Short Finger Brewing & Great Lakes to host Hop Shop IPA Challenge in 2017

Toronto, Ontario – In the Spring of 2017, Short Finger Brewing and Great Lakes Brewery will be running the Hop Shop IPA Challenge. There will be no BJCP sanctioning, no wide range of styles, and a changeup in prizing to include things like Juiciest, Dankest, and Best Named IPAs in addition to the usual category winners. You’ll still be getting feedback on your brews from a panel of rockin’ judges, and the Best of Show winner will receive a sweet brewing opportunity.

The Details

Entry Cost: $5 /beer
Entry and Submission Deadline: Saturday, March 4 at 4:00pm
Judging: Sunday, March 12 at Great Lakes Brewery
Awards Ceremony: Sunday, April 2 (KW location TBD)
Official Partner: Great Lakes Brewery
Best of Show Prize: Brewing at GLB


This is their first non-BJCP sanctioned competition, and their first featuring a single style. That said, they’ll still be loosely basing their judging around the core elements of the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for most categories. So, if you’re looking for guidance, this is a good place to start. Participants are welcome to enter up to one beer in each category aside from “Other,” where up to three entries will be permitted.

1. English IPA (BJCP 12C)
2. American IPA (BJCP 21A)
3. Belgian IPA (BJCP 21B)
4. Black IPA (BJCP 21B)
5. Other (BJCP 21B, 22A, 28, 29, 30, 31… you get the idea)

That’s right, anything goes in category 5. Looking to get a little crazy? This one’s for you. As long as you’re starting with an IPA as your base beer, it’s game on.

How to Enter

Please note that, as a homebrew competition, they’ll only be accepting beers brewed at a private residence by a hobbyist brewer. No commercial or brew-on-premise beers may be submitted. Here’s what you need to do to sign up:

  1. Pay for your entriesonline here, or in person at Short Finger Brewing Co.
  2. Wait for an e-mail from Kat that includes our Hop Shop registration form and bottle ID tags. Please note that Kat will not send you this e-mail until payment is received; from there, it should take no more than 24 hours for you to receive your email.
  3. Fill out a copy of the registration form for each beer that you are entering, along with two bottle ID tags. Please make sure that your beer adheres to the bottle submission guidelines outlined below.
  4. Give us your beer! Feel free to either drop it off at Short Finger Brewing Co (20 Hurst Avenue, Kitchener) or Great Lakes Brewery (30 Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, Etobicoke) during regular business hours.
    1. Looking to mail in your entries? Send them to SFBC. Note: We at Short Finger are not responsible for mailed entries that do not arrive by the entry deadline, or for entries that arrive damaged.

Bottle Submission Guidelines

Participants must submit two bottles of each beer entered into the competition. Bottles must be between 330ml and 650ml in size, and must be made of either brown glass or brown PET. Swing-top bottles are permitted. A completed Bottle ID tag must be attached to each bottle using a rubber band. No other visible identifiers are permitted. This includes labels, raised glass, etchings, and ink. Please use a marker to black out any writing on the cap. Note that bottles will not be returned to entrants following the competition.

Judging Details

Interested in judging? Please e-mail to sign up to judge in this Toronto-based competition. Please note that preference will be given to individuals with the following creds: industry professionals, BJCP, Cicerone, Prud’Homme, or other sensory training. Folks who have entered beer into the competition are still welcome to judge, but will not be permitted to judge any category/flight that they have entered. This extends to the BOS round, should their beer be put forward.

Stay in Touch

We look forward to hearing from you as the competition approaches. Share your progress with us through Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #HopShopIPA. Feel free to mention us directly: @shortfingerbrewing on Instagram, and @shortfingerbeer on Twitter, and be sure to give Great Lakes Brewery some love too (@greatlakesbeer on both).

If you have any questions about the competition, please e-mail

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