The Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition (2018)

About the Competition 

The annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition (GOHCBC) brings Ontario hop growers and the Ontario brewing industry together to:

-Encourage commerce and collaboration between Hop growers and Brewers,
-Introduce new brewers to Ontario’s hop-growing community,
-Promote the use of Ontario-grown hops.

Who is Eligible?
The GOHCBC is intended for commercial Ontario breweries, students in their graduating year of accredited Ontario Brewmaster courses and commercial Ontario hop growers. To qualify, the Brewer must represent a brewery that sells the beer it produces, either on-premises or through a distributor <or> be enrolled in their graduating year of an accredited Ontario Brewmaster course.

The Hop grower must have more than 400 hop plants or ½ acre in production with the intent to sell for use in commercially available beer. Brewers may only submit one entry, teamed with no more than two Hop growers. Hop growers may not be part of more than two entries. All hops used in the entry must be grown in Ontario.

Entry into the competition is $25.00 CDN to be paid with the registration.

In order to preserve the integrity of the competition, Hop growers must inform the organizers when hops have been delivered to the Brewer and the Brewer must email the organizers when hops have been received (contact information below).

Number of Entrees
The competition accepts a maximum of 18 beer entries. Entrants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis in the form of a completed registration form, including payment, received before the deadline.

Beer Style
Judges will adopt the guidelines of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). Entrants may submit variants on this year’s style: (21B) Black IPA, but they will be judged on the following AHA BJCP description:

Aroma: A moderate to high hop aroma, often with a stone fruit, tropical, citrusy, resinous, piney, berry, or melon character. If dry hopped, can have an additional floral, herbal, or grassy aroma, although this is not required. Very low to moderate dark malt aroma, which can optionally include light chocolate, coffee, or toast notes. Some clean or lightly caramelly malty sweetness may be found in the background. Fruitiness, either from esters or from hops, may also be detected in some versions, although a neutral fermentation character is also acceptable.

Appearance: Color ranges from dark brown to black. Should be clear, although unfiltered dry-hopped versions may be a bit hazy; if opaque, should not be murky. Good head stand with light tan to tan color should persist.

 Flavor: Medium-low to high hop flavor with tropical, stone fruit, melon, citrusy, berry, piney or resinous aspects. Medium-high to very high hop bitterness, although dark malts may contribute to the perceived bitterness. The base malt flavor is generally clean and of low to medium intensity, and can optionally have low caramel or toffee flavors. Dark malt flavors are low to medium-low; restrained chocolate or coffee flavors may be present, but the roasted notes should not be intense, ashy, or burnt, and should not clash with the hops. Low to moderate fruitiness (from yeast or hops) is acceptable but not required. Dry to slightly off-dry finish. The finish may include a light roast character that contributes to perceived dryness, although this is not required. The bitterness may linger into the aftertaste but should not be harsh. Some clean alcohol flavor can be noted in stronger versions.

 Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-light to medium-bodied mouthfeel without significant hop- or (especially) roasted malt-derived astringency. Dry-hopped versions may be a bit resiny. Medium carbonation. A bit of creaminess may be present but is not required. Some smooth alcohol warming can and should be sensed in stronger (but not all) versions.

 Overall Impression: A beer with the dryness, hop-forward balance, and flavor characteristics of an American IPA, only darker in color – but without strongly roasted or burnt flavors. The flavor of darker malts is gentle and  supportive, not a major flavor component. Drinkability is a key characteristic.

 Comments: Most examples are standard strength. Strong examples can sometimes seem like big, hoppy porters if made too extreme, which hurts their drinkability. The hops and malt can combine to produce interesting interactions.

 Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 – 1.085  IBUs: 50 – 90  FG: 1.010 – 1.018  SRM: 25 – 40  ABV: 5.5 – 9.0%

The Bottles
Entries must be in six bottles. Bottles may be of any size or colour as long as they DO NOT identify the entrant (e.g. no unique raised lettering, bottle design, graphics or colour). Each bottle must be affixed with a competition entry label. Neither cans nor Swing-top or corked bottles are allowed. Crowns can be any colour as long as they DO NOT identify the entrant. Obliterate any lettering or graphics on the crown with a permanent marker. Failure to meet these requirements will result in disqualification. Beer and bottles will not be returned.

Hop Rub Display
Hop growers are asked to send at least 28 grams (one ounce) of each Ontario hop variety used in the beer directly to the organizers in Simcoe (address below) as part of the Hop Rub Display for the audience of the GOHCBC. Hops must be dried, preferably whole flower and the variety of hop clearly indicated. They will be properly stored to be as fresh as possible for the competition.

Registration Package
Once a team has submitted a registration form and paid the registration fee an acknowledgement from the organizers will follow.  A Registration Package will then be shipped to the team lead, which will include:

-Tags and rubber bands to be affixed to each of the 6 bottles
-Registration form, to be returned to the Competition organizers
-Competition rules

Delivering Bottles
It is your responsibility to adequately pack your entries and have them arrive intact. Intoxicating beverages cannot be mailed through Canada Post. Carefully pack your entries in a sturdy box, line the inside of your package with a plastic trash bag and partition and pack each bottle with adequate packaging material. Please refrain from using packing “peanuts”; use bubble wrap or newspaper instead. Do not over-pack! Your package should weigh less than 25 pounds. Every reasonable effort will be made to contact entrants whose bottles have broken to make arrangements for sending replacement bottles. The GOHCBC will not be held responsible for missing entries. If you have not received confirmation that your entry has been received, contact us immediately.

Where to Ship or Drop-off Bottles
Bottles and hops can be shipped to Simcoe to be held for the competition:

c/o The Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition
1283 Blueline Road
Simcoe, Ontario
N3Y 4K3

Alternately, bottles can be dropped off at the GOHCBC kiosk at the Scotiabank Convention Centre between the hours of 10:00 and 15:00. DO NOT leave your entry with anyone at the Scotia Bank Convention Centre except a member of the GOHCBC team.

6815 Stanley Avenue

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Critical Dates
Entry Form and Registration Fee: Organizers must receive completed entry form and registration fee by 16:00, Tuesday, October 31st, 2017.

Hops delivery: Hop grower must email organizers to confirm hops have been delivered to the brewer. Brewer must email the organizers to confirm hops have been received.

Shipped entries accepted (Simcoe): By 16:00, Thursday, February 15th, 2018.

Drop-off entries accepted (Niagara Falls): 10:00-15:00, Tuesday, February 20th, 2018.

Judging: Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 at 14:00.

1st place:  The Bottomless Cup Trophy will be held by the winning entrant for one year, returned for next year’s competition. Permanent plaques will be awarded for each hop grower and brewery on the winning team.

2nd place: Plaques for each hop grower and brewery.

3rd place: Plaques for each hop grower and brewery.

Honorable Mention: At the discretion of the judges, plaques for each hop grower and brewery.

For more information please contact:
David Lauzon, GOHCBC Administrator:


GOHCBC 2018 Rules (PDF)

GOHCBC 2018 Rules (Word)


The organizers reserve the right to make minor changes to the official rules.