The Beer Judge Certification Program, Inc. (BJCP) is a world-wide certifying organization for judges of beer and related fermented products. Founded in 1985, we now have a presence in over 60 countries and have more than 7500 active judges in the program. Judges are certified through an examination covering technical aspects of brewing, world beer styles, the purpose of the BJCP, and judging procedures, and by demonstrating practical judging skills. Judges are ranked based on their examination scores and accumulation of practical judging experience.
While often referred to as a honey wine, that’s not entirely accurate. Made with honey, water, and yeast, rather than fruit, mead resides in its own category of alcoholic beverage. Even the meads that are flavored with a variety of fruit are not considered wines.
Chinese pottery vessels dating from 7000 B.C.E. suggest evidence of mead fermentation that predates both wine and beer.
Referred to as “nectar of the gods” by ancient Greeks, mead was believed to be dew sent from the heavens and collected by bees. Many European cultures considered bees to be the gods’ messengers, and mead was thus associated with immortality and other magical powers, such as divine strength and wit.