BJCP | You're trying too hard

B - beer 

J - judge 

C - certification

 P - program

Has a legacy of being late, debated, over rated and over used.

I'm not going to dig into the details on this one, but there was a 2008 version of the guidelines that was intended to be updated somewhere in 2015 or maybe it was even in 2014 that they announced it. All I know is that they announced an update and then it took forever. They went over their release date by a lot. This is because these guidelines are such a shit show to agree on. 

In French, we call this a bordel.

They still haven't got around to updating their website, but I kinda like the homely feel.

Click to view the official BJCP website circa 2003

It seems that everyone want to discuss rather or not the BJCP is bad for the brewing hobby, How their favorite style not being represented properly, or their country not being given the appropriate amount of credit or that prescribing styles can cause trouble in one's relationship with their beer.

When reading the introduction to the BJCP guidelines it is stated openly that these are a flexible set of protocol, basic building blocks, to help event organizers, and not intended to be limiting for brewers or consumers in any way. 

If you find yourself parsing the guidelines like you're trying to find a secret message if played backwards, you're trying too hard.


Everyone knows that there is no general rule for the difference between : Imperial Ipa, Triple Ipa, Extra Ipa , Ruthless Ipa and so on. Brewer's are welcome to blend and expand on beer style tags in which ever way they feel will appeal to their market.

I feel personally that it helps understand what the beer is TRYING to be. If I pick up an Ipa and it distinctly tastes like a Belgian Wit with a shit ton of hops in it... well that's confusing, I wanted an Ipa. White Ipa, voilá.

Here in Paris, style tags are as elastic and distorted as anywhere else, with the term "blonde" defining any and all beer that is light in color. So for me, at this time and place at least, the structure that the BJCP lends to a drunk like me, is nice. 

With the time and effort these geeks put into making the this (long coming) revision, how could you not appreciate it for what it is?

You don't have to study it, but there's no use in complaining about it.

That being said, becoming a BJCP beer judge is one of my missions this year, so I may be biased toward appreciating the book.

There are some great resources online if the guidelines are interesting, including Sheppy's attempt at brewing one of each beer style, and finding which beer judge program is best for you personally. 

I want to do them all! Wish me luck. 

XO