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Ask the Experts: Gordon Strong

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The next guest in the AHA’s Ask the Experts series will be Gordon Strong, author of Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers. For those of you who don’t know Gordon, here’s a peek at his biography:

“Gordon Strong is the only three-time winner of the coveted National Homebrew Competition Ninkasi Award. He is president and highest ranking judge in the Beer Judge Certification Program, and principal author of the BJCP Style Guidelines and the BJCP Mead Exam Study Guide. Gordon is the technical editor and a commercial calibration panelist for Zymurgy magazine and is a frequent contributor to other brewing and beer publications.”

Gordon is ready and eager to answer your homebrewing and BJCP questions, especially ones regarding topics from his book Brewing Better Beer. So start thinking of that one question you always wanted to ask Gordon!

Registered AHA Forum users can submit questions beginning October 21 until October 28. Register for free today. Please do not submit questions prior to this time. After the question submission window closes, Gordon will begin addressing questions and share answers by November 11, 2013.

Please note: We anticipate a lot of participation in this public Ask the Experts, so be aware that Gordon may have to selectively answer questions, based on the volume of queries. 

The window is now open to ask Gordon Strong questions!


Are there any plans within the BJCP to institute a way for a judges ranking to be keyed to the on going quality of their judging?

I have seen in contests where I was stewarding or participating judges with quite high ranking sometimes make glaring mistakes throughout a flight, not simple disagreeing on a particular entry but misapplying guidelines or making comments to others at the table that they have no sense of smell etc.

I am sure this is a complex proposition and the big focus is increasing the pool of available judges but it seems like maintaining a pool of Quality judges would be even more important to the goals of the organization.

Jonathan Fuller

My question is this: what is the fastest/youngest to the National judge level and/or the Master judge level?

I ask because I am usually the youngest person around at any competition in the area at 26 years old. I also have realized that within a little less than a year and a half from my first exam, I had made National. At my current rate, I could be at Master by the beginning of next June. I'm sure someone has done it faster than me or younger than me, but I'm curious.


Hi Gordon, thanks for the Q&A.

I don't mean to be too generic with my question but as a new homebrewer I ask this when touring breweries and have received some great info.

What is one tip that you would share with a newer homebrewer to improve the quality of their beer?


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