Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

National Homebrewers Competition

I joined the St. Paul Homebrewers Club (SPHBC) back in February with the intent to compete some of my beers via the club sometime in 2011. Turns out, the biggest (?) competition in the country, the National Homebrewers Competition (NHC), starts in just a few weeks and the club – which has won Homebrew Club of the Year in the competition three times in recent years – is struggling for entries. They are focused enough on once again attaining this award that they have a club member who is driving our entries to the drop point in Madison, hand delivered for just $0.50 per bottle. It’s very cool to be able to put your trust in a fellow brewer to get your beers there safely rather than a UPS guy.

The SPHBC guys are so concerned because to win Homebrew Club of the Year in the NHC, your club must amass a certain number of points through number of beers entered and number of participating brewers in the NHC and other events throughout the year. After reading up on the rules, I made a last-minute decision earlier this week to help out the club, step up my personal competitive timeline and enter a few beers.

All full as of Wednesday

Lucky thing I decided to enter when I did. There are nine locations to enter beers throughout the country, each with a 750 entry cap so the scope of the competition doesn’t get too out of control. I entered online into the nearest judging location in Madison, WI late Monday night (decided to go with just two entries at $14 per entry) and the competition was completely filled by Wednesday evening. The preliminary round for my region will be held in Madison at various points between April 2nd and 17th. Scoresheets will be mailed and those proceeding to the finals will be notified by mail after May 20th (thought I think they publicize the results online well before that) with the finals occurring June 16th.

These guys are hitting the road this weekend!

If I get to the finals (dreaming big, yeah I’m aware), our Europe trip will pose a big problem as we’ll be out of the country when it comes time to mail the additional three bottles for June 16th judging. I may have to recruit a trustworthy friend to send the beers on my behalf… I’ll be monitoring the situation closely after April 17th.

In my next post, I’ll cover which two of my beers made their way to Madison this weekend. I’ll also discuss the process I went through in choosing which beers to compete.


2 responses

  1. Best of luck!

    March 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

  2. Thanks BB!

    March 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

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