I recently had the opportunity to help organize the annual home-brew competition held by the Hong Kong Homebrewers' Association (HKHA) at the beginning of June. It wasn't really my intention to fill that role, as I'd much rather just brew and enter beers, but sometimes things just turn out that way. On the bright side, there's always something to be learned from a new challenge so in this post I'd like to point out a few things that I have gleaned from this experience.
The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has been around since the 1990s with a purpose of defining and distinguishing between various beer styles throughout the world and providing the common vocabulary necessary to describe the differences in the taste, smell, mouthfeel, and appearance of those styles. Thus, it provides a standard framework upon which brewing competitions may be based when comparing the quality of various beers produced by both hobbyists and professional brewers. In this series of two posts I will discuss my experience in preparing for the BJCP exam which enables individuals to participate as qualified judges in BJCP-sanctioned brewing competitions. In this first part I will discuss the preparation for and completion of the online portion of the exam ("Entrance Exam") and in the second part I will discuss the tasting portion of the exam.