• What is it?

    Following on the success of our first Judge Reception at the AHA National Homebrewers Conference in Denver last year, the BJCP is proud to announce our second training and social event for BJCP judges attending the conference. We've made some changes this year to address comments from last year. The BJCP is subsidizing the event, which greatly reduces the cost. We've expanded the time and the number of speakers and topics. We are offering a range of food. We are holding the event at the conference hotel and coordinating the schedule with other pre-conference events, which makes the reception much easier to attend.

    Key Details

    When? June 18, 2008. 6:30pm to 10:30pm.
    Where? Sheraton Cincinnati North (AHA NHC hotel)
    How Much? $5 for BJCP judges, $15 for guests of judges
    By When? Registration closes June 14th
    How Many? Registration limited to 150 judges, 50 guests
    How? Register on the BJCP web site using our new CEP Events Registration application


    All presentations and other materials used in the training sessions are now available. Look in the individual agenda sections for these materials.

    Welcoming beer Welcoming and social time. Meet your fellow judges. If you'd like, judge a classic example from the style guidelines using the checklist scoresheet that will be used in the second round judging. Discuss calibration as group. We will have two kegs of Penn Weizen, generously donated by the Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh (thanks to Keith Kost for arranging the donation). Penn Weizen
    Welcoming beer Judge calibration. Taste a beer and score it with the checklist scoresheet. Compare scores with other judges. We will have two kegs of Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier (a GABF and WBC Gold Medal winner), generously donated by Gordon Biersch in Columbus (thanks to Frank Barickman for arranging the donation). Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier
    2008 Style Guidelines Quick summary of changes to the guidelines. What's been added? What's been removed? What's changed and why? Discuss and understand the changes before the second round judging.

    Gordon Strong led the Style Guideline Committee that produced the 2004 Style Guidelines, and led the project to update the Guidelines for 2008.
    Gordon Strong
    Three-Course Dinner Choice of three entrees: Meatloaf, Tilapia, Vegetarian Pasta, along with a salad and a dessert course. Some topics may be discussed during the dinner service, depending on time.  
    After-dinner beer Judge calibration. Taste a beer and score it with the checklist scoresheet. Compare scores with other judges. We we have a special keg of Anastasia Russian Imperial Stout from Weaselboy Brewing Company in Zanesville, Ohio (generously donated by owners Jay and Lori Wince, former homebrewers who will be at Pro Brewer Night). Weaselboy
    Southern English Brown Ale Style review of a misunderstood style. Mann's Brown Ale will be served, fresh from the UK. Take style notes using the checklist scoresheet. History and production methods of Mann's, along with a discussion on the evolution of the beer style from a UK homebrewer's perspective. The style has drifted over the years – but which is best? How should the style be described? How accurate are our guidelines?

    Antony Hayes took the BJCP exam in 2004 in South Africa, the first time the exam was held outside North America. He has been brewing since 1988, and has been living in England since 2005. He has judged at the Champion Beer of Britain competition and the Craft Brewing Association Nationals.

    Suggested Style Guideline Writeup
    Ant Hayes
    Cider Workshop Hands-on style training and off-flavor recognition with many commercial examples. Standard cider and perry styles will be reviewed through a guided tasting of hand-picked commercial examples. The discussion will include the selection of fruit varieties used and elements of structure such as sweetness, acidity, astringency and carbonation. An off-flavor session will compare a base cider with five spiked examples of faults or traits commonly found in cider. Participants will gain a basic understanding of subjective preferences versus objective faults, as well as the factors in cidermaking that influence the development of these traits.

    Gary Awdey has given this workshop several times at national cider events. He was a member of the group who updated the Cider Style Guidelines in 2004, and is currently a member of the Cider Exam team. He has won several gold medals for his cider in the AHA NHC, and has medalled in prestigious cider events worldwide. He lives on a 50 acre hobby farm in Eden, NY, where he grows many cider apples and perry pears.

    Handout (off-flavors, commercial examples)
    Gary Awdey
    Mead Exam Prep The format and question types on the new BJCP Mead Judge exam. A discussion of the how to do well on the exam. Includes mead tasting to illustrate exam points. Meads provided by your host, Susan Ruud (Gold medal in 2005), and Steve Fletty (Meadmaker of the Year 2007).

    Gordon Strong led the Mead and Cider Committee working on the Mead Exam and Cider Exam. He took a silver medal last year in the melomel category, and has previously won the Mazer Cup competition.

    Mead Exam Resources Page (in development, subject to change)
    Gordon Strong


    Can I attend other pre-conference events?
    Yes. We have coordinated with other event organizers and all events should be done in time to make the judge reception, except the Pub Crawl. Having the judge reception at the conference hotel makes it easier to coordinate schedules.
    Why do I have to pre-register?
    We are using hotel food service and must give them a count of entrees in advance. To have this event at the hotel, we had to use their catering services. It's part of getting a meeting room at a hotel.
    Can I skip the meal and get in for free?
    You can skip the meal but you still have to pay. The hotel is charging us for the room and the meals combined on a per-head price. If you've ever tried to book space for a meeting at a hotel or conference center, you'll find this is a really great price. Especially when they let us bring in our own drinks.
    Why is the price difference for a guest?
    The BJCP is sponsoring the event, and wants its money to be applied towards its members. The hotel is charging us $15 a person for the room, so we are passing through our costs. We offer this service since some judges may have brought a spouse or a friend and didn't want to ditch them for the evening.
    I thought you said last year you were going to make it free?
    We wanted to, but the logistics didn't work. The BJCP allocated $2500 towards this event, and expenses for training supplies will be about $1000. Assuming we get 150 judges, that allows us to subsidize the cost by $10 a judge.
    Do I have to attend the conference to come to the reception?
    No. The judge reception is open to any BJCP member. First-come, first-serve with registration. You also don't have to sign up to judge at the conference, but we'll need lots of judges so please do consider helping us.
    Why is there a limit on registration?
    Two reasons. The room can only hold so many people (that's why we have a maximum) and we are buying training supplies for 150 judges (that's why we have a limit on judges).
    How is a guest registration different?
    The guest registration is primarily for spouses or traveling companions of judges at the conference. Guests will have dinner, and can enjoy the commercial beer provided. BJCP judges will have first call on any training supplies purchased for the event, although judges can always share their portion with their guest. If we don't sell out the judge reservations, then more supplies will be available to share with guests. But this judge reception is primarily a training event for current BJCP judges, and the training supplies are limited.