It was bad service of good beer that motivated Ray Daniels to start the Cicerone Certification Program a couple of years ago. In the first year of the program 17 people passed the Certified Cicerone exam. I was one of them, and the first in Minnesota. Now there are over 100 Certified Cicerones throughout the country. I think there are now five in Minnesota.
The goal of the program is to provide beer service training and credentialing to people in the beer industry. There are three levels of certification. The Certified Beer Server level is intended for front of house staff like servers and bartender. The Certified Cicerone Level is geared toward those with greater involvement with beer, including distributor sales reps, foodservice beer specialists and retail beer buyers. The Master Cicerone level is, according to the website, “for those who demonstrate the highest level of expertise with regard to beer.”
I interviewed Ray at the Great American Beer Festival in September. Here’s the interview:
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