Why is there any problem at all ?The problem is, an award that was not listed was awarded in a manner defying sense. The way in which it was awarded did not have a methodology defined by NSW ABC. It did have a methodology defined by AABC. NSW ABC as part of the national comp should have followed the AABC rules when they chose to award the non listed award that they were not obliged to award, they did not use the AABC methodology.
The organisers of the comp grabbed paperwork used in previous years and ran the best comp that they could. Months after the comp the ANHC (a commercial organisation seperate from the AABC) asked the NSW committee to nominate the 'Champion Brewer' as there was no mention of that exact title in the published results. The answer was given that there is only 1 Champion awarded in NSW and so you can give the ticket to the BOS winner.
Understandably some people will be disapointed with this decision but as a volunteer service organisation we can only try to do the best for the majority of entrants.
This is why we place an emphasis on judge training to give the best possible feedback and conduct a BOS taste-off to ensure that all category winners are fairly evaluated (rather than the winner being selected from the judging panel that awarded the highest score). The BOS panel was made up of 3 professional brewers - 2 of which were BJCP qualified and the 3rd conducts taste training for the country's largest brewer.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Mark's Home Brew and our local breweries, the Champion Brewer prize was worth nearly $1,000.
What I do think is a major problem is how many here are quick to belittle and criticise the honest efforts of volunteers. This is making AHB a very toxic place to visit, and can only hasten AHB's slide into irrelevance for all passionate brewers.
Something that Dane and his advertisers should be very concerned about.