BJCP Study Group FAQ

Each year, the Guild organizes a BJCP Study Group to prepare potential judges for the BJCP exams. Here are the details:

What is it?
This is a very intense 7 week course designed to prepare participants for taking the Beer Judging Certification Program exam. Students are active participants in the class. There will be homework, reading and research to do. Everyone picks a beer style and prepares a 5 minute presentation on it. Each day we spend half the class on a topic and half the time on a beer style.

When is it?
The class is usually in the Spring starting early March, typically on Sundays and will end in late April/early May. There are a couple of blackout days for Easter and Mother’s day.
Class time will be determined by the attendees but is typically afternoon/early evening somewhere in the 2pm-7pm timeframe for 4 hours each week.

Where is the class held?
MD Homebrew in Columbia.

How much does it cost?
It will vary depending on number of attendees but is typically around $100 per person. This covers all the beer samples, snacks and course materials.

How do I sign up?
Due to high demand, each Guild club gets to nominate 2 of it’s members for “guaranteed” slots in each year’s program. Please see your club’s Guild Rep or officers to get your name in the hat. Reps may submit more than 2 names and the additional ones are placed on the waiting list and contacted if extra spots are available. Not a member of a club? Contact Les, and ask him to add you to the waiting list for next class.

Is this class for me?
This is a very technical class that digs deeply into each beer ingredient, brewing procedures, and processes that make beer. In addition, several beer styles are sampled and researched to learn their origins/history, ingredients, aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel. Beer troubleshooting – flaws and their causes/remedies is also covered. You don’t need to be a homebrewer but having some prior brewing experience (or even observing others brew) will definitely provide a solid background to build upon in this class.

Is there an exam, do I have to become a judge?

No, this class will prepare you to become a judge but there is no exam scheduled in conjunction with the class. Some students just take it to learn more about homebrewing. Others go on to take the BJCP Online exam and eventually the written and tasting exams.

What if I can’t make all 7 classes?
If you know you’ll be unavailable 1 or 2 of the classes, that’s fine. We provide handouts the next class you attend. If you think you’ll miss like half the classes, you probably don’t want to sign up as you won’t really get your money’s worth. Oh, and no we don’t save you samples of beer from classes you miss! (Can you believe someone actually asked me to do that?)

If you want more details on topics, styles at this point, visit and click on the Exam section, thumb through the Study Guide.