Battle of the Homebrewers 2018 Rules & Info


Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 2-5 pm
All brewers must be set up prior to 1:00 pm. The samples for judging will be collected starting at 1:00 pm. If you are not prepared to provide samples by 1:00 pm, your beers will not be judged. The judges require sufficient time to evaluate the entries.


Broad Street Market (Stone Building & Plaza).




This is a Signature Event of Harrisburg Beer Week with proceeds from ticket sales going to Harrisburg River Rescue & Emergency Services. Please encourage your friends and family to attend to support this worthy, local cause. We will post a link to buy tickets in early 2018.


All entries must be made by individual amateur brewers/teams, whether affiliated with a homebrew club or not. You are welcome to setup with your club members.

We are limiting the event to 35 homebrewers who FILL OUT the RSVP form that will be posted in January, 2018. Acceptance to compete is on a first come, first serve basis. 


In January 2018, we will post a link on this webpage to the RSVP form where you can reserve your spot to compete at Battle of the Homebrewers on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

We will also email the RSVP link to the homebrewers currently on our mailing list.

Need to get on our email list so you can receive the RSVP form link in January? CONTACT DEREK MARKEL.

(If you have already received an email from Derek with the Save the Date message and link to these rules, you are already on the list to receive the RSVP link in January.)


Prizes will be awarded for both the judging and the popular vote.

Beer Categories to be Judged

We will be judging beers based on 5 pre-determined categories:

  • IPA/DIPA (IPA, DIPA, or any other hop forward beer)
  • Rich & Hearty (stout, porter, etc.)
  • Fruit/Herb/Vegetable (pumpkin, hibiscus, mango, etc.)
  • Wild & Funky (sours, Brettanomyces, mixed-fermentation, etc.)
  • Oddball/Other (anything that may not fit the above categories)

Rules & Info for Judged Beers

    A maximum of two (2) beers per brewer can be submitted for judging. However, you can serve additional beers at the festival. ALL beers served will be eligible for the popular vote portion of the competition.You will be required to select the 1-2 beers you plan to have judged in advance of the day of the event. This will be required so we have time to determine how many beers are in each category so we can assign the appropriate number of judges.We will NOT be allowing last minute changes on the day of the event.
    • Entry Submission: We will email those that have secured a spot with a link to register his/her beer submissions online. We will NOT be allowing last minute changes on the day of the event.
    Judges will be selected based on various qualifications (BJCP certified, Cicerone certified, professional quality analysis experience, etc.). As much as possible, we will solicit judges from outside of the Harrisburg area OR outside of the local homebrew community in an attempt to avoid any perceived or intentional bias.
    You will be asked to select a category for each beer being judged when filling out the registration form. You may only enter each beer in one (1) category (for example – you cannot enter a fruited IPA in both IPA/DIPA and Fruit/Herb/Vegetable). One to two experienced judges will be assigned to each category.
    There will only be ONE ROUND of judging. The judge(s) for each category will select what they determine to be the best beer for the category they are assigned to.
  • PRIZES FOR JUDGED BEER: There will be ONE PRIZE awarded FOR EACH CATEGORY. There will be NO Best of Show selection.
  • FEEDBACK TO HOMEBREWERS Judges will provide BASIC feedback on the beers using a simple scoring sheet which includes ratings for things like appearance, aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and overall impression. This is NOT a BJCP event (although there may be some BJCP certified judges) so please do not expect extremely detailed feedback.

Popular Vote

ALL beers will be eligible for the Popular Vote portion of the event.

Rules & Info for Popular Vote Beers

  • POPULAR VOTE PROCESS A voting cup/container will be provided for each beer at your table. Attendees of the event will be provided with two tickets upon entry to the event. Each ticket will be worth one vote. The attendees will use the tickets to vote on their favorite beers. They may use all of their tickets to vote on one beer if they choose to do so. Votes will be promptly collected at 4:15pm for tallying.
  • DISQUALIFICATION GUIDELINES If you are seen doing any of these things, you will be disqualified from the popular vote:
    • Please DO NOT combine the tickets received for your various beers into one cup/container.
    • No beer is to be served away from your table. That means no serving beer from pitchers out in the crowd of event goers.
    Three awards will be given based on the TOTAL NUMBER OF VOTES for each beer served.


  • Competition limited to ages 21 or older.
  • ‘Homebrew’ means brewed at home by you. Your beer must not be brewed at a place that brews beverages commercially, whether for research, production or any other purpose, including brewpubs and other brew-on-premise establishments.
  • We encourage professional brewers or any person in the process of obtaining a commercial brewery license to contact us for other opportunities during HBW to participate and showcase your beer (PA Flavor, Little Big Beer Fest, Other).
  • NO cider, hard sodas, mead or wine to be served at this event.
  • You must be present to serve your beer at the event. The Harrisburg Beer Week Team will not have people available to pour your beer for you.
  • Someone must remain at your table to serve your homebrew for the duration of the event.
  • Any displays or signage must be on or behind your table to prevent a tripping hazard.
  • You must list the name of all individuals who helped brew this beer on the entry form.
  • Please be courteous and dispose of any beer, ice, or other waste in designated areas.
  • Bring everything required for serving your beers – that means kegs/bottles, CO2, ice, cup/pitcher for making sure your beer is pouring right, etc.
  • You might be located inside or outside to serve your beer. We recommend that you dress in layers if it’s supposed to cold on the day of the event. We will have a massive tent to cover you if you are outside and it rains.
  • Tasting glasses will be limited to ONE per brewer and to the event attendees who buy tickets.
  • A brewer is allowed to bring ONE person to assist with pouring beers at their stand. This is NOT meant to be a ‘get your friend into the festival to drink for free’ thing. This person will be expected to be present at your table for at least a portion of the event.
  • Please bring at least 4-5 GALLONS PER ENTRY – Bring ALL of your beer – The event does NOT end when folks start to run out.

~ Please celebrate responsibly. ~