Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
- You must be an AHA member before the application period ends on January 22, 2020 at 3 p.m. MST.
- Update your AHA account and subscribe to our emails. You can do this by signing up in the "Stay Updated" section at the bottom of the page.
- Fill out the Application Form for the competition between January 14 (10 a.m. MST) and January 22 (3 p.m. MST).
- Wait to hear from the AHA if you’ve been entered into the competition by February 14.
- Please reference the Rules & Regulations for more information.
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 2020 is $16 per entry in the First Round. Failure to pay within 7 days of notification will result in dismissal from the 2020 competition and grounds for disqualification from the 2021 competition. There is a separate Final Round entry fee in 2020 of $9/entry that is paid for only those advancing to the Final Round.
What is the competition website?
Forgot password for the competition?
Visit the Reset Password page 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, but you cannot use professional equipment, ingredients, or processes.
Why is the information in my brewing profile incorrect?
You did not update your AHA account before the application period, January 14. You can log into your brewing profile using your username and password on BrewingCompetition.com and update it to the correct information.
How do you advance to Final Round?
Your entry must place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the First Round with a score of 30 points or greater. Those who have placed will be notified with further instructions on how to compete in the Final Round of the National Homebrew Competition by May 8. For more information on the Final Round, please see the Rules & Regulations handbook.
How many bottles should I ship to the First Round competition?
Two bottles. 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 within the 7 day window after being notified you were accepted into the competition. If you did not receive an email, did you re-subscribe to our emails before January 14? If you did re-subscribe before then, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I receive a refund if I no longer can participate?
We do not provide refunds except for extreme and insurmountable circumstances. Please reference the Rules & Regulations for more information.
Do I need to provide a recipe?
Not in the First Round. We will ask for a recipe if one or more of your entries wins a medal in the Final Round. Please see Rules & Regulations for more information on entry recipes.
When can I edit my entries?
Reference the Dates & Deadlines page. Once you’ve received an acceptance email into the competition you can log in and edit your entries. Do not forget to pay for each entry! You will have 7 days to do so from the time of notification.
Can I delete entries?
You can only change the amount of entries you wish to enter during the open enrollment application window. After that, you are stuck with your requested entries and must pay for all entries admitted into the competition 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?
February 20 to March 5, 2020.
Can I drop-off my entries at the shipping location?
Yes you may, but make sure to check your judge center's shipping and drop-off locations. Some Judge Centers specifically state different shipping and drop-off locations.
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?
- AHA members have access to Sprited Shippers member deal of 10% off. We strongly encourage using these 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
- Leave at least 2 inches around the perimeter of the box for cushioning material
- Avoid Styrofoam chips or popcorn!
- Indicate contents are "samples for evaluation" 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 on BrewingCompetition.com, along with store hours and contact information. The information also populates on your shipping labels. They are 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, please email your site organizer. 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 email@example.com.
What is stewarding?
You can find a detailed description of stewarding in the Volunteer Handbook.
What is judging?
You can find a detailed description of judging in the Volunteer Handbook.
When is Judging/Stewarding sign up?
February 5, 2020.
Where is the judge/steward sign up? (Not an Entrant)
- Visit BrewingCompetition.com and click on “Register Here” link in the blue box. Fill out the form. Click Save & Finish. You will NOT receive a confirmation email.
- Log into your account with your username and password at BrewingCompetition.com, click “Edit My Info,” and verify your profile by choosing the judge sessions and preferred/not preferred information. Click “Submit.”
Where is the judge/steward sign up? (Entrant in Competition)
Log into your profile on BrewingCompetition.com, click “Edit My Info,” and select “Judging” or “Steward.” Choose your session for each competition, and click “Submit.”
When is judging/stewarding?
Judging/Stewarding is dependent on the dates of the first round site. Please reference your profile and which judging sessions you've signed up for. If you have more specific questions, reach out to the judge coordinator for your judge center.
Who do I contact about judging/stewarding at a particular region?
Your site organizer and judge coordinator is listed in your BrewingCompetition.com profile under the “Contacts” heading.
Can I judge at multiple locations?
Yes, you can do this in your profile under the “Edit My Info” section and selecting as many judge centers as you’d like!
Results, Certificates, Awards
What does the certificate mean?
Certificates are given to those entries that fall within a particle score range. Certificates DO NOT indicate you have placed in the competition and are moving on to the Final Round. That is identified by a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd marker next to your entry.
- Gold Certificate – Earned by entries scoring 38-50 points in the First Round
- Silver Certificate – Earned by entries scoring 30-37 points in the First Round
- Bronze Certificate – Earned by entries scoring 25-29 points in the First Round
Are there First Round ribbons?
Yes, brewers whose entries place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the First Round with a score of 30 points or greater are awarded ribbons for their achievement.
What does mini-BoS mean?
Mini-BoT or Mini-BoS stands for mini-Best of Table or Show, and is a technique for reconciling the placement of entries within a multi-flight category. For more information, please reference the BJCP Mini-BOS Guidelines found on the BJCP website.
Where are the links to certificates and letters in the First Round?
You can find the links to your certificates and letters on your brewer profile at BrewingCompetition.com
Did I get the wrong scoresheets?
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 scoresheets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your judging number from the scoresheets you received.
When will First Round results be posted?
Results are verified and winners are posted to HomebrewersAssociation.org as competitions finish. All results will be posted by no later than April 30. Please visit First Round Competition Statuses for current status.
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 Final Round. In the Final Round, six points are awarded for a first place, four points for a second place and two 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 in the Final Round, the following tie-breaker criteria will apply.
- The number of medals earned in the Final round 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 placed in the First Round of the NHC based on the same scale as used in the Final Round. In the First Round, a club may only receive points for a maximum of three awards per category, the highest three awards shall be counted, not to exceed a 12-point maximum. The club with the most points in the First Round 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 First Round, and a minimum of 2 club members advancing to and at least one entry placing in the Final Round of the competition. Six points are awarded for a first place, four points for a second place and two 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 both the First and Final Rounds of the NHC ([First Round points + Final Round points] / # of NHC entries from club). Points for the First Round of the NHC are based on the same scale as used in the Final Round. The tying club with the higher points/entry value over both the First and Final Round will then be determined the winner.
How is the Ninkasi Award determined?
The Ninkasi Award will be given to the entrant who accumulates the most points in the Final Round of this competition. To be eligible for the award, entrants must have at least one entry place in the 28 beer categories. Six points are awarded for a first place, four points for a second place and two 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 in the Final Round, the following tie-breaker criteria will apply.
- The number of medals earned in the Final Round 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 placed in the First Round of the NHC based on the same scale as used in the Final Round. The brewer with the most points in the First Round will be declared the winner. If a tie still exists,
- The number of entries qualifying for the Final Round will be tallied for each tying brewer, and the brewer with the most entries placing in the First Round will be declared the winner. In case a tie still exists,
- The total number of entries registered for the First Round of 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.
What is the Final Round competition website?
Final.BrewingCompetition.com/. Use your same username and password from the First Round.
How many bottles are needed for the Final Round?
Three (3). Please see the Rules & Regulations for more information on bottle requirements.
Can I edit my entries in the Final Round?
If you win a medal in the Final Round, you must provide a recipe. You cannot edit your entry information (subcategory, specialty information, etc.), only input your recipe.
When is the shipping window for the Final Round?
June 1 to June 11, 2020.
What is the shipping address for the Final Round?
Where is the Final Round judge/steward sign up?
You may sign up for judging or stewarding in the Final Round on February 5, 2019. Your profile will transfer to the final round database when it is ready on May 8. If you sign up after May 8, please do so through the Final Round database Final.BrewingCompetition.com/.
When is the Final Round judge/steward sign up?
Starting on February 5 at BrewingCompetition.com you may sign up for the Final Round judging or stewarding. This information will transfer to the Final Round database on May 8. If you sign up after May 8, please do so through the Final Round database, final.brewingcompetition.com.
When is the Final Round Judging?
June 18, 2020
When is the Award Ceremony
June 20, 2020
When will Final Round scoresheets be emailed?
By July 12, 2020
When will Final Round medals/awards be shipped?
By July 12, 2020
Who do I contact about judging in the Final Round?
Bruce Buerger, Judge Coordinator
Who do I contact about stewarding in the Final Round?
Luann Fitzpatrick, Steward Coordinator
Where can I find more information on judging/stewarding?
Read the Volunteer Handbook and visit the Beer Judge Certification Program website, www.bjcp.org.
Why is there a Final Round entry fee?
New for the 2020 competition, we are introducing a $9 entry for entrants submitting entries to the final round of the National Homebrew Competition.
- The introduction of the final round entry fee helps us to mitigate the growing competition expenses, particularly the expenses associated with running the final round of the competition. Over the last ten years, we’ve gone from eight to 13 first round judge centers and added seven categories, which has in turn doubled the number of final round entries to 1300 that we judge in a single day at Homebrew Con.
- Getting all those entries judged in a single day requires 250+ judges and stewards. Because final round judging is taking place in convention centers, costs for things like meals for judges and space rental are much more expensive than a typical competition.