I’ve noticed quite a bit of traffic lately on the BJCP Facebook Group regarding the Beer Checklist score sheet. The sheet was developed some years ago to speed up the NHC Second Round and has been used for the competition for the last few years. The rules for the NHC make it clear that the sheet will be used for the competition. I am still amazed people don’t pay attention to the rules when they are right there for all to see.
First Round Judging Criteria
First round judging will now resemble the final round judging criteria, using a checklist-style evaluation method. Review the beer checklist scoresheet, scoresheet instructions and beer fault list to familiarize yourself with the judging process
Some judges find it difficult to get familiar with the check sheet and others gravitate to it. I do believe recipients have a difficult time understanding the sheet until they have studied it and read the check list instructions. The standard score sheet it written words on a page so generally if it is legible it is easy to comprehend. The check sheet gives levels of characteristics and also notes if a particular area is flawed. It can be a powerful tool in the hands of someone who understands all the information which can be conveyed.
With all that in mind I still prefer the old score sheet. I generally finish an evaluation in 10 minutes with the old score sheet and about 5 min with the check sheet once I get rolling. I’m always rusty at first with the check sheet, but once I get to ticking boxes I can speed through the evaluation and pen a few comments and then reach a consensus with my fellow judges in a relatively quick period of time. So before someone shoots down the sheet, they should spend a little time with it and what it can provide.