The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) supports the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and encourages all homebrewers to consider becoming certified beer judges. With the increased interest in competitive homebrewing, it is vital that homebrewers and beer enthusiasts make an effort to become BJCP judges to maintain a quality and standard for homebrew competitions around the world. Do your part and begin the process of becoming a BJCP judge today!
Judging beer will:
- Help you better understand and identify beer flavors and aromas.
- Develop a greater understanding of brewing ingredients and processes and their effects on the finished beer.
- 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.
A great start to the process of becoming a beer judge is to volunteer as a steward for a few local homebrew competitions. Stewards assist the competition coordinator in conducting the judging, while observing experienced judges and becoming familiar with the competition and judging processes.
Become a Certified Beer Judge
The BJCP uses a rigorous series of exams to certify beer judges. For aspiring judges, the first step is to take the BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination, a web-based examination of beer styles, ingredients, beer characteristics, brewing processes and the BJCP program. The scoring is pass/fail, and those who earn a passing score become Provisional Judges.
Provisional Judges are not yet BJCP members, and must take the BJCP Beer Judging Examination, a practical tasting examination of six beers. Depending on the achieved score from the BJCP Beer Judging Examination, one can earn the rank of Apprentice, Recognized or Certified. If a tester scores below 60, they must retake the BJCP Beer Judging Examination within one year from initially passing the BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination.
The final test is the BJCP Beer Judge Written Proficiency Examination, consisting of true or false and essay questions, which is intended for advanced judges to earn the National rank or higher.
For a comprehensive overview of the entire examination process, including frequently asked questions, visit the BJCP Exam Center and download the BJCP Exam Structure file.
BJCP Study Materials
While being a homebrewer may give you a head start on the knowledge required to become a certified beer judge, it is important to make every effort to review all content that will be covered in the BJCP exams ahead of time.
The BJCP Exam Center has all the materials you need to learn about and prepare for the examination process. Scroll down to “Studying for the Beer Judge Exam” for preparatory materials including study guides and flash cards.
Mead Judge Exam
There is also a BJCP exam specifically for mead. Information on preparing for and taking the BJCP Mead Judge Exam can also be found in the BJCP Exam Center.
Cider Judge Exam
There is also a BJCP exam specifically for cider. Information on preparing for and taking the BJCP Cider Judge Exam can also be found in the BJCP Exam Center.
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