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Dgallo

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Morning! I was wondering how many other HBT Members have beers in Nationals today?

I figured we could get a thread going to root for each other today during the Award Ceremony. Also, I figured it will give people, including myself, something to watch out for in the categories we don’t personally have a beer entered in.

Anywho if you’re interested, list your name and the styles you entered.

Good Luck Everyone!!!
 

kingmatt

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I am at NHC. I was pretty teed off that they didn't have a Historical Beer category this year. Seems like they must have lumped my Pre-Prohibition lager in with Pilsners or something. Meanwhile they have 8 different Mead categories, some with less than 10 entries
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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I am at NHC. I was pretty teed off that they didn't have a Historical Beer category this year. Seems like they must have lumped my Pre-Prohibition lager in with Pilsners or something. Meanwhile they have 8 different Mead categories, some with less than 10 entries
I feel similar for the Pilsner category. I feel NZ Pilsners are far closer to ipas then German pils. That said a NZ pils won
 

Oleson M.D.

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I am at NHC. I was pretty teed off that they didn't have a Historical Beer category this year. Seems like they must have lumped my Pre-Prohibition lager in with Pilsners or something. Meanwhile they have 8 different Mead categories, some with less than 10 entries

And there is the problem. They did not have the Pale Bitter European Lager category, which would include my 5D entry (German Pils). Instead, they lumped everything together. Anything that was a Pilsner got thrown in. Thus the 146 entries.
 

Spartan1979

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And there is the problem. They did not have the Pale Bitter European Lager category, which would include my 5D entry (German Pils). Instead, they lumped everything together. Anything that was a Pilsner got thrown in. Thus the 146 entries.
In 2019 Pilsner had 286 entries. BTW I took second that year!😀
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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And there is the problem. They did not have the Pale Bitter European Lager category, which would include my 5D entry (German Pils). Instead, they lumped everything together. Anything that was a Pilsner got thrown in. Thus the 146 entries.
Even though beer styles are grouped together, it is still judged by the guidelines of the style and the pull order generally begins with the “lighter” beers. Not perfect, but not something to really complain about.
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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Even though beer styles are grouped together, it is still judged by the guidelines of the style and the pull order generally begins with the “lighter” beers. Not perfect, but not something to really complain about.
I agree to some extent but with new styles to be grouped in with older styles is tough to make it to the next round in a comp as large as nationals when only 2-3 beers move on from each table even when a beer is judge on its specific style, preference just wins sometimes. That said, I'm not personally complaining about not placing, I understand how these things go, you can make a great beer and there are just beers that are better. I've taken gold with a 34 and haven't placed with a 39 lol
 
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Hoppy2bmerry

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I agree to some extent but with new styles to be grouped in with older styles is tough to make it to the next round in a comp as large as nationals when only 2-3 beers move on from each table even when a beer is judge on its specific style, preference just wins sometimes. That said, I'm not personally complaining about not placing, I understand how these things go, you can make a great beer and there are just beers that are better. I've taken gold with a 34 and haven't placed with a 39 lol
I didn’t think you specifically were complaining, apologies that I came across that way. I signed up to enter, but with my spouse healing some broken bones, I never got to brew my entry and I didn’t get around to asking for a refund either… my donation to the cause. Next year.
Anyway there are many subjective things that can happen especially with such a large amount of entries. Judge burnout and stewards that “man handle” the entries (only saw that once, thankfully) I think are bigger issues than grouping styles, but that’s just my opinion and observation. May we all have better luck next year.
 

bwible

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I’ve always disliked “combined” categories. I know everybody says they judge to the guidelines. But seriously, we all know there are styles that always get preference over other styles. And how in the world can anybody judge one category with 146 entries? Thats insane
 

bwible

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I feel similar for the Pilsner category. I feel NZ Pilsners are far closer to ipas then German pils. That said a NZ pils won
NZ Pils. I haven’t judged for many years. I do alot of reading. That’s a new one by me. What did they do, make a category for that in 2020 or something?
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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NZ Pils. I haven’t judged for many years. I do alot of reading. That’s a new one by me. What did they do, make a category for that in 2020 or something?
Its currently a probationary style, Idk when is became one but I've entered in the past two NHC. Its a great style, hop forward but still clean, medium bodied, and finishes with the perception of crispness with a firm but supportive bitterness
 

rallenhall

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I was involved in livestock judging for a long time, and know the controversies of mixing classes and judges bias. That said, when I saw NZ pils pop up as gold in the largest class of the competition, I immediately thought that there's no way you can compare traditional continental pils with "tropical, citrisy, fruity, grassy" even with BJCP guidelines at hand. The pilsner class could and should have been divided. Then came the meads, with three classes having fewer than 10 entries each yet each class still receiving 3 medals. Dilutes the prestige of a medal in my opinion.
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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I was involved in livestock judging for a long time, and know the controversies of mixing classes and judges bias. That said, when I saw NZ pils pop up as gold in the largest class of the competition, I immediately thought that there's no way you can compare traditional continental pils with "tropical, citrisy, fruity, grassy" even with BJCP guidelines at hand. The pilsner class could and should have been divided. Then came the meads, with three classes having fewer than 10 entries each yet each class still receiving 3 medals. Dilutes the prestige of a medal in my opinion.
Thats exactly how I felt and I entered a NZ Pilsner. The BJCP actually states "
If judging in competition, this style fits best within Category 12. Pale Commonwealth Beer."
 

Spartan1979

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I f you think Pilsner is bad, look at the Belgian Ale Category. They throw clone beers in with all the light Belgian beers. The year I judged that category at NHC finals, one of the clone beers was a clone of Ommegang Three Philosophers. That was the beer that won. Granted, it was very good, but how fair is it to have a Quad up against the rest of the beers in that category (Witbier, Belgian Pale Ale, Biere De Garde, Belgian Blond and Trappist Singel)?

I wrote to John Moorhead about that but obviously it made no difference as that category is still the same.
 

Oleson M.D.

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One entry was a Munich Helles. We honestly thought it was a fine example of the style, and expected it to do well.

They dinged us on "balance", saying it drinks more like a Pilsner.

We disagree, wholeheartedly.
 

JohnDBrewer

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Judging is subjective.

Remember your beer was likely in a flight of 10+ beers of the exact same style. Subtle difference between beers shine through in most cases. Think of going to the store and looking at big screen tv's. Side by side, your eyes see differences and one seems to be much better then the next, but take any of them home and it's a great TV.

If you've never judged or stewarded at a competition I would highly recommend volunteering. It's a great experience and you'll understand the process of judging much better.

Hopefully the judges gave good feedback on how they would improve your beer for what they saw as the issue. Being a premiere national competition (plus $30 an entry + shipping + 6 bottles) you should get the best feedback of all competition.
 

Spartan1979

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Judging is subjective.

Remember your beer was likely in a flight of 10+ beers of the exact same style. Subtle difference between beers shine through in most cases. Think of going to the store and looking at big screen tv's. Side by side, your eyes see differences and one seems to be much better then the next, but take any of them home and it's a great TV.

If you've never judged or stewarded at a competition I would highly recommend volunteering. It's a great experience and you'll understand the process of judging much better.

Hopefully the judges gave good feedback on how they would improve your beer for what they saw as the issue. Being a premiere national competition (plus $30 an entry + shipping + 6 bottles) you should get the best feedback of all competition.
It's generally accepted that NHC is not a competition to enter if you're looking for feedback.
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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Both my entries made it to the 3rd round but I didn't win anything. Stan Hieronymous judged one of my beers, so that is pretty cool at least!
Congrats man! That’s pretty cool about Stan Hieronymous too. I heard he judged the Double IPA category.

This is how it went for me;

NEIPA - 4/4
CZ Dark Lager - 2/3
NZ Pilsner - 1/3

My NZ Pilsner was my personal favorite but it got crushed for acetaldihyde by both judges. I cracked a bottle yesterday after getting the results and I don’t taste it at all. Acetaldihyde is definitely an easy flavor to detect so all I can think is my bottles got hot in shipping and maybe some hop creep produced it
 
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kingmatt

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Congrats man! That’s pretty cool about Stan Hieronymous too. I heard he judged the Double IPA category.

This is how it went for me;

NEIPA - 4/4
CZ Dark Lager - 2/3
NZ Pilsner - 1/3

My NZ Pilsner was my personal favorite but it got crushed for acetaldihyde by both judges. I cracked a bottle yesterday after getting the results and I don’t taste it at all. Acetaldihyde is definitely an easy flavor to detect so all I can think is my bottles got hot in shipping and maybe some hop creep produced it
Congrats on making it to the 4th round on one of your beers! Still not exactly clear on how the rounds even work, haha
 

CascadesBrewer

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It's generally accepted that NHC is not a competition to enter if you're looking for feedback.
Though it is a bit sad that this is the case. In theory these are the most experienced and respected judges in the program. I would be willing to pay the premium entry fee if it meant getting more accurate feedback than can be expected from a regional $8 entry fee competition, but it seems to be the opposite. At least a score would be nice...vs the vague "2/3 rounds" metric.

It could be a competition where people both competed for top tier medals AND expected to get quality feedback. My vote is they at least switch back to the regional model. Then the final round is all brewers that have earned the right to compete for national medals.

How complete and useful are the scoresheets this year?

I chatted with one judge at Homebrew Con. She said there was a lot of pressure just to eliminate beers from each round and not enough time to give quality feedback. I have heard rumblings that this feeling is not isolated to this one judge.
 
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