What’s New for the 2022 National Homebrew Competition

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Homebrew Competition
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By John Moorhead, Competition Manager – National Homebrew Competition

We hope you are as excited about the 2022 National Homebrew Competition (NHC) as we are. The competition continues to evolve, incorporating feedback and learnings from last year, and will conclude at Homebrew Con™. Both events will be held in person in Pittsburgh, PA with NHC June 21-23, prior to Homebrew Con, June 23-25. 

The 2022 National Homebrew Competition Rules & Regulations are posted online. Please ensure you read them prior to registering. Registration will be open March 22-29. Here’s a summary of what’s new for NHC: 

Single-Site Competition 

The 2022 National Homebrew Competition will take place over three days at a single site, with entries moving through first, subsequent, and final rounds wherein first, second, and third place medals are awarded in each category. The single-site format allows entries to be judged in parallel rather than over a six-week period and establishes consistent, professional-caliber judging at one location. The competition will conclude prior to the start of Homebrew Con on June 23, 2022.

The competition will continue with the single site judging format and structure we first implemented in 2021. This format allows us to conduct the competition responsibly and with a primary emphasis on participant health and wellness, and, to significantly increase credibility with a judge pool comprised of BJCP, Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup® judges.

As a bonus: entrants will only need to brew and ship once.

Brewer Feedback 

Entry feedback comment sheets for the 2022 National Homebrew Competition will include enhancements to Judge ID, descriptive sensory attributes, easy to read visual sliding scales, flaws and off flavors, and other metrics useful to entrants. Comment sheets will not include numerical scoring. NHC will provide entering brewers with information showing the exact progress of their entry, including the highest round the beer achieved and total number of rounds in the category entered.

2015 BJCP Style Guidelines

The 2022 National Homebrew Competition will use the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. This will be the final year the guidelines are used and the competition will adopt the 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines starting in 2023.

Gluten-Free Beer and Gluten-Reduced Beer Categories 

For the first time, NHC will include a Gluten-Free Beer category in response to increasing homebrewer interest in crafting these beers. All ingredients in Gluten-Free entries must be free of gluten. Gluten-reduced beers may be brewed with barley, wheat, spelt, rye, and other gluten-containing ingredients, and then treated to reduce gluten content. Be sure to read the guidelines carefully when entering these categories. Gluten Reduced Beer should be entered into the corresponding category and not entered in the Gluten-Free Beer category. 

Mead Categories 

The number of mead categories will expand from four to eight, in order to recognize that the many different sub-categories within mead are uniquely different.  

Cider & Perry Categories 

Cider and Perry will break out into their own unique categories, in order to recognize the distinctly different flavors and aromas of each. 

Competition Ban on Cannabis-Infused Entries

All and any cannabis-infused, or ingredient derivative of, beers are strictly prohibited from the National Homebrew Competition. Any entrant found in violation of this rule will be banned from the competition and subject to additional penalties.

Competition Registration & Application 

Registration opens March 22, 2022 at 10:00 am MT.

In order to allow as many brewers as possible to compete, the competition registration and application process will include a predetermined entry limit per brewer. If there is the capacity to add more entries after registration closes on March 29, we will inform entering brewers before April 4, 2022. 

2022 Brewers Association Events COVID-19 Vaccination Policy 

Additional information on the verification process will be provided on our website in spring 2022. We will follow local, state, and federal guidelines in force at the time of the event regarding other safety protocols  

National Homebrew Competition: All participating judges, volunteers and staff working the 2022 National Homebrew Competition will be required to show proof of vaccination 

Homebrew Con: All participants will be required to show proof of vaccination or supply a negative-result COVID test taken within 72 hours of arrival at Homebrew Con.  

More information and announcements about the competition, including registration, will be posted in the coming weeks.