The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) is excited to announce the official launch of the BJCP Cider Judge Program, joining the Beer Judge Program and the Mead Judge Program as an available certification. The multi-year development of this program involved many hours of work by a large team of volunteers. The BJCP would like to thank Michael Wilcox, Sandy Cockerham, Mark Simpson, Kristen England, Gordon Strong, Doug Gladue, David Houseman, Bruce Buerger, Dick Dunn, Gary Awdey, Charles McGonegal, Steve Piatz, Scott Bickham, Michelle McGrath, Paul Vander Heide and all of the trial exam takers for their contributions.
The Cider Judge Program is endorsed by the United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM), and the exam process follows the same format as the Mead Judge Program. Prospective cider judges must first pass the Online Cider Entrance Exam, consisting of 100 questions in 30 minutes on a variety of topics such as the cider style guidelines, apple and pear varietals and cider faults. A Cider Exam Study Guide was developed to assist in preparation for those wishing to become Cider Judges. After passing the online exam, examinees have one year to pass the Cider Judging Exam, which consists of evaluating six cider samples in 90 minutes.
The program is open to both existing BJCP beer or mead judges as well as non-BJCP members. Existing BJCP beer judges who pass the Cider Judging Exam will receive the Cider Judge Endorsement; current beer judge rank cannot increase or decrease by taking the cider judging exam. Current BJCP Mead Judges (those who have passed only the Mead Judging Exam and not the Beer Judging Exam) will hold both Mead Judge and Cider Judge ranks. Non-BJCP members who pass the Cider Judging Exam will enter the program with the rank of Cider Judge.
The Cider Online Entrance Exam is live and available on the BJCP Coursewebs portal. Pricing matches other online exams at US$10 per exam attempt or US$20 for a pack of three exam attempts. A Cider Judging Exam will be held during the American Homebrewers Association Conference in June 2019 in Providence, RI. Sign-up details for the NHC exam will be announced at a later date. Qualified exam administrators may request to administer a Cider Judging Exam during a month that has exam availability on the BJCP Exam Calendar.
Information for those who passed a trial Cider Judging Exam in Grand Rapids, San Diego or Baltimore or for those who passed the trial Cider Online Entrance Exam will be emailed soon with instructions on next steps to complete the Cider Judge Program.