Beer Knowledge

The results are in. I took the BJCP on March 2nd and my score was emailed on June 3rd.

The score: 80


That’s a relief. I was really hoping for at least an 80 because that is the score needed to qualify for National ranking.

Now I’ll tell you all about the exam in case I can help some BJCP hopefuls out there prepare. First, here is the exam feedback sheet I received with my score:

Read the full article...


Aecht SchlenkerlaAs I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’m headed to Munich in May.

Part of my brutal training regimen is drinking a ton of German beer. We’re planning on spending one or two days of the trip in Bamberg, which is about 140 miles north of Munich. It’s home to the Rauchbier style of beer, or “smoke beer”. No liquid smoke in these though. This is the reaaaal deal. They produced it via the authentic practice of smoking the malt during the kilning process.

Read the full article...


Beer barrel cellar roomWood aging isn’t new. It’s what was used to ferment, age, and transport beer before there was anything better, like stainless steel.

But that doesn’t mean breweries aren’t innovating with wood.

Not content with simply “wood-aging” beer, craft breweries are experimenting with new creations made with this ancient technique. We’ll look at some of the different methods that are being used in today’s beers, along with examples.

Read the full article...


5 weeks.Sour beers for the bjcp exam.

That’s how far away the BJCP exam is.

For some background, I’ve been wanting to become a certified beer judge for years now. Last January it was one of my New Years Resolutions to pass the exam; a group of us formed to study for it.

There is a huge demand for the BJCP and not enough resources, so the earliest we could schedule it was March 2013. In hindsight, I’m glad we’ve had over a year to study because it’s a ton to learn and a whole lot of fun.

We’ve been fairly consistent about meeting every two weeks. The study sessions generally go like this:

Read the full article...


Book Review: Bitter Brew

by Billy Broas

My experience with Anheuser-Busch goes far back and beyond beer. Growing up in Williamsburg, Virginia I was constantly exposed to AB. Many of my friends’ parents worked at the giant factory. Busch Gardens was an annual summer tradition. It may even surprise (or horror) my readers to know that I was once employed by AB. Not in beer, but as a lifeguard at their Water Country USA theme park.

I remember the time that August Busch came for a visit. The entire place went into panic mode. I cleaned the hell out of the bathrooms that day. You would have thought that God himself was coming down for judgement.

That was my first experience with the Busch men and the power they wield. Or should I say, wielded.

Read the full article...


Beer books make a great gift for the beer drinker in your life. There are hundreds of great ones, but for this post I’ll focus on books that were released in the past couple of years because there’s a good chance the person you’re buying for hasn’t read them yet.

Read the full article...


My Favorite Beer Glass

by Billy Broas

Read the full article...


Is studying the psychology of a beer drinker like studying the psychology of a fruit fly? Shallow and futile?

I like to think we have a few more marbles rolling around, and it seems we can even offer valuable insights into human behavior.

Read the full article...


Imported Craft Beer on shelvesWay back when, if you wanted to drink something different in the U.S., it had to be an import. You could argue that dark beer meant import. To many it still does.

Things have obviously changed. There are around 2,000 breweries in the U.S. each producing around a dozen beers, which if my math is correct, equals a shit-ton of different beers.

I know it’s overwhelming for me. I try to drink as many different varieties as possible. My uniques on Untappd are more important to me than my total.

But we don’t live in a bubble, and the craft revolution is taking place at a worldwide scale. Mikkeller, Brew Dog, and Baird are all familiar names of international craft breweries. Not to mention the “old” imports: Sam Smiths, Chimay, Orval, Weihenstephaner, etc.

My question is this – do you make an effort to drink craft beers from other countries, or is trying American craft beer enough of a challenge for you? Let us know below.

Read the full article...


Review of beer jobberSome of you might have heard about an interesting new service for buying beer online called Beerjobber.

I spoke on the phone with Beerjobber founder Sean Nevins to get more info on how the whole thing works.

BeerJobber has a unique business model. They have two main goals:

  • Give you access to beers not available in your area
  • Get those beers to you fast and fresh

Read the full article...