Amber Waves of Grain is Coming Up!

Get your entries in by March 19th! The full info is here:

Alex Placito is the head of judging at the 20th annual Amber Waves of Grain home brewing competition and I wanted to get into his head about the entire process of judging and becoming a judge.

I want to get into judging because I really enjoy beer <–Spoiler alert. I’ve started by taking the BJCP Online exam and…FAILED! I figured I would based on my experience in styles. The questions were difficult, but totally pragmatic. I’m in the process of retaking the exam after studying the style guide for a while and taking a beer course.

If you want the lowdown about the process of judging and becoming a judge, listen to Alex’s interview. here!

Here is a possible step-by-step process to becoming a Certified BJCP Judge:

  1. Make Beer (Alex’s step “0”)
  2. Study the study guide
  3. Take the online exam (Go for the 3 pack)
  4. Participate in a tasting exam and here are some score sheets (Get over a 70 to be certified)
  5. Reach out to Niagara Association of Homebrewers to help judge!


If you want to get a foot in the door and don’t feel ready to take the judging leap yet, stewarding may be the right fit for you. They are in charge of making the judging runs smoothly.

You get baptized into the world of judging

Sign up to steward at