Homebrewing blog and resource

Becoming A Beer Judge

Mike and I were brainstorming last week about how to become better home brewers and we got on the subject of beer judging.

We have read through the BJCP guidelines a number of times, especially when brewing unfamilar styles.  What we never seriously considered was becoming beer judges.

Personally, I think studying and taking the exam will be a good test of my homebrewing knowledge.  I am not sure how much time I will have to dedicate to studying, but I will make some time and that’s all that matters.

The process should also make the content we post on this blog better and should lead to brewing better beer. 

Have you gone through the process of taking the BJCP exam?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.


Hops Harvest 2011


Northern German Altbier Recipe


  1. I passed the exam pre-iPhone, but even then, I found it very helpful to put style guideline flash cards on my iPod – there are much better apps out there now for review. The tasting portion of the exam is easier if you can sample off flavors and beers that aren’t quite to style; it really does help. It’s certainly very handy when it comes to homebrewing, and well worth taking the time to study, even if the exam itself is something of a brain dump.

  2. Bob

    I’m a BJCP judge and recommend studying for it. Even if you don’t want to judge, you will gain a lot of knowledge by preparing for the exam.

  3. Danny

    I got certified this year and put my recap up at http://www.onbeerandbrewing.com/2011/02/bjcp-exam-results-im-recognized.html. I definitely recommend it.

    – Danny

  4. brian

    I’m part of a 10 person group studying for the exam. We’ve been meeting since April, and still have a few to go. We cover a style category each week (sometimes two), and we have a technical topic that we discuss. We take turns hosting and teaching and buying the commercial examples. It’s been a lot of fun, and very educational. I definitely recommend doing it with some friends, regardless if they want to take the exam or not, it’s been a great experience.

  5. Thanks for the feedback. I think there is a chance to take the exam in November in a city nearby ours. Having a deadline will make it easier to stay motivated.

  6. Ben

    I have never even heard of the exam until I saw it here and now I am interested.

  7. chris

    I wish i had time to do the exam. I’m an untenured neuroscience Professor with 2 young kids so i don’t have any time. Having said that i’m tempted to do a wine tasting course just to develop palate awareness. I would heartily recommend you do it, i will once i get tenure and the kids are in the 8-12 sweet spot.
    I have a lot of respect for people that pass the exam but really (as in everything) its what you do with the qualification that counts.

  8. http://nickfilipow.blogspot.com/

    I just got a copy of the BJCP style guidelines, and I want to start preparing to eventually take the test as well. The flash cards was something I was was thinking of doing, but I wasn’t sure I was going to prepare for the the tasting portion on a limited budget. Any thoughts?

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