Jesse Mertz, our fearless leader, recently sat for the Beer Judge Certification Exam, after taking prep classes put on by the Concord Area Homebrewers. This is what he had to say about it:
The online pre-test was 200 multiple-choice/multiple-answer questions with no partial credit, which must be taken in 60 minutes. I did pass that in order to sit for the exam. The tasting portion was proctored, and was held at the Fisher Cats Stadium. We had 15 minutes per beer to do a complete scoresheet, with a 15-minute break between beers 3 and 4. Approximately 3 of the 6 had minor flaws, with 1 beer containing major flaws. I would not attempt a BJCP certification without a fairly strong brewing background – I’m not sure how the non-brewers pass this thing, really. Certainly challenging, and I learned a great deal, too. The biggest thing that helped me was reading Zymurgy’s ‘Commercial Calibration’, studying the BJCP style guidelines themselves, drinking lots of beer and styles that I would not normally pursue, and filling out scoresheets on both commercial and customer beers.
If you are thinking of this exam, I guess you will have to knuckle down and study hard, which will also include tasting lots of beer in different styles.
Here are some resources