Subject: Regional Conferences and Competitions
Date: 1989-03-23 18:10:00 GMT
> Perhaps, what this tells us is
> that there is a real need for more regional conferences. For
> example...I know that there are lots of homebrewers in the
> Washington DC area but I have never heard of a local competition.
> The only one that I know of in this region is a competition held
> sometimes in Philadelphia in the Fall. Will someone out there
> correct me if I am wrong about this? What does it take to
> organize an AHA sponsored competition or conference...besides
> bucks? Also, can it be done cheaply? I notice that this stuff
> seems to go on all the time in California and the Southwest.
Back in the 1983-1985 time frame (have I been really brewing THAT long?)
the AHA ran a series of local regional conferences. They were one-day
affairs, with lots of information, lots of comraderie, and lots of beer. I
attended the three 'annual conferences' in Massachusetts, and thought them
to be well worthwile. The cost was around $50. I felt it was a bit steep,
but since there were no hotel or airline charges, I splurged. The better
sessions were flavor perception talks (doctored beer to demonstrate
particular flavors), mashing basics, and equipment discussion. Somewhere
between 100 and 200 brewers attended the conferences.
I know that Charlie P ran these things all over the country. I recall a
conference in DC, in Philly, and other US 'brewing capitals'. In 1986 (I
think), the AHA stopped the regional conference program. I asked Charlie P
and he indicated that the AHA was losing money on the conferences - the
attendance was just too low. That's too bad -- I think the AHA should
reinstitute the regional conferences - maybe every other year would be
With regard to competitions, there are lots of local competitions
'sanctioned' by the AHA. The "Calendar of Events" in the front of Zymurgy
lists some of the major ones. There are others that don't make it into the
magazine - call the AHA and ask them if they know of any in your area. In
New England we have four regional competitions each year. (The next one is
April 1). In Philly there are two events, one in the Fall and one in the
Spring. There is a competition in Philly on April 2 (E-mail me a note if
you want more info). There is another one in Troy, NY on April 2. I
don't know about the DC area.
If you want to run a competition or a conference, call the AHA. Although
they do not sponsor regional competitions, they have a program which
'sanctions' certain competitions. In general, just tell them the
categories you will have, the estimated number of entries, and the
experience level of your judges. As part of the "sanctioning", the AHA
maintains lists of 'qualified' judges who passed a test and have judging
experience. Other people on this net (are you still there Jay?) who can
tell you what it takes to orgainze and run a sanctioned competition.
- mike fertsch
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