New Jersey's Longest Running AHA/BJCP Sanctioned Event

Have you ever dreamed of seeing your Homebrew sporting a blue ribbon, up on the podium alongside New Jersey's tastiest tomato, most pristine pumkin pie, handsomest heifer, speediest sheep shearer, most exquisite quilt, and beardiest lumberjack? It's time to enter the NJ State Fair Homebrew Competition! See below for dates and info.

The BJCP has release provisional style guidelines for New England IPA.  Judges will use these guidelines at this year's NJSF Homebrew Competition.  Read on for the full guidelines, or check out the BJCP site.

Returning to the NJ State Fair Homebrew Competition in 2018


The Jersey Pride Category!


If you have a beer, cider, or mead that captures the essence of the Garden State, enter it into this battle for Jersey cred in this non-BJCP special category.  Maybe you’ve gathered all your ingredients from Sussex County, maybe the recipe is inspired by a Springsteen song, maybe there’s Taylor Ham in the secondary, maybe you’ve aged it in a Laird’s barrel... Anything goes – you don’t need to specify a typical beer style  or subcategory – but you DO need to describe the ingredient, technique, history, and/or concept that makes your brew particularly Jersey.  Entries will be judged on “Jersey Pride” (concept and name) “Execution” (how well the concept is expressed) and “Craft” (technique and overall enjoyment), and will not receive normal BJCP scores/scoresheets.

Registration for judges, entries, and volunteers for the

2019 New Jersey State Fair Homebrew Competition 

will open shortly.  Check back here soon.

(updated 21 May 2019)

Many a judge has commented that the key to a successful and fun judging day is a good steward. Thanks for your interest in stewarding our competition!


So, what is a steward? Stewards are the link between the cellar and the judges - they bring the appropriate beers from the cooler to the judging table. Stewards are also responsible for compiling, checking, and organizing scoresheets and transferring them to the data entry staff. Stewards maintain judging supples on the tables - cups, crackers, water, paperwork, etc - and remove empty bottles and other uneeded stuff.  And not least, stewards are beer afficionados who are open to new styles, and each steward is a possible future judge-in-training!


Many volunteers enjoy stewarding as much as (and sometimes more than) judging. Stewards see the judging process from many different angles and get to hear several groups of judges discuss the stylistic merits of each entry. Judges are encouraged to share beers with stewards whenever possible. Stewards spend the day with many like-minded brewers and beer lovers of all degrees of experience. Stewards at our competition get breakfast and lunch, and all volunteers are guaranteed a prize in our free raffle.



Here's a rough draft of the "day-of" instructions that are provided to stewards:


Keep an eye out for judges who need beers. They will hand you a pull-sheet and tell you which number they want.  Ask the cellar master for this bottle number.  Upon receipt, check that both of the labels on the bottle correspond with what you asked for (very important!).  Return the bottle and pullsheet to the judging table.  Report ANY problems to the Cellar Master immediately.


Stewards are encouraged to sample beers and listen to judges comments whenever applicable. However, do not remove bottles from judging tables or sample a beer (unless invited by judge to do so) until ENTIRE Category is judged because judges will need beers conduct mini-Best of Show after scoring all of the beers in category.


When a category is finished, all half-empty bottles should be grouped on the samples table for volunteers to taste.  Apply a sticker or piece of masking tape to any medal winners if possible.


Stewards are responsible for restocking cups, paperwork, crackers, paper towels, etc and keeping tables free of empty cups and overflowing dump buckets.


Please keep an eye on the overall neatness of the entire room.  Empty garbage cans and clear bottles/plates/etc whenver necessary.


Q:  Can I enter 22 oz. (or other non-standard) bottles?

A:  Starting with our 2017 competition, we will no longer accept any non-standard bottles.  A standard bottle is a brown 12-oz non-embossed crown-capped bottle with no identifiable markings on the bottle and the cap.

We require 12 oz bottles because we must sort, store, transport, and distribute over 700 bottles of beer, and it’s most manageable if they all fit into normal 12 oz case boxes.  During judging, we must accurately distribute bottles to over 20 pairs of judges simultaneously; it adds to the burden if different sized boxes must be gone through for a particular entry. 

We require non-identifiable bottles with crown caps (versus swing tops, corks, etc) in order to maintain the integrity of blind judging.  Additionally, different bottle types may encourage conscious and unconscious biases in judges.  We run a fair competition that attempts to conform to blind, objective judging as much as possible, so please respect our requirements.

For 2016, we do give some leeway!  Please contact the organizers for permission to enter non-standard bottle sizes.  HOWEVER, you ARE required to submit TWO bottles, regardless of size (12 or 22 oz), because one of the bottles is needed for the Best of Show round if the entry receives a gold medal in its category.


Q: My entry is marked unpaid, although I have paid through Paypal.  Should I send you a receipt or include one with my entries?

A: There is a quirk in the registration software that does not mark an entry "paid" in certain circumstances (ie. after editing the entry).  You can ignore this if your Paypal account shows that you have paid for your entries, and you DO NOT need to include a paper receipt (or any other paperwork other than a bottle label on each bottle) with your entries.  Furthermore, you can ignore the "unpaid" checkbox on your bottle labels. We check whether entries have been paid by looking at our Paypal account, and we will notify you if we don't find evidence of your payment.




Rules - New Jersey State Fair Homebrew Competition - 2018



  • To enter the competition, go to

  • The Jersey Pride Category does not follow BJCP guidelines and scoring, and has its own rules/judging/awards structure.
  • NEIPA (New England IPA) is grouped into its own specialty category (a departure from BJCP groupings) in 2018.  Judges will use the provisional BJCP style guidelines found here:
  • Please direct any questions or comments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  •  Additional info can be found on the FAQ Page.



  • Participants must be 21 years of age or older.

  • All entries must be made using private equipment by hobbyist brewers.  No professionally/commercially brewed beers permitted.

  • Competition organizers, sponsors, judge directors, registrars, judges, and stewards may enter competition.  Measures will be taken to ensure fair, anonymous, and accurate judging.  No judge or steward will be assigned to a category that they have entered.

  • All BJCP (2015) beer, cider, and mead categories will be judged in this competition.

  • Entrants may submit only 1 entry per standard subcategory except in specialty subcategories listed below.  For example, participants may enter a Belgian Blonde (25A) and Belgian Saison (25B), but may not enter two Saisons, even if they are different brews.

  • Entrants may enter up to 5 different entries (meaning significantly different recipies and ingredients - ie. different fruit/spice/herb, honey varietal, apple varietal) into each of the subcategories in: the beer specialty categories (categories 28-34); beer categories 21B (Specialty IPA), 23F (Fruit Lambic), 27A (Historical); all cider subcategories; and all mead subcategories.

  • Organizers may cap the number of entries at their discretion.  The cap will be based upon the number of registered judges, so please volunteer as a judge!


  • Two bottles must be provided for each entry.

  • $8 per entry must be submitted through PayPal upon registration, or by check with each entry.  Checks to be made out to the “New Jersey State Fair”. No cash accepted, and organizers bear no responsibility for cash accompanying entries.  Unpaid or unregistered entries will be not be judged.

  • Standard 12 oz. bottles recommended.  Bottles must be free of any labels, tape, etched logos, or other identifying marks.

  • Non-standard packaging formats are discouraged and will be allowed only for bottle-conditioned entries with PRIOR APPROVAL by organizers.  If only one bottle is supplied, then that same bottle must be used if the entry progresses to Best of Show round, and carbonation, temperature, oxidation, and other issues may alter the character of the entry.

  • A bottle entry label must be attached to each bottle with a rubber band or a single strip of tape.  DO NOT OVERPACKAGE - wrapping entire bottle with packing tape is unnecessary.  Waterproof ink suggested.

  • It is the responsibility of the brewer to decide and indicate when registering, the appropriate category and subcategory for their entry. Categories and subcategories are designated in the BJCP Style Guidelines, a copy of which is available at the BJCP website .

  • Be sure to specify base recipe/classic style for those categories that require it.

  • Entries may be dropped off or shipped (ship to North Jersey Homebrew only) to the specified establishments during the drop-off period noted above.

  • Early or late entries will not be accepted.

  • Entries that have not been entered through the online registration will not be accepted.

  • Do not ship entries via the US Postal Service.

  • The competition organizers are not responsible for miscategorized entries, mailed entries that are not received by shipping deadline, or entries that arrive damaged.

  • Entries may be rejected for questionable appearance, bottling, damage or failure to comply with these requirements.

  • Entries become the property of NJ State Fair Home and Hobby Division and bottles will not be returned to entrants.


  • This competition is AHA / BJCP sanctioned.

  • Judges will use the 2015 Beer Judge Certification Program Style Guidelines for this competition.

  • Depending on the number of entries and category distribution, categories and subcategories may be combined or separated for judging and awards purposes.  However, beers will be judged according to the category/subcategory in which they are entered.

  • Final category breakdowns will not be available prior to the competition and will be determined once all entries have been processed.

  • Each entry will be evaluated by at least two judges, preferably with at least one judge ranked BJCP Recognized or higher.

  • A final score will be assigned to each entry upon consensus of the judges. This score will not necessarily be an average of each judge’s score.

  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places may be awarded in each category (or category grouping, since categories may be collapsed at discretion of competition organizer ) by a consensus of the judges responsible for that category.  

  • Numerical scores are not the sole factor in awards.  

  • Judges may refrain from awarding one or more places in a category or category grouping  at their discretion.

  • The first place entry in each category or category grouping  will be entered into the Best of Show (BOS) round.

  • The BOS round will consist of at least three judges who will  sample each entry and determine a winner through consensus. The judges’ decisions are final.

  • Judging will be conducted during closed sessions on the weekend (usually the final of July) before the Awards Ceremony with additional sessions added if necessary - see info page for specific dates.

  • Scores and scoresheets will be posted on the registration website. Participants can see/download scoresheets by logging in, clicking the "person" icon in the upper right, selecting "entries", and clicking the "gavel" icon next to each entry.

  • Awards will be presented on the first Saturday of the Fair (usually the first Saturday of August) at the Richards Building located on the fairgrounds - see info page for specific date.

  • First, Second and Third Place winners will be awarded a bottle ribbon and medal. The BOS round winner will receive a trophy. Additional prizes may be awarded.

Best of Show Award Info

  • The Best of Show (beer only) champion brewer will be asked to assist the brewer at Krogh’s Restaurant and Brew Pub, Sparta, NJ in producing the winning recipe to be sold at Krogh’s. The winner will be asked to name the beer which will be marketed as a “Seasonal”.  Krogh’s reserves the full right to modify the winning recipe to conform to its brewery specifications and practices, brewing schedule, business requirements, and other considerations. Krogh’s reserves the right to decline to brew the beer if agreement on recipe and procedure cannot be reached.  The winner will receive no monetary compensation for the sale of beer.  Krogh’s usually brews the winning beer in the spring/summer of the calendar year following that of the competition to release as a summer (or other) seasonal and reserves the right to choose the brew date.  In the case that a Cider, Mead, non-saccharomyces (sour/wild) beer, or other recipe declined by Krogh’s wins BOS, then a different prize will be substituted at the discretion of the organizers and the Krogh’s brewday will be awarded to the next highest ranked BOS entry that Krogh’s accepts.


Brewer’s Choice Prize Rules

  • NOT APPLICABLE IN 2018 !!!!  [Angry Erik Brewery in Lafayette will select a Brewer’s Choice winning entry, and the winning brewer will be invited to assist the brewer at Angry Erik producing the winning recipe to be sold by the Brewery.  Angry Erik will choose from selected BEER ONLY categories (13 - Brown British Beer, 15 - Irish Beer, 16 - Dark British Beer, 18 - Pale American Ale, 19 - Amber & Brown American Beer, 24 - Belgian Ale, 25 - Strong Belgian Ale, 26 - Trappist Ale, 29 - Fruit Beer,  30 - Spiced Beer, 32 - Smoked Beer)  according to the Brewery’s own criteria (not necessarily based upon scores and/or medals).  Angry Erik reserves the full right to modify the winning recipe to conform to its brewery specifications and practices, brewing schedule, business requirements, and other considerations. Angry reserves the right to decline to brew the beer if agreement on recipe and procedure cannot be reached.  The winner will receive no monetary compensation for the sale of beer.]

Circuit Qualifying Events


  • Please direct any questions or comments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Statistics and Numbers from past Competitions


For previous year's medalists, see Results and Awards


  2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Best of Show Doug Vohden - Dark Mild Blake Crawford - Gose Thomas Eagan - Dortmunder Dave Pobutkiewicz - Maibock Peter Kennedy - Belgian Specialty Andrew Meravi - Russian Imperial Stout Mike Wenzel and Steve Moen Brian Grady and Brian Callahan - English Bitter
Entries Judged 261 229 191 182 162 106    
Entrants 96 72            
Judges - BJCP 20 17 14          
Judges - Total 44 32 25          
Stewards and Volunteers 15 15            
Medal Categories 23 23 22 23 17 12 11 10


Scoresheet from 2007 (before BJCP sanctioning!)




SCUBA will host the New Jersey State Fair Homebrew Competition in July 2015. In its 19th year, it is the Garden State's longest running AHA/BJCP sanctioned beer competition.

The Best of Show winning beer will be brewed at Krogh's Brewpub in Sparta and receive a trophy.  Winners and volunteers will receive medals and prizes. Full information and registration here.


Please join us for the Awards Ceremony at the New Jersey State Fair in the Richards Building at 3:30 PM on Saturday, 2 August 2014.  Winners who are present at the Awards Ceremony will be eligible for Prizes!. SCUBA Homebrew Club will also host a Homebrew Booth that day - we'll be brewing a batch or two and handing out samples of beers that were entered into the Competition.

All entrants may request a free pass to the Fair for Ceremony by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with name and address by the end of the Drop-off period.  All volunteers may request a free pass during the Judging sessions.

Winners will not be announced prior to the Awards Ceremony but will be announced online later that day.

If you are new to judging, here is some info on what to expect.  Our competition uses formal evaluation guidelines based upon Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) procedures. You'll need to be familiar with these procedures, so here are some suggestions:

  • To judge beer, you'll need to practice beforehand.  Formal evaluation is different than simply drinking a beer and saying "I like/don't like it", but is just as much fun.
  • As a judge, you'll be paired with at least one other judge and will evaluate about 8-15 beers per session (probably 2 sessions per day).
  • You will write a detailed evaluation of each entry and assign an numbered score on a BJCP scoresheet.
  • As an American Homebrewers Association sanctioned competition, we use Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) beer style guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries.
  • Download these Style Guidelines and familiarize yourself with the styles.
  • Print out some scoresheets, and practice writing up evaluations of homebrew and commercial beers.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Now you're ready to read the full procedures at the Beer Judge Certification Program website!

Entries will be accepted only during the dates listed on the Info page (no late/judging day entries will be accepted). Only entries that have been registered through our online registration system will be accepted.  Payment will be accepted through Paypal (preferred) or as a check included with entries.  Cash will not be accepted, and we are not responsible for cash included with entries.

Do not shop entries via United States Postal Service.


Entries can be dropped off or shipped to:


North Jersey HomebrewNJHomebrew

(shipping and drop-off)

354 Lafayette Road (Rt 15)

Sparta, NJ 07871


Cask & Kettle Homebrew 

(drop-off only, no shipping)

904-B Main Street

Boonton, NJ






 Homebrew University

(drop-off only, no shipping)

160 Main Street

Hackettstown, NJ





KeystoneKeystone Homebrew Supply - Bethlehem location

(dropoff only, no shipping)

128 East Third Street

Bethlehem, PA 18015



Love2brew Homebrew (North Brunswick)

(drop-off only, no shipping)

1583 Livingston Avenue

Suite 2

North Brunswick, NJ 08902



Love2Brew Homebrew (Paterson)

(drop-off only, no shipping)

27 East 33rd St, Building 2

Paterson, NJ




mistucky creekMistucky Creek Homebrew and Wine Making Supply

(dropoff only, no shipping)

682 Country Rd 1

Pine Island, NY




thirstyQuakerThe Thirsty Quaker

(dropoff only, no shipping)

492 Monmouth Street

Jersey City, NJ 07302




Brewhardware Homebrew Supplies


(drop-off only)

135 Main Street B

Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889