The BJCP uses a tiered rank system for beer judges, but also has ranks for mead and cider judges. Ranks are determined by the exams taken, the highest scores on those exams, and the amount of experience points earned. The judge rank requirements and rules have been revised several times; this describes the current system for judges entering the program today. Existing judges may follow different rules based on when they entered the program.
Only those judges who have passed a BJCP judging exam are considered full BJCP members. Judges must show activity every two years to remain active in the program. See Judge Status.
Beer Judge Ranks
|Judging Score||Composite (Judging/Written Exam Avg.)||Total||Judging|
The Grand Master rank is awarded in levels, starting with Grand Master I. Each additional Grand Master level has the same requirements as the original Grand Master rank: 100 experience points with 50 from judging, and an additional GMSR – see the Grand Master Service Requirement rules for details).
Honorary Master is a temporary rank for judges who serve as regional representatives or directors of the program at their discretion, but only for the duration of their service. The rank may also be awarded permanently by the BJCP Board of Directors to judges who have demonstrated Master Judge proficiency but who have not necessarily taken the exam. Individuals awarded this rank are authorized to wear and use the Master pin.
Honorary Grand Master is a permanent rank awarded to individuals by the BJCP Board of Directors for extraordinarily long and meritorious service involving significant, meaningful, and sustained work for the BJCP. Individuals awarded this rank are authorized to wear and use the Grand Master pin and rank. To date, this rank has only been awarded once (*** add link to Russ award).
Mead Judge Ranks
Mead Judge is awarded to someone who has taken and passed the Mead Judging Exam. If the judge has not passed the Beer Judge Exam, Mead Judge is a rank; otherwise, it is an endorsement.
Cider Judge Ranks
Cider Judge is awarded to someone who has taken and passed the Cider Judging Exam. If the judge has not passed the Beer Judge Exam, Cider Judge is a rank; otherwise, it is an endorsement.
Apprentice Judge is a temporary rank used to describe someone who has taken but not passed a judging exam. The judge has two years to pass the same judging exam or become an Affiliated member, a special type of Inactive judge. Apprentice judges are not full members of the BJCP.
Provisional Judge is a term used to describe someone who has passed one of the BJCP online entrance exams; it is not a BJCP rank. This status is temporary; those passing an online qualifier exam have one year in which to pass a judging exam.
Non-BJCP Judge is the proper term to describe a person who has not taken a BJCP exam but who judges in competitions. This is not an official BJCP rank, but this description is used on the BJCP scoresheets. The term “Novice” is no longer used.