year. I think we should target the vicinity of locations that have a higher density of judges. This should add more more judging horsepower to the regional judging centers.
I agree, but here's the problem - there is not a big fight among regions over who gets to host the first round.  Often Janis has to recruit volunteers to run things so as far as "choosing the sites" goes, sometimes we've got to go with who we can get.  Some people have more experience and are better organized than others, some can get more judges, etc.  These are all factors to consider, but you don't always know if people will be capable of pulling it off until you give them a chance.  Ultimately, you can't force any region to host the competition.

It's the same with the conference, people may complain that it goes to certain regions too often but it's not like there are 10 bids submitted each year for the AHA to choose from.  There's a lot of work that goes in to these events, and sometimes people get burned out.  We can't just "go back to Atlanta" unless someone there is willing to run the show for nothing other than a love of the hobby.

You can refute this if it is not true, but my understanding is that despite hosting successfully in the recent past and wanting to host this year, Atlanta was passed over. So this seems like a case of taking three chances (Nashville, Dallas, Saratoga) when you could have taken two.

Offline denny

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #76 on: May 05, 2011, 06:00:43 PM »
You can refute this if it is not true, but my understanding is that despite hosting successfully in the recent past and wanting to host this year, Atlanta was passed over. So this seems like a case of taking three chances (Nashville, Dallas, Saratoga) when you could have taken two.

I hadn't heard that.  I'll ask about it on out next GC conference call.  But I can tell you that based on how I've seen sites chosen, I've never seen a successful and willing site passed over.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #77 on: May 05, 2011, 06:03:57 PM »
You can refute this if it is not true, but my understanding is that despite hosting successfully in the recent past and wanting to host this year, Atlanta was passed over. So this seems like a case of taking three chances (Nashville, Dallas, Saratoga) when you could have taken two.
I have no idea how the regions were selected this year.  If Atlanta volunteered and Janis declined I'm sure she had a good reason.  I think one of the goals should be to have many potential sites so we can rotate and not burn out the judges and organizers from a particular region, so maybe that is what she was trying to set up there.  I don't know though.  I do know that Seattle was supposed to have the year off, but Oregon had that problem with their homebrew law so we had to do it and they will go next year.

Let me add - it is not the region that makes it go smoothly, it is the individual organizers.  We've had first rounds go poorly in this region and been among the last to get the results out, we've had some run great.  I think it comes down to having the right people with the right experience to some extent, it's been a while since a competition hasn't gone well.  It also helps that we've dramatically increased our judge recruitment and training program and given a lot of BJCP exams in this area.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #78 on: May 05, 2011, 06:20:58 PM »
Let me add - it is not the region that makes it go smoothly, it is the individual organizers.  We've had first rounds go poorly in this region and been among the last to get the results out, we've had some run great.  I think it comes down to having the right people with the right experience to some extent, it's been a while since a competition hasn't gone well.  It also helps that we've dramatically increased our judge recruitment and training program and given a lot of BJCP exams in this area.

I agree with this Tom.

Maybe I wasn't clear in my last post but I am not suggesting that the AHA volunteer a specific city or town to host the regionals based on judging density alone as the criteria for selection. I think that it goes without saying that experienced and talented organizers with proven track records (to some degree) not to mention a solid judging base are required in order to have a successful competition. However, all the experience and talent in the world probably won't suffice if there isn't a sound local judging base to support that idea. By local I am suggesting a 150-200+/-mi. radius.

I would also like to clarify that I am not in any way suggesting that we don't have experienced and talented organizers with proven track records. I am extremely confident in the foresight and abilities of the AHA Competition Organizing Committtee's abilities to put together a successful competition.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 06:27:56 PM by bluesman »
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Offline pedro

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #79 on: May 05, 2011, 06:25:24 PM »
Having 750 entries to judge in a single competition is a ton of beer to get through - what about cutting this in half but doubling the sites?  You'd give more people the opportunity to get involved and less distance for people to have to ship their entries to.  Aside from having to coordinate more sites on the part of the AHA about the only downside I can see if having the added expense of additional conference rooms.
This would also double the number of entries in the second round.  That would cause real problems there.

How would reducing the number of entries per site, while increasing the number of sites, cause a problem?  Of course you'd have to change the process for beers going to the final round if you were to keep the size of the 2nd round the same - this could include only having the 1st place beer advance, or potentially more fair, scale the slots available for advancing entries to the number of entries  received in a given category/region.  I know...math!

But the main point I'm trying to make is it's a lot easier to coax a judge to drive up to an hour each way, vs. 5h as it has been the past few years for us New England folks.  Surely we are not alone up here - it's a big country!

Offline jeffy

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #80 on: May 05, 2011, 06:37:12 PM »
Having 750 entries to judge in a single competition is a ton of beer to get through - what about cutting this in half but doubling the sites?  You'd give more people the opportunity to get involved and less distance for people to have to ship their entries to.  Aside from having to coordinate more sites on the part of the AHA about the only downside I can see if having the added expense of additional conference rooms.
This would also double the number of entries in the second round.  That would cause real problems there.

How would reducing the number of entries per site, while increasing the number of sites, cause a problem?  Of course you'd have to change the process for beers going to the final round if you were to keep the size of the 2nd round the same - this could include only having the 1st place beer advance, or potentially more fair, scale the slots available for advancing entries to the number of entries  received in a given category/region.  I know...math!

But the main point I'm trying to make is it's a lot easier to coax a judge to drive up to an hour each way, vs. 5h as it has been the past few years for us New England folks.  Surely we are not alone up here - it's a big country!

I had an entry place third at the regionals one year and get a gold in the finals.  There's that whole different judge different day thing again.  So I don't think it would be fair to limit the entries going to the final round.
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Offline johnf

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #81 on: May 05, 2011, 06:47:57 PM »
Having 750 entries to judge in a single competition is a ton of beer to get through - what about cutting this in half but doubling the sites?  You'd give more people the opportunity to get involved and less distance for people to have to ship their entries to.  Aside from having to coordinate more sites on the part of the AHA about the only downside I can see if having the added expense of additional conference rooms.
This would also double the number of entries in the second round.  That would cause real problems there.

How would reducing the number of entries per site, while increasing the number of sites, cause a problem?  Of course you'd have to change the process for beers going to the final round if you were to keep the size of the 2nd round the same - this could include only having the 1st place beer advance, or potentially more fair, scale the slots available for advancing entries to the number of entries  received in a given category/region.  I know...math!

But the main point I'm trying to make is it's a lot easier to coax a judge to drive up to an hour each way, vs. 5h as it has been the past few years for us New England folks.  Surely we are not alone up here - it's a big country!

I had an entry place third at the regionals one year and get a gold in the finals.  There's that whole different judge different day thing again.  So I don't think it would be fair to limit the entries going to the final round.

+1

Scaling doesn't work well as we have to send an integer number of entries to the second round. There are already enough opportunities for gamesmanship to not give someone the opportunity to send an extra few beers to get that site to get over the threshold to send 3 instead of 2 and therefore increase his odds by 50%.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #82 on: May 05, 2011, 06:54:58 PM »
Don't let the contest be a victim of its own success.  Keep it at a manageable level.  Towards this end, I think its obvious you should limit the number of entries per site, and probably limit the number of entries per person in order to make it fair.
  
The point about needing to send more than a first place on to the finals doesn't hold water for me.  This judging thing is subjective from start to finish, who's to say you didn't leave the best beer back in the first round by only sending three on?  The goal should be to send some good beers to the finals, no more no less.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2011, 07:01:12 PM »
What I know is that all the issues that cropped up this year, and in years passed will be evaluated and the volunteer committee will do their best to ensure the same pitfalls do not recur.  These are people that want the same thing everyone here wants, a fair and good quality evaluation all entered beers, meads and ciders.

Last year on region maxed out and two others nearly did.  The competition was altered to prevent anyone from being turned away.
There was plenty of excess capacity in regions that did not max out to prevent a recurrence.
Not in anybodies wildest imagination did anyone figure ALL regions would max out and make this the largest homebrew competition ever.  Ok, they figured this would be the biggest, but that everyone would be able to enter their brews.

I do not know this but I suspect . . . .

Some regions were expecting to receive far fewer entries than the 750 that they received.  This being based on history.  A full 750 entries caused issues at some regions.  (again, I don't know).  I also suspect that SOME regions can handle more than the 750 limit.


I do know that the committee will evaluate everything to make next year better.  I'm sure the evaluation will include smaller sites, larger sites, more sites, and everything else that has been mentioned.  Their goal is to make this the premier homebrew competition in the world.

 



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Offline brandon

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #84 on: May 05, 2011, 07:16:09 PM »
You can refute this if it is not true, but my understanding is that despite hosting successfully in the recent past and wanting to host this year, Atlanta was passed over. So this seems like a case of taking three chances (Nashville, Dallas, Saratoga) when you could have taken two.

I hadn't heard that.  I'll ask about it on out next GC conference call.  But I can tell you that based on how I've seen sites chosen, I've never seen a successful and willing site passed over.

Foster-
Atlanta was not passed over. They did it 2 years in a row and they were done doing it. They put in their time is one reason. Another reason is the location they used is now a parking lot. From my understanding talking to Phil Farell it was a still fully stocked resturant with a walk in cooler that was renting to them for a song since it was in foreclosure and out of business. But its no more. Anyway we had expressed interest 3 years ago and were asked to host this year. Which we were and still happy we did host this year.
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Offline denny

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #85 on: May 05, 2011, 07:20:28 PM »
Foster-
Atlanta was not passed over. They did it 2 years in a row and they were done doing it. They put in their time is one reason. Another reason is the location they used is now a parking lot. From my understanding talking to Phil Farell it was a still fully stocked resturant with a walk in cooler that was renting to them for a song since it was in foreclosure and out of business. But its no more. Anyway we had expressed interest 3 years ago and were asked to host this year. Which we were and still happy we did host this year.


Thanks for the explanation, Brandon.  There's already too much speculation about some things here and it's great to have the facts.
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Offline johnf

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #86 on: May 05, 2011, 07:47:28 PM »
Foster-
Atlanta was not passed over. They did it 2 years in a row and they were done doing it. They put in their time is one reason. Another reason is the location they used is now a parking lot. From my understanding talking to Phil Farell it was a still fully stocked resturant with a walk in cooler that was renting to them for a song since it was in foreclosure and out of business. But its no more. Anyway we had expressed interest 3 years ago and were asked to host this year. Which we were and still happy we did host this year.


Thanks for the explanation, Brandon.  There's already too much speculation about some things here and it's great to have the facts.

Nobody is speculating. I said I heard something and that is because someone from Atlanta posted on another forum that they were not asked (and therefore did not decline) this year. If Atlanta was asked and decline (Brandon doesn't exactly say that) then what I heard is wrong, but I still have not speculated anything I simply relayed information I could not verify and clearly disclosed it as such.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #87 on: May 05, 2011, 09:06:11 PM »
What I know is that all the issues that cropped up this year, and in years passed will be evaluated and the volunteer committee will do their best to ensure the same pitfalls do not recur.  These are people that want the same thing everyone here wants, a fair and good quality evaluation all entered beers, meads and ciders.

Last year on region maxed out and two others nearly did.  The competition was altered to prevent anyone from being turned away.
There was plenty of excess capacity in regions that did not max out to prevent a recurrence.
Not in anybodies wildest imagination did anyone figure ALL regions would max out and make this the largest homebrew competition ever.  Ok, they figured this would be the biggest, but that everyone would be able to enter their brews.

I do not know this but I suspect . . . .

Some regions were expecting to receive far fewer entries than the 750 that they received.  This being based on history.  A full 750 entries caused issues at some regions.  (again, I don't know).  I also suspect that SOME regions can handle more than the 750 limit.


I do know that the committee will evaluate everything to make next year better.  I'm sure the evaluation will include smaller sites, larger sites, more sites, and everything else that has been mentioned.  Their goal is to make keep this the premier homebrew competition in the world.
Fixed that ;)

Good points, Fred.  I think we all want have the same goal, it's just a matter of figuring out the best way to get there.  It's good to get a lot of different ideas on the table so they can be evaluated.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline anthony

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #88 on: May 05, 2011, 10:16:40 PM »
I'd be interested to see a statistical breakdown of where the growth is... is it in number of new brewers entering or number of entries each brewer is sending in...

If it is the latter, a change to how Ninkasi and Homebrew Club of the Year are calculated at the 2nd round might fix it... along with some corresponding carry over from what happens in the 1st round as well.

Offline johnf

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Re: National Homebrewing Competition Fees and Support
« Reply #89 on: May 05, 2011, 11:05:42 PM »
I'd be interested to see a statistical breakdown of where the growth is... is it in number of new brewers entering or number of entries each brewer is sending in...

If it is the latter, a change to how Ninkasi and Homebrew Club of the Year are calculated at the 2nd round might fix it... along with some corresponding carry over from what happens in the 1st round as well.

The AHA has published for 2008-2010 the number of brewers, and number of entries. The number of entries per brewer decreased each year. I suspect it will again this year, or at least not go up much.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/competitions/national-homebrew-competition/winners

Last year people blamed the two regions filling up on Jamil (who did not enter) and Gordon (who entered a region that didn't fill up). I don't think capping entries per brewer gets you very far since very few people enter a ton, and it completely changes the nature of the Ninkasi award if the cap is low enough to make a difference (like 10 or less). Its not the 10 guys who enter 25, it is the 1000 guys who enter 3.