Craft Beer Home Brewers Competition

COCBF Homebrew logo image

Celebrating our 6th Craft Beer Festival in February 2018, we will be hosting a Home Brew Competition.

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Are you a keen home brewer? Why not see how well your brew measures up against others by entering our competition. We will have 4 top judges deliberating over which beer is the best in category, with a prize for the overall winner donated by Bin Inn.

Home Brew Contest Rules and Regulations

How and What to Enter

  • Registration will begin Monday 16th October 2017. Register online on this website.
  • Registrations must be received on or before Friday 22nd of December 2017.
  • Entry Fee: $10 for the first entry $5 for each subsequent entry.
  • You must be attending the festival to claim any prizes you may have won.
  • By entering the competition, you are eligible for a discounted ticket to the festival. Craft Beer Festival tickets for competition entrants $10.
  • Entry Requirements:
  1. Provide ONE BOTTLE of each category.
  2. We would prefer 330ml sized bottles, however they must be no bigger than 500ml.
  3. They should be green or brown glass and free of any labels.
  • Please create a label to identify you and your entry. Use a rubber band to attach the label to the bottle. Include your name, Beer Name and BJCP category/sub category.
  • Packing Tips:
    If you are shipping your entries please pack carefully in a sturdy box, label FRAGILE, use bubble wrap to protect your entry.
    Address all entries to: Central Otago Home Brew Competition T.B.A.
  • All entries must be received at the nominated address between Friday 5th and Friday 19th January 2018
  • Please do not send entries before these dates.

Download the style guide lines


  • Judging will take place on Wednesday 24th of January.
  • Serving staff will anonymously pour beers in classes using a number system.
  • Judges will have 2-3 mins to taste and write notes.
  • Scoring will be a number based system totalling 30 for the following groups:


  • Judge’s decision is final, Organisers reserve the right to combine categories if a sufficient number of entries are not received.

Awards and Prizes

  • Certificates will be given to winners in each category judged, with a prize for the overall winner. Prizes will be given as available. Winners will be announced at the Central Otago Craft Beer Festival on the afternoon of Saturday, February 3rd 2018.



Home Brew Contest Rules and Regulations

  • Open to any amateur brewer 18 years or older
  • All couriered entries must be received by entry deadline.
  • All entries must be handcrafted products, contain ingredients available to the general public and made using private equipment by hobbyist brewers
  • The competition organisers are not responsible for miscategorised entries, couriered entries that arrive after the closing deadline or damaged entries.
  • The competition organisers reserve the right to combine styles for judging and to restructure awards as needed depending on quantity and quality of entries
  • The competition organisers reserve the right to combine categories based on the number of entries. All possible effort will be made to combine similar styles. All brews in combined categories will be judged on the style they were originally entered.
  • Only 2015 BJCP Beer Categories will be accepted
  • Judges will evaluate and score each entry. The highest points awarded in individual categories will be awarded prizes. Category winners will then be re - judged to determine Best in Show.
  • Bottles will not be returned to owner
  • Each entry consists of one bottle.
  • Entries must be referred to by 2015 BJCP Category NUMBER and Subcategory LETTER.

New Zealand Customs & Excise

The Customs and Excise Act 1996 allows the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service to direct that an area not be licensed where it is not in the public interest or if it is impracticable or unnecessary. Customs will accept a collective application from the Central Otago Craft Beer Festival on behalf of all unlicensed home brewers, solely for the purpose of entering this competition.

In order to apply on behalf of the unlicensed home brewers, the Central Otago Craft Beer Festival will need to supply a list of all individuals who have entered the competition with their names and addresses.  A list will need to be attached to a letter requesting an exemption for these persons from being licensed and able to participate in the competition.

On receipt of an application, NZ Customs Service intends to approve our request subject to the following conditions:

1:  This decision only applies to the unlicensed home brewers listed as per a schedule provided and only applies to the Homebrew Competition as part of the Central Otago Craft Beer Festival in Alexandra.

2:  The event must have the appropriate licence or licences under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

3:  Full records of all beer supplied for the event must be kept and retained and those records must show the amount of beer in litres supplied and the stated targeted strength of the beer.

4.  Full records of all beer sold, given away, or otherwise disposed of at the said event must be kept.

5:  A schedule of all the beer as above must be supplied to this office by 31 January 2018.  A subsequent account for the excise duty, HPA (Health Promotion Agency) levy, and GST on the HPA levy will be issued from this office and must be paid in full by 7 February 2018.

NZ Customs & Excise will request confirmation of our acceptance of the above conditions and request that we have proved information regarding additions of brewers or changes of dates and venues etc.