What's new with the BJCP?
At present, we have one official means of communicating with our members.
That is right here our website. If you see it here, it's offical BJCP information. If you see it elsewhere, it may or may not be accurate. We hope to use direct email more in the future, but we're still working out all the issues involved in protecting your email address from potential spam.
There are other good sources of information as well, the BJCP Forums and JudgeNet Digest. The BJCP Forums are designed for member-to-member communication, but you'll often find BJCP officers posting and replying to posts on the forums. JudgeNet is an email list that has been a great source of judge-to-judge communication for many years, and the link above will take you to information about subscribing.
Proposed Bylaw Changes
Since the BJCP eliminated the Program Administrator role and introduced various electronic methods for business, the Bylaws have been increasingly outdated. Several efforts were made over the years to bring them current, but unfortunately none of these were completed until a new effort this year finished the job.The proposed Bylaws were completely rewritten following best practices for non-profit organizations, and more directly referencing controlling legal documents. These changes also incorporate many suggestions from members, such as providing more detailed descriptions of offices and jobs, clarifying procedures for how people are added and removed from jobs, removing technologically-outdated procedures, and establishing easier processes for changing rules that are more appropriately defined through policy.
Some of the more significant changes include (1) updating the mission statement (Article 1, section 5) to be more understandable and reflect the broader mission we are now pursuing; (2) clarifying membership criteria for the organization, specifically identifying that only those who pass an exam are voting members of the organization (Article 2, Section 1); and (3) introducing criteria for elected representatives (Article 3, Section 5).
Per the provisions of current bylaws (7.1), the full proposal of the proposed bylaws are posted for the membership to review. A board vote will be taken on or after January 11, 2014.
Update: An updated copy of the proposed bylaws has been posted. It was revised based on member suggestions. Specific revisions include: (1) fixing a few typos; (2) adding a non-discrimination section (II, 7); (3) adding more specifics to the indemnification article (X); (4) lengthening the time to review amendments from 1 week to 2 weeks (XI); (5) removing the requirement to have an odd number of regions and to specify conditions for regional readjustment (III, 2); (6) based on #5, updating sections on quorums, voting, and tiebreakers (VII, 3-4).
¡Bienvenidos al BJCP, Chilenos!
BJCP President Gordon Strong and former BJCP Education Director Kristen England administered the first BJCP exam in Chile to seven eager participants. Local logistics were organized by Ricardo Solis as part of the events surrounding the Chile Beer Cup competition and conference.
Hard at work during the exam
Chile now joins Argentina and Brazil as South American countries that have held BJCP exams and are sanctioning local competitions under BJCP rules. Local participants took the online exam and tasting exam in Spanish.
BJCP Election Results
The winners of the 2013 regional elections are Ali Kocho-Williams (Northeast), Al Boyce (North, incumbent), and Ryan Thomas (Mountain/Northwest). Full details are on the Election Center page.
NHC 2nd Round Judging
Registration is open for 2nd round judging at the NHC. Attendance at the conference is not required to judge. Lots of judges are needed; however, if over-subscribed, preference will be given to judges with higher BJCP ranks.
BJCP Reception at NHC
Registration is now open for the BJCP Reception at the NHC. Please see the Reception page for details. Registration is through our online system.
Tom Fitzpatrick, 1959 - 2013
The BJCP is deeply saddened to hear of the sudden and unexpected passing of Tom Fitzpatrick of Batavia, IL. Tom was a Grand Master judge, NHC medalist, and the BJCP's first Competition Director. He helped create the first set of BJCP-branded materials, including the style guidelines and scoresheet. Tom continued to be active in the BJCP, volunteering as an exam grader and helping with style research, as well as mentoring new judges. The BJCP is a better organization because of Tom's work.
Even as we remember Tom's accomplishments, we really remember him as a genuinely nice guy and someone you'd want to enjoy a beer with. So while keeping Tom and his wife Luann in your thoughts and prayers, please raise a pint to Tom (he would have enjoyed an altbier or dunkel) and remember him the way he would have wanted – as a fellow beer lover, brewer, and friend. We'll miss you, pal.
Exam Program Update
Well over 1000 online exams have been given since the program started in April 2012. The new format tasting exam continues to be well received, and passing rates are high. All legacy exams were closed last year. The new format exam has reduced the average grading time from about 150 days to about 100 days. While this is greatly improved, the turnaround time needs to be reduced to about 60 days before current exam quotas can be relaxed. The exam program is adding more staff, and looking at ways of speeding up the grading process. Performance metrics are being tracked, and the exam program is regularly reviewed. More graders are still needed; if you are a National-level or higher ranked judge, please consider helping us out.
Elections will be held this year for regional representatives in the North, Northeast and Mountain/Northwest regions. Nominations are now being accepted by the Election Committee. Please see our Election Center page for the full details.
Interested in volunteering to help with BJCP projects? We could use help in the following areas:
- Cider Exam Committee — Subject matter experts needed to devise the exam format and questions for a Cider Judge Exam, similar to the existing Mead Judge Exam, and to prepare a study guide. Cider-making and judging experience required. Contact Dave Houseman if interested.
- Web Software Administrator — Technical experts needed install, configure, and maintain web software applications for the BJCP web site, including migrating and rehosting of data. Administration of content not required; this is a technical job. Specific expertise in MediaWiki, phpBB, mySQL and PHP required. Contact Gordon Strong if interested.
- BJCP Exam Graders — National- or higher-ranking judges are needed to help grade the increased volume of BJCP exams. Experienced lead graders are encouraged to volunteer. Contact the Exam Directors if interested. Correction: Graders must be National or higher, not just have an 80 on the Tasting exam.
Betty Ann Sather, 1952 - 2012
The BJCP is greatly saddened to hear of the death of Betty Ann Sather of Westmoreland, NH. Betty Ann was the first female Grand Master judge in the BJCP, and was co-author of the New England Homebrew Guidelines, a forerunner of the modern BJCP Style Guidelines. She joined the BJCP in 1990, and was an active exam grader and administrator during the early and middle 1990s.
Betty Ann was an avid home winemaker and brewer, and greatly helped the BJCP develop during its formative years and its transition to an independent organization. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends, in particular her husband, BJCP co-founder Pat Baker.
Portuguese Style Guidelines
For our Brazilian judges, we have posted a translation of the BJCP Style Guidelines in Portuguese on our International Resources page. Thanks to Humberto Fröhlich and his team. P.S., they're also helping translate the new exam questions; stay tuned...
The new online exam is going well. Over 100 people have taken the online course so far, with a passing rate in the 70-75% range, which is comparable to the legacy exam. Reminder to all examinees – this is a difficult exam, be sure you have studied well before attempting it.
There will be future announcements about BJCP activities at the Seattle NHC this year. The BJCP Judge Reception will be Wednesday, June 20, from 2-5pm (same schedule as last year). Signup for pre-conference activities is open, so many have asked about our intentions. We realize there will be multiple events going on, but that's the nature of the conference in general.
A new Spanish translation of the BJCP style guidelines has been posted. We are also looking at translating the new online exam into Spanish and Portuguese. We hope to have these finished before the planned South American exams this year.
Exam Program Status Update
The new exam program is heading towards implementation. The question pool for the new online exam is complete, a testing provider has been selected, a sample test has been successfully piloted internally, and a payment system has been established. The BJCP Board unanimously approved the exam plan, providing funding for implementation and authorizing an external pilot test. Once this test is complete and any changes made, the board will review the test results and the final recommended plan before approving the new program.
Implementation of the new system is planned for April 2012. Full details of the new program will be released when the final details are set. A new online exam will be used for new examinees, and new (shorter) written and (longer) tasting exams will be launched at the same time. The full suite of exam documents will be revised. The exams will cover the same subject material as today.
Expect another update in March when the pilot is complete and the final program details are settled. The exam team is working hard towards completion; we want this done as much as you do.
100th Master Judge
The BJCP has reached an important membership milestone. Brian Schar of Menlo Park, CA recently became the 100th judge to reach Master level since the program began. See the full list of Master judges for others in this distinguished category.
Help Wanted: Education Director
Kristen England, our Education Director, has resigned to focus more time on a professional brewing endeavor. The BJCP is seeking a qualified replacement to lead education and training activities. The prospective candidate should be a National or higher ranked judge, and have available time and interest to do the job. We are asking that candidates develop a three-year plan for the program and send the information to the Education Director for review. The BJCP board will make the final selection.
You will be able to create staff positions and have control of a budget for eductional development. There are some ongoing administrative tasks that must be done, but most of the work is focused on new projects and programs. Don't feel constrained by what has been attempted before. We are willing to have an arbitrarily large educational staff if they have work to do and someone to manage the effort.
Want to Judge in the UK?
If any judges are in the UK on September 3rd, please help out the UK National Homebrew Competition. For the first time, the UK National will run under BJCP rules and this is the first open BJCP competition to be held in the UK. The number of BJCP judges in the UK is still relatively small (but all passed the first exam held earlier this year – congrats, mates!) but many are interested in learning. If you can help out, contact organizer Ali Kocho-Williams.
New Embroidered Merchandise Now Available
Through a competitive process, the BJCP has selected Budd Bay Promotions & Apparel as our new supplier of BJCP-logo embroidered goods. Please check out the new online store.
Elections are complete and the results have been certified. Incumbents won in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. The South and West regions were uncontested. Please see our Election Center page for the full details.
AHA NHC Activities
Judges, sign up to judge in the second round. Preference will be given by BJCP rank.
Ant Hayes, 1970 - 2011
The BJCP is stunned and saddened to hear of the untimely death of Antony (Ant) Hayes of Kent, UK. Ant was instrumental in organizing the initial BJCP exams in both South Africa and the UK. He achieved a National-level score on his first attempt, and has since been an ambassador for the BJCP to judging and beer organizations in Europe. He gave excellent presentations on traditional English beer styles at two AHA NHC conferences, and helped us better understand the London brown ale style at the BJCP judge reception at the NHC in Cincinnati.
We remember Ant as a wonderful brewer, judge, and friend, someone who wanted to bring the methods of the BJCP to new places, and to bring better knowledge of world beer styles back to us. While his work was incomplete, his memory provides an inspiration for us to reach harder towards these goals. Cheers to you, mate, we'll miss you.
Please lift a toast to Ant, and consider brewing a proper English session beer in his honor. His widow has specified a charity if you wish to make a donation.
New Exam Program Announced
The BJCP Board, with full support of the Exam Directors, unaminously approved a new structure for the BJCP Exam Program. The key feature of the new program is a new introductory exam, which will allow new members to quickly become qualified as judges. Changes to existing exams will also be made. Full details are in the approved proposal.
The current program remains in effect until the new exam question pool is complete, and the new format field tested. We expect this project to take at least until the end of 2011 to finish, but it has advanced far enough to be formally announced. More information will be released as the project completes internal milestones.
This is an informational announcement only. Current and prospective judges should continue interacting with the exam program under existing rules and procedures until the new program is formally launched.
First BJCP Exam Held in Europe
The first BJCP exam to be held in Europe took place at the International Wine & Spirit Centre in London on January 29th. Seven Brits and one Italian took the exam, organized by BJCP judge Antony Hayes. The proctors were Tom and Colleen Cannon of the BJCP, and Geoff Cooper of the National Guild of Wine and Beer Judges. The BJCP has yet to get an active foothold in Europe, and it is hoped that this exam will be the first of many.
The Examinees and Proctors Relax after the Exam
The UK now joins Argentina, South Africa and Australia as non-North American countries that have held BJCP exams and are sanctioning local competitions under BJCP rules. We have members in several more countries, and have sanctioned competitions in other parts of the world. This report shows BJCP activity by country, including active judges, competitions held, and exams given.
Embroidered Merchandise Temporarily Unavailable
Our long-time supplier for BJCP shirts, Bob N Weave, has discontinued operations. We are currently searching for a new supplier (please send any recommendations to your regional representative). Until we have a new supplier, embroidered shirts and hats will not be available. The BJCP thanks Bob N Weave for years of great service.
First BJCP-Sanctioned Competition Held in Europe
The first BJCP-sanctioned competition in Europe took place in London on July 5th. The purpose of the competition was to select the London Amateur Brewers (LAB) club entry to the Craft Brewing Association Nationals, which will take place in September. Daniel Harrison, the current LAB chairman, organised the competition. The judging was lead by Antony Hayes. Antony is organising the first European BJCP exam, to be held in January 2011 in London. Although England and Wales have a local judging association, the National Guild of Wine and Beer Judges, interest in the BJCP is growing rapidly, particularly amongst younger brewers.
This means the BJCP has now sanctioned competitions on every continent except Antarctica. Eisbock, anyone?
BJCP Election Results
The winners of the 2010 regional representative elections are:
Scott Bickham, with 67% of the total vote in the region.
Voter turnout was 15% of the region's active members.
Ted Hausotter (incumbent) was unopposed and is re-elected.
Al Boyce (incumbent) was unopposed and is re-elected.
The winners will officially take office June 1, 2010.
Our thanks have also been expressed to Nathan McNutt for showing exceptional initiative and interest in the program.
Elections will be held this year for regional representatives in the North, Northeast and Mountain/Northwest regions. Nominations are now being accepted by the Election Committee. Please see our Election Center page for the full details.
¡Bienvenidos al BJCP, Argentina!
The first BJCP exam in South America was given on September 26th at the Antares Brew Pub in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nineteen people (18 from Argentina and one from Uruguay) sat for the exam, which was administered by vacationing BJCP Exam Director Steve Piatz. The exam was given in English with Spanish translations provided by BJCP member Joaquin Quiroz, Jr. Three examinees wrote the exam in Spanish, and then paid for an official third-party translation into English for grading purposes; the rest wrote the exam in English.
Taking advantage of the generous hospitality, Steve also gave a talk about the BJCP and beer judging to a packed lecture hall during a symposium at the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional and later conducted a doctored beer session using the BJCP Flavor Kit. Steve also attended a "big brew session" that include a lecture on yeast by Marcelo G. Cerdán of Fermentis along with many kegs of homebrew.
The Examinees and Proctors Relax at the Antares Brewpub after the Exam Front Row: Martín Boan (exam proctor, co-owner micromaltery BA-Malt SA), Agustín Ortiz (brewmaster, Gulmen), Daniel Llinas, Emilio Ghirardi (brewmaster, La Cruz).
Second Row: Demian Caral, Gabriel Castelnuovo, Carolina Pérez (exam organizer, co-owner BA-Malt SA, Mariana López (brewmaster, Davok), Carla Caputo (exam administrator), Lucas Lico, Leo Ferrari (owner/brewmaster, Antares).
Third Row: Alejandro Baldenegro (assistant exam administrator), Diego Perrotta (brewmaster, Zeppelin), Steve Piatz (Exam Director, proctor), Gustavo Velazquez, Ricardo Aparicio, Diego Castro, Dario Letzen, Gabriel Reynoso.
Back Row: Marcos Ragoni, Ricardo Aftyka, Javier Scherer.
Not Shown: Eduardo Díaz (owner, Imayki Bar)
Homebrewers are members of the Somos Cerveceros and Cerveceros Caseros clubs.
Photo by Janis Sines.
Argentina now joins South Africa and Australia as non-North American countries that have held BJCP exams and are sanctioning local competitions under BJCP rules. We have members in several more countries, and have sanctioned competitions in other parts of the world. This report shows BJCP activity by country, including active judges, competitions held, and exams given.
Greg Noonan, 1951-2009
The BJCP is deeply saddened to learn the news of the passing of Greg Noonan. Greg was the owner and brewmaster at Vermont Pub and Brewery for more than 20 years, author of "New Brewing Lager Beer", "Scotch Ale" and the "Seven Barrel Brewery Brewer's Handbook", and a BJCP National Judge since 1986. His books remain essential references for beer judges and brewers years after their publication. He taught many people the fundamentals of water chemistry, decoction mashing, and countless other topics.
Aside from his contributions to the body of knowledge of brewing, Greg was an excellent brewer who won many medals at the GABF, WBC, IBF and other prestigious competitions. His Scotch Ale and Smoked Porter remain classic examples. He was honored by both the craft brewing and home brewing communities with the 1997 AHA Governing Committee Recognition Award and the 2005 Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing.
Please lift a toast to Greg, and consider brewing a lager or a Scotch Ale in his honor.
New Exam Limitations
The Exam Directors have instituted a new rule for exams. Starting in 2010, the number of examinees that can take the exam at a single site is limited to 20. Note that this applies to all exams (beer and mead). The limitation of 5 exam sites per month remains in effect. The change was made because large sites place great strain on the exam graders, and the time it takes to close out large exams has become unacceptable.
Some people have asked about how the website is updated since our full-time webmaster resigned. Web updates are now handled by the IT staff, and occur when a staff member requests or provides updated information. The revision date on the main page is updated when new front-page stories are added, or when major updates to the website are made. Many other pages now have individual revision dates showing when they have changed. Minor changes don't trigger a change on the main page. Calendars and judge records have their own change dates, and are regularly updated. Some additional statistics are now shown in the main page header. Following are some additional changes that have been made in the past few months:
- The Beer Exam Study Guide has been updated to correct several reported errors, and to bring it in agreement with materials developed for the Mead Judge program. Thanks to David Teckam for identifying many of the errors.
- Some competition forms have been updated, including the standard scoresheets. The sheets now have a "Rank Pending" checkbox for those judges who have taken the exam but not received results. The Mead Judge rank is also on the sheet. Cover sheets have a "this beer advanced to mini-BOS" checkbox, which is helpful in large competitions. Competition organizers are encouraged to download fresh materials each time they run a competition.
- Instructions on using the Queued Judging technique have been posted to the Competition Center. This is a method for handling multi-flight categories in larger competitions, and has been used at the NHC since 2008.
- The BJCP has accepted a partnership link with the AHA (on the top of this page). Those joining or renewing AHA memberships using this link will be supporting the BJCP. The BJCP isn't soliciting advertisements, but looks for opportunities to support business partners.
- The Database Reports have been updated to show statistics for only those exams and competitions that have been closed (i.e., exam results posted, and competition organizer's reports received). The main BJCP web page now shows numbers of registered exams and competitions. This change corrects statistics for those exams and competitions with pending results.
2008 Exams Closed
All 2008 Exams have finally been closed out and results returned to examinees. Final statistics for 2008 Exams are now posted. 2008 was almost as busy as the record-setting 2007, but 2009 is on pace to smash records for both the number of exams given and the total examinees. The good news is that the exam scores seem to be the highest of the last four years. 2008 was our busiest competition year ever by a wide margin.
BJCP Member Milestone
David Williamson of Xenia, Ohio is the 5000th person to take the BJCP exam. We reached 4000 on November 24, 2006, 3000 on August 16, 2002, 2000 on May 24, 1997, and 1000 on May 31, 1990. One thousand new members in a two and a half years. Anyone wonder why the exam program is stressed? If you're a National or higher ranked judge, please consider volunteering to grade exams.
2009 AHA NHC Judge Reception is now CLOSED
Full details are listed on the reception page. Please wear your BJCP badge.
Total registration is 119 judges and 49 guests.
AHA NHC 2nd Round Judge Registration is now CLOSED
Judge registration for the 2nd round of the AHA National Homebrew Competition has closed. Judges will be getting a confirmation email and some paper to fill out shortly. More details to follow. See you in Oakland! Remember to bring your rank pin and BJCP badge.
BJCP Member's Meeting
Once again the BJCP staff will host a member's meeting at the AHA NHC. If you are attending the conference, please plan on attending. The meeting will be 5:15pm to 6:15pm on Saturday June 20th before the Grand Banquet.
Anyone have a Google Android phone? How about an Amazon Kindle? Two different application developers have ported the BJCP Style Guidelines to these platforms and are looking for BJCP judges to test them. If you have one of these devices and want to evaluate the application for us, please contact the IT Director and we'll get you in touch with the developers.
Beer Flavor Training Kits Out of Stock
We have run through our stock of Beer Flavor Training Kits and are in the process of ordering more. We are looking at a new domestic supplier who can better handle the needs of the BJCP. More will be announced when the supplies are in stock. We apologize for any impact this may have on upcoming exam prep courses.
First BJCP Mead Judges Named
The results of the pilot BJCP Mead Exam are in, and all who took it passed. Congratulations to the first BJCP Mead Judges:
- Al Boyce
- Jonathan Crist
- Gera Exire LaTour
- Joel Stitzel
- Curt Stock
- Gordon Strong
The results are being analyzed, and adjustments are being made to the program and question pool. Work on the Study Guide continues. Once the final adjustments are made, the program will be formally launched and new exams may be scheduled.
New BJCP Staff Appointments
The board has approved the following staff appointments:
- Scott Bickham as a new Exam Director.
- Kevin Pratt as a new Associate Exam Director.
- Fred Bonjour as Assistant CEP Director, replacing Kevin Pratt.
Style Guidelines on the iPhone
Do you have an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch? Download the free BJCP Styles application (or go to the App Store in your iPhone and search for "BJCP"). This application was written by future judge Joshua Baran.
The XML Style Guidelines have been updated recently to correct a few minor errors found during the development of this application.
Guilty Plea in BJCP Fraud Case
Former BJCP President and Treasurer William R. Slack entered into a Plea Agreement which was accepted by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire on September 2, 2008, one day before his scheduled trial. In the plea agreement, Mr. Slack agrees to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud for his role in a scheme to defraud the BJCP of between $30,000 and $70,000. The Court has scheduled a sentencing hearing on December 16, 2008 at 10:30am at the Federal Courthouse in Concord, NH.
Although the wheels of justice have turned slowly, they do continue to turn. This process will not be complete until the sentencing hearing is concluded. We will withhold further comment on this matter until all the legal proceedings are finished. Then we will make a final report to our membership, as well as thank those whose diligent effort over many years led us to this day.
Exam Program Updates
Several of the documents associated with the BJCP Beer Judge Exam have been updated based on comments from graders. The files changed are the exam scoresheet, exam preamble, proctor scoresheet and exam admin instructions. The updates are minor, but if you plan to administer, study for, take, or grade any exams in the near future, we encourage you to download the necessary documents in the Exam Center.
The staff role of Exam Administrator (meaning the person who processes exam results and promotions) has been renamed Assistant Exam Director. Susan Ruud continues to hold this position. This change is to avoid confusion with the exam role of exam administrator (meaning the person who administers an individual BJCP exam).
Exams Closed Through December
Due to a huge exam planned for San Diego (45 examinees), the Exam Directors have closed registration for further exams in December. The exam program is likely to be stressed with the record turnout. We need experienced exam graders to volunteer to help clear an exam this size. Contact one of the Exam Directors listed on our Officers page.
Update (Sept 2008): Space was not available for all 80+ original examinees, so the test has been scaled back to 45. January exams are reopened, but December remains closed.
The board has approved the following staff appointments:
- Mike Dixon as Communication Director, replacing Ed Westemeier.
- Joe Gerteis as Assistant CEP Director, replacing Mike Heniff.
- Charlie Gow as a new Associate Exam Director.
These and all other staff positions can be found on our officers page. The positions of Assistant Communication Director and Webmaster are currently vacant, but candidates are being interviewed.
First Mead Exam Given
The first BJCP Mead Exam was given on August 3rd in St. Paul, MN as part of the Mead Day weekend celebration. The exam was co-administered by BJCP Exam Director (West) Steve Piatz and BJCP Mead Subcommittee Chairman Susan Ruud. Six examinees took this pilot test. Want to see the actual exam? We have it listed on the Mead Resources Page as the Sample Exam.
We had hoped to give the first exam at the AHA NHC in Cincinnati, but the grading support was not yet in place. This first exam will allow us to pilot test the full exam and the grading program. Revisions may still be made to the exam based on the results of this test. We are using a larger team of graders on the initial exam to allow more graders to get experience with this exam.
Additional mead exams will not be scheduled until the results of the pilot test are assessed and any adjustments made to the exam and program. In the meantime, the Exam Subcommittee is working on the Mead Study Guide. More information will be announced when the exam is closed and the results are known.
Some technical changes have been made to the BJCP Website. We've converted most pages to use PHP rather than HTML, which will allow us to better maintain the consistency between pages and also allow us to add more dynamic content later. If you have bookmarks to individual pages, they will likely break. Try changing the extension from ".html" to ".php" and see if that works. Otherwise, start here and navigate to the new page and update your bookmarks. If you notice anything really broken, let us know.
Update (Sept 2008): The conversion is complete. Old files have been removed. Many documents are now in the 'docs' subdirectory. Check any links you have to materials within the website; they are likely in need of revision.
Thanks to Joe Dougherty for initiating this change. After completing this project, Joe stepped down as webmaster. We are searching for a replacement. During this time, updates to the website might occur less frequently as they have over the last month.
Communication/Website Volunteers ???
We're losing our longtime Communication Director, who will be taking a rest from his duties, so anyone interested in replacing him (in any or all of his duties) is cordially invited to step up to the plate. Joe Dougherty is already starting to help out with the website, but more help is always welcome. We prefer a National or higher level judge who is willing to put in some significant time on the job. You can take a look at the job descriptions for Communication Director and Webmaster on the Officers page to get an idea of what is involved.
If you're interested, please contact Gordon to let him know your qualifications and what you would like to accomplish for the program.
AHA NHC Update
You can now download the presentations given at the judge reception. Links for the presentations are located with their corresponding speaker on the agenda.
All the experience points from the NHC have now been awarded, so check your record for judging and CEP points. If you think anything is missing, let Gordon know about it.
XML Style Guidelines
An XML version of the 2008 style guidelines has been contributed by Greg LaPolla. It can be downloaded from the Style Center page.
Cider Judge Training Grant Approved
The BJCP Grant Committee has approved a $390 grant for Gary Awdey of Eden, NY to cover unreimbursed costs associated with supplying cider training kits to several AHA NHC first round judging sites.
Gary has also personally provided this cider judge training to two groups of judges, one in Minneapolis and one in Virginia. This is the first year that cider has been judged in regional sites as part of the AHA National Homebrew Competition. On his own initiative, Gary developed a short training course for cider judges, procured commercial and homemade examples, and provided supplies to three judging regions. Those attending the training sessions received CEP credit. This grant recognizes the value of those training kits to BJCP judges.
Another Grand Master
Congratulations to Kevin Pratt (California) on achieving Grand Master judge rank. Remarkable — he just made Master last month, now he's a Grand Master already. You'd think he was an active exam grader or something.
Second Round Judging
The AHA NHC Second Round judge registration is closed. We have more volunteers than we need, and judging assignments are now being made based on BJCP rank. There may be a need for some of the volunteers to act as stewards, which will still offer some experience point credit. All judging will take place on Thursday, June 19th. There are also still some spaces available in the exam, which will be given during the morning judging session.
BJCP Officers Election
The BJCP Board of Directors has held their required annual election of officers. Gordon Strong and Al Boyce were reelected President and Treasurer, respectively, and Joe Formanek is the new Vice President, replacing Dave Sapsis who has retired from the board.
Study Guide Revised
A few small, but significant changes have been made in the BJCP Exam Study Guide, in an effort to clarify some points that were occasionally misinterpreted by examinees. In particular, the Guide now contains a full version of the first (BJCP) question on the exam, including the complete pool of true/false questions in that section. We feel fairly certain that anyone with an intelligence level above that of Saccharomyces should be able to obtain a passing score on this question, although we have been proven wrong before. Some minor wording changes were also made throughout.
Regional representatives elected
The winners of the 2008 regional rep elections are:
Gordon Strong (incumbent), with 83% of the total vote in the region.
Voter turnout was 45% of the region's active members.
Joe Formanek (incumbent), with 82% of the total vote in the region.
Voter turnout was 30% of the region's active members.
South (no incumbent running):
Phil Farrell, with 61% of the total vote in the region.
Voter turnout was 34% of the region's active members.
West (no incumbent running):
Jamil Zainasheff, with 57% of the total vote in the region.
Voter turnout was 42% of the region's active members.
The winners will officially take office June 1, 2008.
Our thanks have also been expressed to Lyle Brown, Pancho Luna, Mike Dixon, Jeff Glovan, and David Teckam for showing exceptional initiative and interest in the program.
Sign up now for the BJCP Reception at NHC
Planning for the BJCP Reception, Wednesday evening at the National Homebrew Conference in Cincinnati is complete. All the details are on the registration page. You definitely want to take advantage of this opportunity if you'll be attending, judging, or even just visiting Cincinnati. This will also be great fun, and is again being subsidized by the BJCP, but attendance is limited and strictly by reservation. You'll need your BJCP ID and password to register for the reception, so while you're there, consider ordering a name badge and voting for your regional representative.
There were 150 judge reservations offered, and 50 guest reservations, as of April 12th.
As of right now, only 15 judge slots and 3 guest slots are still available.
Do it now or miss out!
Please note: Guest spaces can ONLY be reserved at the same time as a judge reservation.
By the way, you should know that the conference is nearly sold out already. There are still a few tickets left for the Thursday Pro-Brewers Night and Friday Club Night, but they are going fast. The seminars, keynote, and banquet have all long since been sold out. Based on registrations already made, this will be by far the largest NHC ever!
Exam materials updated
Many of the documents associated with the BJCP Beer Judge Exam have been updated. The updates are minor, but if you plan to administer, study for, take, or grade any exams in the near future, we encourage you to download the necessary documents in the Exam Center.
More senior judges recognized
Congratulations to Paul Dickey (Ontario) and David Teckam (California) on achieving Grand Master judge rank. Also, congratulations to Kevin Pratt (California), our newest Master judge.
Upgraded forum software
The BJCP Forums have been upgraded (thanks, Jamil) to the newest version of the phpBB software. We're confident that this will eliminate the various little bugs that have crept into the forums over time, and provide a better user experience.
BJCP Board Elections in April
Four of the seven BJCP geographical regions will elect their regional representatives on the Board of Directors next month. The online voting section will be available throughout the month of April. More information can be found at the Election Center page.
Update: As of March 24, the candidate statements are available for review (from the Election Center). Voting will begin April 1st.
New Limit on Exam Scheduling
Due to the significant growth in requests to schedule the BJCP Beer Judge Examination, we have had to impose a scheduling limit of no more than five exams per month. The reason is simply that we don't have enough volunteer exam graders to provide a reasonable turnaround time at present.
But you can help! If you are a National judge or higher (or a Certified judge with a score of 80 or better on the essay portion and some relevant experience), please contact the Exam Directors to volunteer as an exam grader.
BJCP Annual Report for 2007 Published
The BJCP officers have put together the annual report covering most of our activities for the last year. We encourage all members to read it and become aware of what's going on in our program.
Beer Flavor Training Kits
One of the original goals of our Continuing Education Program (CEP) was to provide new resources to help people prepare for the BJCP Beer Judge Exam. After a lot of work by our CEP team, we are delighted to announce (January 2008) the immediate availability of a beer flavor training kit.
These are custom kits, made up to our specifications by the FlavorActiV company, the world's largest provider of beer flavor training services and products.
Please check the CEP section for more information.
Election Time Again
The seven members of the BJCP Board of Directors, also known as Regional Representatives, are elected to three-year terms on an alternating schedule.
Now we are getting ready to hold elections for four of the seven Regional Reps, in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, South, and West regions. That means about 57% of our active members have the opportunity to choose their representative for the next three years.
Information on the candidates is available in the Election Center.
If you'd like to play a part in the future direction of the BJCP, now is the time to step up. In short, you need to declare your candidacy by the end of January, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and having five other active judges in your region send an email with their name and BJCP number to the same address supporting your nomination.
Please Help Us Award Your Points!
Most of the time, competition organizers do a great job of submitting their reports, which are what we use to apply your experience point credit in our database. But as this year draws to a close, we have a much larger group of delinquent reports than usual.
If you participated in a competition but haven't seen your points recorded after a reasonable time (a couple of months), please contact the organizer (we've tried without success) and ask for the competition report to be submitted. You can find more details and the most current list of delinquent competitions HERE.
The first full batch of the new BJCP pins for National, Master, and Grand Master ranks has been completed, and should be received within about a week by everyone who has been waiting for one.
The top photo here shows the original pins from our original manufacturer. These were hand made, and quite expensive. The lower photo shows the new pins, which cost us only a fraction of the originals.
It took a long time and a lot of effort to come up with a manufacturer who could produce pins of equivalent quality (Thanks, Russ!) but we feel these new pins are at least as good looking as the older ones. The other nice thing about this effort is that in future, everyone who earns one of these ranks will be able to receive the appropriate pin right away, instead of going on a backorder list.
The first group of BJCP name badges have mostly been received by those who ordered them (before November). Feedback has been very positive so far.
Name badges ordered in November are being made now, and should be received before the end of this month. A total of 570 name badges were ordered as of December 1st. If you haven't ordered one yet, just use the "Order a name badge" link in the navigation bar. They are completely free to BJCP members, and we will continue ordering them in batches, with the frequency depending on the demand.
Our most recent promotion to Master Beer Judge went to Jim Wilson, of Redondo Beach, California. Jim is the 71st person to earn the hardest rank in the program, and is also an active exam grader. As Gordon Strong commented, "coincidence? I think not." Congratulations, Jim!
The first set of the new BJCP name badges is being manufactured now. If you signed up for one, you should be receiving it within the next 60 days. Remember, the only cost to you is the effort to update your postal and email addresses.
About one out of four active judges ordered a badge in this first batch. Once they start showing up at competitions, there will probably be a lot of "Where did you get that?" conversations, but you can get in on the second batch of badges by ordering now. Just look over there in the navigation sidebar and click "Order a name badge."
We also received the first batch of the new National and Master pins. These had been backordered, but they are already being received by the 40 National and 4 Master judges who have been expecting them for a long time. One of the prototype GM pins was given to Exam Co-Director Steve Piatz, who has been waiting so long for his that he reached Grand Master II level before receiving a pin!
Another label template (MS Word format) is available, if you'd like to print your name labels for scoresheets with the BJCP logo on them. The links to these and other goodies are in the Competition Center.
Congratulations go to Rick Garvin of McLean, VA, one of the longest-serving judges in the program (since 1987!). Rick is the 70th person to earn the hardest rank in the program, Master Judge. Rick was an associate exam director in the early days of the program, and is currently an exam grader.
Judges know the drill: Arrive at a competition, find the registration table, then get one of those stick-on nametags and wait until the marker pen is available so you can scrawl your name and be recognized as a participant.
As a new service to members, the BJCP is making available a good-looking permanent name badge, absolutely free. We will have them custom-made for you and mailed to your home address. See the badge ordering page for details.
Another continuance has been granted to Bill Slack. See below.
The BJCP Board has voted to allocate $2,500 out of reserves to fund a judge reception at the 2008 NHC. This is in response to the item two paragraphs below (↓). Similar in nature to what was done in Denver this year, the event will feature two judge training events. BJCP judges who are attending the conference and judging in the competition will be admitted for free (on a first come, first served basis as long as this budget holds out).
Reaction is still coming in to the experimental checklist scoresheets used at several "second round" competitions this year. An article about them appeared in Southeast Brewing News, by Cristina and Chris Collier. You can find the text here.
Most of the judges at the AHA National Homebrew Conference in Denver showed up for a Wednesday evening reception and training session at Wynkoop, and it seemed to go pretty well. The BJCP Board is currently considering a proposal to make these pre-NHC training events an annual feature. Please contact your regional representative if you have any comments or suggestions.
Chris Wright has produced a Beer Journal designed to record your beer tasting adventures. We mention it here because it makes good use of our style guidelines. You can click the link to see a preview of the book, and you can email us with your name and BJCP number to get a link for a discounted price.
The man who was the inspiration for so many beer judges, as well as everyone else who appreciates real beer, passed away August 30, 2007.
CEP Credit at NHC
Responding to some recent questions, every BJCP member we could identify who attended the AHA National Homebrewers Conference in Denver this year was automatically awarded two CEP points based on the assumption that all attended the sessions that were eligible.
Our Continuing Education Program team has its first newsletter, along with some new example programs. Check the CEP section of the website.
BJCP Officers Elected (June 2007)
The seven Regional Representatives have elected, from among themselves according to the bylaws, our three statutory officers for the coming 12 months. The new officers will be the same ones we have had for the past year:
- President: Gordon Strong
- Vice President: Dave Sapsis
- Treasurer: Al Boyce
BJCP at the AHA NHC (May 2007)
We're expecting a great crowd for the American Homebrewers Association National Homebrewers Conference in Denver, June 21-23, 2007. As of this update, it looks like the following BJCP folks will be attending:
- Regional Reps: Gordon Strong, Joe Formanek, Ted Hausotter
- Former Regional Reps: John Watson, Mike Hall
- Competition Director: Dave Houseman
- Assistant IT Director: Jamil Zainasheff
- Exam Director: Steve Piatz
- Exam Administrator: Susan Ruud
- Associate Exam Director: Beth Zangari
- Exam Committee Chair: John Tull
- Continuing Education Director/Assistants: Kris England, Kevin Pratt, Mike Heniff
- Communication Director: Ed Westemeier
If you're planning to attend, this will be a great opportunity to buttonhole any of us and let us know what we're doing wrong (or even right!).
We'll all be at the Judge & Steward Reception at Wynkoop Wednesday evening (hint: there are CEP points for the seminars there). Thursday we'll be (guess what?) judging from 8 am to 5 pm. And we'll all be at the BJCP meeting at 4:15 pm Saturday.
UPDATE: Despite a large turnout at the BJCP meeting Saturday, none of the officers attending were lynched. Can it be possible that we're doing fewer things wrong lately?
Congratulations, Beth Zangari and Mark Stober (May 2007)
Beth Zangari, of Placerville, California, has just become our 22nd Grand Master Beer Judge.Mark Stober, of Lutz, Florida, has just become our 69th Master Beer Judge.
Website Help Wanted (May 2007)
The Board has recently approved an Assistant Communication Director position. Details at this forum topic.
Congratulations, Calvin Perilloux (May 2007)
Calvin Perilloux, of Middletown, Maryland, has just become our 68th Master Beer Judge. Calvin has been with the program since 1990, and is also an exam grader.
Address Changes (May 2007)
We've been getting a number of requests lately from members who want their email address changed. Please note that you can do this yourself very easily.
Go to the Change your address link (see it over there on the right?) and log in. If anything in your record needs to be updated, you can get to the change form from there. The change form lets you update your name, address, phone number, and email address. You can even change your password to something easier to remember.
Former BJCP Treasurer Indicted For Fraud (May 2007)
As many members know, there has been an ongoing effort to deal with the failure of the former BJCP Treasurer, Mr. William R. Slack, of Nashua, New Hampshire, to turn over the funds in the treasury to the current Treasurer. Mr. Slack, also a former BJCP President, has not communicated with the current Board of Directors, and we have been pursuing a resolution of this matter since 2004.
For obvious reasons, the BJCP officers and legal committee are unable to comment publicly, but we feel the membership deserves to be kept informed as much as possible. Links in the following paragraphs will display the relevant documents.
We recently learned that a Federal Grand Jury has indicted Mr. Slack for fraud. This indictment was reported in the local newspaper in Nashua. Mr. Slack was served with a summons on April 30, 2007 for his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on May 17, 2007.
Mr. Slack appeared with his public defender at that hearing, and entered a plea of "not guilty" to the charge. He was released pending trial, subject to a number of conditions, and a trial date has been set for July 10, 2007.
The Department of Justice has issued a press release describing the case, including potential penalties.
Update: Mr. Slack, through his public defender, requested a continuance (legalese for a delay in going to trial). On June 26, 2007, the court granted his request, and rescheduled his trial for October 10, 2007.
2nd Update: Mr. Slack, through his public defender, requested a second continuance which was also granted, which postpones his trial until at least February 5, 2008.
We continue to work closely with the appropriate authorities, but since legal proceedings are continuing, we are not able to comment at this time beyond this statement.
New Pages (May 2007)
We added both new and historical material this month. If you go to the Member Resources section, you'll find examples of the sort of feedback received by exam takers, going all the way back to 1989.
We also added copies of the annual reports from 1999 and 2000, and two newsletters sent to members by snail mail in 1998.
There are also some new examples of scoresheets turned in by exam takers, so you can see what graders consider to be exceptionally good efforts.
Finally, there is a new budget policy passed by the Board, and the exam study guide got a couple of little tweaks.
2007 Regional Election Results Announced (May 2007)
Ted Hausotter of Oregon was elected over John Tull.
25% of the active members in the region participated.
Ted will take office on June 1, replacing the current Mtn/NW rep, Mike Hall.
Al Boyce was reelected over Mark Nesdoly.
An impressive 39% of the active members in the region participated.
Pete Garofalo was reelected over Ant Hayes.
23% of the active members in the region participated.
Congratulations to Al Boyce
our stalwart BJCP Treasurer and North Regional Representative, who has become the 21st person to achieve the status of Grand Master Beer Judge.
Normally, when someone has a notable achievement, we ask you to buy them a beer, but since Al is our Treasurer, maybe he'll dip into the kitty and buy for the rest of us? Just kidding, but this represents a LOT of work on his part, so congratulations are definitely in order.
Congratulations to Phil Farrell
of Cumming, GA who has just earned the hardest rank in the program, Master Judge. BJCP President Gordon Strong notes: "Phil first took the exam in January 2004, and was the fourth fastest to achieve the Master rank. He is the 67th to earn the rank out of more than 4,000 in the program.
"For those of you who don't know Phil by name, he's the 'chicken guy'. For those who still don't know what I'm talking about, Phil travels all over the place getting quasi-famous beer people to have their picture taken holding a rubber chicken. He had two big photo albums on display at the Orlando AHA NHC. He's also recently become a BJCP exam grader."
"Congratulations on your accomplishment Phil, and thanks for becoming a grader."
BJCP Annual Report to Members
The Annual Report is now available, and includes the official report to members by President Gordon Strong, as well as Treasurer Al Boyce's financial report and reports from various Directors. It makes for some interesting reading, and we hope all members will take a look at it.
BJCP is OK in the UK
The BJCP has members in the United Kingdom, despite the existence of a much older national judging organization. Due to increased interest from UK homebrewers in our system, Ant Hayes recently had an article describing it published by the Craft Brewers Association.
Too busy to read about BJCP? Listen to it instead.
Basic Brewing Radio has a podcast available, where James Spencer interviews the BJCP Communication Director. They cover the most common general topics of interest to beer judges in about half an hour.
In upcoming months, we hope to have other BJCP officers talking about entering and running competitions, taking and doing well on the exam, earning CEP points, and other useful topics.
New CEP Member
Mike Heniff, of Pearland, Texas, has been appointed an Assistant CEP Director, replacing Ted Hausotter. The appointment will be effective on the first of January. Ted has had to reluctantly resign from this post due to workload concerns.
BJCP President Gordon Strong said "I know I speak for the board in offering our thanks to Ted for his work on the CEP program, in particular the development of the forthcoming Vocabulary application. Ted has offered to continue to help develop that application until it is ultimately deployed. Thanks, Ted, we'll take you up on that one. Hope to see you at a future conference or event where we can share a beer."
New Change of Address Form
Responding to a number of requests, Jamil has crafted a completely new application you can use to change your address in the BJCP database.
In our efforts to improve security, the old email form is now a thing of the past. You will be required to log in with your BJCP Member Number and Password. Once you've done that, you can change any of your address information that needs to be updated.
Although your address information will be sent immediately to our ultra-secure, heavily guarded shoebox full of index cards, the updated information will not actually appear in your record until the next complete update of the online version of the database. That typically takes a month or so.
In addition to the usual address information, you will also notice, at the bottom of the form, a new section that allows you to change your password. We know it's not always easy to remember that cryptic password you were assigned when you took the exam, so now you will be able to change it to something more easily remembered. Time to throw away that little scrap of paper in your wallet. Of course, there's no requirement to change your password, but the function is available if you want to use it. Unlike the address changes, your new password will be functional immediately.
Exam Administration Update
A revision to the directions for the BJCP exam was made as a result of the result of a BJCP policy to help protect the integrity of the BJCP exam. Modern electronic devices make it too difficult for an exam administrator to be certain people aren't cheating.
The exam instructions now include the following:
Use of the following electronic devices are not allowed during the exam:
- Calculators, except for basic four-function models
- Laptop or desktop computers
- Cell phones (In case of an emergency, phones may be left with the Administrator with instructions for answering.)
- Walkman/iPod or other listening devices
- Headphones of any type
Examinees with any special needs are required to contact the Exam Director to work out specific procedures a minimum of 6 weeks in advance of the exam date.
Another Exam Change Announced
Many of us took note earlier this year when one of the standard questions on the BJCP Exam was revised. In fact, quite a few of us have already taken the exam with this change.
Now we have another change to improve the exam still more. The most recent change replaces one of the essay questions, specifically the one that asked about three styles, with a new type of question. The new question asks the examinees to fill out a scoresheet as if they were served a classic example of a particular style. The style will vary for each exam, and could be just about any style other than the fruit, spice, herb and specialty categories that don't really have classic examples.
The scoresheet used will look like the standard exam scoresheet (no left side description of flaws). The examinees don't need to complete the Overall Impression section. The single scoresheet will be worth 10% of the essay score just like the old essay question.
The new format is optional until November 1, 2006 when it becomes the only exam format. Some exam administrators are going with the new format as soon as this month, so be prepared if you're planning to take the exam soon.
Here's the way the question may look on the exam:
Complete the attached scoresheet marked with "Classic Example Score Sheet" as if you were judging a classic commercial example of the __________ style. You do not need to complete the Overall Impression section but otherwise the scoresheet should be completed as it would during a normal competition.
CEP Goes To Orlando
Notes from the CEP Team
The National Homebrew Conference (NHC) is a wonderful place for homebrewers to meet, trade beer and information, hear from acclaimed speakers and generally have a great time. The AHA and BJCP teamed up for the first time ever this year to sanction and review specific seminars for Continuing Judge Education credit.
Without a doubt, the single most important thing that beer judges can do is to stay informed. One in every five attendees to this annual event is a BJCP Judge. The knowledge of brewing, beer and judging is always evolving, so it's important for BJCP judges to take advantage of these opportunities.
Judges took in an average of more than four seminars each, for credit. Impressive, because not every seminar qualified for credit! Besides being able to utilize this information and be better judges, they will receive up to 2 points of CEP credit for their efforts. To reinforce the learning, the CEP requires each judge desiring credit take a short quiz for each seminar. The BJCP judges in these seminars achieved a 98% pass rate! Some of this knowledge was immediately used in the long judging sessions over the two day event to determine the top AHA winners. These judges were providing better evaluations and more depth in scoresheets to the brewers.
Thanks and Congratulations to all!
Had a Great Time in Florida, Here's What You Missed
The 2006 AHA National Conference saw a large number of BJCP members
We learned quite a bit and had a great time. Here are some highlights.
Commercial Calibration — LIVE!Among the many presentations at the NHC was a well-attended forum where the popular Commercial Calibration panel (a zymurgy favorite) did their thing right out in front of everyone. In the morning, yet!
BJCP Exam Tips
The Beer Judge Exam doesn't have to give you cold chills!
Believe it or not, there are some tried and true methods for doing well on the BJCP exam. We offer some tips from those who have actually achieved high scores.
Some of the quizzes (with answers) used at the CEP-approved sessions at this year's AHA conference are now on the website. See the CEP section to download them.
You can now access some of the material from the 2006 National Homebrew Conference (with more to come):
- The PowerPoint slides used in past president Ron Bach's presentation
- The list of questions raised during the meeting
- The overview of the Commercial Calibration Live (CCL) talk and speaker bios
- CCL scoresheets from the panel
- CCL blank scoresheets for judges (PDF)
- CCL blank scoresheets for judges (DOC)
We are delighted to announce that Steve Piatz, our very hard working Exam Director West, has reached the rank of Grand Master II.
By now, most of you probably know of the Ninkasi award won at the 2006 NHC by Joe Formanek, our Midwest Regional Representative.
There have been some changes to the BJCP Exam, designed to make everything more logical, transparent, and objective, both for examinees and for graders. Please see the summary of changes to get the details.
The BJCP is pleased to announce that our officers for the coming year will be:
- President Gordon Strong
- Vice President Dave Sapsis
- Treasurer Al Boyce
We thank our outgoing officers, Ron Bach and Mike Hall, for their efforts in the last year.
As most of you are aware, there were no elections to the board of directors this year, so all seven Regional Representatives are continuing in their respective positions. The three statutory officer positions listed above are decided by the Regional Reps from among themselves, according to our Bylaws.
As usual, there will be an informative presentation by the BJCP President at the AHA National Homebrewers Conference later this month, and we expect to have the slides from that presentation available on the BJCP website soon afterward.
Not a lot to report lately, but we now have an interesting piece of software available. Go to the Competition Center and check out the Google Earth overlay. It will let you see a graphic display of the globe that shows all upcoming sanctioned competitions.