Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
- You must be an AHA member (annual or monthly) from the start of the competition to the end of the competition (Feburary through June).
- Update your AHA account and subscribe to our emails. You can do this by logging into your AHA profile on HomebrewersAssociation.org and changing your email preferences.
- Fill out the Registration Form for the competition between February 17 (10 a.m. MST) and March 3 (3 p.m. MST).
- Review and confirm all information after registering and paying for your entries.
- Please reference the Rules & Regulations for more information and what to do next.
How do I find my AHA Membership information?
Log into your AHA account on HomebrewersAssociation.org and click "My Account" on the top left. If you forget your AHA login username or password, click on "Forgot username or password" on the login box or contact Member Services.
How do I subscribe to NHC emails?
Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Type in your email in the "Stay Updated" box. To manage your settings, click Manage Email Preferences and make sure you're signed up for the competition emails. Or log in to your AHA account and update your email preferences in your profile.
How do I become an AHA member?
Easy! Head to our Join page and follow the steps to become a member!
What is the entry cost?
Entry fee for 2021 is $29 per entry. Failure to pay within the beer registration window will result in dismissal from the competition and given lower priority in future year competitions.
What is the competition website?
Forgot password for the competition?
Visit the competition website and click Reset Password and follow the prompts. Make sure to COPY AND SAVE your randomly generated password so you may reset it to something more memorable.
Can multiple members register together for the competition?
Yes. An entrant may list co-brewers under each entry they enter. However, an entrant listed as a co-brewer in another entrant's entry will not count be combined and counted together (i.e. if Person A lists Person B as a co-brewer, that will be counted separately from Person B listing Person A as a co-brewer). Co-brewers do not need to be AHA members.
Can professional brewers enter NHC?
Yes, all AHA members are welcomed to enter. Entrants explicitly may not use professional equipment, ingredients, or processes.
Why is the information in my brewing profile incorrect?
You did not update your AHA account before the registration period, February 17. You can log into your brewing profile using your username and password and update it to the correct information.
How do you advance to in the competition?
Entries are judged in parallel (not queued) within a category - meaning Judges are evaluating 8-12 entries at one time in relation to the style guideline and each other. Judges evaluate flights in panels of two or three. The judge panels fill out scoresheets for each entry and identify up to three entries to move on to the next round. An entry must receive a score of 30 points or more to be eligible to advance in a NHC table and place. After the scoring round, entries are evaluated against one another in subsequent rounds until a final table is reached with 12 or fewer entries. For more information on the judging process, please see the Rules & Regulations handbook.
How many bottles should I ship to the competition?
Either 4 or 6 bottles depending on size. The reason for the bottle quantities are to accommodate multiple rounds of judging and a potential Best of Show round of judging if your entry were to win first place in a category. Most categories will have at least three rounds of judging, with two bottles reserved for the final round table to accommodate repours and other requests from judges. Please see Rules & Regulations for more information on bottle requirements.
What bottles are acceptable?
Please see the Rules & Regulations for more information and requirements on bottle acceptance.
Why were my entries removed from the competition?
You failed to pay for your entries during the registration period. Please contact email@example.com for additional information or questions.
Can I receive a refund if I no longer can participate?
We do not provide refunds except for extreme and insurmountable circumstances. Entries not being ready for the competition do not fall within extreme and insurmountable circumstances. The refund deadline is March 17. Please reference the Rules & Regulations for more information.
Do I need to provide a recipe?
We will ask for a recipe if one or more of your entries wins a medal. Please see Rules & Regulations for more information on entry recipes.
When can I edit my entries?
Reference the Dates & Deadlines page. Once you've completed the registration and payment for the competition you can log in and edit your entries. You must pay for your entries during the registration period to be eligible and maintain your place in the competition. You have until March 3 to pay for your entries.
Can I delete entries?
After the registration and payment window closes, no you cannot delete entries. Only choose your the amount of entries you will enter as we do not provide refunds unless it is an extreme and insurmountable circumstance. Refund deadline is March 17. After that, you are stuck with your requested entries and regardless of whether you ship all of them.
Can I give my entries to someone else?
Have I paid for my entries?
You should have received a confirmation of payment for your entries. If you have not, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Member Services at 1-888-822-6273.
I’m having problems printing my bottle labels. What should I do?
Clear your history and cache, and restart your browser. Print the bottle label in "Actual Size" and not "Fit to Page." Do not use Internet Explorer to print your bottle labels. If you are still experiencing trouble, contact email@example.com.
What style do I enter my beer under?
Your choice! It is your responsibility to enter each entry in the appropriate category and subcategory. Staff of the National Homebrew Competition, First Round organizers, and staff of the Brewers Association cannot aid homebrewers in this decision. Detailed descriptions of each of the beer styles and subcategories are available via the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.
When is the shipping window for the competition?
March 29 to April 9
Can I drop-off my entries at the shipping location?
Yes you may but only during the shipping window and they must be packaged safely (e.g. no loose 6 packs or the like).
What carrier is best for shipping entries?
It is illegal to ship/mail beer entries using the U.S. Postal Service. It is legal to ship using a commercial shipping company, though there may be local store restrictions. Please see the NHC Rules & Regulations for more information about shipping entries to competitions.
What’s the best way to ship entries?
- We strongly encourage using a container such as Sprited Shippers as they are full recyclable and easy to unpack.
- Wrap bottles using a material that can be torn away (padded paper or foam sheets)
- Use dividers to keep the bottles apart. Cushion and immobilize them in the divider
- Package and pay for shipping label online and schedule a pick up date as there is less package scrutiny than going into the shipping store.
- Avoid Styrofoam chips or popcorn!
- Indicate contents are "samples for evaluation" or "glassware" if asked
- Indicate how many “items” are contained inside
- Indicate which end is “up” and contents are “fragile”
- Request a tracking number
- For more information, reference the Rules & Regulations.
Where is the shipping location?
You can find this information in your brewer profile. It is also listed in the NHC Rules & Regulations.
Have my entries arrived?
Ask for a tracking number when you ship! If you do not have a tracking number. Do not contact the business of the shipping/drop-off location!
How to ship entries internationally?
You can find this information in the Rules & Regulations. If you have further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is stewarding?
Stewards are part of the competition team that help prepare and deliver entries to judges, along with other tasks. For more information, please visit the Beer Judge Certification Program website (bjcp.org). If interested in stewarding, please email email@example.com.
What is judging?
Judging is the process of evaluting entries in relation to a style guideline. Judges are not given and personal or identifying information so the evaluation remains unbiased and fair throughout the competition.
When is Judging/Stewarding sign up?
It is an on-going recruiting process that is invite only. You may apply to judge by filling out the Judge Application Form
When is judging/stewarding?
Judging/Stewarding is April 26th to May 2nd. If you have more specific questions, reach out to the Judge Coordinator.
Who do I contact about judging/stewarding at a particular region?
Contact the Competition Team for more information.
Results, Certificates, Awards
What does the recognition award mean?
Recognition Awards are given to those entries that advance to the final round of a NHC table to acknowledge the entry's excellence and great achievement in the competition. Recognition Awards DO NOT indicate you have placed in the competition.
- Gold Recognition – Earned by entries advancing to the final round of a category
- Silver Recognition – Earned by entries advancing to the second to last round of a category
- Bronze Recogntion – Earned by entries receiving a Quality Entry but did not advance out of the first round
Are there First Round ribbons?
No, there are no longer first round ribbons because of the competition format changes. There are now Entry Recognition Certificates. Please reference the Rules & Regulations for more information.
Where are the links to certificates, comment sheets, etc?
Certificates and comment sheets are emailed out to entrants after the competition and Award Ceremony conclude.
Did I get the wrong comment sheets?
Probably not. We renumber the entries once they arrive at the competition with a judging IDs. These numbers are different than your entry IDs which is the number that printed out on your bottle labels and the number you’ll find next to each entry in your brewer profile. If you feel you received the incorrect comment sheets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your judging number from the comment sheets you received.
When will the results be posted?
Results are verified and winners are posted to HomebrewersAssociation.org after the Award Ceremony concludes. All results will be posted by no later than three days after the Award Ceremony.
What are the tiebreakers for NHC Homebrew Club Award?
The NHC Homebrew Club Award is awarded to the club that accumulates the most total points in all categories of beer, mead and cider. In the competition, six points are awarded for a first place, five points for a second place and four points for a third place. The NHC Homebrew Club Award will only be awarded to one winning club. In the event of a tie for the most points, the following tie-breaker criteria will apply.
- The number of medals earned in the competition will be tallied, and the club with the most medals will be declared the winning club. If a tie still exists,
- Points will be calculated for the tying clubs’ entries that advanced past the first round of a category of the NHC. Each round advancement past the first round of a category of an entry counts as two points. A club may only receive points for a maximum of three awards per category. The club with the most points in this tiebreaker situation will be declared the winner.
What are the tiebreakers for the Gambrinus Club Award
The Gambrinus Club Award will be awarded to the club garnering the most Final Round points per total club entries (Final Round points / # of NHC entries from club). To be eligible, clubs must have a minimum of 5 club members entering the competition, and a minimum of 2 club members advancing past the first round of a category and at least one entry placing in the competition. Six points are awarded for a first place, five points for a second place and four points for a third place. There will be only one Gambrinus Club Award winner. In the event of a tie, the tying club’s points/entry will be calculated using the points from the medals and two points per entry that advance to the final round of a category ([Medal points + advancement points] / # of NHC entries from club). The tying club with the higher points/entry value over the competition will then be determined the winner. If a tie still exists, the tying club's points/entry will be calculated by the total number of entries registered for the competition for each tying club and the club with the fewest registered entries will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists, the winner will be selected using a coin flip.
How is the Ninkasi Award determined?
The Ninkasi Award will be given to the entrant who accumulates the most points in the competition. To be eligible for the award, entrants must have at least one entry place in the beer categories. Six points are awarded for a first place, five points for a second place and four points for a third place. Individual members of a group of brewers earn points as a group and do not earn points on an individual basis. There will only be one Ninkasi Award winner. In the event of a tie for the most points, the following tie-breaker criteria will apply.
- The number of medals earned in the competition will be tallied, and the brewer with the most medals will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists,
- Points will be calculated for tying brewers’ entries that advanced in a final round of a category in the competition, with each entry in a final round table coutning as two points. The brewer with the most points will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists,
- The number of entries that advance past the first round of a category will be tallied for each tying brewer, and the brewer with the most entries advancing past the first round of a category will be declared the winner. In case a tie still exists,
- The total number of entries registered for the competition will be tallied for each tying brewer, and the brewer with the fewest registered entries will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists,
- The winner will be selected using a coin flip.
General Competition Information
When is the Judging?
April 26 to May 2
When is the Award Ceremony
When will comment sheets be emailed?
After the Award Ceremony concludes
When will medals/awards be shipped?
By July 12
Who do I contact about judging?
Judges are welcomed to the competition on a invitation-only basis. You may inquire and apply to be a judge by contacting the Steward Coordinator.
Where can I find more information on judging/stewarding?
Read the Rules & Regulations and visit the Beer Judge Certification Program website, www.bjcp.org.