National Homebrew Competition 2019: What’s New

National Homebrew Competition 2019: What’s New

Hi, everyone!

Each year after the Final Round concludes,  AHA Competition Subcommittee discusses changes and improvements to the National Homebrew Competition. The highlights for 2019 are:

  1. Adding a 13th First Round Judge Center in the New England area,
  2. Separating the Wood-Aged & Smoked-Flavored beers into their own NHC categories, for a total of 34 NHC categories, and
  3. Changing the entry fee to $16.

Rules & Regulations are available and will be continuously updated, including details about the First Round Judge Center and shipping information. Make sure you read them! Most questions can be answered in the Rules & Regulations before emailing

The deadline to register or update homebrew club information was December 31, 2018 to be eligible for the competition major awards.

Important dates have been posted on the competition’s homepage and on the Dates & Deadlines page. Updates will be provided as soon as they’re received in the From the Director section and in the Rules & Regulations. Please check back regularly.

A Note About the Entry Fee Change

As part of our commitment to improve our members’ experience and ensure a well-run, enjoyable competition, we’ve increased the entry fee by $2. The increased entry fee will allow us to continue to provide essential financial and administrative support to all 13 first round judge centers, the final round judging, and overall competition operations.

With more first round judge centers and categories in the competition than ever before, expenses on supplies, space, shipping, and printing have continued to grow. The entry fee increase will help offset those expenses and continue to allow more members enter the competition and ensure continued quality. Another area where expense have grown is with the final round judging. With the growth of Homebrew Con, the judging has moved to convention centers and added considerable costs in catering and event space expenses.

The last entry fee increase was over a decade ago. Since then, the competition has added 5 first round judge centers, 11 categories, new technologies, more personnel, and thousands more entries. We believe this growth has been a positive for the competition and the hobby of homebrewing, and we will continue to make improvements on your behalf.

2019 NHC Important Dates
Competition Application Open Enrollment January 22 (10 a.m. MT) – January 29 (3 p.m. MT)
Beer Registration & Payment By February 15
First Round Shipping Window March 1 – March 14
First Round Judging March 22 – April 14

*Information regarding the Final Round entry and judging will be posted at a later date. Keep an eye out for updates from the NHC director


John Moorhead

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American Homebrewers Association competition coordinator John Moorhead is director of the National Homebrew Competition, coordinates the Great American Beer Festival® Pro-Am Competition and the Capitol Hill Staff Homebrew Competition, assists with homebrew legislative efforts, and writes for

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association