What is the Sjporr Challenge
The Sjporr Challenge is the only peer judged homebrewing competition. Brewers not only receive feedback on their beer from other homebrewers, but they are given the opportunity to enjoy, review and score beers from their fellow competitors. The top 3 brewers from each round advance to compete at the next level. In the final round, the top 3 U.S. home brewers are announced and awarded.
Participants in the Sjporr Challenge will tell you that it is an extremely rewarding experience. Your brewing knowledge will benefit from both learning how to rate beers (using the SJPC scoring forms) and from receiving feedback, and sometimes tips, from other brewers. And of course, you are given the opportunity to try some amazing beers from other competitors. Many competitors have become long distance friends, sharing their brewing techniques, recipes and even beers between one another.
Note: From 2014 – 2017 the Sjporr Challenge was a worldwide competition. The top 3 beers from each country competed to be named the best homebrewer worldwide. Due to the shipping logistics and other complications, the 2019 Sjporr Challenge will include the United States only.
How does the Sjporr Challenge work
The challenge is essentially a nation-wide beer swap. Participants are assigned to a Hub, which is our name for a regional coordinator. You ship your beers to your local hub. The hub repacks and sends one beer from each of your competitors back to you. You review each of the beers, posting your scores and feedback using the provided SJPC scoring form. At the end of each round, the winning brewers are named. The top 3 beers advance to the next level the process repeats itself, until the top 3 winners are revealed.
At the end of each round, the top 3 participants in each hub are named on Sjporr’s YouTube® video and listed on the Sjporr Challenge website and Facebook page. The announced winners are then contacted by the next hub coordinator and given a new unique SJPC ID# to use in the next round of the competition. This process repeats until the final round, when the top three beers are announced and the winners are awarded (usually 2 – 3 rounds).
Part of the magic of this competition is that as you advance to each new level, the beers that you compete against keep improving in quality. This means that you are drinking and reviewing better beers each round. Competitors often participate not just to win, but to earn the opportunity to try some of the best homebrews in the country.
How the Sjporr Challenge Began
In 2011, Stephen Porr started an online community on YouTube® known as Homebrew Wednesday. People within the community would share their brewing techniques, recipes, tips, disasters and triumphs in videos entitled Homebrew Wednesday, or HBW for short. The original beer exchanges were designed to be educational in nature, but over time became more competitive. The popularity of HBW videos quickly exploded, forming a global online community among homebrewers. Just as the popularity of HBW grew, so did homebrewers’ interest in participating in the brewing experiments and competitions.
In 2013, the Sjporr Challenge grew to include individual competitions in the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, all under a common theme. At the end of the competition, many of the winning beers were exchanged between the winners in each country. Without realizing it, the first worldwide homebrewing challenge had been realized. In 2014 the Sjporr Challenge was officially launched as global homebrew competition with 180 registered brewers in 14 countries around the world.
Even though the competition no longer concludes naming the best homebrewer in the world, the national competition continues with the same spirit of sharing beers, brewing techniques, beer recipes and helping others improve their skills, expanding the homebrewing community worldwide.
The Sjporr Challenge is a homebrewing competition for homebrewers, peer judged by fellow homebrewers and organized by homebrewers. Like the Homebrew Wednesday videos on YouTube®, the purpose of the challenge is education, experimentation, and stretching individuals’ brewing knowledge, while having fun and building relationships between homebrewers. To achieve these goals, the parameters of the competition will change each year to challenge participants.
The Sjporr Challenge is 501(c)(7) not-for-profit social activities and hobby club registered with the IRS in the United States.
- Promoting and celebrating the joy and creativity of homebrewing around the world
- Fostering relationships and building community between homebrewers globally
- Educating fellow homebrewers about the variety of brewing techniques and beer styles
- Encouraging fun and the responsible enjoyment of beer