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The Niagara Association of Homebrewers is proud to present the 1st Annual "Taste of Buffalo" Homebrew Competition.

Contest is open to residents of the five counties of Western New York ONLY including Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany.


1. Eligible Styles

Entries in only select beer categories listed in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines are welcome. These guidelines are available on the Web at The following styles are accepted:

1A American Light Lager
1B American Lager
1C Cream Ale
1D American Wheat Beer
2A International Pale Lager
2B International Amber Lager
2C International Dark Lager
3A Czech Pale Lager
3B Czech Premium Pale Lager
4A Munich Helles
5A German Leichtbier
5B Kolsch
5C German Exportbier
5D German Pils
7C Kellerbier
10A Weissbier
12A English Golden Ale
12B Australian Sparkling Ale
18A Blonde Ale
18B American Pale Ale
19B California Common
23A Berliner Weisse
24A Witbier
24B Belgian Pale Ale
25B Saison (Session or Standard Strength only allowed)
26A Trappist Single
27A1 Gose
27A3 Lichtenhainer

2. Eligible Entries

All entries must be homebrewed. Commercially brewed beverages and beverages made in a brew-on-premises or other such commercial establishments are ineligible.  Individual professional brewers are welcome to enter as long as the entries are made at home.

Multiple entries per category are allowed. Multiple entries per sub-category are also allowed, however, the entries must differ from one another. Do not enter the same exact product multiple times in a single sub-category.

3. Required Entry Information

Most entries do not require any details beyond BJCP style category and sub-category in order to be judged properly. 

Some of the categories we judge require more detailed information in order to be judged properly.  For example, special ingredients, sweet vs. dry, level of carbonation, and/or classic style may be required.

It is your responsibility to provide this additional information, if needed, so that the entries can be judged properly.

See the BJCP Style Guidelines for further information.

The following beer categories require further details provided by the brewer in order to be judged appropriately.

• 21B - Specialty IPA (session-strength ony allowed)
• 25B - Saison (session and standard-strength only allowed)
• 27A - Historical Beer (Gose or Lichtenhainer)

Specialty ingredients and/or classic styles should be specified on the entry form as required by the BJCP guidelines.

IMPORTANT NOTE on New England IPAs from the latest BJCP Bulletin:

Q: In what category should I enter my super hazy New England IPA?

A: Specialty IPA. Unlike the fruit/spice examples above, the currently popular (and divisive) NE IPA is a unique take on the IPA style that involves much more than adding a single specialty ingredient. The NE IPA is balanced to fruity or tropical aroma and flavor hops with subdued bittering, a cloudy appearance, and a fuller, creamier mouthfeel. A short description should be provided until a standard BJCP style description is prepared.

Required information will not be assumed. Judges will evaluate the entry based ONLY on information properly provided on the entry form.

Please note that the name of the entry is NOT provided to the judge and is not considered descriptive information for judging.

The online entry system prompts the entrant for the required information, however, the entrant must be sure all the information needed to be able to judge the entry has been provided.  See the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for more guidance.

4. Entry due dates

Entries will be accepted between Tuesday January 2nd, 2018 and Saturday, January 20th, 2018.  NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS FOR LATE ENTRIES.

Judging will take place Sunday, January 28th, 2018.

5. Drop-off locations

Do not leave cash or checks with your drop-off entries, please pay online in advance only.

If you are dropping off your entries at any of our drop off points, please consider using a common 24 bottle case.   If you drop off your entries in an odd sized box or a box that is in poor condition, it makes it harder for us to handle your entries safely. 

If dropping off entries, please do not pack your bottles as if they were going to be shipped (bubblewrap, packing peanuts, etc).  Your entries are going to be handled by hand and not dropped or thrown;  a standard 24 case box will be adequate to protect your entries.

Please support the businesses that sponsor drop off location.  Their help is essential for a great competition turnout.

Please support your local homebrew shop as well.  The local shops give you the best information and freshest ingredients.


All entries must have BJCP category and sub-category information entered. Entries will be judged in the category entered-- any entered in the incorrect categories will not be reassigned.

It is the at the discretion of the judges, upon consultation with the Head Judge or Competition Organizer, to disqualify any entry that is deemed to be unsafe for complete analysis due to perceived infection or contamination.  Judge sheets will be noted and returned.  No refunds will be provided.

The organizers will set the award categories for the competition based on the number of entries received in each BJCP style.

1st 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded to the three top-rated entries in all judged categories.  Honorable Mentions are awarded at the discretion of the judges.  First place winners in will compete in the Best of Show round for awards and prizes.

All entries become the property of the Taste of Buffalo Homebrew Competition. We reserve the right to disqualify any entry for failure to comply with these rules. Disqualified entries may be evaluated but will not be eligible for awards or prizes. No entries or fees will be returned. The decision of the judges is final.

At least one category award winning entry will be brewed by 12 Gates Brewing Company for commercial distribution in Buffalo.  This prize, and possibly others yet to be announced, will require the winning entrant to provide the recipe for the winning entry and the recipe becomes the property of 12 Gates Brewing Company.  If the winner of such an award does not wish to provide the recipe and declines the prize, the prize for the award may then pass to the next winner in the category.

At the discretion of the Taste of Buffalo and/or 12 Gates Brewing Company, we reserve the right to alter the recipe and ingredients as necessary in order to brew on a professional scale. We also reserve the right to rename the beer to align with our 35th birthday celebration. 

6. Payment

Online payment using the online registration software is an option for payment.

Personal checks will not be accepted.

Cash will not be accepted.

All proceeds of the competition will be used to defray competition expenses.  100% of donations solicited from commercial brewers, distributors, good beer bars, and homebrew-related businesses and manufacturers are given out as prizes for winning at the competition.

Please fill out the online entry forms completely.  Be meticulous about noting any special ingredients that must be specified per the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.  Failure to note such ingredients may impact the judges' scoring of your entry.

All entry fees must be paid in full at or before the time the entry is shipped or dropped off.

Multiple entries per category are permitted.  Multiple entries per sub-category are also permitted, however, the entries must differ from one another. Do not enter the same exact product multiple times in a single sub-category.

Currently, the online entry software is being used to collect your entry information, collect your payment, and print the entry forms and bottle tags for your entries.  The information you have entered and saved by the entry deadline is the information we will use to judge your entries.  Changes made after the entry deadline may not be applied to your entries for judging.


BJCP 2015 Judging Styles

If a style's name is hyperlinked, it has specific entry requirements. Click or tap on the name to view the subcategory's requirements.

1A American Light Lager1B American Lager1C Cream Ale
1D American Wheat Beer2A International Pale Lager2B International Amber Lager
2C International Dark Lager3A Czech Pale Lager3B Czech Premium Pale Lager
4A Munich Helles5A German Leichtbier5B Kolsch
5C German Exportbier5D German Pils7C Kellerbier
10A Weissbier12A English Golden Ale12B Australian Sparkling Ale
18A Blonde Ale18B American Pale Ale19B California Common
21B Specialty IPA21B1 Belgian IPA21B5 Rye IPA
21B6 White IPA23A Berliner Weisse24A Witbier
24B Belgian Pale Ale25B Saison26A Trappist Single
27A1 Gose27A3 Lichtenhainer 


Judging Locations and Dates

Variety Banquet Facility (9 AM)
6114 Broadway Ave, Lancaster NY 14086
Sunday, January 28, 2018 9:00 AM, EST

Variety Banquet Facility (12 pm)
6114 Broadway Ave, Lancaster NY 14086
Sunday, January 28, 2018 12:00 PM, EST



The awards ceremony will take place once judging is completed.

Places will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category/table.

The 1st place entry in each category will advance to the Best of Show (BOS) round with a single, overall Best of Show beer selected.

Additional prizes may be awarded to those winners present at the awards ceremony at the discretion of the competition organizers.

Both score sheets and awards will be available for pick up that night after the ceremony concludes. Awards and score sheets not picked up will be mailed back to participants. Results will be posted to the competition web site after the ceremony concludes.


Awards Ceremony

Taste of Buffalo
Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY
Saturday, July 7, 2018 12:00 PM, EDT