Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part Five (The Feelings Edition)

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. 

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Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part Four

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.

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Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part Three

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.

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Becoming a Certified Cicerone: Part One

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. 

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