The BJCP Board awarded Darwin “Dibbs” Harting of Pekin, IN the rank of Honorary Master at the 2019 National Homebrew Conference (NHC) in Providence, RI. Since Harting has collected the requisite Grand Master service requirement points and judging experience points, he also earned a promotion to the Grand Master rank. BJCP President Gordon Strong awarded Harting his new rank pins during NHC Club Night in front of his homebrew club, the Louisville Area Grain & Extract Research Society (LAGERS) of Kentucky.
Strong said that “Dibbs was one of the first BJCP judges I met when I stewarded my first competition in 1995. He definitely knew his stuff, and corrected some of my early misconceptions including the pronunciation of dunkelweizen to the difference between esters and phenols. To aspire to his level of knowledge and professionalism drove my early judge career in the right direction. When I awarded Dibbs his Grand Master pin, he said something about coming a long way from that day. I’m surprised he remembered that meeting, but I think it it shows how we’ve come full circle that I could help recognize all that he’s done for the organization.”
Harting became a BJCP judge in 1994 and obtained the National rank in 1998. Several BJCP members submitted nominations for Harting to receive the Honorary Master rank. They praised him for over two decades of commitment to the BJCP via leading local judge training and recruitment efforts, including creating a local instructors guide and driving long distances to lead judge training classes. One nomination said that “I can say with absolute certainty that Dibbs is the main reason for almost every judge we have in the Kentuckiana area.”
In addition to training local judges, Harting has also contributed to research for the BJCP Style Guidelines, including extensive research on the Kentucky Common style, which he presented at the BJCP Member’s Meeting at NHC 2014 in Grand Rapids. He has also served as an exam grader and proctor in his over two decades of service to the BJCP. Other comments from local judges included:
“In the Louisville area, there has never been a bigger supporter of the BJCP. To us here in Louisville and southern Indiana, he is the godfather of beer.”
“As one of the early National Judges in our area, he has always made time to plan and teach classes so we could increase our judge pool; even when running a multi-national business and spending his free time farming, volunteering with his church, traveling to judge BJCP competitions, grading BJCP exams and being a prolific home brewer. With his travel for work, he always would seek out the local beers of an area then return and share with his students not only tasting notes for these beers but wonderful anecdotes of the brewers he met and their insights into their craft.”
“It is my belief that Dibbs could have easily continued to climb the ranks during his 25 year tenure, but he chose to put others before himself. His commitment has helped grow the BJCP, and he has a hand in developing many of the best and brightest judges in the Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan area, including several grandmasters. I know I owe a debt of gratitude for his tutelage as well.”