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US Cold Brew Championships

US Cold Brew Championships



The US Cold Brew Championships is a brand new competition where cold brewers present a still cold brew and prepare a signature cold brew drink to the judges.



The goal of the competition is to showcase specialty cold brew and acknowledge the competitor and/or shops with the best tasting cold brew, signature drink, and presentation. Competitors and shops from around the world are invited to apply to compete. The US Cold Brew Championships will be held at Coffee Fest at all four cities in 2022—New York, Chicago, LA & Seattle. 


The first 24 companies to complete the Registration process for each live event will be accepted into the US Cold Brew Championships in 2022. For those applying to compete, a $99 entry fee is required for competitors that are not exhibiting within the show and will be given two competitor badges for presenters. Qualified exhibitors are automatically granted a spot in the competition.


ALTO Cold Brew hosts the US Cold Brew Competition at Coffee Fest events across the United States. Here's a recap from the different cities where the competition was held in 2021 - San Antonio, Atlanta, Anaheim and Portland.

Coffee Fest New York

Competition Complete

Coffee Fest Chicago 

Competition Complete

Coffee Fest Los Angeles

Competition Complete

Coffee Fest PNW

Competition Complete

Sign up to get notified when the US Cold Brew Championships competitions are open for registration.


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  • The first 24 who complete the registration will be accepted. Competitors are required to pay a $99 entry fee, due upon acceptance.
  • It is the competitor’s responsibility to have their product to the convention center and arrive for their scheduled presentation on time. Competitors should bring their own hand truck or dolly to bring their cold brew and signature drink ingredients into the convention center. There will be a brewing area available to competitors in the two days before the event. Competitors are also permitted to store their cold brew in the refrigerated area, provided by Coffee Fest. Additional details will be made available to the competitors.
  • Competitors must arrive 30 minutes prior to their scheduled match to set up. Each competitor shall have up to 10 minutes to set up backstage and up to 2 minutes to set up on stage while the host introduces them. Competitors will be given 6 minutes to introduce themselves and their cold brew, present their still cold brew for the judges, prepare a signature drink for the judges and present their signature drink to the judges. Competitors will then be given 2 minutes to clear the stage while the judges deliberate and finish their evaluations. Any competitor not ready to compete or overrunning their time will be disqualified.
  • All 24 competitors will compete over the course of the show. Competitors' presentation, still cold brew and signature drink will be scored on a variety of factors to determine the top 12 finishers. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are awarded a trophy and recognized on Coffee Fest social media channels. 
  • Judging is done by a group of three, industry professional judges. 



Judging is based on the following three aspects of the overall presentation:

1. Presentation

  • Introduction to the competitor/shop/cold brew
  • Origin/elevation/varietal/processing/flavor notes
  • Roasting and cold brewing details
  • Overall approach to cold brew

2. Still Cold Brew

  • Color/Clarity
  • Fragrance/Aroma
  • Cold Flavor/Complexity/Body/Balance/Aftertaste
  • Room Temp. Flavor/Complexity/Body/Balance/Aftertaste

3. Signature Drink

  • Use of Cold Brew
  • Originality and Simplicity - appealing to consumers and can be reasonably prepared in shop
  • Flavor/Complexity/Body/Balance/Aftertaste
  • Visual Presentation



  1. What happened to America’s Best Cold Brew Competition?
    America’s Best Cold Brew Competition was a bracket-style cold brew competition with nitro and still divisions, where cold brew is served to attendees and voted on by attendees & judges.  It was discontinued by Coffee Fest after the 2019 Los Angeles show and running its 3-year course.  
  2. How is the US Cold Brew Championship different? 
    The US Cold Brew Championship is different in that it is a judged cold brew competition covering both still and signature. The cold brew is presented to the judges and scored independently.  There is not an attendee vote to the competition.
  3. Who can enter?
    US Cold Brew Championship is open to any competitor, shop or roaster. 
  4. How are competitors selected?
    Qualified competitors that are exhibiting within a show are automatically entered into the competition. The remaining spots are filled by the most qualified applications received before the application deadline.
  5. How much cold brew should I bring to the competition?
    As much as you need for the competition, there is no mandatory serving requirement so a full 5-gallon keg is not necessary.  
  6. How do I get my product to the show?
    You are responsible for getting your product to the Convention Center. You are not permitted to ship directly to the convention center. Coffee Fest is not able to provide any kind of hand truck or dolly for transportation in and out of the facility.
  7. Can I brew or store my cold brew onsite?
    There will be a brewing area available to competitors in the two days before the event.  Competitors are also permitted to store their cold brew in the refrigerated area, provided by Coffee Fest. Additional details will be made available to the competitors.
  8. Do I need to bring my own cups for the judges?
    No. Alto Cold Brew will provide the cups for serving the judges.  Competitors are responsible for all other equipment and ingredients required to prepare the signature drink for the judges.
  9. What space do I have available to work with?
    The competition occurs in the exhibition competition floor and competitors will have six (6) feet of table space to accommodate preparation.
  10. Who is voting for US Cold Brew Championship?
    A group of three industry professional judges.
  11. How do I dispense my cold brew or nitro?
    Competitors must dispense their product with their own equipment or equipment provided by the Competition Sponsors.  Competition Sponsor is available to assist, provide equipment and work with competitors that would like the help. Additional information will be provided to selected competitors.
  12. Do I have to be present to compete?
    Yes. Competitors not set up and ready to present at the start of their presentation will be disqualified.
  13. Where can I store my cold brew?
    Coffee Fest can store your cold brew in their refrigerated storage beginning the day before the show starts. Specific instructions will be sent to selected competitors. It is the competitors responsibility to get their product to the competition venue.
  14. Is ice available?
    Yes; if ice is needed it will be provided complimentarily. You must however, bring your own storage (cooler) and tongs to dispense ice. 
  15. Am I allowed to put out flyers/brochures?
    Not during the competition. Promotional material may be displayed only during the Cold Brew Village event. 
  16. What happens if I am no longer able to compete after registering?
    If a competitor is to pull out of the competition or is not present for their presentation, a "no-show" will be set against their record and may impact future competing opportunities.  Efforts will be made to fill the spot with the next highest qualified applicant.
  17. What happens if I am a top finisher at a Regional Competition but cannot attend the Championships? 
    If a competitor cannot make the Championships, please provide notification as soon as possible.  Every effort will be made to fill the spot with the next highest finisher from that Regional Competition.  A "no-show" in this scenario will be not be set against their record and will not impact future competing opportunities provided notice is received at least one month prior to the Championships.



Coffee Fest Anaheim 2021

1. Frank La, Be Bright Coffee
2. Thomas Kong, Copa Vida
3. Chris Balay, Single Serve Co.

Coffee Fest Atlanta 2021

1. Josh Puckett, Peach Coffee Roasters
2. Brian Holland, Phoenix Roasters
3. Christian Jolly, Tradewind Coffee Roaster

Coffee Fest San Antonio 2021

1. Derrick Wessels, Grace Coffee Roasters
2. Christian Jolly, Tradewind Coffee Roasters
3. Maria Mejia, Colibri Coffee

Coffee Fest New York 2020

1. Kyle Mervau, Electric City Roasting
2. Gregg Roberson, Saxbys
3. Travis Bell, Black Acre Roastery