The purpose of this webinar is to help prepare prospective or new judges for the entrance exam and the judging exam. In the first half of the webinar, I will provide some insight into strategies to maximize your chances of passing the BJCP Online Entrance Exam. We will talk about time management, preparation, and how to take the exam. In the second half, we will also talk about how to fill out the BJCP scoresheet fully to boost your chances at not only nailing a passing score, but also possibly elevate your skills to the next level if you are re-taking the exam. Filling out a scoresheet properly and fully not only helps you on your judging exam, but it’s also a skill you can take with you to the table.
Link to Jason’s 2015 Video on Loom (please add your comments)
About Jason Johnson:
I started brewing in 2000 when I was given a basic homebrewing kit for Christmas. Like most people at the time, I started with extract. Even when it comes to cooking, I rarely follow a recipe to the letter and always end up tweaking them, so it wasn’t long before I was creating my own recipes. One of those recipes was Vader’s Fist. A chocolate stout with cacao nibs, which back in 2002 was not all that common. Anyway, I thought the beer was so good I would enter it into a homebrew competition, which was the Schooner Homebrew competition, and see how landed. That beer ended up taking a silver medal, which to me for my first competition sparked an interest. How was my beer judged? How does one become qualified to judge beer? So, I reached out to the homebrew club that sponsored the competition and they pointed me to the nearest club that was hosting BJCP prep classes (The Green Bay Rackers). I signed up right away for the course and drove back and forth never missing a class. I was hooked. I registered as soon as possible to take my exam and passed at the Certified level. Since that time I have re-tested and currently hold the rank of National with the BJCP. I may have nailed the judging exam but I still struggle with the written exam. Admittedly, the essay format is not for everyone.
I have this strong urge to help educate and help people get started in either homebrewing or judging. Up until recently, I have been very active in my local homebrewing community. I was a member of the Manty Malters Homebrew club since it’s rebirth in the early 2000s. During my time there, I held the positions of President, Media Manager, and the “BJCP education guy”. Back when blogs were the rage, I had my Barleypopmaker’s beer blog, which is still kind of up but I am not an active blogger anymore. I also recorded a Free BJCP prep course that I uploaded to YouTube. The reason I created and uploaded that, was at the time there really were no free video presentations on YouTube and I wanted to try to give people who maybe didn’t have a close-by homebrew club, a basic resource to at least get familiar with the BJCP and judging process. I did receive some emails that people have taken my online course and then took and passed in the exam. I think the most mail I got about that came from Europe. Not everyone has a homebrew club close enough that they can attend regular classes, but they may be able to watch those videos, drive to take an exam, and drive to the occasional competition. I also co-hosted the Brewnology podcast, which was similar in nature. We tried to cover everything we could think of in terms of beer judging and evaluation and the show ran its course at about the 50 episode mark. I also worked at the local Homebrew shop (Grape Grain and Bean) for a few years on weekends and I hosted both their basic and advanced homebrewing classes. I still write beer reviews for Beer Connoisseur magazine and I also have written a piece for Beer Connoisseur on cellaring beer. Today, I don’t have quite as much time for all the extra stuff as I would like, as family and career paths tend to change. I have left the Manty Malters homebrew club and quit my weekend gig at Grape Grain and Bean, mostly because the schedules no longer mesh with my family and career life. I am still brewing and recently upgraded all my equipment from the standard mash-tun/boil kettle setup to the all-in-one, Robobrew. I also am set up to do both small batches and standard 5-gallon batches, as I obviously am not sharing as much beer as I was. I still judge on the weekends that mesh with my family schedule and I still like to help share the interest and love of beer and judging when I can.