2023 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 (March 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 January 24 (10 a.m. MST) and February 12 (11:59 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?
How do I subscribe to NHC emails?
Subscribe to NHC emails here and add firstname.lastname@example.org to your Safe Senders list.
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 2023 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.
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, January 20. You can log into your competition profile using your username and password and update it to the correct information.
How many bottles should I ship to the competition?
Two (2) bottles must be sent to the first round competition site selected during registration. Beers advancing to the final round of judging in San Diego will require 3 bottles to be sent directly to the final collection site in San Diego in early-to-mid-June. 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.
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 February 10. 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 through February 10. You must pay for your entries during the registration period to be eligible and maintain your place in the competition.
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 February 10. 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 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 and the Brewers Association cannot aid homebrewers in this decision. Detailed descriptions of each of the beer styles and subcategories are available via the 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines.
When is the shipping window for the competition?
First Round Competition Site Shipping: March 6-17. Directly to First Round site selected during registration. See below for shipping and drop-off locations
Final Round Competition Shipping: June 5-14. Only for beers that advance to final round judging. Beers ship direct to San Diego – location & hours of operations coming soon.
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 are the shipping/drop-off locations?
- Chicago: Attn: NHC 2023, Dovetail Brewery (Shipping & Drop-off)
- Denver: Attn: NHC 2023, Bootstrap Brewing (Shipping & Drop-off)
- Indianapolis: Attn: Tom (NHC 2023), Great Fermentations (Shipping & Drop-off)
- Kansas City: Attn: NHC 2023, KC Bier Company (Shipping & Drop-off)
- New York: Attn: NHC 2023, Strong Rope Brewery – Red Hook (Shipping & Drop-off) / Bitter & Esters (Drop-off only)
- Philadelphia: Attn: NHC 2023, Keystone Homebrew Supply (Shipping & Drop-off)
- Seattle: Attn: NHC 2023, Black Raven Brewing Company – Woodinville (Shipping & Drop-off)
- San Diego: Attn: NHC 2023, AleSmith Brewing Company (Shipping & Drop-off)
- Tampa: Attn: NHC 2023, Deviant Libation (Shipping & Drop-off)
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?
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 evaluating 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?
Go to the Entrants & Volunteers page to select the location you would like to volunteer for below. Follow the prompts to apply.
When is judging/stewarding?
Judging/stewarding for the first round competitions take place from March 24-April 23. More information regarding dates and times will be available soon.
Final judging takes places June 21 in San Diego at the Town & Country Resort, prior to Homebrew Con.
Who do I contact about judging/stewarding at a particular region?
Contact the Competition Team for more information.
Results, Certificates, Awards
Are there First Round ribbons?
Yes, with the return of first round competition sites, entrants whose beers advance to the final round of the competition will receive an award ribbon in recognition of their advancement. While these ribbons are something to be proud of, they DO NOT indicate you have placed or received a medal in the competition, rather, your beer has advanced out of the first round of a large national competition.
When will I receive my first round ribbon and/or comment cards?
First round ribbons and comment sheets are sent out to entrants within about 30 days after the final round judging has finished.
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 counting 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.