BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines

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BJCP Guidelines

For the first time since 2008, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has issued an updated edition of the beer, mead and cider guidelines.

From the introduction to the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines:

The 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines are a major revision from the 2008 edition. The goals of the new edition are to better address world beer styles as found in their local markets, keep pace with emerging craft beer market trends, describe historical beers now finding a following, better describe the sensory characteristics of modern brewing ingredients, take advantage of new research and references, and help competition organizers better manage the complexity of their events.

Many new styles have been added, and some existing styles have been divided into multiple categories or simply renamed. The groupings of styles into categories has a new philosophy that groups styles with similar judging characteristics rather than a common heritage or family name. Do not assume that the same primary characteristic (e.g., color, strength, balance, dominant flavor, country of origin) was used to determine each category grouping; the reasoning was more variable and nuanced. Some changes have been made to allow us to be more agile in making future revisions. Finally, we have provided some additional guidance on how to use the guidelines to reduce the potential for misuse that we have observed in past editions.

Access the complete BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines for beer, mead and cider by visiting the Style Center on

Gordon Strong Discusses Style Guideline Changes

In 2014, BJCP President Gordon Strong presented the changes to the style guidelines during the National Homebrewers Conference in Grand Rapids. Watch the entire presentation below, courtesy of Chop & Brew.