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How We Score

Learn about our scoring and evaluation methods for beer, non-alcoholic beer, cider, mead and seltzer reviews for The Beer Connoisseur® magazine & online's Official Review.

The Beer Connoisseur® magazine & online's Official Review - How We Score

Beer Reviews

Our beer reviews are conducted in a single blind tasting format that adhere to the Beer Judge Certification Program 2021 Style Guidelines.

Hard Cider Reviews

Our cider reviews adhere to the Beer Judge Certification Program 2015 Cider Guidelines.

Mead Reviews

Our mead reviews adhere to the Beer Judge Certification Program 2015 Mead Guidelines.

Seltzer Reviews

Our seltzer reviews adhere to The Beer Connoisseur's Hard Seltzer Style Definitions & Judging Guidelines (2022).

The above methods provide the best opportunity to rely on facts and to avoid favoritism, ensuring a level playing field for all brewers. It serves both the industry and the consumer to have unbiased and objective scores from qualified experts.

To best implement this approach, the Official Review is open to those with established experience as a Master Cicerone® from the Cicerone® Certification Program or as a judge that has accomplished the rank of National or higher from the Beer Judge Certification Program.

In the single blind tasting format, judges are presented with a chilled, properly poured beverage and given its style category. Scoring is then done on the following basis using a 100-point scale:

Aroma (as appropriate for style)
Review malt, hops, esters, and other aromatics.
(24 points)

Appearance (as appropriate for style)
Review color, clarity, and head (retention, color and texture)
(6 points)

Flavor (as appropriate for style)
Review malt, hops, fermentation characteristics, balance, finish/aftertaste, and other flavor characteristics.
(40 points)

Mouthfeel (as appropriate for style)
Review body, carbonation, warmth, creaminess, astringency, and other palate sensations.
(10 points)

Overall Impression
Review overall drinking pleasure associated with entry, make suggestions for improvement.
(20 points)


Score Breakdown

100 to 96: World Class  You need this beer in your life.

95 to 91: Exceptional  Don’t hesitate.

90 to 86: Very Good  A brew to savor.

85 to 75: Average – Somewhat unimpressive.

74 and below: Not Recommended  Just walk away.

Availability Definitions
Limited Release (beer will re-emerge)
Special Release / Collaboration (beer will not re-emerge / one-off batch)


Over the years, The Beer Connoisseur® has established what many regard as the most professionally conducted and respected expert beer review in media. This has been accomplished in large part by the efforts and dedication of a number of active members of the BJCP program including the late Charlie Gow, Pete Garofalo, Tom Cannon, Tim Artz, Rick Garvin, Phil Farrell and Owen Ogletree.

The Beer Connoisseur's panel is growing a community of highly qualified BCJP judges and Master Cicerone® professionals conducting single blind reviews. The goal is to inform consumers and industry followers worldwide on how experts think about beer. We want to encourage online readers to appreciate an expert point of view and to grow a deeper appreciation for beer.

The community is unique because it allows our judges to align their reputations with one of the strongest and most recognized independent media brands for beer. The credibility of The Beer Connoisseur®, and our judging community as a whole, relies on the expertise and integrity of its members.

Meet our Judges


If you meet the minimum criteria of holding a BJCP national rank or higher, or you are a Master Cicerone®, and you are not currently employed by a brewery or distributor, we welcome your application to join our community.

Download Application


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