While I have covered the new BJCP exam a few times, I don’t think everyone is clear on the Judging Exam and what will occur. The time allowed is 90 min to properly evaluate six (6) beers. The beers will arrive at the table one at a time every 15 minutes. You will fill out the exam score sheet and will not use any style guidelines during the evaluation.

As the beers arrive, evaluate the same way you would in a competition setting. For the exam try to avoid making the comment in any of the top four sections (Aroma, Appearance, Flavor, and Mouthfeel) “not to style” or “missing style“. More often than not those taking the exam for the first time will state things like this incorrectly. It is better to fully describe what is present and then if space permits note what may not be present.

I saw recently where someone thought only one beer would be flawed. In reality it may be only one is not flawed and it could turn out the person preparing the beers flaws them all. Be prepared for it to be ANY style with the exception of 16E, 20, 21A, 21B, 22B, 22C, or 23, no fruit or specialty beers are allowed. A set of proctors will be judging the beers at the same time and their notes will be utilized as the baseline of comparison for your score sheets.

So there you have it, the BJCP Judging Exam in a nutshell. Good luck!

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