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December 2, 2019

Hop Idol Homebrew Contest 2020

Homebrewers, you are now called on to start working on your best hoppy recipe!

We are excited to announce the competition for Hop Idol 2020, the 4th annual homebrew competition hosted by Reuben’s Brews. The Hop Idol winner will get to brew their beer with the Reuben’s Brews team at our brewery in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The deadline window for your entries to arrive at our brewery is between January 27th and January 31st.

Our first three years of the Hop Idol competition have been great successes, with more than 100 entries in 2019. Last year’s winners were Dan Schlegel and Frank Hammack, who got to brew their hazy IPA with Reuben’s Brews’ professional brewers and had their beer released to acclaim across the Pacific Northwest!

We plan to have the brew available in May at Reuben’s tasting rooms and distributed throughout the Pacific Northwest, on draft and in cans. We are also planning to enter the Pro-Am category at one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the country – the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), as well as the Washington Beer Awards.

Hop Idol is a Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) certified homebrew competition. All entries are blind tasted and scored against the BJCP style guidelines. Given our love of hops, we focus our competition on hoppy styles.  You can submit any style – as long as it prominently displays hops!  American IPAs, English IPAs, Northeast Style IPAs, Imperial IPA, Pale Ales, Hoppy Wheat Ales, Triple IPAs – you name it, if it’s hoppy it’s eligible!

It takes time, effort and commitment to brew beer and send it out for a contest like this, and we’d like to thank everyone who shares their brews with us. This annual contest goes back to how we started in brewing and it is close our heart. Homebrewers out there are doing great work and we hope this contest draws some attention to that! Good Luck!


–       Hop forward brews will be accepted for this competition.  Beers will be judged against the BJCP style guidelines, so please ensure that you have the correct category to ensure fair and reasonable judging. Please read over the 2015 BJCP category descriptions on the BJCP website.

–       Beers must be submitted between January 27th and January 31st. Unfortunately, we cannot make any exceptions to this time window.

–       Judging will take place on Saturday, February 8th. The judging panel will consist of BJCP-certified judges, industry experts, and members of the Reuben’s Brews team.

–       You may submit up to a maximum of 5 different beers.

–       There is a $5 entry fee for each beer submitted.  Make checks payable to “Reuben’s Brews LLC” and all entry fees will go to support Seattle Children’s Hospital. Along with the chance to have one of your own beers brewed and distributed, you will also be helping us raise money for Seattle Children’s as we will donate all entry fees to Seattle Children’s.

–       Each Homebrewer must fill out one BJCP Recipe Form for each submission.

–       You must send at least three (3) bottles or cans of each beer, 330ml/12oz or larger.

–       Each beer must have a BJCP Bottle ID filled out and taped to it. These can be downloaded here.

–       Bottles should be carefully packaged and either hand delivered or shipped to our Taproom:

Hop Idol Homebrew Contest
Reuben’s Brews, LLC
5010 14th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

–       Please note that it is illegal to ship alcoholic beverages via the U.S. Postal Services.  Private shipping carrier’s rules and regulations concerning the shipment of beer or alcoholic beverages may vary.  We strongly encourage you to check with your shipping carrier prior to shipping your entry.  It is solely the entrant’s responsibility to follow all applicable laws and regulations.

–       The beers will be kept in our cold room until time of judging.

–       You must be an AHA member at the time of this competition and throughout 2020 to qualify for this competition. If you are not a member, head here to join.

–       Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope with your submission if you’d like to receive you scores sheets back. Your score sheets will be returned to you in a timely manner via USPS.

–       Any questions please reach out to


–        Reuben’s Brews will work with the homebrewer to take the winning recipe and reproduce, as faithfully as possible to the original recipe, on a professional scale. We will invite the homebrewer to help brew the inaugural commercial batch of the winning recipe at our brewery in Seattle, Washington and we will help with travel expenses if you live a long way from Seattle!

–       The winning homebrewer will receive a one-time royalty of $250.00, assuming the beer is brought to market.

–       The winning beer will be released, packaged and distributed throughout the Pacific Northwest

–       We anticipate entering the 2020 Hop Idol winning brew in both the Washington Beer Awards and the Great American Beer Festival.

–       Prizes will also be awarded to first, second and third placed beers in the competition under a best of show format. We’ll be awarding Reuben’s Brews merchandise as prizes.



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