Just like sommeliers, who have to be experts in wines, their bouquets, labels, vintages and the dishes they should be paired with, beer also has a certain amount of training that has to be undertaken in order to become a real expert in fermented malts, and to be able to work as a beer sommelier in restaurants, wine bars or pubs. Or perhaps simply to learn the secrets of beer just because you want to better satisfy your own tastes.
In the United States the recognized certification is named after the Latin writer Cicero, and is currently held by around 5,000 experts who have passed their exams (both written and oral). There are three levels: from the beginner level, which does not call for too much ability or good references, to full ‘Cicerone’ certification, which requires at least one year of experience working in the sector, or a recommendation from a host you have collaborated with, to the highest level, that of Master Cicerone, which is dedicated to those who work in the sector and would like to learn all of its secrets.
The cost: from $70 for the first level up to almost $600 for the third. A link to the institution’s website.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.