Sunday, July 14, 2013

The BJCP Tasting Exam (Beer Judging Exam)

BJCP stands for “Beer Judge Certification Program”. Mike and I have been taking classes for the past year, tasting classic beers in every beer style and judging them based on 5 categories – Aroma, Appearance, Flavor, Mouthfeel, and Overall Impression. We started the class as beer snobs, knowing we liked good beer, but not always knowing how to articulate WHY we like certain styles or brand names compared with others. Throughout the class we learned how to verbalize flavors and aromas (whether good or “off”) and how to score beers based on the basic categories.

Yesterday we took the “final exam” to become provisional judges (so we can judge homebrew competitions). The exam consists of 6 different beers administered by the exam coordinator in 15 minute intervals. I thought mechanical engineering exams were intense… but the 1.5 hours of swirling, sniffing, and sipping turned out to be just as intense!

We will not know how well we did for several months. Our papers need to be scanned, graded, double checked, and finally approved for grade distribution.
 
With the beer knowledge that we have acquired through this class, we are excited to put together tasting classes like this at our own place once we are up and running!