Beer Judging

So you would like to learn more about judging beer? Excellent! The Club needs good beer judges to progress and the key to being a good beer judge is to be able to perceive what you are tasting and smelling and to be able to accurately describe that on paper.
I suggest you read the So You Want to be a Beer Judge article then the Creating and Recognising Good Score Sheets article, take a look at the beer faults then print out some tick and flick score sheets. Go down to your local bottlo that sells good beer and buy some commercial examples of styles that are in the style guide. For example:

  • American Pale ale - LCPA,  Alpha pale ale or Epic pale ale
  • Australian Dark ale - Tooheys old
  • Extra Special Bitter - Fullers ESB

You ge the drift? There are heaps of commercial examples that fit the style guides. So buy some of these, sit yourself down in a quiet place, read the style guide then write down how you perceive the aroma, appearance, taste, mouthfeel and overall impression, then give scores depending on how well the beer fits the guidelines.
Using the tick and flick scoresheet is a good way to learn the different aspects of the various components of beer, for instance malt can be grainy, bready, rich, dark fruit, toasty, roasty or burnt. Try and do two or 3 beers a week and build up your beer vocabulary then start on the standard scoresheet (which you may recognise from the club mini-comps). Try and write as much information as you can about the beer you are judging, you can never give the brewer too much information on their beer but often many judges fall short with one line generalisations for each component.
Feel free to bring any of your completed score sheets in to any of the other committee members to discuss your progress and possible inclusion of future competitions. It should be the aim of a keen beer judge to one day judge in the AABC.


Tony Brown

BABBs Chief Steward 2010-2012