NHC 2021 Shipping & Drop-off Information

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Thank you to all sponsors of the National Homebrew Competition. Their support is critical in our ability to run the world’s biggest amateur homebrew competition

National Homebrew Competition (NHC) entries must be received at the following address between Monday, March 29 and Friday, April 9, 2021.

Please carefully read the following to plan properly and to ensure your entries arrive on time. Late entries will not be judged.

Entry edits close on March 29th at 11:59 pm Mountain Time!

Shipping/Drop-off Address

AHA – NHC 2021
587 S. Taylor Avenue
Louisville, CO 80027
p: 303.447.0816
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.); Saturday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

All regulatory and financial burdens associated with submitting samples to the National Homebrew Competition are the sole responsibility of the entering brewer. C.O.D shipments will not be accepted.

Amount to Send

Bottles not meeting the requirements may be disqualified. The number of bottles/cans sent to the competition depends on the bottle/can size.

Why the amounts? The amount of bottles/cans needed is based on size and rounds within a given category. We recommend 6 bottles per entry, with a minimum of 4 bottles required to compete. The competition narrows down categories over multiple rounds of judging. Most categories will have three or four rounds of judging, with each round using a new bottle. The final round reserves two bottles for re-pours and other issues, and one bottle is used for best of show. Sending fewer than 6 bottles risks judges’ having insufficient samples to evaluate in later rounds.

Bottle or Can Quantities

5.5 oz. to 19.9 oz. 6 bottles or cans
20 oz. and larger 4 bottles or cans
  • Clarity and accuracy are key. Please use the barcode beer labels emailed to you through the competition software – these print on Avery 5160 label sizes.
  • Verify information. Make sure the info on the label matches the info we have registered for the competition exactly. If the info differs at all, it will cause problems during sorting and judging. NHC is not responsible for issues caused due to errors in labeling.
  • Print your labels. Print official barcode labels and affix one label to each bottle with adhesive (adhesive labels, clear packing tape, glue, etc.). Do NOT rubber band or tie loose paper to the bottles or use clear labels—doing so will surely cause issues during sorting.
  • Place labels vertically on the side of the can or bottle. It is easier to scan barcodes when labels are oriented vertically.
  • Don’t worry about: 
    • Detailed judging information and pouring instructions on the label—this information is provided to judges separately.

Packaging Beers for Shipment

Package your beers to withstand rough handling during transit. The National Homebrew Competition is not responsible for broken shipments. We will contact entrants if broken bottles are received, however time may not allow replacement bottles to be shipped. Determine the type of packaging that will ensure your beers maintain the best quality possible. We suggest boxes like Spirited Shippers.

  1. Label your beers and shipping boxes with the official barcode labels. Make sure every bottle has an entry label. If shipping multiple boxes, affix one label to each shipping box with adhesive (adhesive labels, clear packing tape, glue, etc.). Remember to hand write the total number of boxes being shipped on each shipping label (i.e. Box #1 of 3, Box #2 of 3, Box #3 of 3, etc.)
  2. Create a packing list/inventory each box. Place one copy in the box, and keep one copy for yourself. If there is an issue with your shipment (i.e. one of an entrant’s four boxes are damaged in shipment), it is much easier and quicker to find a solution when the entrant has kept track of which entries were packed and shipped in a specific box. 
  3. Secure bottles or cans to avoid breakage (make it unbreakable). Secure your samples so that they are packed to withstand very rough handling during transit. Specialized beer shipping containers are best, as they provide the best protection against damage. Newspaper and packing peanuts are NOT recommended and do not offer much protection. 
    Packing Note: Please be efficient with your packing and make it easier on our sorting team when unpacking 5,000 entries!
  4. It is your responsibility to make sure your entries arrive on time.
  5. Track your package(s).
  6. Send the appropriate (required) amount. See above.

Please do not use the United States Postal Service (USPS). FedEx, UPS, DHL, and private couriers work well, and freight companies work best.

When sending beer via UPS or FedEx, it may be best to schedule a pickup from your home or place of business. Often shipments brought directly into a UPS or FedEx store may get denied, as shipping alcohol is against UPS and FedEx policy (unless you have a business account that allows for these type of shipments).

Freight Shipping

Looking for ways to save money on shipping? Entrants may consolidate shipments when sending competition beers. This saves time and money! Consider contacting clubs in your area or nearby breweries/distributors to discuss the option of palletizing your competition entries and shipping them together via a freight service (UPS/FedEx), which tend to encounter fewer issues (loss of shipment, breakage, etc.) than individual shipments. Ensure you are accounting for enough time to ship if using freight. Freight shipments take longer than standard shipping options. The minimum weight for freight shipping is 150 pounds, and the shipping location has standard loading docks for delivery.

DO:

  • Stack the pallet vertically to maximize carton strength;
  • Secure cartons to the pallet with banding, shrink-wrap, stretch-wrap, or breakaway adhesive;
  • Place cartons squarely on the skid with no overhang;
  • Be sure the top surface is flat;
  • Add sheets of cardboard between layers for additional strength;
  • Limit the height of cartons to 48 inches.

DO NOT:

  • Hang things over the pallet, as pallet overhang can reduce compression strength;
  • Misalign items placed on pallet, as misalignment reduces compression strength;
  • Place single containers on top in the middle of the pallet. Either place the single container on an outside corner of the shipment or ship the single container as a loose piece.

All regulatory and financial burdens associated with submitting samples to the National Homebrew Competition are the sole responsibility of the entering brewer. C.O.D shipments will not be accepted.

International Shipment

  • Ship directly using an international courier. DHL is strongly advised as a recommended international carrier, but if you plan to use a different international courier, please notify us. Note: Entrants who use a courier that bills customs charges back to the American Homebrewers Association will be responsible for paying all of these charges before their beers are judged.