Retired Exams

The BJCP continues to update exams to better meet the needs of examinees and the BJCP. When an exam type is no longer used, it becomes a Legacy exam. The rules for taking exams and advancing in rank are updated to reflect the proper paths regardless if a current exam is taken or if a Legacy exam was previously taken.

We maintain information on the retired exams for reference purposes only, such as if a member doesn’t remember which exam format was taken but can recognize it by the style of exam.

Legacy Beer Judge Exam

The BJCP Legacy Beer Judge Examination is the beer judge exam that existed prior to 1 April 2012.

The BJCP Legacy Beer Examination consisted of two parts (essay and tasting) that were completed in a three-hour time period. The essay portion was worth 70 percent of the final score and was designed to determine the examinee’s overall knowledge of beer and the ability to clearly express that information in writing.

The tasting portion of the exam was worth 30 percent of the final score, and each candidate was asked to judge four beers as if in a competition setting. To score well on the tasting portion, the prospective judge must have accurately scored each beer, described all significant aspects of it, and commented on style characteristics.

On the essay portion, there were ten questions covering beer styles and brewing techniques, with the latter focusing on the relationship of ingredients and the brewing process to flavors in the finished beer. The style questions typically asked for descriptions and comparisons of related beer styles, including information on the historical development, ingredients, style parameters, commercial examples and the brewing process. In addition to style and technical questions, since judges represent the BJCP, part of one question asked for a brief description of the purpose and levels of judging program. 

These updates to the exam program did not change ranks or exam scores for any existing BJCP judge. For judges that previously entered the program by passing the Legacy Beer Judge Exam, the method of advancement does not change and the method of determining composite exam scores will not change automatically. Composite (total) scores continue to be computed using 70% of the essay score and 30% of the tasting score until the judge takes a current exam.

Legacy Mead Judge Exam

The BJCP Mead Examination offered before 1 November 2015 is referred to as the BJCP Legacy Mead Examination.

The legacy mead exam consisted of written and practical judging sections covering important knowledge necessary to properly evaluate mead. Subjects included mead styles, characteristics of mead, mead ingredients, troubleshooting faults, and controlling the mead-making process. The written portion consisted of seven essay questions in a two-hour session followed by judging three meads in a 45-minute session.

The time allotted to the written and tasting sections could not be combined. No partial retakes of the mead exam were allowed; the entire test had to be retaken. While section scores were recorded, passing was based on total performance on a single exam. Scores for the written and tasting portions were combined in a 70/30 ratio to determine an overall exam score. A combined score of 60% or higher was required to pass.

The Legacy essay portion had two sections: on fill-in-the-blank and true-false section on the Mead Judge program and the general mead judging process and ethics, and one essay section on selected topics. The fill-in-the-blank questions are designed to test knowledge of the Mead Judge program as described on the BJCP web site, and the judging process and ethics questions were taken from the BJCP Judge Procedures Manual.

Each essay question could be answered in one to two pages and covered the following topics:

  • Mead Balance and Style Attributes
  • Varietal Honey Identification and Usage
  • Non-Honey Ingredients in Mead
  • Identifying/Troubleshooting Mead Characteristics and Faults
  • Mead Making and Process Control
  • Scenario-based Troubleshooting