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Old 12-28-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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Default NHC 2014 - Limit of 6 Entries

I just got my issue of Zymurgy and it looks like they're limiting NHC 2014 to 6 entries max per brewer. I read that they were doing it lottery style, but I didn't know they were cutting the limit by more than half.

They're also only allowing AHA members to compete. I like that change but I'm super bummed about the limit of 6. I've been planning for months and competing all over the place to hone my recipes and process to produce some great beers for this NHC.

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Old 12-28-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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Well, how would you like to see the number of entries limited?

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Old 12-28-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Well, how would you like to see the number of entries limited?
I'd like to see it limited by qualifying in other sanctioned competitions. Maybe either only allow 1st place winners, or if that is too limiting, allow 1-3rd place winners a spot in the competition. That would increase demand for local competitions and help to build better local homebrew communities I think.

I don't think the national competition is a place to just get yearly feedback on the 6 beers people brew a year. That's putting a pretty fine point on it, but it conveys my current opinion.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:19 PM   #4
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Don't start whining yet. Save it for when you don't win the lottery and don't get to enter any.

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Old 12-28-2013, 10:24 PM   #5
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I agree with Cadilla Candy - The NHC shouldn't be a competition for anyone and everyone. It's become the de-facto national championship of homebrewing. Winning there should mean something. Like all major competitions in anything, one should have to qualify to enter. It should be invitational. I said it a year ago and I still feel that something like this is the way to go: any BJCP-sanctioned competition over N entries (E.g., 300) becomes an NHC qualifier. A gold medal earns you the right to enter 3 beers in NHC. A silver, 2. Bronze, 1. BoS: another 2. Max entries: 10. Something like that. Maybe you have to enter NHC in the category you medaled in locally, maybe not. But as the premier, most prestigious national competition there needs to be some sort of pre-qualification. The 1st round used to serve as the gatekeeper, but it's grown too large for that now.

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Old 12-28-2013, 10:53 PM   #6
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Don't start whining yet. Save it for when you don't win the lottery and don't get to enter any.
I judged round I NHC 2013, so I'm guaranteed 2 spots.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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I think prequalifying is a fine idea, but the massive amount of administrative overhead probably makes it impractical for the short term. For sure, some coupling between BJCP and AHA is necessary and all entries into qualifying comps would have to have your AHA member number associated and databased. When you log in to the NHC registration page, you'd put in your AHA number and see the list of beers you've placed with this year and select which ones you plan to enter. The efficacy of the prequalification hinges on the premise that the majority of NHC entries today are beers from brewers who have not medaled previously. What if 90% of current entries would have already qualified?

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Old 12-28-2013, 11:14 PM   #8
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I agree that it adds significant overhead, but currently the AHA membership and interest in participation in its premier event has grown far larger than the governing body and employees can handle. The AHA, itself, needs to grow to meet the demand being placed upon it.

In the past I have read many comments on this forum from people who enter NHC and only NHC and are just looking for feedback. Those entrants at least would be eliminated. These people would be better served by local competitions. Local doesn't have to mean local to where you live since beer can easily and cheaply be shipped to within 300 miles of you within one day.

It is definitely worth studying the results of all the 300+ entry BJCP comps held in 2013 to get an idea of how many entrants would qualify for NHC if these comps were used at qualifiers. Results are reported to the BJCP, whether or not they are logged in some way to make the data mineable to those with access to it there is unknown.

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Old 12-28-2013, 11:26 PM   #9
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I don't like the lottery, but I'm fine with a limit. I'd also like to see smaller competitions that lead up to it, right now it's a total crap shoot. There are many beers that get passed over simply do to the volume of entries, especially in categories like IPA.

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Old 12-28-2013, 11:41 PM   #10
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Most competitions are using the Brew Competition software anymore (http://www.brewcompetition.com/). I haven't extensively studied the data structure, but all of the important info is stored. It would just be a matter of exporting it to the AHA in a format they can use for the registration process.

Possibly require that any sanctioned or qualifying competition use this software in order to pass the info along, or in the very least, provide some sort of excel sheet that the competition organizer fills out and then sends to the AHA, then the AHA pushes the excel sheet to their database.

There would be a ton of ways to slice the qualifying to get the numbers down to a reasonable number. Each competition has a max of 84 (including mead, cider, etc) 1-3rd winners right off the bat. Then you could say that you can only enter a beer in the same sub category that you won a medal in. So if you place in category 10 with an APA, you can 1 APA.

If that still leaves too many entries overall, you could cut it down to just the 1st place medal winners. So each competition passes on a max of 28 entrants.

There are 10 judging locations for NHC, each with 700 spots for a total of 7000 entries. I'm using some estimates for some of these numbers, but they're probably pretty close. Allowing the 1st place winners from local competitions to move forward would support about 250 sanctioned competitions. If the numbers are still off, specify that the competition must have over 200 or 300 entries to serve as a qualifier for NHC.

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