This past weekend we put on our annual homebrew competition, HAZtoberfest! This was our second time putting on the event and everything went pretty well. I just wanted to put together a small write up if anyone was interested in the details.
The event grew significantly since last year. It’s hard to say exactly why, but it probably comes down to a few reasons. First, people may not trust a first year competition. Second, the hobby is growing! There are more homebrewers out there looking for feedback. Last year I did a lot of advertising to get the entry count that we did. I emailed all the homebrew clubs that I could, I posted on forums, I had extra drop off locations This year, I did a fraction of the advertising and we ended up GROWING. So that’s a good thing. Here are some numbers to compare last year to this year.
The growth was a comfortable and manageable one. With what I learned last year, it was easy to accommodate to the larger size. In fact, the banquet room in the BrewErie was a perfect size for our needs. Because of this, we may not want the competition to grow any more. Chris Sirianni at the BrewErie was an amazing help with this whole event, I cannot thank him enough!
We ended up having custom medals printed this year. They are a little smaller than last year’s, but other than that, I think they are awesome! And I was happy to give seven of these medals to HAZARD members! Here is a list of HAZARD members who had winning beers!
We ran into a bit of a conflict with judges, finding out that there was a large competition, Son of Brewzilla, happening on the same day. Because of this, we didn’t have any (that I recall) judges from Ohio. Lesson learned: don’t try to compete with the competition that maxes out about 3 times larger than ours.
We did have all the judges and stewards we needed to pull the event off, most of which came from out of the area. Thank you to all of them who helped!
Judges: Chris Balboni, Kira Barnes, Thomas Barnes, Tim Belczak, Tim Collins, Terry Felton, Jeff Knapp, Don Maier, Jim McCall, Brian Milford, Chris Page, Marcus Palmisano, Ariel Statman, Melissa Statman, Shawn Strickland and Andy Weigel.
Stewards: Mike Barrett, Don Dombrowski, Michelle Greenlee, Jason Kisielewski, Chris Logan, Jill Orr, Alexia Pursley, Matt Smith and David Statman.
Last year we gave all the judges HAZARD pint glasses, and stewards received donated t-shirts. This year we decided to everyone a nice bottle of some local brew. Thanks to Jason Lavery for selling us a bulk amount of his delicious Strawberry Berliner Weisse from the 12th Street Stash series. The judges and stewards were pretty excited about their gifts.
New to this year was an after-competition reception. The BrewErie catered from their Oktoberfest menu and everyone who participated, judged, stewarded, or entered was welcome. Many judges stayed and we had a good handful of contestants show up, eat and hear the result announcements. Surprisingly, there were quite a few winners who were present. I only brought medals and prizes to give to 9 people, but ended up running out of prizes! The rest will be in the mail tomorrow or Wednesday.
I think that just about covers it. It was a fun event but I am glad it’s over for the year.