The Exam Directorate, in collaboration with the BJCP board, has revised the styles question of the beer written exam. This question was revised unilaterally by a prior exam director several years ago, with a portion of the question focused on providing vital statistics of the three beer styles. We agree with the feedback we’ve received from many members that rote memorization is not an outcome or higher-level judging skillset we should be testing for on a written exam aimed at entry to advanced BJCP judge ranks.
So, we have revised the styles question as listed below, effective with the written exam held at HomebrewCon 2023 in San Diego. We feel that this revision simplifies the question in a way to focus on core elements we expect of advanced rank judges: a depth of knowledge of the BJCP style guidelines and the ability to independently and effectively discuss, compare, and contrast styles. Examinees may choose to still include vital statistics as part of their answers, which may add depth, but it is no longer a requirement of the answer. All other written exam questions remain the same at this time.
Describe, compare, and contrast these three styles: style-1, style-2, style-3. Your answer should address the following topics:
- 50% – Describe the aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel of each style according to the current BJCP Beer Style Guidelines.
- 40% – Compare and contrast the three styles based on aspects such as ingredients, characteristics (e.g., aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel, vital statistics, etc.), and background information (e.g., history, brewing processes, fermentation techniques, serving methods, etc.) that distinguish each style.
- 10% – For each of the styles, name one commercial example as listed in the current BJCP Style Guidelines.