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 Club Only Competitions

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randi philleo
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PostSubject: Club Only Competitions   Thu May 02, 2013 10:05 am

The AHA has announced the end of club only competitions.

Their letter:

Club-Only Competition Program Concludes
With the conclusion of the May Club-Only Competition, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) will discontinue the Club-Only Competition program. Having achieved many of its original objectives with the program, the AHA will redirect resources to some exciting new activities. Read on for details.

Origins of Club-Only Competitions
At the outset, Club-Only Competitions had three main purposes:

Provide an easy-to-run competition to help educate homebrew clubs on the process of successfully executing homebrew competitions.
Provide a means for earning points toward the AHA Homebrew Club of the Year Award in addition to points earned via the AHA National Homebrew Competition.
Provide a nationwide program for clubs to educate their members about specific beer styles.
Where We are Today

With the rapid growth of the hobby over the last several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of homebrew clubs across the country. Since 2006, the number of homebrew clubs in the United States has doubled, jumping from around 700 to more than 1,400 today. We have seen a similar jump in the number of entries in the Club-Only Competitions, from a once-typical 30 or so entries to 100 or more entries today. That growth in the popularity of the Club-Only Competitions could quickly make the competitions too large for most clubs to reasonably host, negating the training aspect of the program.

The growth we have seen in the Club-Only Competitions is also reflected in the overall growth in the popularity of homebrew competitions. Not only has there been growth in the number of entries being submitted to homebrew competitions, but there has been accelerating growth in the number of competitions being held annually across the country. While there has been growth in the number of Beer Judge Certification Program judges, that growth in judges has not kept pace with the growth in entries and competitions.

In addition, it has been many years since points earned from Club-Only Competitions have had any influence over the outcome of the AHA Homebrew Club of the Year Award.

Thus two of the primary reasons for the Club-Only Competition Program are no longer valid. By discontinuing the Club-Only Competitions, the AHA frees up resources to focus on other activities that will benefit homebrew clubs.

What’s Ahead

Clubs can continue to access education on beer styles via the new Style Spotlight department in Zymurgy magazine. At least initially, the Style Spotlight, which will be written by associate editor Amahl Turczyn Scheppach (who also wrote the Club Only columns), will focus on lesser known and resurrected styles in the United States, such as Kentucky Common. We also encourage clubs to submit recipes to Zymurgy, as well as suggest styles that they’d like to see covered in the Style Spotlight (email zymurgy@brewersassociation.org).

In addition, the AHA is launching a new annual club award, the Radegast Club of the Year Award, focusing on club educational and community service activities. (Radegast is a Slavic god credited with inventing beer.) See the Clubs section under Community on HomebrewersAssociation.org for details on this new award, along with a form for submitting club entries into the contest.

This new award will help the AHA draw attention to the many activities that homebrew clubs are involved with that benefit their communities, helping to elevate the image of homebrewing and promote the hobby. Club submissions will also allow the AHA to provide additional educational resources, enabling clubs to learn about the activities of other clubs around the country. The first Radegast Club of the Year Award will be announced at the 2014 National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

While we are sad to see the end of the Club-Only Competitions, we feel that in discontinuing the program, the AHA is poised to provide more tangible resources for homebrew clubs throughout the nation and the world.

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