Important Public Service Announcement!!
"Look!! He's published this year's rules!"
So here we go. Another year, another set of photo contest rules. And if you look back to 2013 you will see that this notice is virtually identical. But it is to be expected as usually I take last year's rules, cut and paste them, then change them about a bit to suit my year's worth of new gripes and joys. Like I did just now... again...
⇒ Rule the First: Once upon a time, dear readers, we had unlimited photos per entrant. In 2008, when the joyously returned Stonch, we had over 500 entries. That was nuts. Children cried again from the lack of a parent's attention. In 2009, with the five photo max rule, we got it down to down to a sensible 185. Then, we raised it to eight and things stayed sane. Then we went to nine. So... I am once again letting you enter five this year. Why? Because last year I was writing three frickin' books and now I am not, that's why. I need some space. I need to make this easy for the guy I call Mr. Number One... Anyway, the rules:
⇒ Secondish rule: Never, no way nada - no photos of dishes of food with a beer next to it. Your food is still no better looking than your dog. Sorry to break the news. And beer and food pairing has failed. It's so past it that it's still done in Toronto...still! Unless the photo is really good. One good one per entrant. If they all suck? No prizes. My rules remain brutal but at least final in these matters.
⇒ Nextly rule: I like photos of beer and snow as well as beer and babies. Photos of beer and snow look great. Beer in nature generally looks good. But beer and snow is a winner. Snow in Italy? Even better. Snow in former Soviet republics? Fabulous. Beer and babies can either look good or look weird. Stay away from weird. Stay away from "maybe baby's drinking!" photos, too. Pictures of beer and your pals all liquored up are completely out. You are, in fact, dull looking when you are like that.
⇒ Critical new almost middlemost rule: Performance art image of good beer being abused. However you define that... hmm. Dipping chocolate chip cookies in a vintage barley wine? Washing the cat with gueuze? A cocktail of imperial stout and cream soda? The degree of self-evident proof in the image is critical. And the photo must be good art. Too much to ask? No. A year later, I love this rule even more.
⇒ Crappiest of final rules ever: As in every year, there is a prize for the crappiest photo. It is a crappy prize. There have been some amazingly crap photos submitted. Some have been so crappy that I have been certain that you either injured your eye or broke the camera just before taking the shot. Don't dwell on the crap photo. But the odd one - if it be truly wonderfully horrible - it may well earn a prize.
So, rules. Do they even make sense? Are there any missing? Was there one from 2009 you wanted brought back? The prizes and rules will be indirectly associated by analogy. You know that, right? I could post about the former rules one day. Maybe describe them in a two-dimensional graph, too. Even a year later I have no idea what that means. It's still a bit foggy over here. But enough about me. Let's say entries are due Friday, December 12 by 4 pm eastern time zone North America. Does that work for you? Send entries to email@example.com.
PS: prizes. Lots of books and whatever else gets pledged from trustworthy sources. In the past, a now quite famous craft brewer pledged quite actively and never mailed any prizes out. That sort of "craft beer community" stuff is the curse we will no longer bear.