This Is NOT About the Election!

By Glenn DeLuca


So about six months ago I covered the “supposed” Presidential nominee debates
held by our special interest group, The Brewers Association. They tried to dig down
to some of the candidates’ views and attitudes toward our burgeoning craft beer
business. They were about as successfully getting any real substance on issues as
the many high powered TV moderators have been on the many other issues facing
us. There was a thought that when we were down to two candidates (yes I’m dissing
the other candidates who don’t have a clue (Mr. Aleppo) or a chance) and their vice
presidential running mates we might be able to have another “round” (similar to what
we do when at the bar). But this campaign has degenerated to such a low level that
only the mega brews could possibly be interested. The BA was afraid that with just
the mere mention of beer, as they wouldn’t even need to consume it to get hyped up,
a brawl might break out. Then we learned they brawled through the other debates so
ours wouldn’t have even been original, just a repeat. I must say one of my neighbors
really nailed it. Their front porch Halloween decoration is a bunch of hanging scary
figures with a sign up above, “America’s Nightmare- Election 2016.”

But The Donald isn’t the only one who has found out the sometimes things are
“rigged.” My friend and mentor, Vince aka Mr. Blue (which is another story),not only
alerted me to a beer writing contest held by the North American Guild of Beer Writers-
NAGBW but encouraged me to enter.   

The NAGBW is an organization of professional beer writers; as they put it “writers,
publicists, bloggers, columnists, critics, cheerleaders and more.” Some work in the
industry employed by breweries, distributors, bars, restaurants and stores; some
work for newspapers, websites, magazines and other media outlets and for some it’s
a side gig. They are an all-volunteer organization and their directory lists 156
members, not a large number for North America. So I guess if I join I’m a professional
beer writer… They state they are actively working out the details, purposes and
goals, so sounds like we’re talking early stages. One of their first goals is the creation
of an annual writers’ competition “that will foster awareness and appreciation of our
efforts to write about beer and brewing in North America.”

So what have I got to lose (outside of a few bucks), I could enter one of, what I think
are, my better articles and maybe get some feedback.  Non-members can enter, but
it’s discounted if you’re a member. I might as well join but I waited till the deadline only
to find it takes up to week for my membership to finalize, so guess I’ll be entering as a
non-member. I fill out the form, attach my article, pay my fee and get a thanks for
your submission email. The most difficult part of the submission is deciding which, of
the ten, categories I should enter.

I had gone right to the submission form so I had no clue when the judges’ decision
would be publicized, but I assumed I would get an email when they were. My bad for
not going to their website, which said they were announcing the results at the GABF
on October 3rd.

I saw Vince in mid-October and he said he was able to find a list of the winners, of
which he was not one. It’s now well into October and I still haven’t heard, so took my
submission email and responded asking about the results. I did get a prompt answer
that they were announced at GABF and released on Twitter; which is great for those
of us that don’t have a Twitter account. I look at the release on their website and
there were 140 entries in eight categories; but where’s the one I’m entered in???  I
used a link in the email response and get a ten category list which does include mine.
Interestingly enough I see the honorable mention in my category is the winner in the
only other one I considered. Upon further investigation I believe that’s the name of
his blog, so probably different articles, but I’m still wanting more definition about the

The email also told me I could get feedback if I wanted and let them know if I had any
suggestions. Trying not to unload; better category descriptions, a blast email to all
entrants with a link to the list of winners and yea let us know we can get feedback…I’
m still waiting for mine.

I confer with Vince for more background. This isn’t really a new organization, but a
reformulated one. Seems it was a viable organization in the 2000’s but when the
economic downturn hit, they took a hit and went bankrupt. One of their hallmarks
back then was…wait for it…an annual writing contest. Back then they farmed out the
judging to ta collegiate Language Arts Dept. Appears the organization was dormant
for a few years until someone picked it up again and is trying to make a go of it.
There’s obviously not much revenue besides dues and competition fees so the
judging is now in-house. One can only hope they make sure the judges disqualify
themselves from categories they’ve entered.

So when I run into The Donald we’ll be able to share about things being “rigged”
although in this case I think/hope you have a bunch of volunteers just trying to get it
done who could have done a better job…

I’m still waiting for my “Participation” letter of appreciation. If Little Leaguers can get
them then that’s the least I should get.

All I want is my fair share…

All I want is what’s coming to me…

Told you it was rigged…

Glenn DeLuca writes about beer and culture of drinking. He may
be reached by writing

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Glenn DeLuca
Outtakes from a life of beer. presents
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by Glenn DeLuca
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