BJCP study -- clarification?

I’m trying to decide on taking on BJCP study to become a certified judge. This actually improves my business as well as many other things, so its really weighing on my mind.

Checking out the process on bjcp.com, the whole thing, at least the way its presented on the website, seems muddy and convoluted. I’m basically looking for a flow of steps to take to do this.

I understand that my reading list is a continual thing, so for those who have done it, whats my basic framework?

I also have found this website, a sort of BJCP cliff notes:
http://hbd.org/ford/judging/bjcp.html
The only thing I want to know about this website is if the material seems up to date.

If I were you, I’d just study the guidelines/stylebook for a few weeks, then take the 200Q online exam, knowing that you might very easily fail it. Its $10. This is the ‘entrance’ exam that is now a prerequisite for taking the tasting exam, but if you pass it, you can still judge comps as a ‘provisional’ judge.

With respect to actually getting certified, the tasting exam is hard to get into (just b/c they aren’t offered that regularly and graders are backed up). I registered for mine that I am taking @ the end of feb one year in advance and still got wait-listed (finally found out I got in). That being said, I couldn’t be more excited, and am trying to fill out 7-10 scoresheets/week in preparation.

So, the ‘flow’ you asked for:

1.) take (and pass) the online entrance exam (if you fail you can just take it again)
2.) take (and pass) the tasting exam - 6 beers to evaluate in 90 minutes, they compare your comments/scores to a highly-ranked judge who is a ‘proctor’

depending on your score on (2.), you get different rankings or levels

I have no idea what this sentence means or is asking. pls clarify.

[quote=“HalenRush”]
I also have found this website, a sort of BJCP cliff notes:
http://hbd.org/ford/judging/bjcp.html
The only thing I want to know about this website is if the material seems up to date.[/quote]

No this material is not up to date. They just changed the format of the exam in April '12. Plus reading this site with a black background would infuriate me beyond belief.

Good luck finding an open tasting exam. I passed the online exam back in May. Tasting exams in the Eastern United States are backed up for the next two years! The online grade is only good for 1 year! If you are interested, don’t waste your money! Get a confirmed seat in a tasting exam FIRST, then take and pass the online exam.

yeah, this is what I did. Though I barely got in a year in advance. Registering now to try to get in for a written exam.

yeah, this is what I did. Though I barely got in a year in advance. Registering now to try to get in for a written exam.[/quote]
Good luck.

I was talking about this reading list:
RECOMMENDED READING

Michael Jackson, Beer Companion (Running Press, Philadelphia, 1997).
Michael Jackson, The New World Guide to Beer (Running Press, Philadelphia, 1988).
John Palmer, How to Brew, (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 2006).
Al Korzonas, Homebrewing: Volume 1 (Sheaf & Vine, Palos Hills, IL, 1997).
Dave Miller, Dave Miller's Homebrewing Guide (Garden Way Publishing, Pownal, VT 1996).
Gregg Smith, The Beer Enthusiasts Guide (Storey Communications, Pownal, VT, 1994).
Ray Daniels, Designing Great Beers (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 1996).
Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer, Brewing Classic Styles (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 2007).

ADVANCED READING

Classic Beer Styles Series, (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO). There are presently seventeen books in this series, plus three additional books on Belgian beer styles: Pale Ale, 2nd Ed. and Porter, both by Terry Foster; Continental Pilsner by David Miller; Lambic by Jean-Xavier Guinard; Vienna, Maerzen, Oktoberfest by George and Laurie Fix; Bock by Darryl Richman; Scotch Ale by Greg Noonan; German Wheat Beer by Eric Warner; Belgian Ale by Pierre Rajotte, Stout by Michael Lewis, Altbier by Horst Dornbusch, and Barleywine by Fal Allen and Dick Cantwell, Bavarian Helles by Horst Dornbusch, Brown Ale by Ray Daniels and Jim Parker, Kölsch by Eric Warner, Mild Ale by David Sutula, Smoked Beer by Ray Daniels and Geoffrey Larson, Farmhouse Ales by Phil Markowski, Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow, Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymus.
Gregory J. Noonan, New Brewing Lager Beer (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 2003).
George Fix, Principles of Brewing Science, 2nd Edition (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 1999).
George and Laurie Fix, An Analysis of Brewing Techniques, Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 1997).
Brewing Techniques (New Wine Press, Eugene, OR). Contains a wealth of information about the ingredients, history and flavors in beer. While no longer being published some articles are available at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.brewingtechniques.com">http://www.brewingtechniques.com</a><!-- m -->.
Zymurgy Special Issues (Association of Brewers, Boulder, CO). Of particular use are the 1997 issue on Hops, the 1995 issue on Grains, the 1991 issue on Traditional Beer Styles, the 1989 and 1998 issues on Yeast and the 1987 issue on Troubleshooting. Back issues available at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.beertown.org">http://www.beertown.org</a><!-- m -->.
Charlie Papazian, et al, Evaluating Beer (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 1993).
Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium (Media Marketing Communications, Antwerp, 2005).
Roger Protz, The Taste of Beer (Orion Publishing, London, 1998).
Michael Jackson, Ultimate Beer (DK Publishing, New York, 1998).
Michael Jackson, Great Beer Guide (DK Publishing, New York, 2000).
Roger Protz, The Ale Trail (Eric Dobby Publishing, Kent, 1995).
Horst Dornbusch, Prost! The Story of German Beer (Brewers Publications, Boulder, CO, 1997).
Charles Bamforth, Beer: Tap into the Art and Science of Brewing (Plenum Press, New York, 1998).

And at this moment, I cannot fathom what I meant by that question. I guess I was smashing two ideas together and in my head I was thinking “no matter what, I can always occupy my time with this reading list” and was fishing for advice there.

ah gotcha. It honestly depends on how you learn. I’ve found that my best way to learn the styles is to do the following:

-pick up a style of beer off the stylebook you can download off the website. I found out today that the commercial examples listed are listed IN ORDER on the stylebook as to how closely they represent the style.

-Read the style characteristics once or twice

-take 15 minutes, and judge the beer without looking at the guidelines

-compare your scoresheet to the style guidelines

THEN

judge the beer as another style. If you picked up a doppelbock, judge the same beer as a dunkel. Or a bock. Or an American brown ale! This helps me learn difference between styles.

I love reading books about this stuff, but I’m just not sure how much I retain as compared to talking to people about it, giving a talk/presentation, or better yet, drinking (more ‘judging’)! I would certainly recommend reading Brewing Classic Styles, Tasting Beer, Designing Great Beers, and maybe some of Michael Jackson’s work as well to give you a background.

Wonderful advice. Thank you. This is the angle I am looking for whereas the website is a bit muddy. I’m already working through Tasting Beer (had it for two years but finally doing more than flipping through it). I own a homebrew shop so the rest of the books are easy enough to get (at cost!)

Wow thats awesome! Why don’t you do a informal class and/or tasting sessions/scoresheet fill-outs at your store? Always seems like a good way to get people in, and you likely have a few judges (or aspiring judges) that patronize you! You could even have people bring in their homebrew (made w/ ingredients from your store, of course!) and get some amateur, unbiased sensory analysis! These are always better if you can have somebody with some credentials to ‘lead’ the tasting. We did a few classes @ my LHBS, maryland homebrew, and were led by a Grand Master I, which was helpful.

Thursday night, I am meeting up with a few BJCP’s to judge a few beers informally and compare notes. Different palettes are good too, since people have different sensory flavor thresholds.

Wow thats awesome! Why don’t you do a informal class and/or tasting sessions/scoresheet fill-outs at your store? Always seems like a good way to get people in, and you likely have a few judges (or aspiring judges) that patronize you! You could even have people bring in their homebrew (made w/ ingredients from your store, of course!) and get some amateur, unbiased sensory analysis! These are always better if you can have somebody with some credentials to ‘lead’ the tasting. We did a few classes @ my LHBS, maryland homebrew, and were led by a Grand Master I, which was helpful.

Thursday night, I am meeting up with a few BJCP’s to judge a few beers informally and compare notes. Different palettes are good too, since people have different sensory flavor thresholds.[/quote]

That is being discussed on a club level because there is interest there so it will probably happen in one form or another.