Monday, December 30, 2013

Studying for the BJCP

Still love whisky and spend as much time with it as I can. Also have to balance out work, family and exercise so keeping busy as usual. In other words that means no time to update this blog. And now I'll be adding another complication to my already busy life.

I'll be working on getting BJCP certified next year. The BJCP stands for the Beer Judging Certification Program and it's a non-profit organization that certifies and ranks beer judges. The three purposes of the BJCP are to promote beer literacy and the appreciation of real beer, and to recognize beer tasting and evaluation skills.

Being a craft beer lover for some time I feel that it's about time I actually put my years of practice and skills to the test. There are many levels of beer judge and I plan to go as high as I can. Realistically that mean that I can get up one or two levels. There are a few obstacles though. The BJCP is based in the USA and that means everything has to come for there. Living in Japan makes it difficult to get American judges to come over to Japan to proctor and mark exams. In addition to the logistics of getting an examiner to help out with the exams, in the US there is around a 1 to 2 year waiting list for examiners as well. Craft beer appreciation in the US is just crazy!

Anyway this is something to do in the background for 2014 and will keep my interest in craft beer. I plan to pass the online test next year but have no time frame to do it in. A friend of mine has started the ball rolling and has inquired about bring a National certified judge from the US to Tokyo or Osaka to administer a tasting exam. This is slated for late 2015 so there is a bit of time to study. You have to pass the online exam before you can take the tasting exam.

Should you take the exams and become a certified judge? Well if you are passionate about craft beer and want to raise your appreciation level then I believe this is one way to do that. If you are interested then check out the official website for tons of information and resources.

Beer Judge Certification Program


  1. That's awesome! Any word on date and location yet?
    I'd also be interesting in taking the exam if it's being held in Japan.

  2. Hi James. The exam will probably be held in Tokyo. Where are you based? No information at present about where or when. I'll update the information when I hear more.