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We have now locked editing of entries ahead of LAB Open 2024, to allow the organisers to design balanced tables of beer and prepare paperwork.

Due to a quirk in the competition software, locking editing of entries requires us to set the shipping window at a date in the past(!). As referenced in emails to entrants, the actual competition shipping dates are Friday 10 May to Thursday 16 May, 2024 (e.g., the same dates and times as shown on box on the right, but 2024 not 2023!). 

LAB Open 2024 is here!

The LAB Open Competition and Festival is a BJCP sanctioned competition where your homebrewed beers are assessed by qualified judges against current style guidelines.

Score sheets and written feedback are provided on each entry. Rosettes, certificates and prizes are awarded in each of 12 (or more) category groupings and for Best of Show places.

The beers are made available to sample and discuss with fellow competitors and friends in a festival-type setting on the afternoon of Sunday, May 19th from 1:30PM - providing a unique opportunity to sample hundreds of homebrews, arranged in their style groupings, with great and excellent examples of the styles flagged. A rare chance to compare your beers against others brewed to the same style, or just to explore the wide range of styles being made today.

This year the competition and festival will again take place at Hammerton Brewery, Islington, London. Registered competition brewers and staff (judges, stewards, organisers) will receive free entry to the festival. 

Beers will be assessed against BJCP Style Guidelines 2021 available via this link. 

Eligibility: This competition is open to everyone, worldwide. Competition Organizers, staff, judges and stewards may enter the competition. Measures are in place to ensure fair, anonymous, judging. Judges and stewards will not be assigned to categories that they have entered. Entries must have been made at home. Those made in commercial establishments, including brew-on-premise establishments, are not eligible. 


Volume required (per entry) but bring more if you like:

3 bottles or cans of volume between 330-500ml. Please use the same shape/capacity vessel and same bottle-top colour for all 3 bottles/cans of a single entry if possible as this makes it easier for us to sort, store and identify entries. Please do not enter bottles/cans with volumes below 330ml (to ensure there is enough to judge and present). Please do not enter bottles/cans with volume >500ml or bottles that exceed 28cm in height when capped, as outsize vessels are difficult for us to store in the limited cold storage space available to us ahead of judging and tasting.

As this is a home brew competition and festival only one bottle/can is certain to be judged.  

The remainder will be available for sampling to all attendees after judging. This is a great learning opportunity for attendees and judges and we appreciate having enough of your beer for this rare experience to sample beers of one style category set out side by side, with good and excellent examples of the style flagged.

One bottle/can will be judged in the first round. A second, fresh, bottle will be judged if the beer progresses to Best of Show.

Remaining bottles/cans that did not progress to Best of Show and the remaining beer not assessed during Best Of Show judging will be available for sampling after the event. You're more than welcome to attend, try your own and other entries, and bring along extra. Any extra bottles may be labelled as you wish.

Empty or unopened bottles/cans will not be returned. They can be collected at the end of the event, from 6PM. If not collected or drunk at event, they become organiser/judge rewards.

Labelling Bottles and Cans

Print out an entry label from this site and then attach to each bottle/can WITH CLEAR PACKING TAPE. 

No other label or identifiable information should be present. All requisite paperwork must be submitted with each entry and can be printed directly from this website. 

Be meticulous about noting any special ingredients that must be specified on the entry system where required. Failure to note such ingredients may impact the judges' scoring of your entry.

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE BOXED, EVEN WHEN DELIVERING IN PERSON. This is to enable easy storage and movement and reduces the risk of breakages and loss.

For any queries, in the first instance contact the Competition Organisers


Carefully pack your entries in a sturdy box. Line the inside of your carton with a plastic trash bag. Partition and pack each bottle with adequate packaging material. Please do not over pack!

Write clearly: Fragile. This Side Up. on the package. Please only use bubble wrap as your packing material.

Print out an entry label from this site and then attach to each bottle/can WITH CLEAR PACKING TAPE. 

Every reasonable effort will be made to contact entrants whose bottles have broken to make arrangements for sending replacement bottles.

For entries shipped from within the UK, please address to:

Hammerton Brewery
Unit 8 & 9 Roman Way Industrial Estate, 149 Roman Way, London, N7 8XH

For entries shipped from outside the UK, please address to:

Unit 8 & 9 Roman Way Industrial Estate, 149 Roman Way, London, United Kingdom, N7 8XH

For dropping-off entries at the brewery

Please mark the box containing your entries with 'LAB Open 2024'.

Drop off can be at Hammerton Brewery or at the Taproom on the same site.

The brewery is open ~8am-5pm Monday - Friday

The taproom opening hours are here:


BJCP 2021 Judging Styles

If a style's name is hyperlinked, it has specific entry requirements. Select or tap on the name to view the subcategory's requirements.

1A American Light Lager1B American Lager1C Cream Ale
1D American Wheat Beer2A International Pale Lager2B International Amber Lager
2C International Dark Lager3A Czech Pale Lager3B Czech Premium Pale Lager
3C Czech Amber Lager3D Czech Dark Lager4A Munich Helles
4B Festbier4C Helles Bock5A German Leichtbier
5B Kölsch5C German Helles Exportbier5D German Pils
6A Märzen6B Rauchbier6C Dunkels Bock
7A Vienna Lager7B Altbier8A Munich Dunkel
8B Schwarzbier9A Doppelbock 9B Eisbock
9C Baltic Porter10A Weissbier10B Dunkels Weissbier
10C Weizenbock 11A Ordinary Bitter11B Best Bitter
11C Strong Bitter12A British Golden Ale12B Australian Sparkling Ale
12C English IPA13A Dark Mild13B British Brown Ale
13C English Porter14A Scottish Light14B Scottish Heavy
14C Scottish Export15A Irish Red Ale15B Irish Stout
15C Irish Extra Stout16A Sweet Stout16B Oatmeal Stout
16C Tropical Stout16D Foreign Extra Stout17A British Strong Ale
17A1 Burton Ale17B Old Ale17C Wee Heavy
17D English Barley Wine18A Blonde Ale18B American Pale Ale
19A American Amber Ale19B California Common19C American Brown Ale
20A American Porter20B American Stout20C Imperial Stout
21A American IPA21B Specialty IPA 21B1 Belgian IPA
21B2 Black IPA 21B3 Brown IPA 21B4 Red IPA
21B5 Rye IPA 21B6 White IPA 21B7 Brut IPA
21C Hazy IPA22A Double IPA22B American Strong Ale
22C American Barleywine22D Wheatwine23A Berliner Weisse
23B Flanders Red Ale23C Oud Bruin23D Lambic
23E Gueuze23F Fruit Lambic 23G Gose
24A Witbier24B Belgian Pale Ale24C Bière de Garde
25A Belgian Blond Ale25B Saison 25C Belgian Golden Strong Ale
26A Belgian Single26B Belgian Dubbel26C Belgian Tripel
26D Belgian Dark Strong Ale27A Historical Beer 27A1 Kellerbier
27A2 Kentucky Common27A3 Lichtenhainer27A4 London Brown Ale
27A5 Piwo Grodziskie27A6 Pre-Prohibition Lager27A7 Pre-Prohibition Porter
27A8 Roggenbier27A9 Sahti28A Brett Beer
28B Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer 28C Wild Specialty Beer 28D Straight Sour Beer
29A Fruit Beer 29B Fruit and Spice Beer 29C Specialty Fruit Beer
29D Grape Ale 30A Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer 30B Autumn Seasonal Beer
30C Winter Seasonal Beer 30D Specialty Spice Beer 31A Alternative Grain Beer
31B Alternative Sugar Beer 32A Classic Style Smoked Beer 32B Specialty Smoked Beer
33A Wood-Aged Beer 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer 34B Mixed-Style Beer
34C Experimental Beer 341A Mixed Style Beer (Custom Style) LSX1 Dorada Pampeana
LSX2 IPA ArgentaLSX3 Italian Grape Ale LSX4 Catharina Sour
LSX5 New Zealand Pilsner  


Number of Bottles Required Per Entry: 3

Judging Sessions

Friday Evening Session
Friday 17 May, 2024 17:30, BST

Saturday Morning Judging
Saturday 18 May, 2024 09:00, BST

Saturday Afternoon Judging
Saturday 18 May, 2024 14:00, BST

Sunday Morning Judging
Sunday 19 May, 2024 09:00, BST

Festival Set-up Session
Sunday 19 May, 2024 09:30, BST

Festival Staff Volunteers
Sunday 19 May, 2024 13:00, BST

Festival Clear Up
Sunday 19 May, 2024 18:00, BST



The awards ceremony will take place once judging is completed and will be the culmination our Festival, an extensive day of homebrew sampling, talks and demonstrations. Last year was a very enjoyable day, and we hope you can join us at Hammerton Brewery for a celebration of UK homebrewing!

Prizes will be announced close to the competition date. Places and rosettes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category/table. 4th place and Honourable Mention awards may also be awarded on some tables where more than three beers are judged to be of a BoS standard. Beers must score at least 30 points in the first round of judging to be eligible for a 1st-3rd placing or for an honourable mention.

First, Second and Third Best of Show will be announced and will receive a rosette and prizes.

Results will be posted to the competition web site after the ceremony concludes.

Scores will be put on the website soon after the competition, normally within 48 hours of the results announcements.  Feedback sheets will be posted on the website after the competition and competitors notified. We aim to do this as fast as we can, often within a couple of days but this can take a couple of weeks if we have unexpected issues.


Awards Ceremony

Hammerton Brewery
Unit 8 & 9 Roman Way Industrial Estate, 149 Roman Way, London, N7 8XH
Sunday 19 May, 2024 17:00, BST