In a little over six months, I’ll go to the Cicerone Certification Program offices in Chicago, where I’ll sit for the day-long exam. The Advanced Cicerone exam will cover a subset of the information within the Master Cicerone exam and will have the same sections tested on each Cicerone level exam: keeping and serving beer; beer styles; beer flavor and evaluation; beer ingredients and brewing processes; and pairing beer with food.Read More
People have asked why I was taking the Cicerone exam and what I hoped to get out of it. I’m not in any industry at all where a Cicerone certification is particularly useful beyond impressing people and saving time trying to prove my beer knowledge to people who dismiss me or don’t take me seriously, usually because I’m a woman and/or they assume I “like” beer because my husband does.
Beer is not just something I drink and rarely has been – it’s living history, a seemingly endless educational opportunity, and a way to bond with people and places, however unlikely. One of my great joys in life is thinking about and experiencing the perfect beer to capture a day, a mood, a feeling, an occasion, a place.Read More
I’ve heard and read a lot of stuff about what you should do and should not do the morning of the exam: don’t eat, don’t drink coffee, don’t smoke, don’t wear perfume. I’m a brat when it comes to being hungry. My day is 15% eating snacks and 85% worrying I may be too far away from snacks at any given time, so not eating the morning of the exam was not an option for me.Read More
A word of warning: as great as American craft beer is, I would buy the commercial examples listed in the BJCP Guidelines rather than buying an American craft version of a style because there is a high likelihood that an American craft beer that purports to be a style like an ESB is probably not going to be the best way to train your palate and brain to recognize the classic beer style.Read More
Beyond the expense of the exam itself the other costs can up quickly. However, the good news is that if you don’t have a lot of cash to throw around, it’s still completely possible to have all the study materials you need for next to nothing.Read More
My road to Cicerone was a long one full of hard work, failure, and self discovery. In this series of posts, I'll talk about how I approached the exam, the resources I used, how I conducted tastings, how the day of the exam went for me, and what I learned along the way.Read More