Anyone can call themselves an expert on beer. But when consumers want great beer they need help from a server who really knows beer flavors, styles, and service. They also want to buy from an establishment that understands proper storage and serving, so the beer they drink will taste the way it should. Too often great beer is harmed by improper handling and poor service practices.
In the wine world, the word "sommelier" designates those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring, and serving fine wine. At one time, some beer servers adopted the title "beer sommelier" to tie into the credibility of the wine world. But in the years since its founding, the Cicerone Certification Program has become the industry standard for identifying those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service. The Cicerone Certification Program offers independent assessment and certification so that industry professionals—as well as consumers—can be sure of the knowledge and skills possessed by current and prospective beer servers.
The Cicerone Certification Program seeks to ensure that consumers receive the best quality beer at every service occasion. To facilitate this, those who sell and serve beer need to acquire knowledge in five areas:
- Keeping and Serving Beer
- Beer Styles
- Beer Flavor and Evaluation
- Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes
- Pairing Beer with Food