With the growing demand for craft beer, a new figure known as a cicerone has arrived onto the scene the guide the masses in the art of the ale, says Market Watch. Oenophiles have sommeliers as their Obi Wan, and now beer lovers have cicerones.
Whereas there are a few of certification programs run by the likes of the Brewers Association, Central Washington University, and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, it’s the Cicerone Certification Program that seems most comprehensive. The program has three levels: beer servers (basic level), cicerones (intermediate level), and master cicerones (advanced). To reach the basic level, you must know the foundational elements of a brew (styles and key ingredients), then take an online exam with 60 multiple-choice questions for $69.
The road to master cicerone level is a whole lot steeper. You are expected to be a scholar on beer and have a palate that can differentiate very subtle nuances between, say, pilsners from different parts o Germany. The test itself is a two-day affair with written, oral, and taste-test sections—all of which must be completed in person.
There’s a reason why there are currently only four master cicerones in the country.
[via Market Watch]