Think you’re an expert on beer? Well, if you want to prove it you can sign up for the Cicerone Certification test at Hawthorne Suites in Missoula on Dec. 7.
The exam tests your knowledge of retail beer storage, modern beers and styles, flawed beers, beer ingredient, the brewing process, beer pairings for common foods and more. Cost is $345. In order be seated for the Cicerone Certification test you must have passed the Certified Beer Server exam in the past three years and have had at least one year of experience selling or serving beer.
In the wine world, the word “sommelier” designates those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving fine wine. Lately some beer servers have adopted the title “beer sommelier” to tie into the credibility of the wine world. But anyone can call themselves a beer sommelier regardless of knowledge or experience. And while some will be highly skilled, the only way to demonstrate that objectively is through independent testing of knowledge and tasting ability. The Cicerone Certification Program offers that independent assessment and certification so that industry professionals — as well as consumers — can be sure of the knowledge and skills possessed by current and prospective beer servers.
If you’re working in the industry, having this couldn’t hurt.
- Matt Pritchard