In 2007, a new program began that would bring the same level of knowledge to the world of malt and hops as the wine sommelier extinction brings to the world of wine. The Cicerone Certification Program is for experts who love and are passionate about beer. It is the most advanced and difficult beer education program in existence for the world of craft beer.
The exams provide well-known and respected benchmarks for assigning beer expertise. There are four levels of of Cicerones. The levels start out with Certified Beer Servers (an online exam), Certified Cicerones (an in-person test, complete with a tasting component), a 3rd-level rank of Advanced Cicerone was introduced in 2015 to distinguish those individuals who had advanced their knowledge to an expert level, and the top level of Master Cicerone (an in-person exam lasting two days).
The exams focus on five basic components: keeping and serving beer; beer styles; flavor and tasting; brewing process and ingredients; and beer and food pairing. As you study for the Cicerone tests, you will learn to properly pour beer, select and clean beer glasses, clean tap systems, pair beer and food. You’ll also gather knowledge about beer styles, brewing ingredients, off flavors, and world beer cultures. The Cicerone titles hold trademark status in the US, Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world.
Who Becomes Cicerones?
A lot of beer bars and restaurants use the first step (Certified Beer Server) as a way to train staff. But even if you’re not in the industry, it’s a good way to brush up on basics if you’re looking to learn more about beer. Those who pass the 2nd and 3rd level Certified Cicerone exams are mature beer professionals who make suitable candidates for on-premises beer program managers, beverage managers, distributor craft/specialty sales personnel and brewery sales and management representatives.
As far as Master Cicerone goes, only one or two individuals typically pass that exam each year. This exam boasts only roughly a 10% pass rate and only 18 individual currently hold the title. You can’t just study up and pass this test, beer has to be your life! To ensure the validity of a Cicerone title for any individual, in any country, you can check this online certification directory.
Raise your glass to beer and the betterment of beer!