Category Archives: bjcp

BJCP Test Prep: Resource Collection Edition

I was talking with Bear the other evening at our local pub, when another patron overheard our beer discussion and decided to test our beer knowledge with an earthshaking question: “What is the difference between an ale and a lager?”  We hoped that this query was a joke, but alas, the imbiber was fully serious.  We (not quite) politely answered the question and hoped that it got us into this individual’s Royal Order of Beer Knowers.  Discussion ensued in an attempt to keep the evening jovial, although I will admit I was likely slightly peevish and antagonistic.  I tend to get that way when, instead of simply appreciating that we share a knowledge base and including me as a new cohort member, one tries to continually one-up me when one really shouldn’t (no, hops aren’t roasted; yes, beer can contain banana esters and they are sometimes desirable).  I’ll blame it on too many years in academia and having my ego tied to my knowledge.  Also, I’d like to extend a huge “thank you” to our awesome bartender for deftly changing a topic when it seemed that tensions were getting a touch high and allowing the evening to be quite pleasant.

The point to this story is that in our discussion, Bear and I realized that we know quite a bit about the technicalities of beer.  While we had always intended to do tastings and include the ensuing notes as a part of this blog, we would like this blog to lead to some personal development, not just serve as a place for us to dump our musing, notes, and brewing adventures.  So we are going to work together to study for the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Test.  I had started before I moved earlier this year, so somewhere I have a set of flashcards prepared.

What this means for you, dear readers, is that our tastings will have some attempt to follow the standardized format.  Granted, as Bear and I rarely believe in ‘samples’ (unless we split a whole bottle), the quality of said formatting might be compromised as a session goes on.  This also means that you can hold us accountable, if you so choose to. Or you can follow along and gain some insight from us.

If you want to study along with us, we would love for you to comment on the site, join our twitter, or our upcoming G+ and Facebook pages!

Today I’m looking online for some resources.  Feel free to comment with some of your own. is the logical (and comprehensive) start.  They publish a beer scoring sheet, a list of qualities of specific styles of beers in various printable forms, study guides, flashcards for off-flavors, and have links to getting publications for your mobile devices.


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