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Published on Jan 26, 2009
As a service to the beer judging community we're putting the core content of our first lesson online. Visit www.BeerJudgeSchool.com to order the full version with additional exam tips and bonus coverage of dark lagers.
As the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) exam is about beer judging this can be considered the most important class in the series. The tasting part will count for 30% of your exam score. And the skills you learn from this class will be what goes on after the exam is history. This is also the part of the exam that you cannot cram for. You have to judge. With practice and proper follow up you will show improvement. Saying This beer tastes good, This beer is bad, Its a party beer, or There is something wrong with this beer, is not what being a beer judge is about. No longer can these generic phrases be used to describe a beer when you are a beer judge. Your senses must be used to communicate clearly a description that is specific, mentioning strong and weak points in a given beer. This beer has a contamination problem based on the medicinal flavor, This is what I would expect in an American IPA due to the fresh citrusy hop character, This is a classic example of a Doppelbock with its rich maltiness are phrases that are used when evaluating beer. Many factors are involved in being a good evaluator including training, experience, and an understanding of the brewing process. All your senses are used in the judging process. An understanding of flavors and their sources is critical. A good scoresheet is a clear description and not a set of random notes