Thank you for your interest in the Spare Keys Homebrew Competition 2018 organized by Skeleton Key Brewery, 8102 Lemont Rd., Unit 300, Woodridge, IL 60517.

You only need to register your information once and can return to this site to enter more brews or edit the brews you've entered. You can even pay your entry fees online if you wish.

Entry Registration is Open

33 entries have been added to the system as of 2:03 PM, Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

To add your entries into the system, please proceed through the registration process or log in if you already have an account.


This competition acts as the qualifying round for Skeleton Key Brewery's Spare Keys Incubator Program. There will be additional criteria beyond the competition. You can learn more about the Incubator Program here.

Any amateur homebrewer age 21 or older may enter.

Ciders, meads, and barrel-aged beers are not eligible for this competition. Please note that although sours, fruit beers and lagers ARE accepted, they may or may not be replicable on a commercial scale for those who are awarded the Best of Show prize or selected as incubator participants.*


Please note that though our incubator program is designed to be flexible, it is intended to supplement -- not replace -- the participant's regular work schedule, so ultimately, program selection will favor local candidates. Non-local candidates might be more interested in our two-day immersion program -- contact us here for details!


>>> Submissions <<<

All mailed entries must received at the mailing location by the entry deadline - please allow for shipping time.

All other entries must be dropped off at Skeleton Key Brewery DURING REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS by the entry deadline. Check the brewery website for business hours.

All entries must be handcrafted products, containing ingredients available to the general public, and made using private equipment by hobbyist brewers (i.e., no use of commercial facilities or Brew on Premises operations, supplies, etc.).

The competition organizers are not responsible for mis-categorized entries, mailed entries that are not received by the entry deadline, or entries that arrived damaged.


>>> Judging <<<

The competition organizers reserve the right to combine styles for judging and to restructure awards as needed depending upon the quantity and quality of entries.

Qualified judging of all entries is the primary goal of our event. Judges will evaluate and score each entry. The average of the scores will rank each entry in its category. Judging will be performed by a panel of local professional brewers and BJCP judges. 

Brewers are not limited to one entry in each category but may only enter each subcategory once.

The competition committee reserves the right to combine categories based on number of entries. All possible effort will be made to combine similar styles. All brews in combined categories will be judged according to the style they were originally entered in.

The Best of Show judging will be determined by a Best of Show panel based on a second judging of the top winners.

Bottles will not be returned to entrants.

* If a winning recipe is determined to be impractical for commercial production, then an alternate recipe will be collaboratively determined.

Competition Official

You can send an email to any of the following individuals via Contact.

  • Emily Slayton — Competition Coordinator