President’s Updates September 2021

I wanted to share a few updates with you as we head into the final months of 2021. After some glimmers of hope in the US and some other parts of the globe about the COVID-19 pandemic waning, the Delta variant has contributed to another rise in cases and more uncertainty. As we have said many times before, please continue to abide by local guidance when holding or participating in and judging-related events. Please stay safe, healthy and do what you can to help mitigate the spread. 

Judge Inactive Status

I recently posted an update to make it clear that we have paused enforcement of judge activity during the pandemic. Please read this post if you haven’t already. 

Online Exams

One topic the post did not cover is potential extensions to the one-year online examination deadline. While we continue to be flexible in this area due to the pandemic, the decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by the exam directors. If you have a question about using an expired online exam certificate, the current process is for you to locate an open seat on a judging exam you can take and then have that exam administrator ask the exam director assigned to the exam if a deadline extension is warranted. 

Database and Website

BJCP IT Director Bruce Buerger has worked with former IT Director Gordon Strong to transition operations of our database and IT responsibilities. Please take a minute to read Bruce’s recent update on work happening in the IT Directorate related to database updates. 

Our new website is operational, and now redirects to the new homepage. The other pages of the new website still use the “dev” subdomain ( and the old website uses the “legacy” subdomain ( We are currently working on completing the website transition and fully decommissioning our legacy website. In the interim, the “dev” site is fully available to use. We are forming a small team to evaluate the content of the website to make sure everything is correct, up-to-date, and more user-friendly. Our goal is to put the long-overdue website transition to bed by the end of this year. Thank you for your patience as this project has unfortunately lasted much longer than we’d hoped. 

Virtual Members Meeting 2021

BJCP members are invited to the 2021 virtual members meeting to hear updates from the board regional representatives and staff directors on Saturday, October 2nd at 4 pm GMT. Space in the virtual meeting is limited, so please sign up early. To best organize a question and answer session, members are encouraged to submit questions prior to the event. Submit this form to sign up to attend or to submit your question. I look forward to seeing some familiar and new faces on the screen. 

Beer Style Guidelines Update

Style Committee Chair and President Emeritus Gordon Strong is continuing to lead work on a minor update to the 2015 BJCP Beer Style Guidelines and we are hoping to release those updates soon. 

Mead Continuing Education Opportunity 

Take a look at the recent update from Dr. Kristen England, BJCP Education Director, and a link to a recent video series about better mead judging. This is a continuing education opportunity for BJCP continuing ed points, so check that out if interested (and it’s a good way to keep your account active). The series interviews several heavy hitters in the mead world. Beware, this is an opinionated group! 

Member Highlight – Jen Blair Hosting Judge Training Aimed at Women

I’d like to draw your attention back to a post from President Emeritus Gordon Strong in 2020 that all are welcome in the BJCP. In order for the homebrewing hobby and our organization to stay relevant and thriving, I believe that we must do what we can to be ambassadors of beer, mead, and cider knowledge and evaluation for everyone in an inclusive and welcoming way. Diversity in our ranks benefits us all.

In an effort to help break down barriers, BJCP National Judge Jen Blair has been hosting an online beer judge training series aimed at reaching women interested in beer evaluation and hopefully increasing the diversity of BJCP judges as a result. While this is not an official education class delivered by the BJCP, I invite you to share this opportunity and connection with any women you know who’d like to learn more about beer judging and becoming a BJCP judge. Thank you, Jen, for your work in this area. 

Want to help the BJCP? Let us know 

We are looking for BJCP members with professional skills and experience in communications, social media, website management (WordPress), website design, finance/accounting, and legal (e.g. trademark/IP protection). If you have any of these skills, are knowledgeable about the BJCP, and wish to volunteer, please submit this form. If you are interested in helping the education directorate, please see Dr. Kristen England’s recent update and reply directly to him at the email provided. 

By professional skills and experience, we are generally looking for members who do this work as part of their professional work experience, not “I keep my own blog on WordPress” or “I have a Twitter account.” We are all volunteers, and it does take time to triage calls for help in this manner, so please be patient if it takes a while to hear back. Also keep in mind submitting this form carries no guarantee that you will be selected for any role since our staff volunteers often have a limited capacity to manage large swaths of people. 

About me

Some of you may be wondering who this Dennis guy is who is now the BJCP President. I wonder that too some days. Know upfront that I will in no way fill Gordon’s shoes in this role, and I don’t think anyone can given how much he’s contributed to the program. However, I am deeply humbled to be serving the organization in this way. My focus this year is working with the board and staff to maintain the stability and continuity of the organization in the midst of leadership transitions and several ongoing projects that need to cross the finish line. 

For a little more about me, I have previously served the BJCP as Communications Director, Assistant Communications Director, Associate Exam Director, grader of many exams, reviewer of the style guidelines, and am in my third year as the rep for the Mountain/Northwest Region. Some of my proudest homebrew moments are my three NHC final round medals (one gold, two bronze), obtaining a master-level score on my first written exam attempt (miracles do happen), seeing the judges I’ve helped to train excel on exams and in judging, and hearing back from brewers that the feedback I gave others helped them improve their homebrewing. In addition, I’ve served on the Governing Committee of the American Homebrewers Association and on the board of my local homebrew club, the Arizona Society of Homebrewers, where I’m currently teaching a BJCP beer exam prep class. Personally, I live in often hot and sunny Gilbert, AZ and work as an administrator in higher education. 

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read this update. I hope to see some of you at the virtual members meeting next month. 


Dennis Mitchell

President, Beer Judge Certification Program, Inc.