Virginia Craft Brewers Guild

Virginia Craft Beer Cup Competition

The Virginia Craft Beer Cup Competition is the Guild’s premier event of the year. It continues to be the largest state competition of its kind in the United States, with breweries from across the Commonwealth competing each year. The VCBG is committed to giving its members the opportunity to compete, obtain critical feedback from certified judges, and get statewide recognition that will help build their brands.

2024 Cup Competition

Beer Registration: 3/22 – 5/15 @ Midnight

Beer Drop-Off: 5/29 (9am-5pm) & 5/30 (9am-5pm)

Cup Judging:

5/31 (7pm-9pm)

6/1 (9am-4pm)

6/7 (7pm-9pm)

6/8 (9am-4pm)

Gala Awards Ceremony: Monday (7/22) at Farm Bureau Center (Meadow Event Park), Doswell VA


Brewery Eligibility

The competition is exclusively open to Virginia Craft Brewers Guild Members. VCBG craft breweries are defined as Small (annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less), independent (less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer) and traditional (a brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beers). All beers entered must be produced in Virginia and commercially available.

Cup Competition Software Tutorial 

Judging Criteria

Entries are judged according to the 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines. BJCP Certified judges will provide written feedback on each submission. Beers will be judged in the category in which they were submitted, however, it does not necessarily mean award medals will go to the top three finishers in a category. When judges decide a category contains three excellent examples of the style, they award gold (1st place), silver (2nd place) and bronze (3rd place) medals. If judges think that no beer in the category meets the quality and style-accuracy criteria, they may elect not to award a medal. Judges may also award a silver or a bronze medal but not award a gold medal in a category. Regardless, if only one beer is submitted for a specific style of beer, it will be judged against quality and style-accuracy criteria and judges may or may not award a medal. Gold Medal Winners from each category will automatically qualify for consideration in the Virginia Craft Beer Cup “Best in Show” Award.

2023 WinnersPreview Changes (opens in a new tab)

2023 – FULL LIST

Best of Show: Benchtop Brewing Company, Crimson Gaze
Silver Best of Show: Aleworks Brewing Company, Weekend Lager
Bronze Best of Show: Billsburg Brewing Company, FlyAway IPA

Benchtop Craft Brewing wins the 2023 VCBG Cup Competition

Past Winners

2022 – Full List

Best of Show: Decipher Brewing, Barley Late Kölsch
Silver Best of Show: Harvest Gap Brewery, Devil Dog
Bronze Best of Show: Port City Brewing, Optimal Wit

2021 – Full List

Best of Show: Fair Winds Brewing Company, Quayside Köslch
Silver Best of Show: The Virginia Beer Company, Terminally Pretty
Bronze Best of Show: Dynasty Brewing Co.: 838 Stout

2020 – Full List

Best of Show: Black Hoof Brewing Company, Muzzle Loader Munich Dunkel

2019 – Full List

Best of Show: New Realm Brewing, Euphonia Pilsner

2018 – Full List

Best of Show: Brothers Craft Brewing, Lil’ Hellion

2017 – Full List

Best of Show: Smartmouth Brewing, Safety Dance

2016 – Full List

Best of Show: James River Brewery, River Runner ESB

2015 – Full List

Best of Show: The Answer Brewpub, Larceny

2014 – Full List

Best of Show: Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, Turbo Cougar

2013 – Full List

Best of Show: Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, Smokehaus Lager

2012 – Full List

Best of Show: Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, Schwartz Bier

Virtual Medals

Winning breweries are able to use our Virtual Medals in their marketing or labeling of the winning beers. We offer specific labels to designated “Best of Show” winners, as well as winners in individual categories.

Winning Breweries wishing to use the virtual medals must submit a signed copy of the Virginia Craft Beer Cup Competition Medal Agreement to Kimberly Noonan.