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Making the BJCP test look easy

Many have equated taking the Beer Judge Certification Program exam to tackling the law boards. That might be a stretch, but it’s tough enough that a presidential candidate could gain a few more votes by suggesting a “No brewer left behind” program.

But the BJCP test looks a lot easier when you look at what it takes to earn the title of Master of Wine.

Of course, the wine title also costs more.

The first hurdle for a prospective candidate is just to get in the program. Successful applicants typically have worked several years in the wine industry or hold a diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, an educational body affiliated with the IMT. They must write an essay (sample question: Discuss the role of wood in fermenting wine), and if accepted, they must part with $2,200 for a three-day seminar to introduce them to the program.

Almost makes you think wine experts have earned the right to sound pretentious.


Minnesota woman wins Lallemand scholarship

G.L. Exire LaTourA Minneapolis woman has won the 2006 Lallemand Scholarship that entitles her to a two-week brewing course at the Siebel Institute of Technology. Winner Gera (G.L.) Exire LaTour has been brewing since March 2004.

The Lallemand Scholarship goes annually to a member of the American Homebrewers’ and includes $2,900 for tuition to the World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology but also $1,000 to use for expenses.

The winner won her first blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair Home Brew Contest with a Cucumber Dill Cream Ale. She is an active member of the Minnesota Homebrewers Association, where she is known for her eclectic beers. She is a Certified Beer Judge with the BJCP and helps organize local BJCP exam prep classes.


Hey dad, how about a homebrew kit?

homebrewersThere’s much to be said for Arizona Daily Star’s story about homebrewing, pegged to the idea that a homebrew kit makes a good gift for Father’s Day.

It does. But you’ll be happier if you don’t let the headline (taken from a quote in the story) set your expectations too high.

It reads: “Homebrew: ‘You can’t buy beer as good as you can make'”

Wrong. Yes you can, and we’re not even going to bother to start listing the names of beers.

Back to homebrewing. You can learn to make great beer, better than some beers you buy and beer that you’ll like even better because you brewed it. Just be prepared for the consequences the story points out:

With Father’s Day approaching, you may be out shopping and see the beginners’ home beer kit and think, “Now that’s something Dad would love.” A word of warning — within its cute little brown plastic barrel and embossed staves is a lifestyle change, poised and just waiting to strike.

And that’s a good thing.