Home Brew Competition

/Home Brew Competition
Home Brew Competition 2017-03-21T15:22:57-04:00


The Competition at a Glance

McCoole’s Beer Fest is proud to bring back our Home Brew Competition as part of McCoole’s Beer Fest! This competition will not be a sanctioned event, but the beers judged will reflect the categories described by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), available at bjcp.org. Only categories 1-23 will be accepted. There WILL NOT be mead or cider category entries accepted.

Bring your entries (3 bottles of beer per entry), labeled according to the rules, to a dropoff point before April 21, 2017 to be considered for judging at McCoole’s Beer Fest!

$6 Per Entry – Please include cash for each entry upon submission at a dropoff point.

The Categories

Homebrewers must enter their beers using the standard BJCP categories, designating the category and sub category entered by the appropriate numbers and letters. The organizing committee will then collapse all entries into eight (8) distinct categories.
  • Light Ale
  • Amber Ale
  • Dark Ale
  • Light Lager
  • Amber Lager
  • Dark Lager
  • Belgian Strong Ale
  • Specialty Beer

These eight collapsed categories will incorporate all twenty-three BJCP categories. *Ex. Dark Ales will incorporate Stouts, Porters and Scottish/Irish Ales. Other collapsed groups will be similarly combined.  Beers in these collapsed categories will be judged together, and the final result will reflect the individual merits of each beer. Though it may appear that we are judging apples and oranges collectively, the resulting winner of said category will stand out as a definitive beer in its style parameters.


The competition organizers promise a professionally run competition with feedback for all entries. Brewers will receive comments on their beers from official BJCP score sheets filled out by judges recognized by the BJCP, professional brewers and novice judges under the direction of experienced BJCP judges, who have volunteered their valuable time. In addition to the first, second and third place winners in the eight distinct categories, a “Best of Show” winner will be awarded by a special judging panel.

Welcoming First Time Homebrewers

We will also conduct a separate judging which is strictly for novice homebrewers who have entered their beers in competition for the first time. This judging will be similar to a “Best of Show” panel, but the beers will not have to win their respective classes to be included. We feel this new award will prompt many new homebrewers to enter their beers into competition.

Dropoff Points

Entries may be sent or dropped off at the locations listed below:

No more competition beers will be accepted after April 21st.

The Rules

  • Anyone may enter. All entries must be brewed at home, not in a commercial operation.
  • If you are entering a beer for the first time ever in a competition, please make a note on the entry form to inform us. Your beers will also be judged in a special novice “Best of Show” panel.
  • Entry fee is $6.00 per entry. Cash fee accepted upon dropoff.
  • Brewers are encouraged to enter more than one beer. There is no limit on the number of entries.
  • A competition entry form must accompany each entry.

Brewers must submit three bottles for each entry. Two may be entered, but the brewer must accept that he may not have an entry for “Best of Show” if a second bottle is needed for regular judging, (if he advances to that level or another bottle is needed for the Novice round).

Bottles should be 10-16 oz with all labels removed. Caps must be plain or blacked out. Any exceptions should be brought to the attention of the competition coordinators BEFORE they are entered. Neither swing-top nor corked bottles will be accepted.

The deadline for entries is Friday April 21, 2017. Beers received after this will not be judged nor returned to the brewer. Please call or email for details. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS!

  • Bottle label forms must be attached to each bottle with a rubber band. NO TAPE please.
  • Recipes are not necessary, but the competition organizers reserve the right to request a recipe after the competition.
  • A competition entry form must accompany each entry. Multiple entries may be listed on one sheet.
  • Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope to ensure rapid return of judging results.
  • Awards not given to the recipients on the day of competition will be mailed.
  • Categories will be collapsed or expanded as necessary with determinations decided by the competition organizers. See above.
  • We will be using BJCP style guidelines.
  • Entries may be sent or dropped off at multiple locations. See “Dropoff & Deadline” for information.

Judges and Stewards:

Judges and Stewards are needed for the competition. Competitions can only function well with participation of BJCP judges. To ensure a successful event, we will depend on your support.

Judges and Stewards must report to the judging site promptly. JUDGING WILL START AT A TBD TIME. BEST OF SHOW / BREWER’S CHOICE TO FOLLOW.


An awards ceremony will follow the judging.

We appreciate and thank the professional brewers who can attend to act as judges. Most if not all were once homebrewers who took the chance and went pro.

Download your beer label entry form