Become a Judge
The American Homebrewers Association supports the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and encourages all homebrewers to consider becoming certified beer judges.
A great way to start on the road to becoming a beer judge is to volunteer as a steward in a few homebrew competitions. As a steward, you can observe experienced judges and become familiar with the judging process. You can find competitions in which to volunteer on the AHA Events Calendar and on the BJCP Competition Schedule.
Why become a certified beer judge?
Becoming a beer judge is perhaps the best way for an established homebrewer to learn more about beer and become a better brewer.
Judging beer will:
- Help you better understand and identify the flavors and aromas found in beer.
- Help you better understand brewing ingredients and processes and their effects on the finished beer.
- Greatly improve your understanding of beer styles.
- Give you an opportunity to share knowledge and discuss beer with other judges.
- Allow you to help your fellow homebrewers improve their beers.
How do you become a certified beer judge?
The Beer Judge Certification Program uses a rigorous exam to certify beer judges. Look at the BJCP Exam Schedule to see if there is an upcoming exam in your area. See BJCP Exam Center.
If there are no exams scheduled for your area, you may schedule an exam. The BJCP Exam Scheduling and Procedure page outlines the requirements and process for scheduling an exam. To set up a BJCP exam, contact the BJCP Exam Director. You must have a BJCP National or higher ranked judge to administer the exam and at least five exam takers. The cost is USD $50 per examinee (USD $30 for those retaking the exam).
The BJCP has an extensive online Exam Study Guide to help you prepare for the exam. In addition, many exam organizers set up group study sessions to help examinees prepare.