How did the BJCP become independent?

As you read in the historical summary, the major impetus to our current independence came when the AHA, which had supported us jointly with the HWBTA, suddenly decided to stop supporting the BJCP in order to start its own judging program, which never happened. Below is the announcement on JudgeNet that started the ball rolling.

Date: 31 Jan 95 18:54:24 EST
From: Karen Barela/AHA President
Subject: AHA and the BJCP

January 31, 1995

It is with regret that the American Homebrewers Association has found it necessary to cancel joint sponsorship of the Beer Judge Certification Program. The joint sponsorship of the program, formed in 1985 under an agreement with the Home Wine and Beer Trade Association will no longer be in effect as of April 19, 1995.

We are not yet certain about the changes that will take place as we are still discussing the situation with HWBTA and BJCC representatives. Under the terms of the original agreement, either program sponsor can cancel the joint sponsorship with 90 days written notice to the other sponsor. I notified HWBTA President Desmond Lundy in writing on January 18, 1995 that the agreement has been canceled.

We sincerely hope that the cancellation of the BJCP will go smoothly during this 90 day period. It is our intention to work carefully and conscientiously with the HWBTA and BJCC so that the transition can be handled to the satisfaction of the members of the BJCC, both former sponsoring organizations, and BJCP judges. We regret that we were unable to resolve the differences in philosophy and style that have held back the current BJCP.

The AHA is committed to making this transition a positive one. We have long desired the BJCP to be educational, accessible, responsive and international in scope. Because of this philosophy, we have decided to develop a new beer evaluation program, one that represents the wide diversity of competitions and judging in this country and the international community. Current BJCP judges will be welcome to participate in the new program with equivalent judging status. We also plan to form a new committee structure, elected from the existing pool of BJCP judges. Our goal is to build the best program possible.

A formal announcement with details about the transition will be mailed to all judges at a later date. In the meantime, the program will continue unchanged through April 19, 1995.


Karen Barela
President, American Homebrewers Association