Manly’s 4 Pines Brewing Company has been ruled ineligible from receiving additional votes in The Local Taphouse’s Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers of 2012 poll.
This decision has been made by the poll manager following an email to the brewery’s Beer Club members this morning. It has been decided that the email could have been read as offering an incentive to vote for 4 Pines, breaching the competition rules.
The 4 Pines mailout (and a related tweet) announced a competition to “win your weight in beer” by replying to the email. It also encouraged readers to vote in the Taphouse poll while replying to the email with a screenshot of the vote.
The Hottest 100 poll includes the following condition:
“Breweries are not permitted to offer prizes, incentives or inducements of any value in exchange for votes for their beers. Any clear breaches of this rule will lead to the brewery being disqualified.”
While the 4 Pines mailout included the words “This is not an offer of a prize, incentive or inducement of any value in exchange for voting”, the poll manager has ruled that the inclusion of a requirement to reply to the email with a screenshot of the Hottest 100 entry could be interpreted as being a requirement of the brewery’s own competition and could be interpreted as an inducement by some. This decision is supported by a discussion thread that has already started on BeerAdvocate following the mailout.
Guy Greenstone, co-owner of the Local Taphouse which runs the annual poll said the situation was a difficult one but that in the interests of the competition he was accepting the independent judge’s ruling.
“I have spoken to Jaron Mitchell from 4 Pines who has assured me that it was not the brewery’s intention to offer an inducement to sway the voting. However, to ensure the highest integrity of the poll we had arranged for it to be conducted by independent consultants. It’s their decision that, intentional or not, there is the potential for the 4 Pines email to create the perception that voting for 4 Pines in the Hottest 100 was an element of their competition,” Guy said.
“We aim to make the annual Hottest 100 poll the fairest popular vote that we can, which is why we included the condition that breweries could not offer prizes or inducements.
“These things are rarely clear cut and we accept the judges decision that this interpretation was possible from the email. The judge has ruled that while 4 Pines is still eligible to be included in the poll, any votes cast after the 4 Pines’ email was sent will not be included in the counting.
“I think that this decision is the fairest, enabling 4 Pines to remain in the poll while ensuring the integrity of the voting for all breweries.”
With only a few days left in the poll, existing votes for 4 Pines will be deemed valid. Any votes for 4 Pines submitted after the “win your weight in beer” prize offer was issued will not be counted. Five of 4 Pines’ beers appeared in the top 20 of last year’s Local Taphouse Hottest 100 poll.
It is a timely reminder that voting in the poll closes on Tuesday night, 15th January 2013, at 11:30pm.
It has been tough for many beer lovers to whittle their favourite beers of 2012 down to just five votes, but don’t let that hold you back from contributing your thoughts on Australia’s best craft beers.
You must submit your vote by Tuesday and also validate your entry by following the link in the confirmation email that you will receive after voting.
Many have anguished over voting for the myriad of amazing extreme beers they tasted during 2012 or voting for their regular “go to” beers, the sessionable favourites.
I have been one such voter. Initially I struggled to find a balance between the high impact beers with big alcohol content and bold flavours that might be consumed once or twice throughout a year and the everyday favourites that I buy by the 6-pack or slab.
I detailed the thinking around my final top five on my Beer Bar Band blog, with my votes awarded to:
- Bridge Road Brewers B2 Bomber Mach 2.0 Belgian India Ale
- Mountain Goat Hightail Ale
- Stone & Wood Pacific Ale
- Mornington Peninsula Brewery IPA
- Moon Dog Brewing Black Lung II Smokey Stout
Other bloggers that have detailed their votes include:
Don’t leave your votes until it’s too late. This is the peoples’ one change to decide which craft beers were Australia’s best in 2012. Make your vote count!