This is the first post in a series that we're starting in the BREWniversity section of the blog. The Big Guy and I are about to take an exam that will (hopefully) result in the two of us becoming certified judges for brewing competitions. I say hopefully, because there's a lot to learn. I'm a little nervous about the exam itself, but I'm also looking forward to the practice. And there will be plenty of practice.
We're taking the BJCP, or Beer Judge Certification Program, exam. Some of the things we need to know are the features that make each style distinct. We also have to know the common sources of off-flavors and how to correct them, but it's the first part that we're going to focus on here.
I'll be honest and say that writing this series is definitely self-serving because it's going to help me learn and remember the small details about each, but I'm also hoping that it will be interesting.
One of the biggest things that makes this type of experience different from what I do on Untappd is that in an official judging scenario, it doesn't matter if I like the beer. It only matters if the beer is a good example of the style. The opposite is also true- a beer can taste great but be a bad example of the intended style.
So over the next several BREWniversity posts, we'll explore the unique qualities of the different beer styles, and review some good examples of each one. As you can see in the picture above, it's going to take some time to go through all of the styles, but it's a commitment I'm willing to make. You can also see that things are tabbed and color-coded. I managed to make drinking beer nerdy. The Big Guy wasn't surprised.
If you're interested in learning more about the BJCP, take a look at their website at http://www.bjcp.org.