Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beer... who dreams of beer?

After spending the last several months, studying for the Beer Judge Certification Program, exam. I can now say I dream about beer. The test is this Saturday...

I have been drinking beer for a long time... took me until my mid-20's to appreciate that beer had more to offer than just a buzz, who knew... Well some 20 years later, I have been to various parts of the globe for the sole purpose to enjoy locally brewed beer. Trips to Canada, Belgium, Scotland, England, Germany, and while I was in France on work, I did enjoy a beer or two, but if you are going to France, the wine is pretty hard to beat. I wrote the first Google beer mashup, based on my desire to find good beer when travling.

Anyway I digress... so last February several members of Brew Free or Die, a homebrewing club to which I belong, talked long time member Dan Hall, who's a Grand Master at judging, to organize an exam. I hate taking tests, have put off taking this exam for well over 10 years. I have flown about the country to judge beer, and mead on numerous occasions.

I think I know my way around the pint glass... you found this blog... see for your self.

So I joined a study group, we met for several weeks to talk about making beer, and to of course sample and discuss various beer styles. Very enjoyable and quite a learning experience. While the study sessions have ended, I have really ramped up my own studying for the exam.

My goal, to get a B or higher. It's going to be difficult, I speak about beer all the time, but now I have to know facts, and prove it with my ability to communicate with pencil and paper. Like... what's a traditional example of a American Light Lager... easy: Bud Light, ok what's the style range... OG: 1.020 - 1.040, FG: 0.998 - 1.008, IBU: 8 - 12, SRM: 2 - 3,
wow I have that to memory, only 70 more... and it gets harder, LOTS harder than this.

Thankfully I have sampled quite a number of the beers that are on the list over the year. Many of which aren't surprising are favorite examples of the style. That's why they are considered classic examples by the BJCP after all.

My beer library is fairly exhaustive, I subscribe to 3 different beer magazines. Other than increasing my natural ability to exceed on tests... I think I have this one as prepared for as possible. So bring it on.

And a special thanks to Dan Hall for all he's done to get this exam put together!!!


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