- 1 Introduction
- 2 The BJCP
- 3 The BJCP Exams
- 4 Determining BJCP Judge Rank
- 4.1 Impact of the Beer Exam Changes
- 4.2 Impact of the New Mead Exams on Advancing BJCP Judging Rank
- 4.3 Impact of the New Cider Exams on Advancing BJCP Judging Rank
- 4.4 Impact of the New Beer Exams on Advancing BJCP Judge Rank
- 4.5 Judge Requirements
- 4.6 Advancing in the BJCP
- 4.7 BJCP Experience Point Award Schedule
- 4.8 Definitions
- 5 Exam Administration
- 6 BJCP Administration
Initially the description of the BJCP Exam Program was in the BJCP Study Guide. When the BJCP Mead Exam was created the description was replicated into the BJCP Mead Exam Study Guide and the BJCP Exam Study Guide was renamed the BJCP Beer Exam Study Guide. Over time, the descriptions diverged. This document is the result of removing the descriptions from the study guides and consolidating all the information in a single place.
The most complete and current information about the BJCP can be found on the BJCP web site. The Member Resources section contains a wealth of information about the organization’s background, history and evolution.
The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) is a non-profit organization that encourages the advancement of education of people who are concerned with the evaluation of beer, mead, and cider. The BJCP certifies and ranks beer judges through an examination and monitoring process.
The program was created in 1985 through the joint efforts of the Home Wine and Beer Trade Association (HWBTA) and the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). Since 1995, the BJCP has operated independently of either founding organization, governed only by its membership of participating judges.
In 1985, some 30 people took the BJCP exam and became certified. Since that first exam, our ranks have steadily grown with over 1000 judges currently joining the ranks annually. At this time (2019) there are over 7,500 judges active in the BJCP with a total membership over 12,000.
The purpose of the the BJCP is to:
- Encourage knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the world’s diverse beer, mead, and cider styles,
- Promote, recognize, and advance beer, mead, and cider tasting, evaluation, and communication skills, and
- Develop standardized tools, methods, and processes for the structured evaluation, ranking, and feedback of beer, mead, and cider.
The BJCP Exams
The BJCP has examinations for beer, mead, and cider judges.
The BJCP Beer Exams
Prior to April 2012, the BJCP beer exam was comprised of two parts: essay and tasting, which were completed in a three hour time period. The essay portion was worth 70 percent of the final score and was designed to determine an individual’s overall knowledge of beer and his or her ability to clearly express the information in writing. The tasting portion of the exam was worth 30 percent of the final score, and each candidate was asked to judge four beers as he or she would at a competition. To score well on the tasting portion, the prospective judge must accurately score the beer and describe all significant aspects of it, as well as comment on style characteristics. That examination system that existed prior to April 1, 2012 is now called the BJCP Legacy Beer Examination.
Beginning in 2009, the BJCP experienced a rapid growth in the number of prospective judges taking the exam, and this continued through 2011 with over 750 exams being administered annually. This growth produced a large number of essay exams, which were manually graded by volunteer National and Master judges. This is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming process, and even though new graders were constantly being recruited, the backlog of exams forced the BJCP to limit both the number of exam sites and the number of examinees at each site. This was not a sustainable situation, so beginning in April 2012, the BJCP revised the exam system to better meet the needs of the current and future membership. The key addition was a web-based entrance exam, which is electronically graded and serves the purpose of establishing the readiness of a prospective judge to take a proctored tasting exam.
The revised BJCP beer exam now consists of three parts:
- The BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination – a web-based entrance exam, which is pass/fail with multiple choice, true-false and multiple answer questions. This entrance exam must be passed to enable a prospective judge to register for the tasting exam.
- The BJCP Beer Judging Examination – a proctored beer judging exam, in which the prospective judge must evaluate six beers rather than the four beers that were judged in the legacy BJCP exam. This judging exam qualifies a judge for only the Apprentice, Recognized, and Certified judging ranks, using the same criteria that were previously used for the legacy combined essay/tasting exam. The tasting exam has the same format as exams administered prior to April 2012, but with six beers to be evaluated in a 90 minute time period.
- The BJCP Beer Judge Written Proficiency Examination – a written proficiency exam, which is available to judges who have scored at least 80% on the tasting exam and have accumulated at least ten judging experience points. The BJCP Beer Judge Written Proficiency Examination is closed book and consists of two sections. The first section tests familiarity with the BJCP and the judging process, consists of 20 true/false questions about judging and the organization. Correct answers earn no points, but each incorrect answer results in a 0.5 point deduction from the overall exam score. On the second section there are five essay questions. These questions are drawn from the same set of questions that was used for the essay portion of the BJCP Legacy Beer Examination. The questions in section two are each worth 20 percent of the total exam score.
A comprehensive exam score is calculated based on a 50/50 weighting of the judging and written exams. This score, combined with experience points and Grand Master Service Requirements, can qualify the judge for the National, Master and Grand Master judging ranks.
The web-based BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination and BJCP Beer Judge Written Proficiency Examination cover the same topics that were the basis for the BJCP Legacy Beer Examination, including:
- Technical aspects of brewing, ingredients, brewing process and possible faults.
- World beer styles, including characteristics, history, ingredients and brewing techniques.
- The purpose of the BJCP and the criteria for the judging ranks.
- Judging procedures and ethics, taken from the BJCP Judge Procedures Manual.
The primary reference that defines any aspects of the beer styles appearing in the written exam is the BJCP Style Guidelines. In preparing for the exam, a prospective judge should acquire a broad understanding of beer styles, know different brewing methods, and understand how brewing methods correlate with style and flavor. Brewing processes should be understood to the point where one can intelligently discuss various techniques and ingredients and how they may have affected the beer being sampled. Frequent tasting of commercial beers will help the judge gain further understanding of style differences.
In the remainder of this document, the following abbreviated names are sometimes used:
- The Beer Entrance Exam – BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination
- The Beer Judging Exam – BJCP Beer Judging Examination
- The Legacy Beer Exam – BJCP Legacy Beer Examination
- The New Beer Essay Exam – BJCP Beer Judge Written Proficiency Examination
The BJCP Mead Exams
The BJCP Board approved a proposal to create a Mead Judge Certification in March 2006. A committee was organized to work on the project, with subcommittees of experts in the mead and cider domains. The question pool was finalized and field-tested in 2007, with the exam format determined in early 2008. A pilot mead judge exam was given in August 2008 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Results of that pilot test were then used to adjust the program, and to determine what information was most needed by examinees and graders.
The development of the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines and the need to update the Mead Exam to correspond to the new guidelines created an opportunity to revise the Mead Exam to conform to the exam techniques used for the Beer Exam since April of 2012. The original Mead Exam is now referred to as the BJCP Legacy Mead Exam and is retired effective on November 1, 2015. After November 1, 2015 the Legacy Mead Exam will never be given, no exceptions.
Prior to November 1, 2015, the BJCP Mead Exam was comprised of two parts similar to the Legacy Beer Exam: essay and tasting. The essay portion consisted of seven questions answered in a two-hour session followed by judging three meads in a 45-minute session. The essay portion was worth 70 percent of the final score and was designed to determine an individual’s overall knowledge of mead and his or her ability to clearly express the information in writing. The tasting portion of the exam was worth 30 percent of the final score, and each candidate was asked to judge three meads as he or she would at a competition. To score well on the tasting portion, the prospective judge must accurately score the mead and describe all significant aspects of it, as well as comment on style characteristics.
The revised Mead Exam consists of both the online BJCP Mead Entrance Examination and the BJCP Mead Judging Examinations. To become a Mead Judge one must pass both examinations. The Mead Entrance Exam is very similar to the Beer Entrance Exam in that the it uses the same type of questions in a timed manner. The Mead Judging Exam is similar to the Beer Judging Exam in that it consists of completing six scoresheets in a timed manner. Passing the Mead Entrance Exam is a pre-requisite for taking the Mead Judging Exam. Since there are no ranks associated with the Mead Program, there is no need for as Mead Exam equivalent of the Beer Written Proficiency Examination.
The revised BJCP mead exam now consists of two parts:
- The BJCP Mead Judge Entrance Examination – a web-based entrance exam, which is pass/fail with multiple choice, true-false and multiple answer questions. This entrance exam must be passed to enable a prospective judge to register for the mead tasting exam.
- The BJCP Mead Judging Examination – a proctored mead judging exam, in which the prospective judge must evaluate six meads rather than the three beers that were judged in the legacy BJCP mead exam. The tasting exam has the same format as exams administered prior to November 1, 2016, but with six meads to be evaluated in a 90 minute time period.
The Mead exam is jointly sponsored with the Mead Makers International (MMI, formerly the International Mead Association). Members of the MMI helped with the exam questions and study materials.
The BJCP Cider Exams
The BJCP Board approved a wide-ranging proposal in March 2006 to incorporate Mead and Cider fully into the BJCP’s programs. This proposal created the Mead and Cider Committee and directed the creation of a Cider Judge Exam, program, and all related materials. Pilot cider judging exams were given in Grand Rapids (2014), San Diego (2015), and Baltimore (2016). Results of those pilot tests were then used to adjust the program. The entrance exam question pool and study guide were finalized in early 2019 and the program was launched in March of that year.
The Cider Exam consists of both the online BJCP Cider Entrance Examination and the BJCP Cider Judging Examination. To become a Cider Judge one must pass both examinations. The Cider Entrance Exam is very similar to the Beer and Mead Entrance Exams in that the it uses the same type of questions in a timed manner. The Cider Judging Exam is also similar to the Beer and Mead Judging Exams in that it consists of completing six scoresheets in a timed manner. Passing the Cider Entrance Exam is a pre-requisite for taking the Cider Judging Exam. Since there are no ranks associated with the Cider Program, there is no need for as Cider Exam equivalent of the Beer Written Proficiency Examination.
The revised BJCP Cider Exam consists of two parts:
- The BJCP Cider Judge Entrance Examination – a web-based entrance exam, which is pass/fail with multiple choice, true-false and multiple answer questions. This entrance exam must be passed to enable a prospective judge to register for the cider tasting exam.
- The BJCP Cider Judging Examination – a proctored cider judging exam, in which the prospective judge must evaluate six ciders or perrys in a 90 minute time period.
The Cider Exam is endorsed by the United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM).
Determining BJCP Judge Rank
Judges vary widely in their skill and experience. As a result, the BJCP recognizes various levels of accomplishment. An individual’s level of certification is determined by two factors: exam score and experience points earned through AHA/BJCP Sanctioned Competition Program events. The different levels and the criteria for achieving them are outlined below. Complete details are provided in the Member’s Guide.
Impact of the Beer Exam Changes
The introduction of the changes to the BJCP Beer Exam program on April 1, 2012 does not result in any change to the rank or exam scores for any BJCP judge that was already a BJCP judge as a result of taking the Legacy Beer Exam prior to April 1, 2012. For judges that entered the program by passing the Legacy Beer Exam, the method of advancement does not change and the method of determining their composite exam score will not change automatically.
Judges Entering the BJCP with the Beer Entrance Exam
For judges that entered the BJCP by taking their first BJCP exam on or after April 1, 2012, they start the path to becoming a BJCP judge by passing the Beer Entrance Exam. For these members, once they take the Beer Judging Exam, their BJCP judge rank will be determined by their score on the Beer Judging Exam and their experience points. In the table below, their composite exam score is just their score on the New Tasting Exam.
Judges Entering the BJCP with the Legacy Beer Exam
For BJCP judges that entered the BJCP by passing the Legacy Beer Exam and that have a rank of Recognized or higher, they do not have to take the Beer Entrance Exam unless their score on the essay portion of the Legacy Beer Exam is less than 60%. Their existing essay and tasting scores are retained and continue to be used to determine their BJCP judge rank. They continue to determine their BJCP Judge rank using their composite Legacy Beer Exam score that combines the essay and tasting scores in a 70/30 ratio. Their existing BJCP Judge rank is retained.
Judges Entering the BJCP with the Mead Entrance Exam
For judges that enter the BJCP by taking the Mead Judging Exam on or after November 1, 2015, they start the path to becoming a BJCP judge by passing the Mead Entrance Exam. For these members, once they pass the Mead Judging Exam, their BJCP judge rank will be Mead Judge, If they are fail the Mead Judging Exam they are an Apprentice Judge.
Judges Entering the BJCP with the Legacy Mead Exam
BJCP judges that entered the BJCP by passing the Legacy Mead Exam do not have to take the Mead Entrance Exam. However, if they want to improve their mead tasting score and their score on the essay portion of the Legacy Mead Exam is less than 60% they must pass the Mead Entrance Exam before they can take the Mead Judging Exam.
Judges Entering the BJCP with the Cider Entrance Exam
For judges that enter the BJCP by taking the Cider Judging Exam they start the path to becoming a BJCP judge by passing the Cider Entrance Exam. For these members, once they pass the Cider Judging Exam, their BJCP judge rank will be Cider Judge, If they are fail the Cider Judging Exam they are an Apprentice Judge.
Impact of the New Mead Exams on Advancing BJCP Judging Rank
New participants enter the BJCP by first taking the Mead Entrance Exam. After passing the Mead Entrance Exam, a participant is considered a Provisional Judge. They may remain a Provisional Judge for up to one year during which time they need to pass the Mead Judging Exam or they cease to be a Provisional Judge. Once they pass the Mead Judging Exam, they are a Mead Judge. If they fail the Mead Judging Exam they are an Apprentice Judge.
Impact of the New Cider Exams on Advancing BJCP Judging Rank
New participants enter the BJCP by first taking the Cider Entrance Exam. After passing the Cider Entrance Exam, a participant is considered a Provisional Judge. They may remain a Provisional Judge for up to one year during which time they need to pass the Cider Judging Exam or they cease to be a Provisional Judge. Once they pass the Cider Judging Exam, they are a Cider Judge. If they fail the Cider Judging Exam they are an Apprentice Judge.
Impact of the New Beer Exams on Advancing BJCP Judge Rank
As of April 1, 2012 only the Beer Entrance Exam, the Beer Judging Exam and the Beer Written Proficiency Exam are offered. The Legacy Beer Exam will never be offered again, no exceptions.
For judges that initially took the Legacy Beer Exam, their composite score continues to be determined using their highest essay and tasting scores from the Legacy Beer Exam combined in a 70/30 ratio. Once they take either the Beer Written Proficiency Exam or the Beer Judging Exam with a score improvement over their score on the equivalent portion of the Legacy Beer Exam then their composite score will be determined by combining their essay and taste scores in a 50/50 ratio. The new 50/50 ratio will apply even if only one of their two scores is improved.
New participants enter the BJCP by first taking the Beer Entrance Exam. After passing the Beer Entrance Exam, a participant is considered a Provisional Judge. They may remain a Provisional Judge for up to one year during which time they need to pass the Beer Judging Exam or they cease to be a Provisional Judge. Once they pass the Beer Judging Exam, their tasting score on that exam is used to determine their BJCP rank. However, they cannot advance beyond the BJCP rank of Certified without taking the Beer Written Proficiency Exam.
Pre-existing Non-Apprentice Judges
Pre-existing non-Apprentice judges are those that have a BJCP rank of Recognized or higher as a result of taking the Legacy Beer Exam prior to April 1, 2012. These judges do not have to take the BJCP Entrance Examination unless their essay score on the Legacy Beer Exam is less than 60%. Their existing judging and tasting scores are retained.
The introduction of the new examinations does not trigger an automatic re-weighting of existing scores to calculate a new total score. Triggering a recalculation of a new total score, for any individual judge, only happens when they retake one component of the new examinations, and only then if the retake score is greater than or equal to the score for that component on the Legacy Beer Exam.
These judges advance in rank based on the combination of their highest essay and highest tasting scores just as with the legacy examination. The scores are weighted at 70/30 until they retake either the Beer Judging Exam or the Beer Written Proficiency Exam. If the retake score is at least as high as the previous highest score on that component of the exam, the weighting changes to 50/50. Otherwise, the weighting remains at 70/30 until at least one of the component scores based on either their score on the Beer Judging Exam or the Beer Written Proficiency Exam at least equals their equivalent score on the equivalent part of the Legacy Beer Exam.
Recognized judges who have passed either the essay portion of the Legacy Beer Exam or the Beer Entrance Exam can also advance to Certified by scoring 70 or higher on the Beer Judging Exam, and by having sufficient experience points.
Pre-existing Active Apprentice Judges
Apprentice Judge is not a permanent BJCP rank. Apprentice status will have a two-year lifetime. Apprentice Judges must pass the Beer Judging Exam within two years or they will have to start over as new entrants to the program.
As of April 1, 2014 the following provisions no longer apply to anyone, their Active Apprentice status has expired.
- Active BJCP Apprentice Judges that have both essay and tasting scores under 60% under the Legacy Beer Exam will first need to pass the Beer Entrance Exam and then the Beer Judging Exam, just like new entrants to the program. However, special cases for Active BJCP Apprentice Judges exist for those that may have scored a 60% or higher on either the essay or the tasting portion of the Legacy Beer Exam.
- Active BJCP Apprentice Judges who scored less than 60% on the tasting portion of the Legacy Beer Exam and with a minimum of 60% in the essay portion of the Legacy Beer Exam must pass the Beer Judging Exam to advance. These judges do not have to take the Beer Entrance Exam.
- Active BJCP Apprentice Judges who scored at least 60% on the tasting portion of the Legacy Beer Exam but have an essay score below 60% under the Legacy Beer Exam must pass the Beer Entrance Exam to advance to Recognized. These judges will not need to take the Beer Judging Exam to advance but when they pass the Beer Entrance Exam they must notify the BJCP Exam Director (email@example.com) in order to be promoted from the Apprentice rank – this promotion is not automatic. For promotions higher than Recognized, the Beer Judging Exam must be taken.
Pre-existing Inactive Apprentice Judges
BJCP Apprentice Judges that were not listed as “active” members in the BJCP database on April 1, 2012 as a result of taking the Legacy Beer Exam prior to April 1, 2012 are treated as new entrants into the program and must first pass the Beer Entrance Exam and then pass the Beer Judging Exam to advance.
Advancing from Recognized to Certified Judge
Recognized judges who have passed either the essay portion of the Legacy Beer Exam or the Beer Entrance Exam can also advance to Certified by scoring 70 or higher on the Beer Judging Exam, and by having sufficient experience points
Advancing to Become a National or Higher Ranked Judge
No member can achieve the rank of BJCP National Judge or higher without taking either the New Beer Essay Exam or the essay portion of the Legacy Beer Exam.
|BJCP Judge Rank||Minimum Composite Score||Must take New Essay or Legacy Essay||Minimum Experience Points ||GMSR Required |
|Additional Grand Master levels||90||Yes||100 additional for each additional level||Yes |
 At least 50% of the experience points must be judging experience points.
 The Apprentice rank is not a permanent BJCP rank. Apprentice status has a two-year lifetime to allow an Apprentice to advance to Recognized rank or higher by passing the appropriate examinations.
 Each additional Grand Master level requires an additional GMSR.
In addition to the above BJCP ranks that are the result of taking the BJCP exams, the following special ranks exist that are not associated with scores from taking the BJCP Beer Exams.
- Honorary Master
- Temporarily bestowed on judges who serve as operatives of the program (Regional Director, Exam Director, Program Administrator, etc.) at their discretion for the duration of their service if they have not already earned at least the Master rank. The rank may also be awarded, in special cases, to judges who have demonstrated Master Judge proficiency but who have not necessarily taken the exam. This status is determined by the BJCP Board of Directors.
- Honorary Grand Master
- Created in 2005, this is a permanent rank bestowed upon individuals by the BJCP Board of Directors for extraordinarily long and meritorious service involving significant, meaningful and continuous work for the BJCP program. Individuals receiving this rank are authorized to wear and use the Grand Master pin and rank.
A person who has not taken a BJCP exam but who judges in competitions is generally referred to as a Non-BJCP Judge. This is not an official BJCP rank, but this description is used on the BJCP scoresheets. The term “Novice” is no longer used.
A Provisional Judge is someone who has taken the BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination, but has not passed the BJCP Beer Judging Examination. This person is not a BJCP judge. The Provisional rank is not permanent, and Provisional judges have one year to pass the Beer Judging Exam.
Advancing in the BJCP
Because both beer exam scores and experience points determine the level of recognition achieved in the BJCP, a judge should strive to meet both types of criteria on an ongoing basis. A judge may wish to retake either or both portions of the exam order to achieve the higher score necessary to advance to the next level. A judge will become inactive if no experience points are recorded for two years. This policy encourages judges to maintain their skills and assures competition organizers that they are using experienced judges with up-to-date knowledge of beer styles and judging practices. When promoted to a new rank, the judge receives a handsome certificate and a wallet-size card showing the date of award and level of recognition.
A Mead or Cider Judge who has not taken the BJCP Beer Judge exam cannot advance in the BJCP without first taking the Beer exam. Mead or Cider Judges can earn experience points as any other judge does, and these points can apply to future advancement in the program after the Beer exam has been taken. The experience points will serve as a measure of experience and may be of use to competition organizers nonetheless.
The BJCP awards experience points to judges and staff who participate in AHA/BJCP Sanctioned Competition Program events or in BJCP exams. The point award varies depending on the size of the event and the job an individual performs. There are two groups of experience points: Judging points and Non-Judging points.
Individuals earn Judging points for actually judging in a registered competition, including Best-of-Show (BOS) judging. Individuals earn Non-Judging points for serving (or assisting) as a competition organizer, a steward, an administrator (or assistant) for a BJCP exam, or participating in a Continuing Education Program. While competition organizers may use their discretion in deciding to whom and how many Staff points they allocate, Judge points must be earned by the individual receiving them and cannot be allocated.
A judge will be placed on an inactive list if no experience points are recorded for two years. This policy encourages judges to maintain their skills and assures competition organizers that they are using experienced judges with up-to-date knowledge of beer styles and judging practices.
As of 2006, the AHA and BJCP have merged the separate competition programs into a single unified program: the AHA/BJCP Sanctioned Competition Program. All past BJCP or AHA events continue to be recognized. The point award schedule for the program is as follows:
BJCP Experience Point Award Schedule
- Experience Points
- The mechanism used by the BJCP to indicate the practical participation of members in BJCP events. There are two groups of experience points: judging experience points and non-judging experience points. Each of these groups consists of different categories of points that are accrued according to the rules of the various types of events. Experience Points are recorded in the BJCP database as judging and non-judging experience points only, not the more detailed schedules for each event.
- Program Participants
- Individuals who perform an active role in a sanctioned competition. Important categories of program participants are Organizers, Judges, Best-of-Show Judges, Stewards and Staff. Each category of participants has different rules that govern the awarding of experience points.
- Organizers are the only program participants to receive Organizer Points, which are non-judging experience points that are allocated based on the total number of competition entries as shown in Table 1. The Organizer may ONLY receive Organizer Points, not Judge Points, Best-of-Show Judge Points, Staff Points, Steward Points, or any other combination of points, regardless of other roles performed. Any other program participant is eligible to receive any combination of Judge, Best-of-Show Judge, Steward, or Staff Points in a single competition, except as noted. However, the total points (judging plus non-judging experience points) awarded to any program participant may not exceed (but may equal) the Organizer Points designated for the Organizer of the competition.
- Judges earn points at a rate of 0.5 Judge Points per session, but the following limitations apply:
- Judges earn a minimum of 1.0 Judge Point per competition.
- Judges earn a maximum of 1.5 Judge Points per day.
BOS Judge Points are a separate category of points, and are not subject to these limitations. The total number of experience points (including Judge Points) a judge may earn in a competition is limited by the Organizer Points, and is shown in Table 1. Judge Points are a type of judging experience points.
- Best-of-Show (BOS) Judges
- BOS Judges are eligible to receive 0.5 Best-of-Show (BOS) Judge Points if they judge in any BOS panel in a competition. BOS Judge Points are a type of judging experience points separate from Judge Points. The BOS Judge Points are a bonus (i.e., an additional or extra reward) in addition to any other judging and non-judging experience points earned in the competition, and may only be awarded to a single judge once per competition. BOS Judge Points may only be awarded if a competition has at least 30 entries in at least five beer and/or three mead/cider categories.
The number of judges eligible to receive the BOS Judge Point bonus is correlated to the number of entries in each BOS panel as follows:
- 5-14 entries, including beer = 3 BOS Judges
- 3-14 meads and/or ciders (only) = 3 BOS Judges
- 15 or more entries of any type or combination = 5 BOS Judges
This limitation applies to each individual BOS panel. Competitions may seat separate homebrew, commercial and mead and/or cider BOS panels, if desired.
A best-of-show judge receives the BOS Judge Point bonus if a judge judges in at least one other session in the competition. If a judge only judges in a BOS panel, that judge earns 1.0 BOS Judge Points and no Judge Points.
- Stewards receive 0.5 Steward Points (non-judging experience points) per day with a maximum of 1.0 Steward Points per competition. Participants may not earn both Judge and Steward Points in a single competition. Steward points are awarded separately from Staff Points and do not come from the Staff Point pool shown in the following table. A program participant may earn both Steward and Staff Points.
- Staff Points
- Non-judging experience points awarded by the Organizer to one or more program participants in minimum increments of 0.5 points. The sum of all Staff Points awarded to all program participants may not exceed the Table 1 Staff Point maximum.
Note: In order to maintain competition integrity, staff members with access to entry data should refrain from judging as they may be able to associate entry numbers or entry descriptions with an entrant’s identity.
|# of Entries||Organizer||Staff||Judge|
|1 – 49||2.0||1||1.5|
|50 – 99||2.5||2||2.0|
|100 – 149||3.0||3||2.5|
|150 – 199||3.5||4||3.0|
|200 – 299||4.0||5||3.5|
|300 – 399||4.5||6||4.0|
|400 – 499||5.0||7||4.5|
|500 – 599||6.0 Max||8||5.5 Max|
|+1 staff point for each
additional 100 entries
Note: The Staff point numbers represent the total points which can be awarded to all staff members collectively. No single person can receive more total points than the Organizer. For each 100 entries over 500 one additional staff point may be awarded. Organizer points are capped at 6, regardless of competition size.
- An event held in a single geographical area where beer and possibly other fermented beverages are formally evaluated against a set of pre-defined style guidelines or category descriptions for the purpose of constructive feedback and acknowledgment of excellence. A competition is comprised of one or more sessions spanning one or more days.
- A calendar date when judging is held. Competitions may take place on one or more days, and the days do not have to be contiguous.
- An uninterrupted time period when at least one panel of judges sits to judge one or more flights of entries.
- An arbitrary grouping of styles for purposes of judging. The BJCP Style Guidelines has categories of styles, but these do not need to be used as competition categories for award purposes. Organizers are free to group beer styles in any way they want for competition judging and award purposes.
- A single grouping of entries that are combined for the purposes of judging, that are evaluated by a single panel of judges, and that result in a ranked ordering for purposes of determining awards. In large competitions, a single category may be divided into multiple flights with the overall winner determined in a Mini-BOS round.
- Mini Best of Show (BOS) Round
- A subsequent flight within a session during which judges compare the leading entries of two or more separate flights in order to determine overall class or category winners. This shall not qualify as a separate session for the purpose of awarding points.
- Best of Show (BOS) Panel
- A single session awarding top honors for a competition from at least five beer category winners or three mead and/or cider winners.
- The single program participant who completes and signs the application to register or sanction a competition and who in all ways assumes responsibility for the direction of that competition.
- Any program participant who evaluates entries, completes scoresheets, and determines the final score and rank of entries in a flight.
- Best of Show (BOS) Judge
- A program participant who evaluates entries and selects a winner during a BOS panel.
- Non-BJCP Judge
- A person who has not taken the BJCP exam, but who has been approved by the competition organizer to serve as a judge in a competition. The person may or may not have extensive experience, but does not have a formal certification.
- Mead Judge
- A person who has taken the mead exam and scored 60% or higher. This person may also be a beer judge although taking the beer exam is not a requirement.
- A program participant who assists judges, obtains entries and supplies, handles paperwork, and manages the competition logistics at a judging table.
- Program participants who, under the direction of the Organizer, perform an active role in support of the competition other than as a Judge, Steward, or BOS Judge. These duties include, but are not limited to, Assistant Organizer, Head Steward, Registrar, Cellarmaster, Table Captain, Data Entry, Head Judge, Lunch Caterer, and Committee member. Direct participation is required to earn Staff points; passive participation by individuals who provide websites, software, materials, or other indirect services are not eligible to receive points.
Exam administrators must be approved by a BJCP Exam Director. The administrator receives two non-judging experience points and ten GMSR credits per exam, regardless of the number of exam takers. This system was revised in 2005 as part of the implementation of new GMSR rules. The administrator may not proctor the tasting exam, unless the administrator has no knowledge of the exam beers being served. One person may not receive both administrator and proctor points for the same judging exam, but it is possible to earn administrator points for the written proficiency exam and proctoring points for the judging exam.
A minimum of two proctors is required for holding either the BJCP Beer Judging Examination, the BJCP Mead Judging Exam, or BJCP Cider Judging Exam. Additional details about who can serve as a proctor is available in the Exam Scheduling Procedures.
The exam administrator is responsible for making a copy of all examinations before sending the originals to the Exam Director. These copies should be retained until the exam administrator has heard from the Exam Director that the originals have been properly received. Once the Exam Director has received the originals, the exam administrator should provide a copy of each examinee’s individual exam to them, each examinee should only receive a copy of their individual exam, nothing else. This is the only copy that will be made available to the examinees; the BJCP will not be returning the originals after the grading process has completed. The returning of the exams in this manner is a provisional policy—the Exam Directors will be monitoring the rate of protested examination results and if the rate increases, it may be necessary to revoke the policy of returning exams due to the increased grading load imposed by protested results.
To schedule an exam, please complete a copy of the Exam Data Administration Form (EDAF) from https://legacy.bjcp.org/forms/exam_data_admin.doc or https://legacy.bjcp.org/forms/exam_data_admin.pdf and include it as an attachment to an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A list of scheduled exams can always be found on the BJCP web site in the Exam Center. The approved exam schedule is on the web at https://legacy.bjcp.org/exams.php.
The Beer Judge Certification Program is governed by a Committee consisting of elected representatives of BJCP regions. This board manages BJCP policy and bylaws. Communication with BJCP members is handled by the Communication Director, who also handles outside communications. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Complete contact information for all BJCP officers and directors can be found on the Officers Page.