What is a Cicerone?

What happens before a beer is poured into a glass? Who are those people who produce it, keep it, serve it and judge it?

Think of a wine sommelier. Now imagine a glass filled with beer. While many ‘beer sommeliers’ has received great training, each program, and content within differs. Those who are called ‘Cicerone’ are trained and have attained a level of knowledge through study and exams that grant the well-known and respected benchmark for defining beer expertise.

The scope of the study to be a cicerone is quite demanding, as it should be. Those with Cicerone titles hold a unique status in the United States and throughout parts of the world. Only those individuals who have studied and passed and been certified can use the title of Cicerone.

The Certified Cicerone exam allows individuals to demonstrate that they possess a well-rounded knowledge of beer and necessary tasting skills. One must earn the right to the title of “Certified Cicerone®.” And that can take several years to accomplish.

Beer brewing has been around for thousands of years and the varieties and the nuances of the production, keeping, serving, styles, flavors, ingredients, processes, and pairings are to name a few of the broad, yet related disciplines, which a beer expert should be knowledgeable.

Unifying and classifying all the components of making and keeping a beer is not a small task.

Your Nevada Beer Quest creators know it’s necessary to be able to speak ‘beer’ intelligently. And the best part is; beer brings people together in real time, over a real beer at a real destination. Almost everyone has had a beer experience or two and can carry a conversation about it. But, what about the things we don’t know about the worlds most popular adult beverage?

Our quest started a while back at square one. We had some idea at the time, what we were getting ourselves into. And as all great explores will agree, all you have to do is take the first step, and the rest will unfold. After committing to the pursuit of greater beer

knowledge, we purchased our course through The Cicerone Certification Program. With it, an extensive list was revealed of the beer styles we would be studying, so we decided to take a trip to our local beer outlet for real-life R&D.

Practically giddy with anticipation, we walked right up to the store manager. “We have to find 50 beers of assorted styles. Can you help us?”

Her face lit up; she was as excited as we were, “Follow me,” she said, “This is going to be fun!”

And fun it was! From Belgian Ales to Lambics, to American Barleywine, Blonde Ales, Imperial Stouts, Irish Reds, and California Common it was a combination of beer I would never have thought to try. From one aisle to the next we traveled the world loading up our shopping cart. An hour later with proud smiles, we had a cart full of “mission accomplished.”

It was Beer Nirvana. I could hear the door of the refrigerator open often and see the kitchen illuminate while my happy man resounded in heavenly inspired sounds. Although there was hardly room for eggs, milk, and bread, I figured that if the monks and nuns can fast for forty days on their private stock of ‘liquid bread,’ so can I. Closer to godliness through great tasting beer. Hmmm. A title for an article? It works for me.

Do you think fifty beers will last forty days?

What was I thinking?

Since we were up against time, we knew it was important to taste, photograph, take notes and savor the vast varieties of beers we selected to study.

During the next few weeks, we took our beer research and course seriously with not even a drop of beer wasted. Our quest for achieving First Level Cicerone Certification was in our sights, and we were on our way!

How Hard Can it Be?

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Part 2, continued in issue 002

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Learn more about the Cicerone Certification Program

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