I Am A Cicerone® Program Certified Beer Server
Recently, I decided to complete the first level certification of the Cicerone® program, becoming a Certified Beer Server. Cicerone® is the industry standard for identifying those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service. There are three certification levels: Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone®, and Master Cicerone®.
Becoming a Certified Beer Server requires you to take a timed test that consists of 60 questions about serving beer, beer styles, beer flavor and evaluation, beer ingredients and brewing processes, and food pairings. In order to pass, you must complete the test in 30 minutes and score at least 75 points. I scored 95 points, missing three questions. The cost to take the test is $69 US.
I’m not in the beer industry and I don’t make a living from selling or serving beer, but I wanted to take the test because beer is my passion and I wanted to put all the knowledge I’ve gained about beer to use. While the Certified Beer Server qualification certainly doesn’t mean that I can taste beer better than anyone else, it does prove that I have a basic understanding of beer flavors and the brewing process. I put my certificate on the front of my fridge.
I’m not sure if I will pursue Certified Cicerone® status, as it requires a significant amount of money and intense training regarding off-flavors and retail service issues like draught lines and systems. I would like to go for it, but I have to remember that beer doesn’t pay my bills, for the time being.
That said, I do think the Certified Beer Server certification would be a worthwhile investment for anyone scratching beyond the surface of beer, whether that be a home brewer, beer blogger, or retailer. I’d even go so far as to say if you serve beer for a living, you should be required to have the certification — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out and had someone making terrible errors when it comes to pouring beer or describing a particular style of beer, all of which could be eliminated with the achievement of this basic certification.
Check out the Cicerone® Program if you’re so inclined.