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HHHC Logo St. Louis Brews
29th Annual
Happy Holidays Homebrew Competition
Rules and Entry Information



1. Anyone may enter a beer, mead or cider.

2. Entries must be referred to by Category NUMBER and Subcategory LETTER.  Download the beer style guidelines here, the cider guidelines here or the mead guidelines here for category designations and descriptions.

3. Commercially brewed beers, ciders and meads are ineligible.

4. There is cap of 650 entries.


1.  Online registration will begin November 18.  Only online registration will be accepted.

2. Entry Fees: $8.00 for each entry. Payment can be made by PayPal or by check. All checks should be made payable to the St. Louis Brews. Attach entry fee to registration form(s) and place inside package. Any entries not accompanied by an entry fee will not be judged.

3. Entry requirements: Provide TWO BOTTLES for each entry. Cans will NOT be accepted. Bottles must be 10- to 12-ounce green or brown glass and clean and free of any labels (inked, paper, or otherwise). Bottles for Meads may be smaller.  Bottles with permanent, painted-on labels are prohibited. Entrants are encouraged to use brown, long-neck returnable bottles for extra protection from light and breakage. NOTE: Grolsch-type swing tops are not acceptable. Soft drink or other printed crown caps are acceptable if they are blacked-out with a black marking pen to assure anonymity in judging.

Use a rubber band to attach to each bottle a paper with your name, beer designation if multiple entries in category, category and subcategory, and registration number (a registration number will be assigned to each entry if entered on-line). The use of tape or glue to attach forms is not acceptable.

4. Beers from a single batch may be entered in multiple Categories. Multiple entries in a Category are acceptable but MUST be from different batches.

5. Recipe need not be submitted with entry. However, if your beer or mead has a special ingredient (herb, spice, fruit, etc.), is a classic style of a herb, spice, or fruit beer, or was brewed using an experimental method, you must describe the style, special ingredient, experimental technique, etc. on the entry forms. Meads must also be identified as still, sparkling, dry, or sweet.

6. Because of the way that categories are organized under the 2015 BJCP guidelines, judging categories will likely be very different than BJCP categories. Individual styles will be assigned to judging categories based on style and number of entries submitted, and will be performed based on the judgement of the competition organizer.


1. Entries will be accepted starting November 18. Entries accompanied by fees and registration information MUST be received by December 6, 2019 before the close of the business day at the following locations. These locations are ONLY for folks dropping off their entries in person.

St. Louis Wine & Beermaking
231 Lamp Lantern Village
Chesterfield, MO 63017
(314) 230-8277


Missouri Malt
2275 Cassens Drive #130
Fenton, MO 63026
(314) 779-6258
Hours: Thursdays, 4pm - 7pm and Fridays, 10am - 6:30pm


Design 2 Brew
9995 WingHaven Blvd
O'Fallon, MO 63368
(636) 265-0751


2. Out-of-Town entries: PACK YOUR ENTRIES WELL. Partition and pack each bottle with adequate packaging material. Boxes should weigh less than 40 pounds. Note that there are a number of videos on YouTube about proper shipping of beer bottles. If you are unsure on how to do it, please watch a video or two. It is very frustrating to us (and to the brewer) when a package arrives with a broken bottle or does not arrive at all due to breakage along the way.

Entries sent by mail MUST be received by December 6, 2019. NO EXCEPTIONS! Entries may be shipped to:

Alpha Brewing Company
4310 Fyler Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63116



1. Those interested in judging or stewarding, please register on-line using our judge registration page.  We ask that you register on-line whenever possible.

2. Preliminary evening rounds of judging will be held starting at 6:30pm Monday, December 9 and Tuesday, December 10 at Alpha Brewing Company, located at 4310 Fyler Avenue, St.Louis MO 63116.

The main judging will be held on Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14. The Friday session will begin at 6:30, and the Saturday sessions are at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. Both the Friday session and the Saturday sessions will be at Shrewsbury City Center, located at 5200 Shrewsbury Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119.

3. Decisions of the judges are final. Organizers reserve the right to combine categories if a sufficient number of entries are not received. Organizers also reserve the right to break up categories if too many entries of a particular subcategory are received.

4. We would like to invite all participating judges and stewards to the Saturday banquet following the competition. The banquet will begin around 6:30 pm. The main course is provided by the St. Louis Brews (usually prime rib), and the club members provide a side dish (guest judges and stewards do not need to do that). We expect a visit by Santa, so please bring your family. If you have kids 12 years or younger, please let us know so that Santa can bring them a gift.

5. A limited number of beds are available to out-of-town judges/stewards, please contact us early to set up a place to stay.


Medals will be given for first, second, and third-place winners in each category judged. Prizes will be given as available. Winners will be announced at the St. Louis Brews Holiday Banquet. The results will be posted on the registration site. Results are posted at 7:00 on the evening of the competition. Digital images of the score sheets will be also available on the registration site, and we hope to have those posted within a week or so of the competition.

This year, we have a special Honey Beer category, sponsored by the National Honey Board. Winners of that category will receive special prizes donated by the Honey Board.

Winners will be awarded points in the Midwest Brewer of the Year competition. This is an MCAB qualifying competition. First Place winners in designated categories will be eligible to enter the MCAB competiton in that style. Please refer to the MCAB website for details. MCAB XVIII.

The Happy Holiday Homebrew Competition is also the final stop on the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year circuit.

For Further Information

For further information, please contact the Competition Organizer Mike Walters or the Head Judge Jeff Muse.

Now, enter those beers, meads and ciders and enjoy the competition!



All information © 1999 - St. Louis Brews unless otherwise noted.