Gingerbread House Challenge

If you’re a fan of festive craft beer, delightful desserts turned into architectural masterpieces and a jolly good time for the whole family, ‘yule’ love this event!

The seventh annual Gingerbread House Challenge dares local businesses, nonprofits and friend groups to form teams and display their holiday spirit and creativity by constructing a gingerbread house based on a central theme.

Thanks to the goodwill of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, this exciting event coincides with the release of their popular Gingerbread Stout (which BeerAdvocate calls “freagin’ Christmas in a bottle.”)

Hosted by BHCyp, the young professionals board of the Better Housing Coalition, event attendees vote on their favorite houses to select the $500 People’s Choice Winner, and an expert judging panel will crown the $500 Runner-Up and $1,000 Grand Prize Winner! 100% of proceeds support BHC’s mission of changing lives and transforming communities through high-quality affordable housing.

Event Details

Date & Time: Sunday, November 12, 2023
Noon – 5:00 p.m.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
2410 Ownby Lane, Richmond, VA

2023 Theme:
Great Works of Art


General admission is free! To vote: $5 for 2 votes; $10 for 5 votes 

Limited number of VIP Ticket packages are available! Each year our VIP ticket packages sell out, so plan to get yours early!

Sold only in advance, VIP packages are $25 and include:

  • 5 votes
  • 1 Hardywood drink ticket
  • Exclusive VIP cup koozie
  • Gingerbread cookie

Ticket sales are now complete – thank you for supporting our event, and affordable housing!


Cast your Remote Vote!

Online voting is now complete! Thank you for casting a vote for your favorite – and for affordable housing!

Can’t make it to this year’s competition? You can still help your favorite team win the People’s Choice Award by casting a remote vote now until Sunday, November 12 at 4:15PM.


Many thanks to our 2023 Sponsors!


Sponsorships are still available!

Beer. Dessert. Cut-throat holiday competition. What more could you ask for???
Sponsors of the event will be highly visible to a diverse and merry crowd as the weekend of the Hardywood Gingerbread Stout release has historically drawn over 2,000 Richmonders. And that doesn’t include the gingerbread contest and celebrity judge panel.

2023 Gingerbread House Challenge Sponsor Package


Registration is closed for 2023!

If you’re looking for a great team building activity, a creative outlet, or just want to compete for some cold, hard cash, form a Gingerbread House Challenge team! Teams of 2-6 members can sign up between now and October 16 or until all 20 spaces are filled.


Gingerbread House Challenge Past Winners


2022 – Friends of Fonticello Park, “Fonticello Park -Woodland Heights x Swansboro”

2021 – Deck the Balz – Balzer and Associates, “Virginia is for Lovers of History”

2020 Virtual Gingerbread House Challenge Winner, Team Sleigh Belles, “I’ll be Home for Christmas”

2019 Grand Prize Winner, Balzer & Associates; “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”

Balzer & Associates 2019 Team with gingerbread hosue

 2018 Grand Prize Winner, Architecture Design Office; “Nightmare Before Christmas”

2017 Grand Prize Winner, Gearharts Chocolates; “Main Street Station”

See all the photos from our past competitions on our Flickr page!


Contact Sarah Fernald, Director of Community Engagement.