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What I Did This Weekend: Certified Beer Server Exam

November 14, 2011

Disclaimer: Please bear with me as I try to figure out the best way to blog on the go.  I.e., if the formatting on my blog starts to stray for a post or two, or random pictures of our cats get posted, don’t get all uppity about it.  Thanks.  From, the Management.

This past weekend, while on a holiday to upstate New York, I decided to take an uncalculated risk and take the Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam.  In it’s rawest form, Cicerone is a governing body that is attempting to set standards in the beer world.  Wine has sommeliers and their various handful of governing institutions, and we have Cicerone.  Led by Ray Daniels it’s a pretty noble effort to uproot thousands of years of the divide between wine and beer that is so deeply rooted in tradition and culture.
Thoughts on the 1st exam.  If you know you’re stuff about beer, you’re 70 percent of the way there.  By that, I mean knowing the general characteristics of each style as well as knowing the primary differences between closely related styles, like the German and Czech Pilsner styles.  Also, specifics are not out of scope here and I admire Cicerone for really trying to make sure so-called beer geeks know their stuff.  On specificity of the questions, they may ask you about general ranges of ABV for beer styles.  Fun, huh?
The other portions of the multiple choice test were focused on this country’s alcohol system and it’s three tiers and various laws a well as everything you need to know to make sure you serve delicious beer.  This i must say can get somewhat confusing if you never thought about the proper way to clean a glass, pouring beer for someone else, or maintaining a draft/keg system.
Other than that, it was a pretty fun time and I am convinced enough to pursue the next level, certified Cicerone.  Whatever this leads to shall be indeed interesting,  More on that later.
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