2017 National Homebrew Competition Styles

Below are the 2017 National Homebrew Competition categories broken out by subcategory using the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. These are different than last year’s categories so make sure you review and familarize yourself with them.

Entries entered in the following Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) subcategories will require specialty information: 7C, 9A, 21B, 23F, 24C, 25B, 27J, 28A, 28B, 28C, 29A, 29B, 29C, 30A, 30B, 30C, 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D***, 35A, 35B, 35C, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 37A, 37B, 38A, 38B, 38C, 39A, 39B, 39C, 39D, 39E, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F.

Please reference the 2015 BJCP style guidelines and NHC Rules & Regulations before registering your entries to make sure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance in the competition.

Light Lager

  • 1A. American Light Lager
  • 1B. American Lager
  • 2A. International Pale Lager
  • 5A. German Leichtbier

Pale European Lager

  • 4A. Munich Helles
  • 4B. Festbier
  • 5B. Kölsch
  • 5C. Helles Exportbier


  • 3A. Czech Pale Lager
  • 3B. Czech Premium Pale Lager
  • 5D. German Pils
  • 27F. Prohibition Lager (Historical)

Amber Lager

  • 2B. International Amber Lager
  • 3C. Czech Amber Lager
  • 6A. Märzen
  • 7A. Vienna Lager
  • 7B. Altbier
  • 7C. Kellerbier**

Dark Lager

  • 2C. International Dark Lager
  • 3D. Czech Dark Lager
  • 8A. Munich Dunkel
  • 8B. Schwarzbier


  • 4C. Helles Bock
  • 6C. Dunkels Bock
  • 9A. Dopplebock**
  • 9B. Eisbock

English Pale Ale

  • 11A. Ordinary Bitter
  • 11B. Best Bitter
  • 11C. Strong Bitter
  • 12A. British Golden Ale
  • 12B. Australian Sparkling Ale
  • 12C. English IPA

Scottish & Irish Ale

  • 14A. Scottish Light
  • 14B. Scottish Heavy
  • 14C. Scottish Export
  • 15A. Irish Red Ale
  • 17C. Wee Heavy

American Pale Ale

  • 18B. American Pale Ale

Other Pale American Ale

  • 1C. Cream Ale
  • 1D. American Wheat Beer
  • 18A. Blonde Ale

Amber and Brown American Ale

  • 19A. American Amber Ale
  • 19B. California Common
  • 19C. American Brown Ale
  • 27B. Kentucky Common (Historical)

English Brown Ale

  • 13A. Dark Mild
  • 13B. British Brown Ale
  • 27D. London Brown Ale (Historical)


  • 9C. Baltic Porter
  • 13C. English Porter
  • 20A. American Porter
  • 27G. Prohibition Porter (Historical)


  • 15B. Irish Stout
  • 15C. Irish Extra Stout
  • 16A. Sweet Stout
  • 16B. Oatmeal Stout

Strong Stout

  • 16C. Tropical Stout
  • 16D. Foreign Export Stout
  • 20B. American Stout
  • 20C. Imperial Stout

American IPA

  • 21A. American IPA

Double IPA

  • 22A. Double IPA

Specialty IPA

  • 21B. Specialty IPA**

German Wheat & Rye Beer

  • 10A. Weissbier
  • 10B. Dunkels Weissbier
  • 10C. Weizenbock**
  • 27H. Roggenbier (Historical)
  • 27I. Sahti (Historical)

Belgian Ale

  • 24A. Witbier
  • 24B. Belgian Pale Ale
  • 24C. Bière de Garde**
  • 25B. Saison**
  • 26A. Trappist Single
  • 34A. Clone Beer (Belgian Styles Only)

Strong Belgian & Trappist Ale

  • 25A. Belgian Blond Ale
  • 25C. Belgian Golden Strong Ale
  • 26B. Belgian Dubbel
  • 26C. Belgian Tripel
  • 26D. Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Sour Ale

  • 23A. Berliner Weisse
  • 23B. Flanders Red Ale
  • 23C. Oud Bruin
  • 23D. Lambic
  • 23E. Gueuze
  • 23F. Fruit Lambic**
  • 27A. Gose (Historical)

Strong Ale

  • 17A. English Strong Ale
  • 17B. Old Ale
  • 17D. English Barleywine
  • 22B. American Strong Ale
  • 22C. American Barleywine
  • 22D. Wheatwine

Fruit Beer

  • 29A. Fruit Beer**
  • 29B. Fruit and Spice Beer**
  • 29C. Specialty Fruit Beer**

Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer

  • 30A. Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer**
  • 30B. Autumn Seasonal Beer**
  • 30C. Winter Seasonal Beer**

Smoke-Flavored & Wood-Aged Beer

  • 6B. Rauchbier
  • 27C. Lichtenhainer (Historical)
  • 27E. Piwo Grodziskie (Historical)
  • 32A. Classic Style Smoked Beer**
  • 32B. Specialty Smoked Beer**
  • 33A. Wood-Aged Beer**
  • 33B. Specialty Wood-Aged Beer**

American Wild Ale

  • 28A. Brett Beer**
  • 28B. Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer**
  • 28C. Soured Fruit Beer**

Specialty Beer

  • 27J. Other Historical Beer**
  • 31A. Alternative Grain Beer**
  • 31B. Alternative Sugar Beer**
  • 34D. Clone Beer (non-Belgian Style)***
  • 34B. Mixed-Style Beer**
  • 34C. Experimental Beer**

Traditional Mead

  • 35A. Dry Mead**
  • 35B. Semi-Sweet Mead**
  • 35C. Sweet Mead**

Fruit Mead

  • 36A. Cyser**
  • 36B. Pyment**
  • 36C. Berry Mead**
  • 36D. Stone Fruit Mead**
  • 36E. Melomel**

Spice & Specialty Mead

  • 37A. Fruit & Spice Mead**
  • 37B. Spice, Herb, Vegetable Mead**
  • 38A. Braggot**
  • 38B. Historical Mead**
  • 38C. Experimental Mead**

Standard Cider & Perry

  • 39A. New World Cider**
  • 39B. English Cider**
  • 39C. French Cider**
  • 39D. New World Perry**
  • 39E. Traditional Perry**

Specialty Cider & Perry

  • 40A. New England Cider**
  • 40B. Cider with Other Fruit**
  • 40C. Applewine**
  • 40D. Ice Cider**
  • 40E. Cider with Herbs/Spices**
  • 40F. Specialty Cider/Perry**

* * *

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, and writes for HomebrewersAssociation.org.