Author Topic: The NHC for the future  (Read 2708 times)

Offline jhwk

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The NHC for the future
« on: May 06, 2011, 06:53:43 AM »
I think the days of entering 75-100 entries all over the country to "beat judging inconsistencies and flaws" is nearly over.  How about a new thread on how to take the Comp forward and make it better/fair for the future?

1. two bottles per entry. gets rid of the problem of bottle age waiting for later reevaluation.

2. limit of ten entries per brewer (Primary or Assistant).  stops brewers from flooding the system to 'get through' and allows more brewers to enter... imagine that! Puts the onus on the judges for fair, consistent, and competent judging.

3. Can only enter one region. points 2 and 3 would require the use of a national entry database, which we are close to now.

Others?
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Offline centpa

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 06:58:06 AM »
Forgive the naïveté - but really, 75-100 across regions at $9 a pop? I could make 150 gallons more beer with that money. Or just buy the medals.

Offline hokerer

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 07:11:16 AM »
1.storing/tracking/handling 750 bottles is already a large chore, 1500 might be unmanageable

2. be interesting to see actual numbers, but I'd expect that very few submit more than 10 entries

3. you already could only enter one region (at least this year) I'm pretty sure

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Offline johnf

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 07:12:05 AM »
I think the days of entering 75-100 entries all over the country to "beat judging inconsistencies and flaws" is nearly over.  How about a new thread on how to take the Comp forward and make it better/fair for the future?

1. two bottles per entry. gets rid of the problem of bottle age waiting for later reevaluation.

2. limit of ten entries per brewer (Primary or Assistant).  stops brewers from flooding the system to 'get through' and allows more brewers to enter... imagine that! Puts the onus on the judges for fair, consistent, and competent judging.

3. Can only enter one region. points 2 and 3 would require the use of a national entry database, which we are close to now.

Others?

The days of entering all over the country never started. Rule #3 is already in place. As I have said before, the idea that that entries are rising due to people entering large numbers of beers (not that there aren't several such people but nothing like 75-100, at least not in the last two years) is pure fantasy. Using the basic data published by the AHA you can see that the average number of entries per entrant have decreased in the last three years, and I suspect that trend continues this year. It is the number of people that is increasing.

I do support 2 bottle entries and I think it will have the positive ancillary effect of suppressing entry numbers.

I also support someone publishing the number of entries that would have been eliminated if there were a 10 entry limit this year. I am guessing less than people think. Maybe a few hundred (out of 6,750).

ETA: I think Club of the Year drives up entries way more than Ninkasi. Focusing on individual prolific brewers with a cap will do very little since there aren't a ton of those. Capping club entries (only those that count for the club, not shutting off individuals because their club hit the cap) would do much more because people wouldn't throw a few in just to help the club out if they were going to reach the cap anyway. That would also alleviate the concern that The Brewing Network or another "virtual" club would get to big to beat. That said, I don't support changing the nature of high profile award without very good reason, but if you have to cap something and you want it to have a real effect, cap clubs.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2011, 07:18:18 AM by johnf »

Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 07:23:39 AM »
This thread has a lot of discussion about it.  I originally thought the really heavy hitters were what drive the numbers up but it appears that it's actually more from increasing numbers of people entering 2-3 beers. 

If it is a problem, then another possible method would be to have a deadline (before the 'real' deadline) to get your minimum number of entries in.  After that deadline, if there are still spots open, they would be open to anyone with no limits.  IOW, you snooze, you lose.

Per that linked thread, the '2 beers per entry in the first round' increases already existing storage/manpower problems.  I've heard some horror stories about unpacking all the entries and the massive amount of packaging that must be disposed of.  Then you must store all the beers cool.

The folks that run this have probably already considered many/most of the things suggested here and in that thread. It's a huge undertaking and imo actually runs pretty well but there has just been a spike in growth.  Just needs minor tweeks to handle the numbers.

Offline hamiltont

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 07:28:22 AM »
..... but if you have to cap something and you want it to have a real effect, cap clubs.
Or just eliminate the club competition completely if that truly is driving up the entries. Clubs vary so much  in size & participation that it really is not competing on an equal playing field. IMO it's really about the individual brewers and their abilities.  Cheers!!!
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Offline johnf

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 07:33:55 AM »
Per that linked thread, the '2 beers per entry in the first round' increases already existing storage/manpower problems.  I've heard some horror stories about unpacking all the entries and the massive amount of packaging that must be disposed of.  Then you must store all the beers cool.

There is a third way. Make a second bottle optional. It requires a little bit of effort in terms of flagging those that have a second bottle and indicating that on the pull sheet. I imagine a lot of people wouldn't take advantage of it. I might send 2 bottles of IPA and one of Imperial Stout, for example. So maybe now we are talking about 1000 bottles instead of 750 or 1500.

I know most competitions use one bottle for judging and mini-bos but:

1. The length of a judging round at an NHC first round tends to be on the long side.
2. This is the premier competition and begs for premier judging conditions, not just what everyone else does.

At a minimum I think more education around how to handle the single bottle in the best way would be helpful. At the first round I judged this year I was given about 2 of the plastic corks meaning the expectation was that the bottle sit (with the original cap back on it as well as it will go) until I am sure it is a mini-bos beer. But how do you know which two (or three) are mini-bos beers until you are done with all of them? I tried to get more corks and cork everything that wasn't clearly off, but that annoyed the other judges and stewards at the table (which I got over). Northern Brewer will sell you 100 of those plastic corks for a few bucks. Send 20 bags to every first round and clear instructions to immediately cork and cold store every entry and then go back and get the mini-bos beers when they have been selected and I will feel more warm and fuzzy about a single bottle.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 08:00:29 AM »
At the first round I judged this year I was given about 2 of the plastic corks meaning the expectation was that the bottle sit (with the original cap back on it as well as it will go) until I am sure it is a mini-bos beer. But how do you know which two (or three) are mini-bos beers until you are done with all of them?

Here's what I do:
1. Open bottle (me, not the steward).
2. Pour n beers. Maybe two fingers tall.
3. Immediately recap.
4. Judge beer.
5a. If beer scores in top 3, put the bottle away (cold).
5b. If the beer isn't in the top 3, pull and reuse the cap.
5c. If the beer bumps something else out of the top 3, pull that cap and toss the beer.
6. At the end of the flight, take your top 3 out of storage and see if you want them.

If you wait until after you judge the beer to decide if you want to recap, then you've blown it.  A second bottle is better, but this is how to make the best of it with one bottle.
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Offline denny

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 08:02:09 AM »
1.storing/tracking/handling 750 bottles is already a large chore, 1500 might be unmanageable

THIS! ^^^^^

I can assure you all that this is a prime topic for the AHA and the GC.  Kinda makes me glad I'm not on the comp. subcommittee!
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Offline bluesman

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 08:18:50 AM »
I like the idea of two bottles from a conceptual point of view but logistically it would be more difficult to manage and I think it would further strain the system.

Instituting limits is one way of mitigating the stress on the system but to what degree and it's significance is an unknown. I'm sure there are statisics on entries per entrant but again I'm not privy to that info. so I can't weigh in on that one.

As to your third question, it's already in effect as was indicated in prior posts.
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Offline johnf

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2011, 08:32:57 AM »
I like the idea of two bottles from a conceptual point of view but logistically it would be more difficult to manage and I think it would further strain the system.

Instituting limits is one way of mitigating the stress on the system but to what degree and it's significance is an unknown. I'm sure there are statisics on entries per entrant but again I'm not privy to that info. so I can't weigh in on that one.

As to your third question, it's already in effect as was indicated in prior posts.

If you mean entries per entrant on the broadest scale, that is on the website currently for 2008-2010, it decreased each year while the number of entrants increased. To me this suggests that the growth is due to new entrants who are entering less than the average (around 3.9 for those years).

 If you limit entries to 10 and there were 50 people over that who entered an average of 25 (say), that would decrease total entries by 650 out of 6,750. Those 650 spots would have been easily taken by other people so nothing would be different other than exactly who about 10% of the entries came from.

I can understand the AHA not wanting to publish a lot of detailed info but I think if someone could just say, if we limited individuals to 10, 20 or 30 we would have in 2011 decreased total entries by x, y and z. I think those numbers will be a lot smaller than some people think and will take individual limits off the table as a viable solution to managing the competition size.


Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2011, 03:23:31 AM »
Here's what I do:
1. Open bottle (me, not the steward).
2. Pour n beers. Maybe two fingers tall.
3. Immediately recap.
4. Judge beer.
5a. If beer scores in top 3, put the bottle away (cold).
5b. If the beer isn't in the top 3, pull and reuse the cap.
5c. If the beer bumps something else out of the top 3, pull that cap and toss the beer.
6. At the end of the flight, take your top 3 out of storage and see if you want them.

I'm with you until step 4. I like to recap all my beers immediately and put them them all away for later reference. This allows me to revisit beers which weren't in the top 3 if I have some reason to do so. Also, it allows others to sample beers in the flight which didn't win, but are still good.

Offline brandon

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2011, 05:06:39 AM »
I would say 2 bottles is a bad idea. This year was a record year. Nobody thought every single site would max and that there would be a good number of people after the fact begging to be let in. I see the 2 bottle thing making the comp harder to put on. I see it doing little to keep the total number of entries down. You may keep that one guy from entering 40 beers and entering 30 instead but there will be the next guy to fill that void.

I would offer to add another judging location and drop the cap to 650-700
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Offline punatic

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2011, 06:49:16 AM »

3. you already could only enter one region (at least this year) I'm pretty sure



A quick check of the first round winners list shows that there are winners who sent entries to regions other than their designated home region.  So, either there is no rule for which region you must enter, or if there is a rule, it is not enforced.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: The NHC for the future
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2011, 07:11:27 AM »

3. you already could only enter one region (at least this year) I'm pretty sure



A quick check of the first round winners list shows that there are winners who sent entries to regions other than their designated home region.  So, either there is no rule for which region you must enter, or if there is a rule, it is not enforced.

That was a rule change for this year so if your region was filled your could enter another region, but all of your entries had to go to the region you chose.  Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!