Talk about the quickest two hours of my life as time flew while trying to quickly describe what I percieved in these beers. It was certainly a unique set of circumstances for a test being that it was essentially a blind beer tasting exam where they give you a blank BJCP exam sheet with many of the descriptive words from the left column removed, pour you a beer and tell you what sort of beer they’re claiming it to be. Walking in to the exam I thought that 15 minutes was an extremely long period of time to describe a beer but actually you’re scrambling to finish each beers description in 15 minutes.
As far as which beers were thrown at us it wasn’t that bad. Premium American Lager, Mild, ESB, American Rye, Doppel bock and English Barleywine. I was at least fairly familiar with taste profiles of all but the Rye. I have a hard time understanding rye taste in beer but I think I winged it ok with my base understanding of the style. I suspect that all of the BJCP exams for the most part go easy on which beers folks have to judge and don’t go all the way to the really obscure styles. I talked with a guy who took it at a different location and he was hit with some fairly familiar styles as well.
The Bay Area Mastronauts made the whole experience a lot of fun. They were very hospitable and fun to be around. It certainly made the whole “test” aspect of it a little less anxious experience for me. They’ve got their own home brewing competition coming up here in a few months that I’ll have to go check out.
After the exam we all headed down to a place called Boondoggles that had pretty awesome pizza, calzones and an excellent selection of draft beers. The restaurant had a great view of the water and some really cool decour. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in Houston/ SeaBrook