Cactus Challenge

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Rules & Requirements

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Rules and Requirements

This competition is open to all homebrewers. The competition is restricted to non-commercial home-brewed beer and mead. Beers produced on the premises of commercial breweries, including brew-on-premises establishments, are not eligible. The competition organizers are not responsible for mis-categorized entries, mailed entries that are not received by the entry deadline, or entries that arrived damaged. The competition organizers reserve the right to combine styles for judging and to restructure awards as needed depending upon the quantity and quality of entries.

Entry Limits (Updated in 2016)

The Cactus Challenge will be limited to the first 355 paid entries.

Each entrant is limited to a total of 25 entries.

There is a limit of two entries per BJCP sub-category per entrant.

Individuals and teams are considered separate entrants with respect to the total entry limit and sub-category limit. Category 51, Gauntlet Challenge, Male-ian vs Female-ian and other non-BJCP category entries are not included in either limit.

Entry Requirements

Each beer, cider and mead entry for the competition must consist of three bottles. To ensure anonymity of entries, all bottles must meet the standard AHA national competition size requirements. Bottles may be any color, but for maximum protection from light brown is preferred. Bottles must be at least 10 ounces and no more than 14 ounces in volume for beer and cider entries, and at least 6 ounces and no more than 14 ounces in volume for mead entries. Lettering and graphics on bottle caps must be obliterated with a permanent black marker. Traditional "long-neck" style bottles are encouraged, while bottles with Grolsch-type swing tops and unusually shaped bottles are not allowed. Corked bottles meeting the above restrictions are acceptable; however, you must crimp a crown cap over the cork. Bottles not meeting these requirements may be disqualified. All bottles must be clean, and provided with a properly completed entry label attached by a rubber band . DO NOT TAPE OR GLUE TO AFFIX THE ENTRY LABELS TO THE BOTTLES .

A completed Entry Information Form must accompany all entries. Entry fee payment must also be included unless it was paid for online.

There is also a special category for Most Unusual Ingredient, known as Category 51. Category 51 will be judged separate of all other categories. Ingredient must be edible and non-toxic to humans and animals. Be sure to put any special notes on your entry form about your ingredient. Only one bottle is required for this category and best of all, it's free! You may enter a beer in this category as well as its pertinent style category. You must create a separate entry for this category!

Non-BJCP category entries are not eligible for Best of Show consideration, this includes, but is not limited to, entries for Category 51, Gauntlet Challenge and Male-ian vs Female-ian competitions.

If you are unsure of what to declare, consult the the BJCP Style Guidelines (2015 version).  You can view/download the guidelines at


Packing & Shipping Hints

  1. Carefully pack your entries in a sturdy box. Line the inside of your carton with a plastic trash bag. Place any extra paperwork and checks outside of the liner and/or in a ziploc type bag so if a bottle should break it will not be ruined or illegible. Partition and pack each bottle with adequate packaging material. Do not over pack! Write clearly: "Fragile. This Side Up." on the package. Your package should weigh less than 25 pounds. Please refrain from using "messy" packaging materials such a Styrofoam "peanuts" or pellets; please use packaging material such as bubble wrap.
  2. Every reasonable effort will be made to contact entrants whose bottles have broken to make arrangements for sending replacement bottles.
  3. It is not against any Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) regulations or federal laws to ship your entries via privately owned shipping company for analytical purposes. However, IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHIP ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES VIA THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. Private shipping companies have the right to refuse your shipment if they are informed that the package contains glass and/or alcoholic beverages. Be aware that entries shipped internationally are often required by customs to have proper documentation. These entries might be opened and/or returned to the shipper by customs' officials at their discretion. It is solely the entrant's responsibility to follow all applicable laws and regulations.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 11:55