Rules of the Competition

Questions or Comments?   


The Hoppy Halloween Challenge is open to any homebrewer from within the United States and Canada. Affiliation of entrants with American Homebrewers Association is NOT a requirement. Contestants will be considered as an individual entrant on the basis of person's name appearing on the registration form. Combinations of brewers should appear in the same order on all entries. Applicable entry fees and entry limitations shall apply.

A homebrewer may not use homebrewing facilities other than their own, unless brewed with the help of the owner of those other homebrewing facilities. Furthermore, in this case, the beer must be entered under the name of all brewers who helped. Beers brewed in commercially licensed facilities, brew on premise, whether for commercial research or production, or for any other purpose, are ineligible.

Beer entries will be judged in classes and subcategories listed under the Hoppy Halloween Beer Categories.  Some categories may be combined for judging purposes due to lack of entries in those categories.  Each entry should be entered according to the latest AHA/BJCP style guidelines.  Entries must be referred to by category and subcategory letter.


Entry Fees:  
Entry fees for this competition are $8.50 per entry. You must pay for your entries online using a major credit card through PayPal after you have entered online.  Please do not send in checks or cash with your entry.

Please register your beers online using the Competition Software and print out your Registration Form and Bottle ID Forms from there.

Entry Requirements:  

We are requesting 2 bottles per entry for 2023.

The special category of Halloween Theme beers will require only one bottle and and is not eligible for Best of Show beer or mead/cider awards.

Bottles must be glass or plastic of ANY style and clean and free of any labels (inked, paper, or otherwise). Entrants are encouraged to use brown, long-neck bottles for maximum protection from light and breakage. Use a rubber band to attach bottle label form to each bottle. The use of tape or glue to attach forms is not acceptable.  Soft drink or other printed crowned caps are acceptable; however, they need to be blacked-out with a black marking pen to assure anonymity in all judging situations. 

Cans will be accepted with the same requirements as bottles; no distinguishing marks, at least 12 oz, and at least two containers. Please note that we are not able to reseal cans like we can with bottles - your entry may change perceptibly between it’s judging flight and any potential mini Best of Show it reaches.

Only 1 ENTRY per Sub-Category will be allowed except in categories 23F, 27, 29, 30A, 32, 33, 34, M2B-E, M3, M4, C2B, C2E, C2F and special contest category of Halloween Theme Beer only if the entries are VERY obviously not the same beer or mead.  If the entries are determined that they may be the same, then both will be disqualified.

When entering a fruited beer where the base style happens to be sour - please use category 29A and not 28C

By submitting an entry to this competition, brewers agree to provide a recipe if requested.

All entry fees, names of competitor, address, phone number, Class and Subcategory entered must accompany entries when submitted. No entries will be returned whether received late or otherwise. All entries become property of the Prairie Homebrewing Companions Competition Committee.

Use official registration forms (or copies) when possible though other registration forms such as ProMash will be accepted.

Beers will be disqualified for entry requirements infractions. These entries may still be judged but will be ineligible for awards or prizes.



Shipping Entries to Fargo:
Ship your entries early to arrive between October 1st and October 13th. 

Barb & Dick Nilles
101 31st Ave N,
Fargo, ND 58102   


Dropping off Entries - Fargo:
Entries accompanied with registration information may be dropped off by 5:00pm Friday, October 13th, 2023:

Barb & Dick Nilles
101 31st Ave N,
Fargo, ND 58102   


Minneapolis/St. Paul or other remote drop off:
There are no remote drop off locations this year.


Halloween Theme Beers  
Beers for this category must be registered before the October 13th end of registration but the bottle can be hand delivered only after the normal cut off and will be accepted up to Noon, Saturday October 28th.  Please contact the registrar above if you plan to deliver a beer after the normal end date of October 13th so we know your beer is coming. 

For this category only, a single bottle is needed.


Shipping Guidelines
Entries may be shipped to the address above using a privately owned shipping company (UPS, FedEx, etc.) for analytical purposes. However, IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHIP ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES VIA THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. Private shipping carrier rules and regulations concerning the shipment of beer or alcoholic beverages vary. We strongly encourage you to check with your shipping carrier prior to shipping your entry.  Usually you will be asked the contents of the package; your reply should be: "Bottles, but they are double-boxed and padded well."


- Carefully pack your entries in a sturdy box.

- Line the inside of your package with a plastic trash bag. 

- Partition and pack each bottle with adequate packaging material. 

- Clearly state "GLASS-FRAGILE. THIS SIDE UP" on the package. 

- Your package of NON-PERISHABLE FOOD should weigh less than 25 pounds. 

- It is not necessary to state specific contents of your package of non-perishable food.

- Send entries as soon as possible.

- Please refrain from using packing “peanuts” if possible. Use bubble wrap or newspaper instead. We try to recycle packaging material whenever possible.

- Every year we still receive broken bottles, do what you can to make sure it is not your bottles that arrive broken.  If a single bottle is broken, it will still be judged and is eligible to win its category but will not be eligible for the Best of Show award due to the lack of a second bottle.


In the first round, each judge will score 5 to 10 entries on one category, selecting the best three. The second round consists of all those beers selected in the first round to determine the category winner. The winners in each category will then be judged with the top beer being named Best of Show. More than one judge will evaluate every round. Entries will be chilled and stored properly and appropriately for the style. All decisions of the judges and competition organizer are final. Winners will be announced at the Hoppy Halloween Awards Banquet on Saturday October 28th, 2023. All winners will be notified and score sheets with the and judges' comments will be returned to all entrants. Results will also be found on this web site.


There will be medals awarded for first, second, and third place in each category.  BJCP 2021 guidelines will be used to judge the beer but medals will be awarded in a slightly consolidated grouping of categories similar to the National Homebrew Competition.  These categories are defined on the Hoppy Halloween Categories page

A minimum of 25 points must be obtained to receive a medal.  Prizes will be awarded to beers placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their category, Best of Show Beer, Best of Show Mead/Cider, Best Halloween Theme Beer, and Fresh Killed Hops Beer.

In addition the Great Pumpkin Award will be given to the homebrewer with the most points in this competition, accumulated for BJCP categories as 6 points for 1st, 3 points for 2nd, 1 point for 3rd.

In case of a tie, tie breaks will be determined at the discretion of the competition coordinator.

Great Pumpkin Award 2009


Hoppy Halloween 2021 medals and awards



Hoppy Halloween 2020 awards



Hoppy Halloween 2019 medals and awards - Dia de Muertos



Hoppy Halloween 2018 medals and awards 



Hoppy Halloween 2017 medals and awards - SCREAM!




Hoppy Halloween 2015 medals and awards 




Hoppy Halloween 2013 Medals
"The Bats are coming...."



Hoppy Halloween 2012 Medals and Awards

"Curse of the Mummy's Thirst"


Hoppy Halloween 2011 Medals and Awards

"Scary Pumpkins"


Hoppy Halloween 2010 Medals and Awards




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