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The Lager Than Life Homebrewing Competition is a BCJP sanctioned competition where your lager beers are assessed by qualified judges against current  BJCP 2015 style guidelines. Score sheets and written feedback will be provided for each entry. Certificates and prizes are awarded for Best of Show places.

The competition is open to all lager beers which were fermented using only lager (bottom-fermenting) yeast - those intended to be in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines - lagers, pilsners, bocks etc. Any other beer made with a lager yeast (including those BJCP categories that can be made with a lager or an ale yeast, like Baltic Porter) should be entered in the "other beer" category, and be fully described by the entrant.

If you need some advice on how to brew great lagers, this presentation by Graeme Coates, who is an excellent brewer and a prolific homebrew award winner, should help you understand how to brew a winning lager Graeme's presentation

After judging, remaining portions of the entries will be available for sampling on the 9th March 2019 in the afternoon at Pillars Brewery Taproom. Pillars will also have exciting craft lagers available for purchase on the night. Entrants may bring further examples of their entries to share on the night.

It promises to be a great day where you can sample homebrew and commercial beers, learn from some experts. What's not to like? 


Style Guidelines & Eligibility

Entries will be assessed against the BJCP Style Guidelines 2015 available via this link (PDF).

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. 


Pillars Brewery, London


Saturday 9th March 2019

  • Open to entrants/friends from 2PM for purchase of commercial examples.
  • Best of Show judging session - 12PM. Entrants homebrew samples available as soon as judging is complete.
  • Awards Ceremony - around 4PM

Important Deadlines

  • Register online and pay for all entries - no later than 27th January 2019.
  • Delivery of entries to Pillars Brewery in person or by delivery service -  to arrive no earlier than 23rd February 2019 and no later than 8th March 2019 at 5PM.

Pillars Brewery Drop-off Times :

Every day during the shipping windows from 10am to 5pm

Entry Cost & Essentials

Entry fee is £6.50 (plus any PayPal handling fees) per entry.

PayPal handling fees are beyond our control. Paying for multiple entries in the same transaction may be cheaper than many individual transactions.

Competitors are encouraged to come along to the event, sample the entries and share your beers with your friends and fellow competitors.

How to Enter

  1. Register yourself on this site via the Home page, Enter your beer(s) into the correct category and pay the fee via PayPal using the My Info and Entries Info page of this site. For help selecting a category see the BJCP Style Guidelines 2015.  The Judges and organisers will not reclassify entries so please choose styles carefully. E-mail the Competition Organiser if you need guidance.  Last date for payment is 27th January, last date for registration/entries is 17th February.
  2. Label each of your beers as per the Bottle Acceptance Rules in the Entry Info page of this site.
  3. Package your entries and then drop off or ship your entry to the drop off location at Pillars Brewery.
  4. Drop at, or ship to, the designated site to arrive NO EARLIER than the 23rd February 2019 and NO LATER than 8th March 2019 5PM.
  5. Come along in person on Saturday 09th March 2019 from 2pm to sample beers with your competitors and friends. 

Style and Award Categories

Styles will be grouped together to form judging flights of similar styles or strengths of beers and to form roughly equal numbers within each category where possible. Beers will be judged against the style guideline under which it was entered. The best beers of each style category within the flight will be judged to obtain the winners of the flight. 

The 1st place entry in each grouping will advance to the Best of Show (BOS) round and receive a packet of fresh, liquid lager yeast which are donated by Imperial Yeast.


The competitions are non-profit. Funds from the competition are used to run the competition itself, including food provision for volunteers at the event. A small amount may be used to support the training of judges (for example to purchase off-flavour kits). Everything else is fed back as prizes or used to pay for up-front costs for the next competition. All the organisers and judges volunteer their time freely to support the homebrewing community.

Massive thanks to Alex Allen who prepared our fantastic competition poster!



In the first instance contact Competition Organisers:

Stewart Horne, at


Lucas Stolarczyk, at

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We will only use personal your data for the purposes of running the competition and will delete all personal data 12 months after the competition ends. A list of winners will be available on social media in perpetuity.


BJCP 2015 Judging Styles

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

1A American Light Lager1B American Lager2A International Pale Lager
2B International Amber Lager2C International Dark Lager3A Czech Pale Lager
3B Czech Premium Pale Lager3C Czech Amber Lager3D Czech Dark Lager
4A Munich Helles4B Festbier4C Helles Bock
5A German Leichtbier5C German Exportbier5D German Pils
6A Marzen6B Rauchbier6C Dunkels Bock
7A Vienna Lager7C Kellerbier 8A Munich Dunkel
8B Schwarzbier9A Doppelbock 9B Eisbock
9C Baltic Porter19B California Common27A7 Pre-Prohibition Lager
32A Classic Style Smoked Beer 41A Other Lager Beer (Custom Style) 43A Kellerbier: Pale (Custom Style)


Number of Bottles Required Per Entry: 3

Judging Session Locations and Dates

Pillars Brewery
Saturday 9 March, 2019 09:00, GMT


Best of Show

The overall winner will be invited to develop a seasonal beer with Pillars Brewery and help during the brewday.

Other prizes may become available depending on sponsorship and/or entry fees.



The awards ceremony will take place once judging is completed.

Places will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category/table with a rosette and a packet of fresh, liquid lager yeast donated by Imperial Yeast for the first place.

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.

Feedback sheets will be e-mailed to entrants after the competition. We aim to do this within a few weeks, often less.


Awards Ceremony

Pillars Brewery
Unit 2, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Walthamstow, E17 9HQ
Saturday 9 March, 2019 16:00, GMT