Sunday, February 25, 2018

Festival Event Information

The Northern California Homebrewers Festival is full of events, activities, and competitions, aside from tasting all the fabulous home brews at all the club booths. Be sure to check these out during the fest.


Club Keg Competition

The Club Keg Competition during the fest has always been a popular event, and will once again be a focal point during the fest. This year there will be two awards given out to the lucky brewers.

Check if your club is registered

Beer Styles for 2017

This year’s theme for NCHF is “ Camp Homebrew “. It made sense that the club keg competition beers would have a similar theme. What would camping be without a campfire? Where there’s fire, there’s smoke!

Brew on!

Beer Style #1: Smoked Beer

This isn’t restricted to just Rauchbier but could be any of the other classic styles, as well as specialty smoked beer. The beer should show good balance between the smoke, beer character and any other added ingredients.

Beer Style #2: S'Mores Beer

The second beer is still campfire related but a little more specific as far as flavor: S’mores beer. The idea is to combine the flavors of Graham crackers, toasted marshmallow, and chocolate in a beer. How you achieve these flavors is the challenge!


Preparing your beer for the Club Keg Competition

All beers are poured anonymously on our jockey boxes in the center tent (with the checkered roof, hard to miss!), with everyone in attendance voting for the winning beers in each style. The winning brewers and clubs get their names added to a trophy, on display for all to see each year at the beer competition tent. And of course, bragging rights!

A club can enter 1 beer in each category. So a maximum on 2 beers per club total, if entering both categories.

Clubs can deliver their beers to the beer trailer Saturday morning between 10-11 AM for check-in. If you have your keg in a fermentation-sized bucket on ice, that's great. If not, we will put all the kegs in a cold box until hook up, then in bins with ice. We can accept 2.5gal - 5gal corny kegs--either ball lock or pin lock--no Sanke kegs!

The Club Comp has grown to be one of the most popular events at NCHF and this has necessitated a little more structure than what we have had in the past. Please note the following:

  1. The comp will be limited to 24 beers total between the two styles (this represents our jockeybox capacity)
  2. Competition slots will be allotted on a first-come, first served basis
  3. Competition registration will only be through registered Club Reps
  4. Entries accepted now through September 3
  5. Beers must be delivered to the beer trailer no later than 11:00 AM the morning of the fest
  6. Entrants are responsible for retrieving their kegs; this may done after conclusion of the final awards and raffle ceremony
  7. NCHO will provide CO2

Entrant must specify:

  1. Club name
  2. Style: #1 or #2
  3. Ball or Pin Keg (This is really important and speeds set up of the comp). No Sanke kegs!

Registered Clubs 

Final List

Club Smoked Entered Smoked keg type S'more Entered S'more keg type
 BAM     X Ball
 DOZE  X Ball  Ball 
 MASH     Ball
PUBS      Ball
Shasta     Ball 
Sudzers     Ball 
Under Ground  X Ball  Ball
HAZE     Ball
That Dam Brew Club  X Ball Ball
Chico  X Ball  Ball
Almaden  X Ball     
Draft Board  X Pin    
Beer Underground  X Ball    
Brewers of Paradise      X Ball
HOME      X Ball 







Hoppy Hour

Friday afternoon features Hoppy Hour which takes place in the Lake Francis "town square". Hoppy Hour once again two fantastic clubs will be pouring some of their finest beers, in addition to some fantastic appetizers. This is a time for us to gather together and catch up with one another while we sample a beer or three.

Friday Night Brewers Dinner

We expect another amazing culinary experience from our own The Homebrew Chef, Sean Z Paxton. Each year, Sean crafts a menu that reflects the festival theme, cooking and pairing each course of a 5+ course offering with an often unusual craft beer. All the courses are served family style, often with a some of the brewers featured at dinner in attendance to say a few words about their beer.

The Brewers Dinner is an extra ticket cost--not included in the price of the festival. This dinner always sells out, and is limited to ~150 fortunate (and quick) attendees. Tickets for the Brewers Dinner are available when purchasing your festival tickets (must be an attendee of the festival and ADD this to your cart, no "dinner-only sales").

What will the menu be this year? Come find out. You will NOT be disappointed, nor leave hungry!

Best Booth Decoration Competition

Each year, clubs decorate their booths, and often themselves, to reflect the theme of the event. What exactly does this mean? That's up to you. Get creative! Every festival has been a great showing of creative talent from the clubs.

At the end of the day, Fest-goers vote for the best booth theme decoration, and a certificate is awarded.

Event Speakers

Saturday afternoon offers talks by nationally known speakers from the professional and amateur circles. Past speakers have included Fritz Maytag, Fred Eckhardt, Byron Burch, Fal Allan, Ken Grossman, Vinnie Cilurzo, and Matt Bryndilson, to name a few.

Best Booth Food Competition

One of the best features of the Festival, besides the amazing homebrew, is the food. Clubs pull out all the stops in their gastronomic treats. We acknowledge this effort with an award for Best Booth Food.

Our Generous Sponsors

5 Star Chemical
Blichman Engineering
Bottel Mark
Brewers Supply Group
Briess Malting
Buffalo Bills Brewery
Drakes Brewing
Freewheel Brewing
Grog Tag



Growler Works
Hobby Beverage
Lagunitas Brewing
Micro Matic
More Beer
North Coast Brewing
Reno Homebrewer 




River City Brewing
Shady Oak Barrel House
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Spike Brewing
Sudwerk Brewing
White Labs
Williams Brewing
Wyeast Labs





NCHF Contact Information


Snail Mail: NCHF
271 Santa Clara Ave
Redwood City CA 94061

The NCHF is a 501 C(7) non-profit organization.

NCHF Weather

°F | °C
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 50%
11 mph
Partly Cloudy
29 | 51
-1 | 10
Partly Cloudy
36 | 53
2 | 11
Scroll to top