How to Enter
- Registration Opens: Monday, May 17th
- Refund Deadline: Friday, September 10th
- Registration Closes: Friday, October 1st
- Local Pickup opens: Monday, October 11th
- Arrival window opens Wednesday, October 13th
- Local Pickup closes: Thursday, October 14th
- Arrival window closes: Friday, October 15th
- Judging commences: Saturday, October 16th
- Judges concludes: Sunday, October 17th
- Winners announced: Sunday, October 24th
- Medals shipped: Early December (Exact date TBA)
Entry Fees and Requirements
Entries are limited to beers, meads, and ciders. The entry fee for each individual product is $95.
Any brewery licensed for production in the country in which they are established is eligible to enter. By submitting your entry, you are certifying that you are in compliance with all TTB (U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) regulations.
All entries can be completed through Data Still. The entry website is here. Entries are accepted between Monday, May 17th, and Friday, October 1st. Your payment constitutes your entry.
There is no limit to the number of products that you may enter, however each product may only be entered into one category.
DO NOT SHIP YOUR BEER UNTIL THE WEEK OF THE FESTIVAL. Please see the packing and submission guidelines for more information.
Any entry may be canceled at any time, however the refund deadline is Friday, September 10th. Entries canceled before this deadline will receive a full refund. Entries canceled after Friday, September 10th will not have any part of their entry fee refunded.
Any beverage may be entered using any of the categories established by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). These categories may be found here. Please note that many of the main categories have sub-categories. For example, Light Lager is further broken into Light American Lager, Standard American Lager, Premium American Lager, Munich Helles, and Dortmunder Export.
Meads and Ciders will continue to be entered in their own categories using the 2004 BJCP guidelines(last updated in 2008). These categories are Traditional Mead, Melomel (Fruit Mead), and other Mead, and for Cider they are Standard Cider and Specialty Cider.
Any beer which does not fit into any of the established categories may be entered using Category 34, “Specialty Lager”. This includes experimental ales and lagers.
Please package your product so that it can withstand rough handling during transport. When shipping beer, you should hope for the best handling but plan for the worst. If broken containers are received, we will do our best to judge your entry using any beer in the non-broken containers. If so many containers break that we cannot judge your product, we will reach out to you and see if another submission can be made in time for judging, however if replacement product does not arrive in time, we will not be able to judge your entry. No refunds will be given for broken containers.
Please submit one case of product per entry. Do not worry about removing or covering any labels, branding, or product names. Beer may be in the following packaging:
- Twelve standard-sized bottles
- Twelve 12 or 16 ounce cans
- Six 22 ounce (or other similarly-sized) bombers
- 6 crowlers (A note on crowlers: Due the time it takes to ship crowlers and their shorter shelf life, the DIBC strongly recommends against crowlers unless you are a brewery in the Denver Metro area and has opted for the local pick-up or self-delivery option. Any crowlers received will be judged, but quality of product issues due to shelf-life issues crowlers cannot be accounted for by the BJCP judging staff).
Growlers (due to their potential to leak or break) and kegs of any size are NOT accepted, and any delivered growlers or kegs will not be judged or returned.
While no identifying labels are needed for entries, please make sure the name of the beer is on the bottle or can if you are sending in entries in unlabeled containers.
Please do not ship any alcoholic product by US Mail.Please, if possible, do not ship product in packing peanuts.
Please do your best to ensure that beer arrives between Wednesday, October 13th and Friday, October 15th. If your beer arrives late but during the competition, we will do our best to accommodate judging. If your product arrives after judging is completed, it will not be adjudicated. No refunds can be given for entries which are not adjudicated due to late arrival.
Breweries in the Denver metro area may elect to have their beers picked up the week before the festival, or to drop them off at the festival location in person. Details for each of these options will be communicated closer to the competition.
Entries from breweries outside of the United States MUST include the following label:
For sample purposes only. Not for resale. Government Warning:(1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery and may cause health problems.
Judges and Judging
All adjudication is conducted by BJCP certified adjudicators and is done in a double-blind format. The adjudication follows the rules set forth by the BJCP and takes five factors into account: Aroma (12 points), Appearance (3 points), Flavor (20 points), Mouthfeel (5 points), and Overall Impression (10 points). There are fifty points possible in total. Beers will be given a final rating of Outstanding (45-50 points), Excellent (38-44 points), Very Good (29-37 points), good (21-29 points), Drinkable (14-20 points) or problem (0-13 points).
Following the competition, score sheets and adjudicator feedback will be made available to breweries upon request.
All awards are based on the score of each entry, with the exception of the Best in Show Award. The award types are as follows:
- Double Gold (Beers that are rated as outstanding by the BJCP Certified Adjudicators)
- Gold (Beers that are rated as excellent by the BJCP Certified Adjudicators)
- Silver (Beers that are rated as very good by the BJCP Certified Adjudicators)
- Bronze (Beers that are rated as good by the BJCP Certified Adjudicators)
- Best in Show (Top three scoring beers, top three ciders, and top three meads entered into the competition)
All award-winning breweries will receive a press package with awards won and publicity materials. Digital images of the awards, logos, and photos will also be sent. Additionally, a diecast medal will be sent to your brewery following the competition.