BJCP Style Guidelines

2021 Beer Style Guidelines Release

The 2021 version of the Beer Style Guidelines, released in December 2021, is the current version. Errata will be incorporated into future updates. Those familiar with the 2015 version of the beer guidelines may find this 2021 change log helpful. 

The 2021 guidelines are in full effect for the three beer exams (online, judging, and written). Contact the exam directors with questions.

If BJCP-sanctioned competitions are using BJCP style guidelines, we expect them to use the 2021 beer guidelines. Check with individual competition organizers for specific rules, as they are free to use alternate guidelines so long as the guidelines used are published for entrants and judges. Contact the Competition Director with any competition-related questions. 

The 2015 version of the BJCP Style Guidelines for Mead and Cider remains the current version.

The BJCP Style Guidelines are maintained by the BJCP Style Guidelines Committee, currently chaired by BJCP President Emeritus Gordon Strong. This page provides links to download or access our style guidelines in various formats. You can also view the guidelines on the web via the links in the navigation menu, which reflect the 2021 version.  

Style Guidelines Primary Source Documents

These are the official guidelines and documents maintained by the BJCP. They are suitable for double-sided printing. If you have questions about permission to use our guidelines for purposes other than BJCP-sanctioned competitions or educational judge training, please contact the Communications Director.  

  • 2021 Beer Style Guidelines (PDF, DOCX
  • 2021 Beer Style Guidelines Change Log (PDF)
  • 2015 Mead Style Guidelines (PDF, DOCX)
  • 2015 Cider Style Guidelines (PDF, DOCX)
  • Ingredient Reference Guide (PDF)
  • The Complete 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines with the 2021 Beer Style Guidelines, 2015 Mead & Cider Guidelines, and the Ingredient Reference Guide (PDF)

 Order Printed Copies (Spiral-Bound)

Visit this page to see the options for ordering printed versions of the guidelines. 

Alternative Versions

These are special-use versions, translations, or conversions of the guidelines into other formats for specific uses. All have been supplied by external contributors but have not been checked by the BJCP for accuracy. Report any errors to the original contributors.

  • Mobile Applications
    • Search for `BJCP` in your favorite app store and pick your favorite! The BJCP currently does not publish our own app, but we have allowed others to publish as long as the app remains free to judges. We have noted the following apps are current with the 2021 guidelines: 
  • JSON Versions of the Style Guidelines
    • JSON Version of the 2021 beer guidelines submitted by Andrew Scholer and maintained externally on github.
    • JSON Version of the 2021 beer guidelines submitted by Yuriy Krutilin and maintained externally on github.
  • XML Versions of Style Guidelines
    • 2015 version – Single File (XML). Submitted by Phil Murray and maintained externally on github.
    • 2015 version – Separate Files. Submitted by Matthew Smedberg and maintained externally on github.
  • Spreadsheet of Style Guidelines
    • 2015 version – Submitted by Lucas Zacharias (XLSX)
    • 2015 version – Submitted by Bob Alvord (XLSX)
  • Spreadsheet of Commercial Examples  
    • 2015 version – Submitted by Conrad B. (XLS)
  • Spreadsheet of Classic Styles (XLS)
    • 2015 version – Submitted by Al Boyce

International Versions and Documents

Various non-English translations will be posted on our International Resources page as they are completed.

Past Style Guidelines 

We maintain a listing of prior style guidelines dating back to 1997.