This Year's GABF Comes with an Asterisk

Note: post has been updated below.

Wow, what a debacle:
On Tuesday, the Brewers Association opened brewery registration for The Great American Beer Festival. Each year, the registration list fills up within days. Last year, it only took two days for 580 breweries to sign up. This year, however, it only took less than two hours for 600 breweries.

Complicating this year’s registration were server issues, something that has become quite common with limited events.
I don't know that I have a lot to add to this except the pretty-obvious observation that things are soon gonna have to give.  Each Spring the Brewers Association proudly announces the hundreds of new breweries that opened in the US, and each autumn they announce the "best beers" in the country--even though this year only about a quarter will even have had the chance to have their beer judged.

They may have to move from an "open" model of competition to an "invitational."  The crapshoot model accomplishes no one's benefit.

Update.  In comments, Vasili Gletsos, brewmaster at Laurelwood, offers a wonderful solution to all this:
Maybe move to a model similar to what they do for their National Homebrew competitons? Have a series of Regional Competitions that advance to nationals.
Yup, that's the answer.  Regional judging could be accompanied by small regional events as well, which would certainly be a boon all around.  Brewers Association?