The very rapid growth of the amateur winemaking movement during the 1950s produced its own problems, particularly in the competitive field. Differences in judging methods between one judge and another were causing concern among exhibitors. It was evident that a standard method of judging and marking must be laid down and adhered to by every judge. Furthermore, the method must be publicised so that show organisers and exhibitors would be in no doubt that wines would be appraised equally, anywhere, at any time.

Early in 1963 the possibility of a National Guild of Judges was considered. The Amateur Winemakers' National Conference Committee was in sympathy with the idea, and it was agreed that Mr S.W. Andrews, the convenor of judges, should invite the 1964 Conference judges to form a Guild of Judges under the auspices of the National Conference Committee.

A meeting of the Conference Judges for 1964 was called in London in November 1963. The members present decided to form an association to be known as the Amateur Winemakers' National Guild of Judges, and elected a committee with Mr S.W. Andrews as Chairman and Mr B.C.A. Turner as Secretary. This committee worked out the details of a handbook to contain a standard method of judging, guidance for competitors and show organisers, and details of examination for future candidates for membership of the Guild. The handbook was approved and adopted by the General Meeting held in June 1964.

Click here to view articles published in Amateur Winemaker regarding the setting up of the Guild in December 1963, May 1964, and August 1964.

In October 1978, to recognise the increasing importance of the Beer Judges in the movement, the name of the association was changed to the National Guild of Wine and Beer Judges.

Guild members officiate at all the major amateur wine and beer shows in England and Wales and are always available to give advice on all aspects of winemaking or beer making.

Standardised tuition for the Guild examination is organised regularly throughout the country.

As a leading organisation within the amateur winemaking and beer making movement, the Guild is always striving to improve the expertise of its members so that they continue to provide the best and most consistent standard of judging for amateur competitions.

Click here to view lists of past Chairmen and Presidents.

Last updated: 27/12/18
Copyright: 2006 NGWBJ