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Black Box Challenge 2017!

The Boxing Rock Black Box Challenge is Back!

Think you can brew better beer than we can?
Don’t just brag about it, show us!
Are you ready for the Black Box Challenge?


You pay an entry fee of $55. We donate half of the entry fee to the Shelburne Food Bank. There will be up to 25 entries allowed.

Registration is through Eventbrite. Click on this link to register.

Only amateur brewers may participate. No pros, please.

In the spirit of the cooking competition “Chopped Canada” you will receive a “black box” of goodies sufficient to make several 5 gallon batches.

There will be 8 malts, 5 hops and 2 yeast varieties in each Black Box, and each Black Box is identical. There are sufficient ingredients to brew a 1 gallon test batch and up to two 5 gallon batches depending on style. Successful registrants can pick up their Black Box of ingredients from Stillwell Beer Bar starting February 2 until February 7.

Please bring a printout of your Eventbrite registration ticket in order to claim your Black Box.


You may brew any style you want. Sky’s the limit. HOWEVER, you may ONLY use what’s in the Black Box and nothing more. That means, no adjuncts, no extracts, nothing except what’s provided.

You don’t have to use every ingredient given to you, but you cannot use any outside ingredient.

You may submit only ONE style for your entry.

Please, no entries over 9% ABV.

Only one entry per person please.


Preliminary judging will take place at the Boxing Rock Brewing Company. We will shortlist six competitors who will then be required to prepare a short 5-7 minute visual presentation to be heard at Stillwell Beer Bar on Sunday March 19, 2017 starting at noon.
The judging final panel will hear your presentations before any tastings take place.
You must prepare a short 7 minute or less presentation and present your entry in person to the final judging panel. In this presentation you will describe the style you chose and why, the ingredients you chose, what equipment you used, any technical challenges and how you overcame them, and how you feel your beer turned out. Interesting photographs and stories are encouraged, but please keep descriptions of your setup to under a minute.


You must submit the equivalent of six 341 ml, or 12 oz bottles for judging. The style you’ve chosen to brew has to be clearly marked on the entry form, and copies must be wrapped around each bottle submitted and secured with an elastic band. Style guidelines may be downloaded here: http://www.bjcp.org/docs/2015_Guidelines_Beer.pdf
Final judging will be performed by a panel of both BJCP certified judges, certified Cicerones, media and industry professionals, including ourselves! Judging will include BJCP principles, but your presentation and story also counts towards your final score, so make it good. The entry with the highest total score will win.


We’ll choose the winning entry and name the winning brewer the Black Box Brewer of the Year, and award you a cool trophy. We will contact the winning brewer and invite you down to Shelburne where we’ll help you make your brew on our 17 HL system. Then we’ll package your beer in kegs, growlers and 650 ml bottles and offer it for sale with proceeds going to the Shelburne Food Bank. We’ll even put it on tap at various bars in Nova Scotia.

Good luck, and good brewing!

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