BJCP Study Class

Instructor: John Tyler - National BJCP Judge

Class Details

What: 6 sessions
Location: Amsterdam Brewer Leaside (45 Esandar Dr, Toronto)
Cost: $90 ($15/class and covers the beer served)
Dates: 3rd Tuesday of the Month (Nov 2016 - Apr 2017)
- Nov 15th, Dec 20th, Jan 17th, Feb 21st, Mar 21st, Apr 18th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Who: 12 people per cohort

GTA Brews' BJCP Class is back! Our goal is to help prospective judges study for the BJCP Tasting Exam. The class will teach future judges how to evaluate and enjoy beer, how to read and understand the 2015 BJCP Guidelines, and how to complete high quality BJCP Scoresheets. This is not a "How To Brew" class, participants are expected to have some basic knowledge of the brewing process and ideally are homebrewers themselves (though not required).

John is a National BJCP judge and has been judging both homebrew and commercial beer competitions for over 15 years. We are very excited to have him teaching the class.

This is a 6 session commitment, all participants sign up for the full 6 classes. The class fee will be used to cover the cost of the commercial examples being evaluated in the class. If you cannot attend one (or more) of the six classes your fee will not be refunded since it will have been spent to buy beer for the class. Some basic palate cleaners will be provided such as salt-free crackers or bread.

Due to limited amount of in-class time, this class will not be able to cover every BJCP style in the Guidelines. The class will cover a diverse subset of styles to cover in class, with the expectation that participants are doing their own studying outside of class.

We encourage you to consider enrolling even if your BJCP Tasting Exam isn't for a while because a different subset of styles will be covered in subsequent iterations of the class so returning students will continue to be exposed to new styles.

Students are encouraged to make and bring homebrew examples of the styles being studied in class. This will be extremely helpful for other students since some styles are difficult to find examples of.

Note: Completion of this class does not make you a BJCP Judge. There is a separate BJCP Tasting Exam that must be completed and marked by the BJCP.

Class Format

Session 1 - Introduction

Introduction to the BJCP. Introduction to beer evaluation and recording your tasting notes using the BJCP Scoresheet.  Why beer evaluation is important for brewers.  Structured tasting with a selection of beer styles to give an overview of the breadth of flavours that may be encountered. Introduction to the Online Exam.

Note: Depending on the number of repeat students, this may be tweaked slightly.

Sessions 2 to 5 - Style Exploration

These sessions will explore the selected subset of styles for this offering the course and follow a rough outline:

  • Overview of style, including history and any highlight any special ingredients or processes used.
  • Review commercial samples that exemplify the style.
  • Structured tasting segment:
    • 4 - 6 examples that can be reviewed by the group.
    • Intention is to have a group discussion on the flavours and tastes that are experienced.
    • Calibrate the palate.
    • Complete and compare scoresheets.

For this offering of this class the plan is to cover 2 categories in each class:

  • Session 2: Cat 2 (International Lager), Cat 7 (Amber Bitter European Beer)
  • Session 3: Cat 4 (Pale Malty European Lager), Cat 15 (Irish Beer)
  • Session 4: Cat 13 (Brown British Bitter), Cat 21 (IPA)
  • Session 5: Cat 25 (Strong Belgian Ale), and Cat 29 (Fruit Beer)

Session 6 -Mock Exam

This class consist mostly of a 90 minute mock version of the BJCP Tasting Exam. The exam will be followed by a de-brief of the beers presented in the exam.


To enroll in the class, please email to arrange payment. Enrollment preference will first be given to people currently signed up for tasting exams, but there is expected to be plenty of room for people who just want to take the class to learn as well. Once payment is received your enrollment is confirmed.

Previous Classes

Cohort 1 (May - Oct 2016)
Cat 1 (Standard American Beer), Cat 8 (Dark European Lager), Cat 10 (German Wheat Beer), Cat 16 (Dark British Beer),  Cat 11 (British Bitter), Cat 18 (Pale American Ale),  Cat 26 (Trappist Beer), and Cat 30 (Spiced Beer)