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Annual Homebrew Contest Returning


Get ready for the 5th Annual Binny’s Homebrew Contest sponsored by Samuel Adams. This year the contest will be held in the brand new Champaign Binny’s on Saturday, April 21st from 11:00am-1:00pm. There is no charge to enter the contest. There will also be a beer tasting during the event featuring many delicious beers from the Boston Brewery.


Our 1st place finisher will win a trip for two to the Great American Beer Fest that includes tickets, airfare, and hotel. Several runners up will win valuable prizes. There will be also a worthy prize for best label, though labels aren’t required. All participating homebrewers will receive beer evaluation sheets with judges comments.


The Rules

– Each household may only enter one beer

– Entrants must drop off two 12oz bottles or one 22oz bottle of their beer at Binnys in Champaign on Thursday 4/19 or Friday 4/20, along with your entry form rubber banded around your beer. Click here for an entry form.

– Entries will be limited to the first 50 beers submitted.  We expect the spots to fill up very fast, probably by mid day Thursday.

– You must be present at the store no later than 12:00pm on Saturday, April 21 to claim your prize and tasting evaluation sheet from the judges.


Contact with any questions, or leave a comment on the blog.  Good luck to everyone!

27 thoughts on “Annual Homebrew Contest Returning

  1. Why are you punishing the people who look forward to this contest by moving it to Champaign? I work Thursday and Friday.

  2. Can I turn in other people’s entries? My buddies had worked on contest beers, but they won’t be able to get central Illinois mid week.

  3. Love how Binny’s moved the event 2.5 hours away and made it on U of I’s moms weekend, so the closest hotel around thats available is in Danville. BINNY’S DOESN’T CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS!!!!! Need to find somewhere else to shop.

  4. We’re holding the contest at our newest store this time – gotta spread the love – but that doesn’t mean we won’t hold another contest soon back in Chicago.Question for everyone – what do you think of Binny’s holding more events like this, but maybe with smaller prizes?

  5. @CalBrew I agree – binny’s knows that everybody will be unhappy about this, but they know that we’ll put in the 10 hours of drive time throughout the week to participate anyway. this is the epitome of not caring about their customers. @Greg Versch that would be a lot better than the way you’re running this now.

  6. I was also surprised to see the location.@Anonymous is right, that they want to showcase their new store. However, the timing could certainly have been better anticipated; a Thursday is a terrible choice in general, Mom’s weekend aside.@Greg Versch Binny’s should definitely host more homebrew contests. Prizes aside, I was most interested just to receive professional comments on my brew.

  7. While many of the people working there obviously are beer enthusiasts, Binny’s is not a beer club, folks – its a business. As such, its natural that they would want to promote their newest (and first non-Chicagoland) location with an event like this. I’m a wine person who happened upon this blog, so I have no vested interest – but I am surprised at the amount of bile that’s being unleashed on a place that obviously has loads of beer events in Chicago year-round and has had this homebrew contest in the city repeatedly in past years.

  8. What a bunch of babies I thought drinking age was 21. All I see is people mad that it is not in chi-town. As they have said it is fair to have it at a new store each and every time, Not the same one always.

  9. Thanks for giving we downstaters some love. I don’t know what that guy was on about driving 2.5 hours just to enter– it’s only 10 minutes from my house! Time to get brewing.(Hey tmags, every year there are more than a dozen homebrew competitions in the region that will get your beer evaluated by experienced, certified judges.)

  10. You are holding a homebrew contest yet your store in Champaign carries no homebrew supplies? Your Store manager informed me on 3-7-2012 that he is not sure you will carry them. Seems like you are dropping the ball here not offering the supplies needed to enter!!!

  11. We’ve never really offered much in the way of homebrew supplies. We are looking into some that we can offer – more info on that as it happens. Still, we haven’t offered homebrew supplies in the past, and have had excellent homebrew contests four years in a row, and are looking forward to our fifth!

  12. We have only ever allowed drop offs at the location that is hosting the contest, and this contest will be no different. How would we track the first 50 entries between 28 different stores? How would we get the beer from 28 different stores to Champaign?Don’t worry, the contest will return to Chicago land soon. Cheers!

  13. Your right Kyle. Its much better to put the burden on your customers and make them do the drive if they wish to participate. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Binny’s for making this event possible. I just think there should have been more thought into making it more accessible for your Chicago area customers.

  14. Here’s the solution: make two drop off areas – one in Champaign and then one at the South Loop area as usual. Keep an open line of communication between the two locations (Skype, possibly?). And just keep a tally of how many have been turned in.

  15. This event is geared more towards our Champaign customers; I know this is hard to accept for many of our loyal Chicago customers. We have had 4 contests in Chicago over the past 3 years, and our next one in the Windy City is not too far off. Hint hint.

  16. Man, it is amazing to me the people that are upset about this of being fair to the Chicago customers. Apparently the Champaign customers don’t matter? I’m really disappointed ate way people feel entitled. Personally, I think it’s pretty cool that Binny’s even offers this competition in the first place. Would people prefer they not give back at all? Grow up…

  17. Bah, stop complaining. I live in Michigan, and Binny’s is still my primary liquor store. And I homebrew too, so I’m double missing out on this. As said, it’s cool that Binny’s is running these contests at all, and forking some decent cash into the prizes.Pro-tip to Binny’s though: take the extra step and make it into a BJCP sanctioned event. Gets you access to free, professional judges, more recognition, and more incentive to enter :).

  18. Would you ever consider mail ins for your contests. it would be frustrating to make a long drive only to be the 51st entry and not get in

  19. As a Champaign college student and amateur homebrewer, I actually really appreciate Binny’s hosting a contest like this. It makes sense from a business perspective (to promote their newest store), and it gives some of the potential customers in the new area (people like me who would never have a chance to participate in the Chicago-area contests) to enter a homebrew competition and get some feedback on our beer.Yes, this makes it hard for the Chicagoland customers to participate, but as Greg said, they’ll have more contests in the area coming up. Binny’s is going out of its way to do something nice for the beer community; I would suggest that we don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.@Greg Versch: The only suggestion I might have made is to (assuming you will have an upcoming Chicagoland contest), save the big prizes like the Beer Fest tickets, for a contest up north. This way, you could have reached out to your new Champaign customers and given them some excitement (any beer contest is a step up from no beer contest), while still maintaining the support of your established Chicago-area customers (who have gotten used to and have been looking forward to your annual competitions).

  20. A well considered point of view – thanks for adding to the conversation.The date is approaching! Everybody have their special brews ready to go? Conditioning as we speak?

  21. I can bring in an entry on Thursday, but I’ll be out of town on Saturday. Is it within the rules for a third party to pick up the evaluation sheet?

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