PODCAST: Session 2 – A Comprehensive Look at the Cicercone Certification Program


Session 2 of the Breaking Brews Podcast is all about the Cicerone! Host Jason Cercone is joined by Brian Reed, one of only 18 Master Cicerones in the world, to discuss many aspects of the program, including Brian’s plight to obtain his Master level certification, how the Cicerone program is helping men and women understand beer on a higher level, and how they can pass along that knowledge to consumers at bars, restaurants, and taprooms.

FROM THE CICERONE WEBSITE: The Cicerone Certification Program certifies and educates beer professionals in order to elevate the beer experience for consumers. The program has four levels:

LEVEL 1: Certified Beer Server – First-level certification for those who work with beer
LEVEL 2: Certified Cicerone – Certification for professionals dedicated to beer
LEVEL 3: Advanced Cicerone – A designation of distinctive expertise and tasting skill
LEVEL 4: Master Cicerone – The ultimate test of beer expertise

If you’ve been considering taking the Cicerone and would like to learn more about the program, visit www.cicerone.org. The first level is highly recommended for beer servers to gain a better understanding of the liquid they’re presenting to customers.

Connect with Brian online!

Twitter | Instagram

MUSIC CREDIT: All music in today’s session is courtesy of purple-planet.com.


REGARDING OFF FLAVOR KITS: “I always advise people is to get a group of people together and split the cost on the kits that are catered to whatever level of the exam you’re preparing for. They are expensive, but if you get enough people together, it’s more reasonable.” — Brian

“Having that knowledge is very helpful. I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve pulled the bartender aside and said ‘Hey, this isn’t right.’ Some of them appreciate it, some of them say, ‘Who the hell are you to tell us our beer isn’t tasting good?’ But then they try it and realize something is off.” — Jason

“The sense of confusion about certain trends has gone to the wayside. When we hit glitter beer, I said ‘I don’t think anything is going to surprise me at this point.’ I didn’t have an issue with it. I thought it was a little bizarre, but if it helps you enjoy beer more, by all means, put glitter in your beer.” — Brian

“There has been arguments that the hazy, juicy IPAs could potentially be a bridge into the more hoppy IPAs. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that. But there may be a small argument for the lactose fruited sours being a slight gateway into the very tart beers.” — Jason

“After the exam is over, you have to wait a couple months for your results. And that’s the toughest part. But there are a ton of essays that have to be looked over. When I took the test, I wrote something like 80 pages of essays over the course of the two days.” — Brian

“Answer the question in front of you. That’s one I learned the hard way.” – Brian



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