2013. Another year, and another National Homebrew Competition is upon us.
For those of you new to the hobby, or you veterans that have never participated in it, the National Homebrew Competition is an annual competition put on by the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). It consists of a first round of regional competitions, held at 11 judging locations across the US, followed by the final round that takes place at the AHA’s annual National Homebrewers Conference, which this year is being held in Philadelphia. Minus the chance of receiving eternal homebrew glory for winning, there is a much smaller and somewhat more important reason to enter the competition – the ability to have your beer evaluated by a certified BJCP judge. This experience can be invaluable for an aspiring beer artist trying to improve their craft, as the judges provide very detailed and unbiased feedback on the beer (based on stylistic guidelines). This feedback can then be used to go back to drawing board and figure out what can be done better next time. This is much better than a friend who simply tells you that they love your beer :)
Key Dates and Information
- Online Registration Opens: 1 p.m. MST, Tuesday, February 26, 2013
- Entries Due to Regional Location: March 18-March 27, 2013
- First Round Regional Competitions: March 29-April 21, 2013
- Fee: $12 per entry for AHA members, and $17 for non-members (why aren’t you a member yet?!?!?)
Changes for 2013
For those that have participated in past competitions, you know that it has become more and more popular with each year. Due to the record-setting growth, the AHA has laid out some changes to the competition in an effort to make things more efficient, allow more AHA members to participate in the competition, and to ultimately improve upon the quality of the competition. Here is a quick summary of the changes being implemented for this year’s competition:
- New entry cap of 15 entries per competition entrant
- The addition of an 11th US judging site (750 entries allowed per site)
- A requirement of two bottles per entry, for all first round entries
- More specific criteria for Ninkasi Award tie breaker
- Implementation of a new database and entry registration software
- Entry fee increase of an additional $2 per entry to be used for funding of first round judging centers, to help improve the overall judging experience
If you’re interested in competing this year, or just want to know more about the competition, head on over to the AHA’s competition site for more detailed information. Also, last year’s registration filled up within 48 hours of opening for all judging centers, so if you are believer that the past is an indicator of what will happen in the future, make sure to register as soon as it becomes available this year. The AHA has not yet released the link for online registration, but if you follow them on Facebook, they are typically very good about getting that info out when it becomes available.
If you’ve got a beer you want to enter, but are unsure of the category it falls into, feel free to stop by the store and we can help you out.
Cheers and good luck!