2020 First Round Cancellation Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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March 20, 2020

On March 13 we announced the postponement of the 2020 National Homebrew Competition First Round due to safety and health concerns surrounding COVID-19. Since then we have been closely monitoring updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local restrictions and precautionary measures for the size of gatherings.

We continued to assess the impact of COVID-19 in regular discussions with the AHA Governing Committee Competition Subcommittee, all First Round site organizing teams, as well as consulted public health guidelines and restrictions to find a viable, consistent, and safe path forward that undeniably keeps our volunteer organizers, judges, stewards and host businesses healthy and safe, and maintains the quality of the competition and our commitments to our members.

Based on those discussions and advice, we made the decision to cancel the 2020 National Homebrew Competition First Round.

We understand that you may be very disappointed to not have the opportunity to compete in the NHC First Round, and so it is heartbreaking to have to deliver this news. We are grateful to all of you who brewed and entered, as well as those who planned on volunteering their time to judge and steward. While it hurts right now, the safety and health of the judge center organizing teams, judges, stewards, and host businesses is paramount to the American Homebrewers Association.

Frequently Asked Questions

What led to the decision to cancel?

We have been continuously monitoring updates and recommendations from the CDC and the WHO, as well as daily policy changes with state and local governments. It was our hope that time would be on our side and the situation would subside, offering a viable option to move forward. However, developments over the past week have made the situation uncertain over the coming months, and concerns that going forward with judging could be putting the health of our volunteer organizers, judges, stewards, and host businesses at risk.

What is the refund policy?

For any members who wish to NOT have their entry fees reimbursed to help offset the competition expenses, please fill out this form.

The American Homebrewers Association will provide a full refund of NHC entry fees for all entrants. Entrants will receive an email confirming your refund in the coming days. You do not need to request a refund. They will be issued automatically. Please contact NHC@brewersassociation.org with any questions regarding your registration refund.We have heard from some entrants requesting that rather than being reimbursed, their entry fees be used to help offset the competition expenses the AHA has already incurred. We are humbled and deeply grateful for this sentiment.

When will refunds be issued?

We anticipate all refunds will be issued within 60 days.

What happens to my beer that was shipped/dropped-off for the competition? Can I get it back?

Unfortunately, we don’t know right now. The sheer volume of entries, logistics involved with receipt of hundreds of shipments, compounded by health and safety concerns as well as state and local restrictions make it highly unlikely that we will be able to make entries available for entrants to pick them up.

We continue to explore options and will provide updates as we have them in the coming weeks. Currently, we are in discussions with each site organizing team and host location to see what may be possible if anything.Thank you for your understanding and support during this unprecedented time.

Will the American Homebrewers Association reimburse the shipping costs for my beer?

Regrettably, no. The AHA has incurred significant expense and loss of revenue for this year’s competition, and so the AHA will not be able to refund shipping costs.

What happens with the Final Round at Homebrew Con?

We are currently exploring options for hosting a one round competition at Homebrew Con. We will continue to update you as more information is available.

Will Homebrew Con be canceled?

With Homebrew Con still three months away, the AHA is moving forward with plans to host Homebrew Con in Nashville. However, we are continuously monitoring the situation and updates from the CDC and the WHO, as well as in close and regular contact with the City of Nashville. The current situation is fluid and is constantly being reevaluated. If the current situation does not improve and we have reason to be concerned about the safety and health of attendees, we will postpone, or cancel and refund attendee registration fees.

Thank you for your continued patience, support, and understanding on the situation.


John Moorhead
AHA Competition Manager
American Homebrewers Association

Gary Glass
American Homebrewers Association