- President's Report
- Financial Report for 2007
- New National and Above Judges
- Competition Director's Report
- Exam Directors' Report
- Exam Committee Report
- Continuing Education Program Report
- Color Guide Committee Report
- Rules Committee Report
- Mead & Cider Committee Report
- Legal Committee Report
- Information Technology Report
- Communication Report
President's Report for 2007
by Gordon Strong
2007 was a record-setting year for the BJCP. We had strong growth in both our Exam and Competition programs with 30% more examinees last year than in 2006. We sanctioned 25 more competitions (11% growth) and gave 9 more exams (21% growth) than in 2006. The growth in the exam program resulted in well over 400 new BJCP members this year, and a very busy exam grading program.
We processed the following promotions or initial rank assignments in 2007:
- 53 Apprentice judges
- 284 Recognized judges
- 142 Certified judges
- 48 National judges
- 5 Master judges
- 3 Grand Master judges
As of this writing, we have 141 examinees awaiting their scores. Almost 500 people took the exam in 2007.
We continue to build on the improvements of the past year, enhancing our governance and continuing to build a solid financial position for the organization. This allowed us to make several significant investments in membership services, one of our major objectives of the year. Our strong relationship with the AHA has also allowed us to improve the judging and judge training opportunities at the AHA Conference.
The state of our organization is strong, and we are growing and improving. We continue to execute our strategic plans and transform our organization into a more business-like operation, despite the fact that we are 100% volunteer-driven. We look for new opportunities to provide more products, services, content, and value to our members, even while we contend with the operational issues that strong growth causes.
I invite you to review our 2006 Annual Report, and compare our progress against our plans. While we did not complete all of our ambitious goals, we did work on the projects and invest in the initiatives discussed.
Our financial position is strong, and our organization is able to make significant investments in member services and new projects. Last year, we made the decision to seek additional avenues for investment, and we have been successful. For the first time in recent history, we have spent more money than we took in. We still retain a large surplus in our treasury, and we are looking for additional projects to draw down those funds. We adopted a comprehensive Budget Policy that governs our budgeting cycle and funds are spent.
Throughout the year, the board voted to fund several new initiatives requiring allocating funds from our reserves. The board votes on a baseline budget for the year, which establishes spending authority. If we want to fund additional projects, we increase the spending authority for specific budget line items. Some of the additional items funded last year included name badges for members, new rank pins, FlavorActiv sensory evaluation kits, and prototype color guides.
Our income continues to come primarily from exam and competition fees, and record growth in those areas provides us significant funds for operations. We took in 120% of our projections for income for the year (reflecting higher-than-expected growth), and spent 76% of our approved spending authority (which is actually better than in past years). We had approved deficit spending for the year, and despite the gap in expenses versus income, we did actually manage to use some of our financial reserves.
Our past treasury balance before 2004 has still not been recovered, but legal actions are proceeding (albeit slowly). This situation is covered in the Legal Committee report. As had been discussed in last year's report, we have the means to invest in our membership and now have done so. We will continue to invest in member services regardless of the status of the ongoing court actions. We hope to identify additional projects for investment for the coming year.
We held board elections last year, with Al Boyce and Peter Garofalo being re-elected to their positions. Ted Hausotter was elected, replacing Michael Hall.
We had a few other personnel actions in 2007:
- Dave Houseman replaced John Tull as chairman of the Exam Committee.
- Ed Westemeier replaced Peter Garofalo as chairman of the Rules Committee.
- Beth Zangari became a new Associate Exam Director, reflecting growth in the Exam Program.
- The position of Assistant Communications Director was created but no suitable candidate stepped forward.
- Mike Dixon volunteered to help administer the BJCP Forums.
The remaining operational duties of the Program Administrator have been transitioned, and the position will be officially eliminated this coming year.
Our international membership continues to grow, with Australia leading the way again. Australia now has 42 active judges, including its first National judge, Mark Hibberd. Two exams and 15 competitions were held in Australia in 2007. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
South Africa has 16 active judges, and gave one exam last year. Canada continues to be our largest international contingent with 54 active judges. Switzerland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Senegal each has one active judge. Our last election cycle also saw two international members run for regional representative positions.
AHA National Homebrew Conference
The BJCP continues to have a great and strengthening relationship with the AHA. The AHA implemented several changes requested by the BJCP to improve the experience for judges at the AHA Conference. Judging was completed in one day, and any technical talks given during judging were repeated. We used a new checklist scoresheet to streamline judging; these sheets were regarded favorably by over 70% of judges and entrants. We added a judge reception with two hands-on training sessions. We held a BJCP Member's Meeting that was very well attended by both staff and membership. We streamlined the way CEP points were awarded at the Conference, removing the need for sign-in, exams and record-keeping.
We are very excited about the potential for the judge reception at the conference, and in other training events for judges. We were surprised that a last-minute fee was charged for attending the event. For current and future years, we plan on subsidizing the function to try to avoid any out-of-pocket charges for judges. The BJCP allocated $2500 towards the reception for 2008 to offset both the facility and meal costs, but also to procure any necessary training supplies.
Our goal is to have at least two hands-on training sessions during the judge reception, plus a section on scoresheet calibration (judge two beers and compare scores and comments). Since this reception will be held the night before judging, we also try to include a meal as part of the session. We are trying to integrate our planning with the local event organizing committee to try to avoid conflicts with other events.
This is a new function for us, so we're very interested in your feedback and in improving the event. We have made some improvements in 2008 based on comments from 2007. We also hope that it will serve as a model for other regional judge training events.
BJCP Directorates are the permanent operating units of the organization. Each is headed by a Director, and may have additional staff. Directors have broad discretion in operating their units under the general policies of the organization. The Directorates have significant operational responsibilities, and do the heavy lifting in running the organization on a day-to-day basis. Directorates also undertake ad hoc initiatives to improve the operating units under their area of responsibility. We currently have the following active Directorates: Continuing Education, Competition, Exam, Information Technology, and Communications. The responsibilities found in the past position of Program Administrator has been divided up among the other Directorates.
The Exam and Competition Directorates both had record-setting years, and continue to perform our most visible operational functions. The merged AHA/BJCP Sanctioned Competition Program continues to operate well. Organizer reports have been submitted for most competitions; there is only one delinquent report from 2006 and three from 2007. The Exam Program is very busy, and needs more volunteer graders. A committee is working on exam updates, and study guide updates.
The Continuing Education Program Directorate keeps working on new programs and services for members, including developing free sensory evaluation kits from FlavorActiv for exam prep classes. A new vocabulary application was rolled out and continues to be enhanced. Major CEP activities were included at the AHA National Homebrewers Conference. Most of our new investments are made in CEP projects.
Our administrative directorates (Information Technology, Communications, Program Administrator) continue to enhance core services and support other program activities. Major actions by the IT Directorate included enhancing our web applications to use a common portal system, and adding several email notifications to database actions. Our web site has been enhanced to include a full list of known deceased judges, new status codes were implemented, and historical data was expanded to include RTPs, newsletters and scoresheets. The Program Administrator phase-out continues. Old exam data has been entered, and some promotions resulted. New pins were made, and the fulfillment role has transitioned to the Exam Administrator. The BJCP also is obtaining a new physical mailbox with forwarding to our Communication Director.
Committees are ad hoc development units within the organization that are formed to work on a specific project, particularly if it crosses multiple operating Directorates or involves more work than can be adequately managed by existing Directors. In general, Committees have a specific charter or objective, and exist only for the time during whic? they are working towards their goal. Committees are led by an appointed Chairman, and often include program staff, regular members or external subject matter experts as needed.
We currently have five active committees: Exam, Mead and Cider, Color Guide, Rules and Legal. All showed some progress but none fully completed their work in 2007. No new committees were established in 2007. We have held off on creating new committees until some of the existing committees complete their work.
The Mead and Cider Committee spent the year working on the exam formats, question pools, and study aids. The Mead Exam format has been finalized, and an initial question pool has been created and is being field tested. We are on target to initially launch the exam at the AHA Conference in Cincinnati.
The Color Guide Committee produced two prototypes and conducted field tests. The products look very good and should be available this year, once they get validated and finalized. We hope to be able to offer these guides to all judges for no cost.
The Legal and Rules Committees are part of our strategy of implementing better governance. The Rules Committee reviewed the bylaws and suggested several changes. Existing policies are in the process of being documented and posted on our web site. A new comprehensive Budget Policy was passed by the Board. Some improvements and clarifications in policies were made, and many changes were made to our web documents to be more consistent and accurate (such as with judge status codes).
We had significant advancements in our legal effort to recover our pre-2004 Treasury. In conjunction with our attorney, we coordinated with Federal prosecutors to secure an indictment against our past President and Treasurer, William R. Slack. The trial is pending, and has received three continuances so far. We continue to be ready to offer any assistance to prosecutors and to see that our Treasury is recovered and justice is done. Our organization now carries insurance (surety bond) on our Treasurer, and we have instituted several rigorous oversight policies. We cannot comment further on our legal situation on advice of Counsel, but promise that all that we can share will be prominently displayed on our web site.
We had several other important projects this year that weren't formally part of Directorates or Committees. These projects often had something to do with improving member services, and were done under the direct control of the BJCP Board. These projects are generally limited in scope and duration, and often had only one or two people involved.
The most visible of our major new projects for members this year was the free BJCP nametag project. In conjunction with our effort to validate contact information for all our judges, we decided to offer all active judges who have passed the exam a free nametag showing your name, rank, hometown and BJCP ID. Over 25% of judges have requested a badge, and they have been very well received. We implemented a new web application for ordering the badges, and tied this into our change-of-address system.
We finally have fully cut over to a new pin manufacturer, Sonoma Promotional Solutions, after our old pin maker retired. We are thrilled with the quality of the new pins, particularly when considering they cost approximately 90% less than the old handmade pins. We ordered enough National, Master and Grand Master pins to meet our projected needs for the next 5-10 years. All backordered pins have been fulfilled. It is our intent to have these pins in stock so we can provide them to judges at the same time a new rank is earned. The pins have received very positive reviews from those who have received them.
We completed an update to the BJCP style guidelines, called the 2008 edition of the 2004 guidelines. These will be posted on the web site shortly, including a summary of the changes. The biggest changes were to bring the guidelines in agreement with some of the Belgian style books ?eleased since the last edition of the guidelines. We also looked at all the commercial examples, and recalculated some of the style parameters. No changes to style names or category numbers were made. The rest of the changes were minor tweaks based on further research or reported errors from members.
We created a set of experimental scoresheets for use in the AHA second round judging at the request of the AHA. This package includes a checklist scoresheet, a fault/troubleshooting list and a set of comprehensive instructions. These competition forms were used at the AHA competition in Denver, as well as several other events such as MCAB and LongShot. The AHA conducted a survey of judges and entrants and found that the response was over 70% positive. The AHA will be using these forms again in 2008, and has requested similar sheets for meads and ciders. The final disposition of the forms is still to be decided, but the fault/troubleshooting list can stand alone as a one-page reference for troubleshooting common beer faults.
Some additional tools for judges were created, including Word templates for creating peel-and-stick judging labels. Two versions were created, including one with a color logo. Many judges are using these labels to save time and writing during competitions.
The BJCP has started to offer regional advanced judge training events. We held a judge reception with training at the AHA Conference in Denver. Regional representatives Ted Hausotter and Ron Bach held a day-long judge training event in Oregon. We hope to encourage more of these regional training events throughout the year, and certainly encourage other judges to organize such events. Any of these judge training sessions are eligible for CEP credits, provided they are registered in advance.
Take a look at the plans we laid out in our 2006 annual report. We've been executing on them, but still have more to do. The same strategic goals remain: to improve governance, to expand member services, to enhance our web presence, and to add more useful content for judges. To this list, I would like to add improving training and education services for judges and graders. We have sufficient financial resources to finally invest funds in good ideas that directly benefit judges.
We completed several projects last year, and hope to have more projects completed this year. I'd like to see more projects of limited scope that can be rolled out quickly, particularly projects associated with our Continuing Education Program and with grader training for our Exam Program.
We have several good ideas for projects that are awaiting necessary resources to execute. I'd still like to see us complete some of our other long-term initiatives before we dilute our efforts. Working on projects is important, but completing projects is what I care about most. If anyone has any time to contribute and has an area of expertise, please contact myself or your regional representative to volunteer.
Some of the initiatives and projects we hope to complete this year include:
- Completing and launching a mead exam, including study aids
- Adding more references and training for BJCP Exam Graders
- Coordinating and offering more hands-on judge training events
- Offer style guidelines in durable book form at cost
- Offer color guides at no cost
- Increase investment in the Continuing Education Program
- Adding more content and applications to our web site
- Growing member services, including acting on more member suggestions
- Finalizing a bylaws revision and getting operational policies fully documented
Please read the detailed reports from each of our directorates and committees for more information on the current operations, projects and plans of our organization.
Let's keep building on our successes and make this the best year ever for the BJCP!
BJCP Financial Report for 2007
by Al Boyce
BUDGET ACTUAL NOTE INCOME BJCP Examination Fees 13,000.00 16,353.46 a BJCP Contest Certification Fees 8,000.00 9,030.00 b BJCP Merchandise Receipts 250.00 79.00 c Interest (PayPal) 25.00 22.74 d Misc. Income 0.00 0.00 Returned Checks 0.00 4.50 Total 21,275.00 25,489.70 EXPENSES AHA SCP Fees 1,000.00 1,000.00 BJCP Grants 1,000.00 500.00 e Continuing Education Program 6,400.00 6,114.23 f Legal Fees 5,000.00 4,089.50 g Merchandise (for resale) 8,500.00 1,988.00 h Miscellaneous 750.00 41.00 i Office Supplies 1,500.00 996.39 PayPal Fees 300.00 409.22 j PO Box Rental 50.00 0.00 Postage 1,500.00 2587.97 k Printing 1,000.00 1,154.12 l Recognition Pins 6,850.00 7,052.43 m Reimbursement: Exam Graders 500.00 296.00 Shipping: Merchandise 50.00 0.00 Surety Bond 100.00 100.00 Telephone 50.00 0.00 Website & Domain Renewal 0.00 0.00 Total 34,550.00 26,328.86 Prior Balance - 1/1/2007 21,973.95 Income 25,489.70 Expenses 26,328.86 Current Balance - 12/31/2007 21,134.79 Checks Outstanding 2,586.85 Account Balance Showing 23,721.64 Receivables Outstanding 0.00 Annual Net Gain (Loss) (839.16)
Notes to Financial Report:
a 51 exams given - 10 more than in 2006. Took in 126% of projected revenue. b 253 competitions in 2007 (31 more than in 2006), 51 pre-scheduled for 2008 (10 more than 2006). Took in 113% of projected revenue. c Some Certified/Recognized pin sales, no further sales of BJCP hats and shirts bought for 2005 AHA NHC. Took in 31% of projected revenue. d Dividends from PayPal checking account. $2.26 less than projected. 91% of projected revenue. e Only one BJCP grant was applied for (and granted) in 2007 - for MCAB XIV. MCAB provided testing of the new proposed scoresheet for the AHA second round. This left $500 worth of grants unspent. Spent 50% of budgeted amount. f The CEP purchased ingredients for custom-made BJCP FlavorActiv Sensory Evaluation Kits, to be distributed in 2008 by the CEP. The Color Slide project spent money in this category for research.This left $285.77 unspent in the treasury - spent 96% of projected amount. g The attempt to recover the pre-2004 treasury employed a law firm to assist in the effort in 2007. $910.50 of allocated funds remained unspent - spent 82% of budgeted amount. h The BJCP decided to provide permanent name badges for existing and new members, and allocated $8500 from reserves for this purpose. $1988 of this was spent for 569 badges for existing members. Spent 23% of budgeted amount. i This was for a bank fee assessed for a wire transfer to FlavorActiv in England. Spent 5% of projected amount. j PayPal fees were $109.22 more than budgeted, primarily due to the BJCP beginning to take payments for exams via PayPal in 2007 (11 exams), in addition to an increased number of competitions now paying via PayPal (206 total). Spent 136% of budgeted amount. k More exams than 2006, postal rate increases, and postage for shipping name badges pushed postage over budget. Spent 173% of budgeted amount. l Printing costs in 2007 exceeded projections probably because of the 25% increase in the number of exams given. Spent 115% percent of budgeted amount. m An attempt to get "caught up" with required recognition pins for National, Master and Grand Master promotions was realized in 2007 with a new manufacturer. An additional $1850 was approved from reserves to accomplish this. A re-order of Recognized and Certified pins was made as well. Spent 103% of budgeted amount. Overall, the BJCP took in 120% of projected revenue, and spent 127% of our original budget of $20,800 (76% of budgeted amount after monies from reserves were figured in) We spent $839.16 (from reserves) more than we took in during 2007.
New National and Above Judges for 2007
Congratulations to our new "senior" judges who advanced in 2007.
Region Name State Rank Date West Matt Akin CA National 8/7/07 Northeast Pete Algerio NY National 6/4/07 Midwest Eric Armstrong IA National 7/15/07 Mid-Atlantic Frank Barickman OH National 8/7/07 North Chris Belsky MN National 10/7/07 West Greg Beron CA National 1/22/07 North Tom Blake MI National 1/4/07 Northeast Matt Bobiak NY National 6/4/07 South Martin Brungard FL National 5/7/07 South T Bob Daugherty TX National 1/4/07 North Gera Exire LaTour MN National 5/14/07 Mountain/Northwest Tom Gardner CO National 2/2/07 North Joe Gerteis MN National 12/31/07 North Bill Gornicki MI National 1/4/07 North Ryan Harvey AK National 6/5/07 Mid-Atlantic Jeff Hewit VA National 8/7/07 Northeast Mark Hibberd VIC National 12/30/07 Mountain/Northwest Stan Hieronymus NM National 9/10/07 North Wilbur Ince MN National 12/31/07 Mountain/Northwest Scott Jackson CO National 12/16/07 South Bernie Kessel NC National 1/4/07 Midwest Leo Koster IA National 7/15/07 West Bill Krouss CA National 5/8/07 North Kevin Kutskill MI National 5/10/07 West Jim Larsen CA National 3/3/07 Northeast Jeff McNally RI National 8/27/07 North Gail Milburn MI National 11/17/07 West Big Mike Moore CA National 8/21/07 North Todd Murley MN National 2/28/07 South Scott Oglesby NC National 6/28/07 Northeast Garrett Oliver NY National 12/31/07 Mid-Atlantic Bryan Pearson PA National 12/31/07 West Pat Rue CA National 6/28/07 Mountain/Northwest Scott Sanders OR National 6/28/07 Mountain/Northwest Ken Saxe AZ National 11/13/07 Mountain/Northwest Bill Schneller OR National 12/14/07 West Sal Sciortino CA National 6/4/07 Mountain/Northwest Jerome Seipp WA National 11/13/07 West Matthew Shoup CA National 11/16/07 South Ben Sibley NC National 3/15/07 Midwest Ron Smith IN National 7/1/07 Midwest Gary Spedding KY National 1/4/07 North Hilary Stearns MI National 5/22/07 North Jesse Stremcha MN National 1/31/07 Midwest Linda Swihart IN National 8/7/07 Mid-Atlantic Rick Theiner PA National 5/10/07 Northeast John Viggiano NY National 3/14/07 Mid-Atlantic Leslie White MD National 11/14/07 South Phil Farrell GA Master 2/18/07 Mid-Atlantic Rick Garvin VA Master 10/7/07 Mid-Atlantic Calvin Perilloux MD Master 5/11/07 South Mark Stober FL Master 5/19/07 West Jim Wilson CA Master 11/6/07 North Al Boyce MN Grand Master I 3/15/07 West Beth Zangari CA Grand Master I 5/19/07 Mid-Atlantic Gordon Strong OH Grand Master IV 5/19/07
Competition Director's Report for 2007
by Dave Houseman
As the Competition Director, I register all competition into the BJCP database and answer numerous contacts during the year to modify competition information, to help judges secure their points, answer general questions about competitions and complaints from entrants.
During 2007 there were 249 competitions scheduled. This is an 11% increase in the number of competition opportunities for BJCP members to judge. There are currently 83 competitions scheduled for 2008. So far we are ahead of the same date last year. We exited the year with four competitions still with delinquent organizer reports. This is a record low. Badgering does help! If you participate in a competition you will receive an email notification when you are awarded credit for judging, stewarding or serving as a staff member. Check the BJCP Delinquent Organizer Report, to see if a competition in which you participated has filed their report or not. Pressure from BJCP members are the only true leverage we have to get these reports filed. Don't judge in competitions that don't file their reports. Remember that we will NOT sanction competitions or clubs or organizers with outstanding organizer reports.
During 2007 an alternative Judge form was developed and used for the MCAB, second round of the AHA National Competition, and several selected "beta" test competitions. This form is on the web site for others to see and use. We still would like feedback about it from any judges and competitions that choose to use this judging form.
Exam Directors' Report for 2007
by Steve Piatz and Tom Cannon
During calendar year 2007 the BJCP exam was given in 51 sites including two in Australia and one in South Africa, as well as 28 states. There were a total of 494 examinees in the course of the year. That is a new record high number of exams for a year.
While all the grading has not been completed for the exams given in the course of the year there will be a total of 65 people involved in the grading of the 494 exams. That includes the two Exam Directors (Tom Cannon and Steve Piatz) and the six Associate Exam Directors (Charles Bernard, Pete Garofalo, Dave Houseman, Gordon Strong, Beth Zangari, and Peter Zien). Twelve new graders were added to the ranks of the grading team during the grading of t?e 2007 exams, a few more new graders are already being worked into the 2008 exam grading. The new graders added in 2007 include; Dwight Bradish, Jonathan Crist, Brody Day, Rich Dickson, Joe Gerteis, Robert Gulley, Jim Larsen, Gail Milburn, Patrick Rue, Ben Sibley, Linda Swihart, and Roxanne Westendorf.
We have limited exams to at most five sites per calendar month to help balance the load on the graders. That still allows for 60 exam sites per years which is more than we've every done in a year. The best way to balance the load would be to limit the number of actual exams per month but that is harder to implement than a simple limit on sites.
In addition, for sites that have a lot of examinees we are using multiple, different essay exams but a common set of exam beers. That means each different essay exam set can be graded by a separate team of graders and a different Associate Director. That seems to allow the grading process to operate without as many bottlenecks. The sites still can use a single set of exam beers and proctors but we try to keep the examinees per essay exam down to what can be handled by a grading team.
Name ED AD Lead 2nd Total Adams, Jay 10 10 Anderson, Andy 11 11 Bach, Ron 7 7 Beechum, Drew 16 16 Bennett, Bruce 18 18 Bernard, Charles 58 58 Bickham, Scott 32 32 Boyce, Al 19 19 Bradish, Dwight 4 4 Cannon, Tom 260 6 266 Conn, Denny 8 8 Crist, Jonathan 25 25 Day, Brody 4 4 Devaris, Pete 5 5 Dey, Paul 8 8 Dickey, Paul 26 26 Dickson, Rich 22 22 Dixon, Mike 35 35 Dixon, Rich 10 10 England, Kris 15 15 Farnsworth, Paul 6 6 Farrell, Phil 15 31 46 Formanek, Joe 10 10 Garofalo, Pete 90 16 6 112 Garvin, Rick 7 7 Gerteis, Joe 9 9 Gow, Charlie 14 14 Gulley, Robert 12 12 Hall, Bob 10 10 Harsh, Dave 16 11 27 Hausotter, Ted 17 7 24 Heniff, Mike 8 8 Houseman, Dave 94 4 29 127 Howard, Lyn 8 8 Huhtanen, George 17 17 Justice, David 26 26 Larsen, Jim 5 5 Lorton, Greg 6 6 McKenna, Steve 8 8 Milburn, Gail 17 17 Miller, Rob 5 5 Mitchell, John 13 13 Nesdoly, Mark 19 7 26 Perilloux, Calvin 18 18 Perrin, George 7 7 Piatz, Steve 234 5 239 Pratt, Kevin 29 5 34 Rue, Patrick 13 13 Ruud, Susan 29 7 36 Sapsis, Dave 10 10 Schmidlin, Tom 13 13 Schwind, Brian 4 4 Shick, Paul 12 12 Sibley, Ben 12 12 Strong, Gordon 112 13 125 Swearengin, Jeff 7 7 Swihart, Linda 10 10 Teckam, David 28 9 37 Watson, John 8 8 Westemeier, Ed 25 25 Westendorf, Roxanne 12 12 Wilson, Jim 48 48 Winnie, Mike 16 16 Zangari, Beth 58 8 66 Zien, Peter 82 82
Exam Committee Report for 2007
by Dave Houseman
The Exam Committee transitioned from John Tull to David Houseman mid year. Since John had successfully lead the committee to significant changes to the BJCP exam earlier in the year, there has been little need for Exam Committee activity as we await feedback from the use of the new exam before making further changes. Recently the com?ittee has begun to look at some minor clarification changes to the exam and to provide additional guidance to the graders as the result of grading and examinee feedback.
Continuing Education Program Report for 2007
by Kris England
The Continuing Education Program (CEP) is an umbrella program for several projects and initiatives. Some of these projects have been completed and have been rolled out, while others are still in development. We also continue to make improvements to those projects as we get feedback from people and think of better ways of doing things. Following is a current summary of our projects, initiatives and programs:
BREW sessions and BICEP courses
Throughout the year we spent a lot of time tweaking and fine tuning requirements to our core BREW sessions and BICEP courses. It seems to have worked as we have had much more participation this year than in previous years. There are new BICEP courses started weekly whereas a year ago only a few a month were ongoing. Most of these courses were run by veteran judges who had led many exam prep courses. There has been a major increase in rookie organizers starting prep courses in regions where they hadn't been held previously. It's always hard to start with a blank slate so one of the new programs that I'm starting is the BICEP course index. It will simply be a download page with numerous examples of entire courses (i.e., Course-in-a-Can) and various bits and pieces of other courses. Examples will include several syllabi, and certainly some specific technical lectures by some very advanced presenters. This entire index will not only help the rookie organizers but hopefully give the veterans some new ideas to freshen up their classes. If anyone has any type of class materials, please share it with us; we'd love to use it.
AHA National Homebrewers Conference (NHC)
Lots of ideas came from the 2007 NHC. The CEP decided to award two points to any judge attending the conference, regardless of which seminars they attended. The logistics of taking, collecting, grading, babysitting, etc. all the exams was a nightmare. Also, as everyone who has been to an NHC knows, most of the stuff you 'learn' comes from talking to other brewers, sharing ideas, etc. The CEP absolutely MUST have a presence at the NHC. We needed to streamline this process and believe this to be the best way.
Sensory Evaluation Training Kits
We are very happy to announce that thus far our FlavorActiv kit program has been as huge a success as we had hoped. The feedback has been all positive and the evaluation sheets should start rolling in soon. From everything I've seen so far, this will be our most popular and helpful program and should definitely be continued into the near future. I still think there are a lot of BICEP organizers who haven't heard about the program so I'm going to start email them directly.
The Judge's Lexicon is still ongoing. It was 'technically' released early this year but there has been limited traffic to the site. There are a few sites around the web that link to it but nothing really substantial. I've posted in the two biggest brewing-related web forums, Northern Brewer and More Beer, so that should generate some more interest. I've already had a few corrections sent to me, which were due to bad oversight on our part. Simple human error is the cause, but the vocabulary application must agree with the BJCP style guidelines and other program materials. The review and release process is slow since reviewing the definitions take quite awhile but headway is being made. The guys working on this are doing a great job and have my heartfelt thanks. Vocabulary is an online home brewers and judges dictionary. It is a fun application that allows the user to read the meaning of a term. You can determine the source, brewer's controls, acceptable styles and links to similar ?erms. The etymology of most terms is included so you can see where the terms originated. Many terms will include filters to find terms by main section such as Beer or Mead. It can be further filtered into smaller areas such as mouth feel or aroma. Have you ever wondered how to pronounce Diacetyl? Just click the speaker button and listen to the word being spoken!
The vocabulary project is broken down into 3 main sections: Beer, Mead, and Cider. Many of the terms defined in Beer will be fine for the new sections, others will require adjusting. Beer has been further broken down into Appearance, Flavor, Aroma, Mouth Feel and Other. The current team consists of Al Hazen, David Teckam, Alan Hord, Randy Scorby, Mike Heniff and Ted Hausotter. The audio team is Kevin Pratt and Beth Zangari. The vocabulary project has seen a lot of new words released in 2007, it is now up to 370 terms! This past year we took the opportunity to upgrade and rewrite terms that had sparser content Aroma, Flavor and Appearance are completed. We are currently working in mouth feel and are about half way through. Find a word we missed? Let us know, this is a living project that will be consistently added to. One of the new additions for 2008 will be media presentations of different subjects like head types.
Mead/Honey Varietal Database
The idea for this project came about long before I worked with the BJCP. I make a copious amount of mead with different varietal honey and have always wanted a place to tell you about the various honeys. It's nearly impossible for veteran mead judges, let alone rookie judges, to judge a varietal honey properly if they have no idea what character it lends. There needs to be a place where that data can be found. There are the ubiquitous descriptors of 'great flavor and subtle aroma' that drive meadmakers crazy.
To ensure a firm footing when I started, I needed a strong list of obvious varietals that are used quite a bit. Gordon Strong started me off strong with a lot of data he collected on varietal meads entered in competitions (part of his research for the new Mead Exam). I did the same thing with as many varietal meads that I could find. I then took data from the National Honey Board on the major monofloral (varietal) honeys produced in the US by total rank and by regional US rank (most important) to get an idea of what types of honey are available and in what quantities (e.g., you won't be finding fresh Guajillo honey in North Dakota). After this list was put together I took tasting notes from myself and everyone I could find that has used a certain honey. I include what blossom the honey comes from and from what regions the honeys are traditionally produced. Along with the aroma and flavor profiles, I have listed the color of the base honey along with the approximate mead color. This will go a long way in helping a mead judge/ maker identify visually a type of honey. For example, if a straw-colored mead is declared as a sweet buckwheat varietal mead, then it didn't use buckwheat honey. I am also including a section for 'substitutes' and 'best for' so judges and makers both can better understand the character. There is a final section on 'Notes' that just provide a little extra info about the honey. For example, there are some honeys that are inherently sweeter than others (i.e., they contain more fructose). A judge should know that meads made with these types of honey will taste sweeter without the same body as a mead made with a honey that is not as sweet.
I'm looking to launch this database early in 2008 in time for NHC first round. It won't start off being comprehensive but should go a long way in helping judges better understand what they are judging. This database should also be a valuable resource for those studying for the new Mead Judge exam, or for those who are simply looking to improve their mead judging skills.
Beer Characteristics Database
Work on this monster continues. Simply, it's a database that indicates what commercially ava?lable beers contain certain ingredients. It can be used as a training tool for judges to understand how ingredients interact and work with different styles of beer. I'm up to about 500 beers so far. I'm currently looking for lots of help on this project but have not gotten anyone to really show any true interest. The final location for this data will be a web application that can be used to search any combination of ingredients or style. The launch of this project is dependent on the time my web guys have and the status of the BJCP server (e.g., upgraded or not). If it looks like there isn't going to be much change, I can launch it in Google Docs as a spreadsheet that can be sorted and searched by any category.
Waters of the World
Kevin Pratt and I have worked out the logistics of productizing these 'water' kits. His homebrew shop will be doing all the hands-on work. I have received funds in the 2008 budget to kick these things off which we hope to accomplish by mid-year or so. We are going to start with only the top five 'brewing capitals' and then go from there. If there is good interest then we can always expand.
Judge Self Exam
The idea to create a massive amount of simple True/False and Multiple-Choice questions for judges to review and test themselves is on the back burner. The idea is simple but it needs a ton of hands and the web application schematics need to be decided before getting into it. Other areas are more pressing at this time but if I get the volunteers I'm looking for, I will surely turn them loose on this.
We have several other ideas that have been suggested and reviewed, but do not have the resources to pursue more ideas at this time. We are constantly looking for additional volunteers that wish to help with this program. If you would like to help, please send an email to the Education Director.
Color Guide Committee Report for 2007
by Jamil Zainasheff
A committee was formed, consisting of Chad Stevens, AJ DeLange, Joe Formanek and Jamil Zainasheff, with the goal of producing a low cost but effective color guide for judges. During the year DeLange and Stevens took the lead in deriving usable printing settings that would accurately portray the most useful SRM numbers for beer judging. Stevens was also able to secure a printer, who first produced a prototype on transparent stock. Field testing determined that the transparent form wasn't meeting expectations, so other options were considered. Other examples of color guides were evaluated, some provided by BJCP members. These also did not meet our requirements.
While the performance of the prototype color guide did not meet expectations, the design and form factor was very positively received. The method for analyzing the color guides for accuracy against reference color standards was also validated. Subsequent prototypes were produced on white stock using the same design as used on the transparent guides. These examples are now undergoing field testing at locations across the US to determine their usefulness. If it is determined that the samples meet the desired criteria, we will begin production and distribution to the members in 2008.
Rules Committee Report for 2007
by Ed Westemeier
Earlier attempts at updating our operating procedures didn't get far enough, so a comprehensive approach has begun. We are using model guidelines from many other nonprofit organizations as our models, and the plan is to develop a completely updated set of bylaws and a similarly comprehensive set of operating procedures. The goal for a first draft is the end of March, 2008. After review and modification by the board, the goal for publication to the membership is June.
Mead & Cider Committee Report for 2007
by Gordon Strong
Mead and Cider Subcommittees worked this year on the question pool and format of the exams. The Mead Subcommittee is led by Susan Ruud, and includes members from the International Mead Association as subject matter experts. The International Mead Association is jointly sponsoring the mead exam. The Cider Subcommittee is led by Kevin Pratt and includes several subject matter experts who participate in the Cider Digest and who helped in the development of the BJCP Cider Guidelines.
Other members of the Mead Subcommittee include Julia Herz, Petar Bakulic, Ken Schramm, Eric Drake, and Vince Galet. The group met at the International Mead Festival in February, and at the AHA Conference in June. Other members of the Cider Subcommittee include Dick Dunn, Gary Awdey, Drew Zimmerman, and Charles McGonegal. I work with both groups as well.
The exam format for both exams has been set as having seven questions, and judging three beverages. The exam will consist of a two-hour writing period, followed by a 45 minute tasting session. The two sessions will not be mixed. Only the full exam will be administered; no partial exams will be given. Each question and each beverage will be worth 10 points.
The format of the written section of the mead exam has been set as follows:
a. Describe the Mead Judge part of the BJCP program
b. Judging procedures and ethics (15 T/F questions)
- Balance question
- Honey question (varietal mead style question)
- Ingredient question (non-varietal mead style question)
- Identifying/Troubleshooting Mead Characteristics and Faults question
- Style/Process question
- Scenario-based Troubleshooting question
If Q2 is a style-based question, then Q6 should be a process-based question, and vice versa.
The tasting section of the mead exam has been set as follows: judge three meads as in a competition using variants of the standard scoresheets. Include one varietal mead, one melomel and one other mead (one mead from each major BJCP categry). At least one should be flawed and at least one should be a very good example. Avoid the use of open category meads.
An extensive question pool has been created for the mead exam, consisting of several questions in each exam question category. This question pool is currently being field tested. Volunteer BJCP judges are writing answers to selected questions, which are then graded by the Mead Subcommittee. The volunteers are also providing their opinions on the fairness and relevance of each question.
Field tests of the full exam are planned before the exam is officially rolled out. The first such tests may happen as early as January 2008. We are targeting the exam to be completed and ready for initial launch at the AHA Conference in Cincinnati in June 2008. The conference organizers have asked if a mead exam can be scheduled during the event. We are exploring this possibility.
The Cider Subcommittee has not progressed as far as the Mead Subcommittee. However, the Cider Subcommittee is likely to use a similar format as the mead exam for the cider exam. They are currently continuing their discussions about the topics and questions to include.
General program questions such as cost of the exam, creation of the initial grader pool, and establishment of registration processes are still to be worked out. Once the question pool has been validated and the field tests are judged to be successful, we will proceed to publishing the question pool and beginning work on study materials for the exam.
Although the Cider Subcommittee has not completed their question pool, they have worked on training materials and commercial examples. The 2008 version of the BJCP Style Guidelines will feature many more commercial examples of cider styles. Training in Cider Judging is planned for the 2008 AHA Conference in Cincinnati, and will be led by Gary Awdey.
The number of commercial mead examples in the 2008 Style Guidelines were also greatly increased, many based on tastings at the International Mead Festival. Work is also underway to try to secure varietal honey tasting kits or at least detailed descriptions of varietal honeys.
We have budgeted for the production of Mead Judge and Cider Judge pins for 2008. The pins will be similar in design and construction to the existing Recognized and Certified pins. We will place the order once the mead and cider exams are approved for use.
We hope to have the mead exam program operational by Summer 2008. The cider exam program is not as advanced, but we hope to have the program ready by the Fall of 2008, where it can be introduced in conjunction with the many seasonal cider events.
- a. Describe the Mead Judge part of the BJCP program
Legal Committee Report for 2007
by Dave Sapsis
2007 saw the Federal Grand Jury indictment in April of former President and Treasurer William R. Slack, on a charge of Fraud, based on misuse and misappropriation of the program treasury. To date, Mr. Slack's public defender has obtained three continuances, postponing his trial until at least June 3, 2008.
Information Technology Report for 2007
by Gordon Strong
This year we stablized and enhanced our core platforms, while adding incremental functionality. We made some important improvements to our infrastructure, but were constrained by some platform issues and staff availability.
Beer, Beer and More Beer continues to provide outstanding support to the BJCP by providing free web hosting on their server. We have had discussions with MoreBeer about rehosting our web server onto a platform that would allow us to upgrade some of our system software and allow us to install some additional software (wiki, blog, etc.). We will continue to explore hosting agreements this year that will give us more flexibility. We intentionally kept from too much additional implementation until we resolve our long-term hosting solution.
We have looked to expand our IT staff with additional project volunteers. One addition this year started out promising, but the volunteer withdrew due to a personal situation. We continue to look for additional volunteers that might assist with additional enhancement projects.
Jamil Zainasheff continues to provide the web application programming and operations support. The major upgrade this year was to implement sessions as part of the browser environment so that a portal experience could be used. Once you authenticate to the server, your credentials continue to work for all our personalized applications for the duration of your web session. The judge record, address change, badge ordering and voting applications all are tied to this system.
The new Badge Ordering application was implemented to allow members to order a customized nametag. This application has worked very well to date, and we made two badge orders in 2007. The Badge Ordering application ties in with our overall information management goal of keeping email addresses current for all active members.
The CEP Vocabulary application, developed by Alan Hord, was rolled out and continues to be populated with data.
A new mass emailing system (phplist) is being tested, and may be used in the future for group communications. We are trying to improve integration with our other database systems.
We implemented a system to allow exam administrators to use PayPal to transmit their exam fees. This system calculates the correct fees, which has reduced errors and rework for our Treasurer.
Our master database remains in Filemaker, with a mirrored copy placed on the web. Several improvements were made to the Filemaker application to improve our communication processes. For instance, we now have automatic email confirma?ions when exam scores are completed and when promotions are processed. We also have improved our tools for finding missing judge emails as part of competition organizer reports.
We implemented new status codes for judges this year, aligning the terms with the common usage in our other program materials. We added a status code for judges who voluntarily retire from judging but wish to remain in the organization. This complements the status codes we use for resigned judges (those who voluntarily separate from the organization) and deceased judges. Thanks to all who continue to provide status updates on those judges no longer with us.
Additional database reports have been created, including a more detailed analysis of judge demographics, a list of active judges without email addresses, and a list of our master judges.
Our major data entry project for the year was to get all the historical exam data entered. For exams held before 1996, only partial information was in the database. We went through our old files to enter all the individual section scores, which actually resulted in several promotions. This also has improved our historical statistics and demographic reports.
Objectives for the coming year are similar to past years; we are continuing to migrate away from our Filemaker-based database to having a more web-based solution. We still hope to have an exam registration, administration and management system developed. We are considering putting the BJCP Style Guidelines into a web-based database that could be used as a web service. We look for additional applications to put on the web, especially those that provide additional member services. Operating and maintaining our existing systems takes a fair amount of our time. We do reserve some of our time to support emerging needs identified by the BJCP Board and other directorates.
Communication Report for 2007
by Ed Westemeier
The website continues to be updated and improved.
The Forums continue to be spam-free and useful.
Member requests for lost passwords, etc. are handled promptly.
We handled 19 requests for various sorts of licensing arrangements related to our style guidelines, under our copyright permissions policy. All were resolved successfully, one way or another.