Posted August 23, 2016

Call for Entry: The Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition 2017

Now entering its fifth year, the Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition has announced its 2017 competition details, including its expansion to 18 entries up from ten the previous year. This year’s beer style is a Belgian IPA.

About the Competition
After more than a century, hops have been making a comeback in Ontario agriculture. In 2013, the first annual Great Ontario-Hopped Craft Beer Competition (GOHCBC) brought Ontario hop producers 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 Ontario hop producers. 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 producer must have more than 400 hop plants with the intent to sell for use in commercially available beer. Brewers may only submit one entry, but hop growers may belong to more than one team. For example, more than one brewer may pair with the same hop grower to supply hops for their entry. Alternately, more than one hop grower may supply hops to the same brewer for their entry. All hops used in the entry must be grown in Ontario.

Entry into the competition is free.

In order to preserve the integrity of the competition, hop growers must now 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
New for 2017, the competition is expanding to accept a maximum of 18 beer entries. Entrants will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis in the form of a completed registration 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) Belgian IPA, but they will be judged on the following AHA BJCP description:

Aroma: Moderate to high hop aroma, often tropical, stone fruit, citrus or pine-like typical of American or New World hop varieties. Floral and spicy aromas are also found indicating European hops. Grassy aroma due to dry hopping may be present. Gentle, grainy-sweet malt aroma, with little to no caramel. Fruity esters are moderate to high and may include aromas of bananas, pears and apples. Light clove-like phenols may be noticeable. Belgian candi sugar-like aromas are sometimes present

Appearance: Light golden to amber in color. Off-white head is moderate to large in size and has good retention. Clarity is fair to quite hazy in dry hopped examples.

Flavour: Initial flavor is moderately spicy and estery associated with Belgian yeast strains. Clove-like and peppery flavors are common. Banana, pear and apple flavors are also typical. Hop flavors are moderate to high in intensity and may reflect tropical, stone fruit, melon, citrusy, or piney American/New World varieties or floral and spicy Saazer-type hop flavors. Malt flavor is light and grainy-sweet, sometimes with low toasted or caramel malt flavor but not required. Bitterness is high and may be accentuated by spicy yeast-derived flavors. The finish is dry to medium-dry although some examples have a slight sweetness mixed with the lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to light and varies due to carbonation level and adjunct use. Carbonation level is medium to high. Some higher alcohol versions may be warming although this may not be readily apparent.

Overall Impression: An IPA with the fruitiness and spiciness derived from the use of Belgian yeast. The examples from Belgium tend to be lighter in color and more attenuated, similar to a tripel that has been brewed with more hops. This beer has a more complex flavor profile and may be higher in alcohol than a typical IPA.

Comments: The choice of yeast strain and hop varieties is critical since many choices will clash horribly.

Vital Statistics: OG:1.058-1.080    FG:1.008-1.016    ABV:4.3-6.2%    IBUs:50-100    SRM:5-15

The Bottles
Entries must be in six standard bottles that hold approximately 341 millilitres (12 ounces) in volume, and fit in a standard case box. The measurements of a standard case box are 7 x 7 x 30 centimetres (2.75 x 2.75 x 9 inches). Bottles may be of any colour but must be free of ink, paint or paper labeling other than a competition entry label. Obliterate any lettering or graphics on the crown with a permanent marker. Neither cans nor Swing-top or corked bottles are allowed. Raised letters on the bottle are acceptable as long as they do not identify the entrant. Attach entry labels to each bottle with the rubber band provided. Beer and bottles will not be returned. Failure to meet these requirements will result in disqualification.

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 expressed their intent to submit, the organizers will ship a Registration Package 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.

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 front reception of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, Scotiabank Convention Centre:

6815 Stanley Avenue

Niagara Falls, Ontario
Critical Dates
Intent to submit: Organizers must be advised of intent to submit by 16:00, Monday, October 31st, 2016.

Entry form: Organizers must receive completed entry form by 16:00, Monday, October 31st, 2016.

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 16th, 2017.

Drop-off entries accepted (Niagara Falls): 10:00-15:00, Monday, February 20th, 2017.

Judging: Tuesday, February 21st at 14:00, 2017.

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:

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


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