Tap Into a Career in Beer With This Cicerone Certification Program

If you ask Ray Daniels, the founder and director of the Cicerone Certification Program, about what impressed him to create this system, he offers a fairly easy reply.

“In brief, unhealthy beer,” Daniels says. “As a long-time beer lover, I had grown bored with being served beer that didn’t style the way in which it ought to by individuals who knew nothing about them.”

Since its inception in 2007, this system’s purpose has been to teach professionals on beer kinds, brewing, storing and serving to make sure customers are going to get the very best product.

“With so many breweries and the way in which the market has grown, it’s necessary to know that the individual serving your beer or the individual making your beer is aware of what they’re doing,”  says Neil Callaghan, a sophisticated cicerone and El Lector at Cigar Metropolis Brewing in Tampa, Florida.

The Cicerone Certification Program

There are 4 ranges in this system, however don’t anticipate to breeze proper by them; it took Callaghan about seven years to achieve the superior degree, and there’s nonetheless yet one more to go!

Degree One: Licensed Beer Server

This entry-level certification is all concerning the fundamentals. You’ll be examined on correct beer service, comparable to pouring and dealing with, in addition to primary beer type historical past.

The examination consists of 60 a number of selection questions, and you’ve got a 30-minute time restrict. Every examination charge offers you two makes an attempt to move.

  • Examination Payment: $69
  • Retake Payment: $69
  • Passing Grade: 75%

Degree Two: Licensed Cicerone

Whereas the beer server certification is ideal on your common bartender or beer gross sales rep, it doesn’t grant you the precise title of cicerone. If you wish to declare these bragging rights, you should move a three-part, four-hour examination to change into an official Licensed Cicerone.

You’ll take a written take a look at and a tasting portion to establish kinds and flavors. Additionally, you will need to carry out an indication pertaining to conserving and serving beer.

This take a look at is not any cake stroll — it’s recommended that until you might be already an skilled skilled, you spend at the least a 12 months making ready for this examination.

  • Examination Payment: $395
  • Retake Payment: $100 for tasting, $175 for written
  • Passing Grade: 80% total, 70% on tasting portion

Degree Three: Superior Cicerone

This degree is a reasonably new addition, launched in 2015 as a technique to bridge the large hole from Licensed Cicerone to Grasp Cicerone. With the intention to move the Superior Cicerone examination, a candidate will need to have skilled data on all points referring to beer, from meals pairing to brewing methods.

The examination is just given eight to 12 instances a 12 months in choose places. It lasts a full day and options a number of written, oral and tasting parts.

Suppose it sounds robust? You aren’t mistaken, seeing as there at present are solely 80 Superior Cicerones on this planet — together with Callaghan, after all.

  • Examination Payment: $795
  • Retake Payment: $250 for tasting, $375 for written
  • Passing Grade: 80% total, 75% on tasting portion

Degree 4: Grasp Cicerone

OK, y’all: That is the massive one. For those who thought the final one sounded onerous, put together yourselves.

The Grasp Cicerone examination is just given annually in Chicago, and it lasts two days. That’s proper, two full days of essays, oral exams and tasting exams. Not solely do you want encyclopedic data about beer to move this take a look at, but in addition years of in depth trade expertise.

Simply how many individuals have handed this grueling take a look at? Presently, solely 16.

  • Examination Payment: $995
  • Retake Payment: $795
  • Passing Grade: 85% total

How Do You Put together for the Exams?

hand presenting small glass of beer
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

You drink plenty of beer. That’s it.

Simply kidding. When you do must drink plenty of beer with a view to familiarize your self with kinds and flavors, you’re additionally going to need to hit the books.

Every examination has a free accompanying syllabus that outlines all of the data you’ll be examined on. Daniels suggests you become familiar with this syllabus after which seek the advice of this system’s out there instructional sources.

These embrace in-person lessons, course books, flash playing cards, visible aids and tasting kits. Bear in mind these aren’t free, however additionally they aren’t vital to reach this program.

Callaghan’s methodology? Good old style be aware taking and beer consuming.

“I turned my kitchen desk in my home right into a desk, primarily,” he says. “It was plenty of going by books, writing, underlining, taking the underlines and placing them in a pocket book, sorting the entire notebooks into totally different notebooks, making flashcards… after which plenty of consuming beer.”

On prime of burying himself in books, Callaghan recruited some work pals to assist him with style exams.

He despatched somebody all the way down to the liquor retailer armed with $200 and directions to purchase an assortment of beers. He then had somebody blindly pour these so he may style for kinds and flavors and establish whether or not or not something was mistaken with them.

One e book that each Callaghan and Daniels advocate is “Tasting Beer” by Randy Mosher. Callaghan says it’s an awesome useful resource to begin with as a result of it touches on all of the totally different features you’ll be examined on.

Utilizing Your Certification

For those who’re concerned with getting a profession within the beer trade, beginning with the Cicerone Certification Program may very well be a sensible choice.

Not solely will it offer you well-rounded, intensive data on all issues beer, it may offer you an edge over the competitors once you apply for a job. It’s not your final key to entry, however it helps.

Don’t consider me?

Daniels says many individuals have approached him with success tales about how their certification landed them a job, and Callaghan resides proof that changing into a cicerone is helpful.

Test this out if you wish to learn extra about his private expertise as a cicerone within the beer world.

And on the finish of the day, yet one more individual with a certification means one much less individual being served unhealthy beer. I believe that makes all of it price it, don’t you?

Kaitlyn Blount is a junior workers author at The Penny Hoarder.

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