Society of Beer Advocates - Beer for all the right reasons

National Homebrew Competition

2014 - Who are these people?

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Greig McGill

Running the NHC requires a lot of people. I thought I’d tell you a little about our team.

First up, home brewing, for a fair while there, had become something of a male dominated area. Homebrew stores felt very “blokey”, online forums seemed to be almost entirely men, and certainly, NHC entries were almost 100% male brewed. Last year, there seemed to be a bit of a shift. Several female brewers entered, some in partnerships with guys, and Barbara Joppa won Champion Beer with her delicious Joppa Stout. This hopefully has provided a bit of a catalyst for more women to seriously consider the hobby and get involved!

While I’d never advocate any kind of gender quota, it’s great to see we have a lot more women represented at the judging table and behind the scenes. I thought I’d introduce a few of them.

Tracy Banner – Tracy has been a woman in brewing since before the Pink Boots Society was a twinkle in Teri Fahrendorf’s brew kettle. She brings three decades of brewing experience and sensory analysis to the NHC judging table.

Denise Garland – Denise had the shortest stint ever as a trainee judge when we all realised just what an excellent palate she possessed. As an experienced judge, she’s great at walking that razor thin line between optimism and intense critique.

Steph Coutts – founder of Craft Beer College, and previous organiser of SOBA volunteers at many events, Steph is joining us as a trainee judge this year.

Alexandra McGill – Alex has the daunting task of managing the steward team. She works incredibly hard behind the scenes, sorting and categorising all the entries before the big day itself.

Patricia Gleason – ex SOBA Waikato coordinator, and a fixture as a steward at the NHC, Patricia brings her hard working ethic to the stewarding team, getting anything and everything done and done well!

Beth Murray – Beth provides all the (t)wit and banter via the @soba_nhc twitter account on the day, as well as helps out with score collation and data entry. Made all the more impressive as she’s quite pregnant right now!

Next time, we meet some of the stewards!


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