Beer Judge Certificate Program (BJCP) Class 2013–2014

Savannah Brewers League organizes a class designed for those serious about learning beer styles, ingredients, and procedures in depth and how to critically evaluate beers. It is particularly geared toward those who plan to take the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) exam.

The classes will occur twice a month and last about 6 months. We will meet from 6:00–7:30pm prior to the normal Wednesday meeting at Moon River and also on the second Wednesday from 6:30–9:30pm at the Distillery (2nd floor). Our initial meeting will be February 6 at Moon River. Classes will include discussion of technical topics, review of selected “off-flavors,” and discussion/evaluation/comparison of classic styles of beer.

The cost of the class is $20 to SBL members. This money will be used to pay for beer style beers (we will sample a classic example of approximately half of the BJCP beer styles during the class), off-flavor base beer & adulterants, any miscellaneous note paper, etc. Any remaining funds will go towards the colossal after-exam party (or to bribe proctors to make the trip for the exam).

The BJCP’s on-line entry exam can be taken at any time, but we suggest waiting until the class is complete because 1) you’ll learn a lot during our classes, and 2) you must take your Judging (tasting) exam within 12 months of passing the entry exam.

Which brings us to the BJCP Judging (tasting) exam. It is scheduled for May 2014 (yes, May 2014). We already have the maximum 12 folks signed up for the BJCP Judging (tasting) exam but there is a waiting list, so sign up as it is likely that several will drop out prior to the actual exam date. A check for $30 will be needed from each ($15 for retakes). We will collect funds from the first twelve by the first of 2014. If any folks have dropped out, we will go down the waiting list and take folks from there.

To keep the class low-cost for participants, all materials will be delivered via email, forum, or CD/jump drive to participants and each participant will be expected to print out materials and bring to the class (and read over what’s to be covered prior to class). Sometimes, in lieu of attachments, website links to pertinent information will be provided. Prior to the first meeting, you will receive a link to the 2012 BJCP Study Guide and 2008 Style Guidelines that you should print out (or download to your tablet/laptop) and read—these are your “Bibles” that you will refer to often—along with an outline for the first session. In general, emails/forum notices for subsequent meetings will go out the week before the meeting with a session outline and may also include supporting notes, example test questions/answers, blank and example evaluation sheets. Sometimes, additional information will be brought directly to meetings.

It is highly recommended that you keep your information organized in a notebook. Supplemental information may be provided at each class to put in your notebook, so bring your notebook to each class! A three-ring binder works great. A hole punch will be available for general use.

FYI, on homework: there are homework questions at the end of each set of study notes. These are taken directly from the BJCP exam question pool and are your best way to practice for the exam. This time around, homework is optional, but just sayin’…

This will give you time to collect and read the necessary books (check the SBL Library for suggested reading), judge at local competitions, and attend some all-grain brewing sessions (or brew some yourself!).