This contest is open to all homebrewers throughout the World. The competition is restricted to non-commercial home-brewed beer. Beers produced on the premises of commercial brewers including Full Service brew-on-premises establishments are not eligible.
DEADLINES AND FEES
Online Entry: January 8 to February 1 at 5:00 pm
Entry Receipt: All entries must be received at an authorized drop of location or the ship to location no later than close of business for the location on Thursday, February 1, 2018. Late entries will not be accepted
Commemorative electronic scoresheet fee: $9.00 per entry; scoresheets will be made available online only and paper copies will not be distributed.
AUTHORIZED DROP OFF LOCATIONS
Locations that will accept your entries via shipments or you physically dropping them off:
Locations that will only accept your entries if you physically drop them off:
- Texas Brewing Inc.
5200 Airport Fwy, Haltom City, TX 76117 (link)
- Homebrew Headquarters
300 N Coit Rd, Richardson, TX 75080 (link)
NOTE: All entries must be boxed and sealed prior to dropping of at these businesses. DO NOT LEAVE OPEN BOXES OR SIX PACK CARRIERS.
Bluebonnet Brew-off will be judging all BJCP beer, mead, and cider styles using the NEW BJCP style guidelines. However, some BJCP categories have been split. This allows us to award medals in more than the standard 28 BJCP categories. The Bluebonnet reserves the right to re-group, split or condense categories based on final sub-category entrants.
BREWER LIMITS RULES FOR 2018
Entries for the competition can be made either as an Individual and/or as a Team. Noting same, entries will be limited to a total of 20 entries per homebrewer (i.e. 15 Individual entries would allow for 5 more as a member of a team/different teams). The BBO web is designed to have you choose between a Team entry or an Individual entry for each of your homebrewed entries.
Further, Entrants will be limited to 1 (One) entry per Sub-Category (or entire Category if there are no sub-categories). An entrant may enter a category both as an Individual and as a Team however you cannot have an entry as an Individual and a Team in the same sub-category; you can only have your name listed once in a sub-category.
The Bluebonnet Brew-Off will be limited to the first 1,525 accepted entries.
Each entry for the competition should consist of three bottles. To ensure anonymity of the entrants, we require that bottles be standard 12 ounce or 333 ml green or brown bottles with all paper or ink labels removed. Smaller bottles are allowed for Mead, Barley Wines and similar. Standard homebrew caps accepted (gold, silver, solid color, stars or stripes). BOTTLES MUST FIT IN A STANDARD BEER CASEBOX DIVIDER (2 5/8” x 2 5/8” square). Any lettering or graphics on the caps should be completely obscured with black ink. Traditional “long-neck” style bottles are encouraged, while bottles with Grolsch-type swing tops and unusually shaped bottles are not allowed. Corked bottles meeting the above restrictions are acceptable; however, you must crimp a crown cap over the cork. Bottles not meeting these requirements may be disqualified. Brown bottles are encouraged for maximum protection from light. All bottles must be clean with a properly completed entry label attached (generated at submission) by a rubber band. DO NOT TAPE OR GLUE ON BOTTLE LABELS as this will result in immediate disqualification without a refund!
Also note, our new on-line entry system will ask you to enter your beers based on the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines then be automatically re-categorized into the Bluebonnet Categories for judging and awards. Category selection on the entry system is a drop down box that will include BOTH the BJCP Category/ Sub-Category (as applicable) as well as the Category description. For example, a Kolsch is Category 5B under BJCP Guidelines, but will be separated out as Bluebonnet Category 3-Kolsch for this competition. The Bluebonnet Style Guidelines are published under Style Guidelines and will include the crosswalk to the BJCP categories.
Also CAREFULLY review the Special Ingredient Instructions for all styles including Saison, Wheat and Rye, All Specialty Beer categories, Fruit, Spice/Herb/Vegetable, Smoked and Wood Aged categories as well as Meads and Ciders. Please review the instructions provided in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines when entering. Entries will NOT be reviewed prior to check-in for appropriate classification in accordance to the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines. If an entry is deemed to be mis-entered then it will be judged according to rules and not eligible for advancement. Examples of commonly miss-categorized entries include: Wood Aged Flanders Red entered in Wood Beers, it must be entered as Flanders Red. A Cherry Cinnamon Wheat Ale entered as Fruit Beer, or entered as Spice Beer, it must be entered into Fruit and Spice. An American IPA that has Black IPA in special ingredients will be judged as an American IPA and any roast characteristics will be considered a flaw. Also see: Bluebonnet Brew-Off Style Grid
Online registration closes January 28 2018 and receipt of entry closes Thursday February 1, 2018. Any entry not received by a check-in worker by Thursday, February 1, 2018 will be disqualified. Any beer that is disqualified due to late arrival will not receive a refund. Scoresheets are required for advancement to the second round.
A completed ENTRY INFORMATION FORM, BREWER INFORMATION FORM, and request for feedback (commemorative score sheet) must accompany all entries.
If you must ship your entries, we recommend that you allow 2” of packing materials between the borders of the box you use to ship your beer and any beer you enclose with in. Fill with packing material. Wrapping each bottle in bubble wrap may also be helpful. Enclose all entries in a plastic garbage bag, and then seal the bag. Do not use US Mail – it is ILLEGAL!!. UPS will accept your package, but not if it is labeled “beer”. You may want to label it “Yeast Samples” or “Kitchen Supplies” or simply “Fragile”.
ONLINE ENTRY AND ELECTRONIC PAYMENT INFORMATION
Brewers are encouraged to use online entry and electronic payment. We will again be using the Internet payment tool PayPal. With PayPal you can use a credit card to pay entry fees, event fees, and purchase Bluebonnet merchandise. See http://www.bluebonnetbrewoff.org for online registration and other information.
SPECIAL INGREDIENTS DIRECTIONS
In addition to special entry instructions listed in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines, the following categories have additional requirements for the Bluebonnet Brew-Off:
7C – Kellerbier – The brewer must specify whether the entry is a Pale, Amber or any other Kellerbier (See 2015 BJCP Guidelines for additional information)
24 – Specialty IPA – Any category of beer declared as an IPA including ones listed plus any fruit, spice, smoke, alternate grains or sugars, etc. If it has IPA or India Pale Ale in the comments then it goes here. Brewers may enter only one (1) Specialty IPA. Please review the style guidelines for additional entry instructions.
29 – Saison – The entrant must specify the strength (table, standard, super) and the color (pale, dark). (See 2015 BJCP Guidelines for additional information)
32-A – SHV- See 2015 BJCP Guidelines. Any beer listing coffee, chocolate, peppers, spices or herbs. This includes any beer with the word “nut” (such as peanut or coconut) and/or peppers. This category is for entries that do not include pumpkin pie spices or mulling or Christmas spices.
Examples include Habanero Porter, Peanut Butter Stout, Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, Roasted Hemp Heart Stout, Myrtle ESB, English IPA with Red Hots and Hibiscus Petals, Lavender Wheat, Chocolate Chipotle Stout, Chocolate Porter, Coffee Brown Ale, and Chocolate Mint Stout.
Beers with spices which also contain fruit such as a Cherry Chocolate Stout should be entered under 31B Fruit & Spice Beer.
Beers with Coffee and/or Chocolate which also contain pumpkin should be entered under 33A Autumn Seasonal
33A – Autumn Seasonal – Any beer that suggest cool weather and the autumn harvest season, and may include pumpkin or other squashes, and the associated spices, specifically cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. For Bluebonnet, any variety of pumpkin beer should be entered here regardless of any other ingredients. Examples include Chocolate Pumpkin Stout, Pumpkin Amber Ale, Squash Pilsner, and Pumpkin Vienna Lager.
33B – Winter Seasonal – Any beer that suggests cold weather and the Christmas holiday season, and may include holiday spices, specialty sugars, and other products that are reminiscent of mulling spices or Christmas holiday desserts, specifically nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice. Examples include Holiday Cookie Stout, Nutmeg Brown Ale and other traditionally accepted Christmas beers which use spicy, piney or woody hops in a different manor than the classic style such as Anchor Christmas Ale or Breckenridge Christmas Ale
35 – (BJCP 33) Wood Beer – If wood is declared, regardless of any other added ingredients (except pumpkin) or processes, the beer must be entered into either Wood Aged or Specialty Wood Aged. 35A (33A) is for wood aged beers without alcohol added. 35B (33B) is for wood aged beers that have added alcohol characteristics from the barrel (e.g. Bourbon Barrel Aging). Wood beers with Pumpkin should be entered into 33A-Autumn Seasonal. THIS CATEGORY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR BASE STYLES WHERE WOOD-AGING IS A FUNDEMENTAL REQUIREMENT FOR THE STYLE (e.g., Flanders Red, Lambic, etc.). This category should not be used for Wood Aged American Wild Ales, these should be entered into one of the American Wild Ale categories and declare wood or specialty wood used. Examples: Oak Aged Imperial Stout with Blueberries and Vanilla – enter under Wood Aged; Bourbon Barrel Stout with Brett and Raspberries and Vanilla – enter under Wild Specialty Beer.
37A – Alternative Grain Beer – any standard (classic style or not) beer that includes rye, oats, buckwheat, spelt, millet, sorghum, rice, etc. Examples include Rye Pale Ale, Oatmeal Pale Ale, Sorghum beer, etc. This category should not be used for Rye IPA which should be entered in category 24. This category should not be used for non-standard styles (Bluebonnet categories 31-36 & 38).
37B – Alternative Sugar Beers – any standard (classic style or not) beer that includes honey, brown sugar, invert sugar, molasses, treacle, maple syrup, sorghum, etc. Examples include Honey Wheat, Brown Sugar Brown Ale. This category should not be used for non-standard styles (Bluebonnet categories 31-36 & 38).
38D – Historical Beer – Any of the BJCP listed subcategories of historical beers (Gose, Kentucky Common, Lichtenhainer, London Brown, Piwo Grodziskie, Pre-Prohibition Porter, Roggenbier, Sahiti or Pre-Prohibition Lager). If a non-listed style is entered then the brewer must declare the primary characteristics of the style. Brewers may enter only one (1) Historical Beer.
IMPORTANT – Categories 39 through 43 require entrant to declare Sweetness, Carbonation, and Strength along with any additional special ingredients used if required under the 2015 BJCP Guidelines.
44 – New Entrant – First time Bluebonnet competitors ONLY. Follow the rules of the specific category/subcategory that the beer would best fit under. i.e. Enter a Baltic Porter as such, do not enter as simply “Porter”.
45-Hop Showcase – Entrant must declare Base Style and include any special ingredients. Sponsoring Club Member ONLY and must incorporate the specific lot of hops donated. Entrants may also incorporate other hop varieties; however, they may NOT purchase or use other allotments of the variety donated.
Bluebonnet Brew-off Awards
Prizes will be awarded in each of the 45 Style categories available at this competition. The Bluebonnet Committee reserves the right to collapse categories not receiving adequate entries and/or to not award all places if the entries do not merit it. Honored Winners will receive:
1st Place – A coveted handmade Bluebonnet stein and a BBO Gold medal.
2nd Place – A BBO silver medal.
3rd Place – A BBO bronze medal.
Note: Category 44 (New Entrant) is designated for brewers who have not previously entered any Bluebonnet competition, in any category. There will be a 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place Award presented. Scoring points will be credited toward the Mueller-Browne Club Quality Award, but not towards the Bluebonnet Brewer of the Year, Team of the Year, the Bluebonnet Cup or Lone Star circuit points. The Category 44 winner is not eligible for Best of Show.
BEST OF SHOW
A Best of Show Beer will be judged and awarded from categories 1 – 38.
A Best of Show Mead / Cider will be judged and awarded from categories 39 – 43.
A Custom Display Plaque will be presented to each BOS winner
BLUEBONNET HOMEBREWER OF THE YEAR
The homebrewer accumulating the most placement points for Individually submitted entries from categories 1 – 43 will be recognized as the Bluebonnet Homebrewer of the Year. Points are awarded as follows:
1st place – 3 points
2nd place – 2 points
3rd place – 1 point.
A Custom Display Plaque will be presented to the BBO Homebrewer of the Year
BLUEBONNET HOMEBREW TEAM OF THE YEAR
The Homebrew Team accumulating the most placement points for a named Team’s submitted entries from categories 1 – 43 will be recognized as the Bluebonnet Homebrew Team of the Year. Points are awarded as follows:
1st place – 3 points
2nd place – 2 points
3rd place – 1 point
Two Custom Display Plaques will be presented to the BBO Homebrew Team of the Year
The homebrew Club receiving the most placement points, both from Individually and Team submitted entries on behalf of the Club, in categories 1-43, will be awarded the Bluebonnet Cup. In case of a Tie, the tie breakers will be in the following order: Most 1st place winners, then most 2nd place winners, then most 3rd place winners. A coin toss will settle any further tie.
MUELLER-BROWNE CLUB QUALITY AWARD
Named after the late Glen A. Mueller and the late Frank H. Browne, early figures in DFW homebrewing, this prize is awarded to any entering Club, with a minimum of 35 submitted entries, which has the highest first round scoring average of their commemorative Judging Sheets.
Club is defined as any AHA Registered homebrew club that has had entries submitted either Individually and/or as a Team on its behalf. You do not qualify as a club if you enter as “independent” or “not affiliated.”
An entry can not be credited to multiple clubs (for instance, you can not enter a set of 3 bottles and have them judged as an entry for the Red River Brewers and also your newly formed “Mutt & Jeff Club.”) Points toward the Mueller-Browne Quality Award will only be awarded to one club.
This award is based on First Round Judging, and only awarded to clubs with a minimum of 35 entries. Please note that all of your club’s entries are averaged for this “quality score” (not just your best 35).
The Bluebonnet Committee has an internal document in place to handle tie breakers should they arise.
RABBIT HOLE BREWING PRO-AM AWARD
Rabbit Hole Brewing is the Official Brewery of the 2017 Bluebonnet Brew-Off Competition. In turn they will be sponsoring the Rabbit Hole Brewing Pro-Am award, selected by representatives of the brewery from among all of this year’s 1st place beer category stein winners. Rabbit Hole will brew and distribute a 20 BBL commercial batch of the beer that wins this award to be debuted at next year’s Bluebonnet Brew-Off, and the winning brewer will have the opportunity to come assist in the brewing process and will receive a prize package from the brewery.
All decisions of The Bluebonnet Committee and the Judging Staff are to be considered final. Be assured that every effort will be taken to create an uncompromising, blind-tasting environment for the judging of all entries. The Bluebonnet Committee reserves the right to re-align medal categories based on final sub-category entrants. Entries that appear to be dangerous to consume will be reviewed by the Head Judge. Examples include, but are not limited to; 1) A mixup appears to have occurred and entry looks and tastes like PBW, StarSan, etc., 2) The aroma creates an immediate negative reaction such as eye watering, hiccupping, or the urge to vomit. The Head Judge reserves the right to disqualify an entry by sight or aroma alone. Should this occur a refund will be issued. Should it be determined that an entry/entries have been doctored, that entrant may be banned from future participation.
The Bluebonnet Brew Off does not condone drinking and driving, participants are expected to drink responsibly.