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Old 07-12-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
machfive55
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Default NHC Comp Survey

I just got an e-mail about the NHC Comp and a survey about how the comp can be improved. Good effort by the AHA...although, I wish they added a box for free-form comments. Anyhow, I filled it out and I encourage every AHA member to do so.

The survey seemed to lean toward a trade-off between good feedback at nationals vs more entries/less feedback. I think their goal might be to see if people will bite on getting less feedback if it means they can enter more beers or have more entrants overall (i.e judges spend less time filling out sheets). There was also a question about Ninkasi and how important it is to you.

My opinion is I welcome being able to have more compete at nationals if it means I get less feedback. I'd rather enter beers in local comps for quality feedback. I know there are much differing opinions here on this and I'd like to hear what everyone thinks. Also, there was a question about if you support a "qualifying" type comp where you need to qualify via another comp. I support that type of system as well.

I really hope the AHA can get this together and pull off one awesome comp next year, with few hiccups.

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Old 07-12-2013, 01:55 PM   #2
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I think they are genuinely looking for ways to improve, and hopefully they are able to come up with something that solves many of the issues.....knowing, that there is ZERO chance to solve all problems. You just CANNOT, simultaneously have more entries, more regionals, better feedback, faster turn around, better entry process, etc.... Ultimately, there will need to be a tradeoff somewhere, and a decision will need to be made as to exactly "what" a "national homebrew competition" is.

I agree with you - I would be fine with less feedback if it meant I did not have to worry about whether I even got to enter or not. I would also be fine with "qualifying" if that was a necessity.

I think most competitions are about "getting feedback"..... but, NHC is not one of them. There are countless large competitions run by the exact same groups of people who did each regional around the country -and they are available year round for great feedback. NHC is one of a few competitions that is not really about getting feedback, it is about "winning"...... Just the way it is. Ultimately, if NHC is about "the best of homebrewing," you can't cater to participation and feedback at the expense of getting the best brews there to be tasted.

The most significant factor in winning a medal at NHC should absolutely NOT be if you are lucky enough to actually even get to enter it in the first place.

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Old 07-12-2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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I agree, a national competition is not about getting feedback. In fact, most competitions aren't - they describe the beer in terms of its merits and drawbacks against sometimes flawed style guidelines, but they have no idea what recipe or process you used. Judges are discouraged to guess on these issues. So they can tell you what tastes/looks/smells right or wrong about the beer, but they can't necessarily tell you the reasons why and specific steps on how to fix many issues.

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Old 11-29-2013, 02:14 AM   #4
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This looks like some of the results of the survey:

Quote:
Important Dates for the 2014 Competition:
Please check back in January 2014 for information about how to enter the competition. Registration will be done lottery-style, allowing entrants to register themselves and a specified number of entries (TBD) at their leisure. After the registration period, entrants will be notified regarding the actual allowed number of entries per entrant (TBD).
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #5
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That doesn't really sound like it would address two of the main issues that I had with the NHC and the AHA last year:

1) Registration website crashes
- This change will allow you to register your entries at your leisure until a specified due date. You still need to register yourself - I think we'll still see a rush on the website for entrant registration.

2) 1st Round Winner Results
- Last year the AHA held back the category winners for each first round location until they could release every entries score. They did this even though several first round locations read off their winners list and a couple even posted them online for a short while. There is a three month gap between the first round and the final round - that's enough time to rebrew most styles. I don't really want to rebrew an entry unless it's moving on, however, and I think most people would share the same opinion.

3) The New Lottery System
- It's not a terrible idea, but I think there will be a lot of complaining about the "fairness" of limiting entries to a lottery. Perhaps instead of having to rely on luck, they could have worked out a qualifying requirement so that quality entries instead of bulk entries win out.

Just my thoughts.

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Old 12-01-2013, 03:37 PM   #6
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I don't think they had much choice other than to go with a lottery system. The fact is the popularity of home brewing has exploded over the last few years and there are simply more entries than available spots.

Since there's no rush to register in a lottery system, that should solve the site crashing issues. Whether I register first or last I have the same chance of winning a chance to enter. I imagine the registration window will be open for a couple of weeks prior to the lottery.

One thing I think they should have done is open it to AHA members first. If all the slots don't fill up, then open it to non-members. Seems only reasonable that if an organization that I'm a member of (and one I'm paying dues to) sponsors an event, as a member I should have the first shot at tickets, entries, whatever. I still don't think that would solve the problem of too many entries per available slots, so you'd still have to have a lottery.

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Old 12-01-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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I'm mostly interested to hear how the lottery works. If you just enter the lottery with 1 or 2 entries, do you have a better chance of winning? Or, if you enter 10, will they pair you back to 4 (which may have been what you wanted to enter)? Or if you go big, do you have a lesser chance of getting in at all? I hope they explain this. At this point, I could enter anywhere from 1 to about 5 beers. I definitely want to get 1 in, but would be happy with 2 or 3, and I'd like to know what my best strategy is for the lottery.

My guess is that they want to allow as many people in as possible. Or, they could do a random draw of names, count up the entries, figure out how many slots are left, and then draw out some more until they hit the limit. Jeez, the more I think about it, the more complicated it is. I also wonder if you register for your local center or for a distant one. I'd like to be able to do it in Colorado (darn judging center last year was 5 minutes from work), but last year I managed to get into a different region on the second day of registration.

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Old 12-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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My guess - and it is only a guess - is that maybe it will be something along the lines of this maybe:

Say there are 15000 total spots available.

Say 7500 people register 25000 beers

After registration AHA will come back and say there were too many beers registered. Everyone who registered can have 2 entries. Enter and pay for them by "x" date. Any remaining slots that are not filled/paid for after that will by up for grabs (or chosen at random.)

Just a guess, but that seems like maybe what it could look like - no one gets 5 entries before everyone who wanted 2 entries gets them type of thing.

Who knows though - just a guess.

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