A Certified Cicerone® has a detailed knowledge of retail beer storage and service issues and an understanding of beer ingredients and the brewing process. A Cicerone® is familiar with modern beers and styles as well as historical styles and beer history. He/she can identify both flawed beers and recognize appropriate and inappropriate flavors in modern beer styles and has the ability to recommend beer pairings for common foods.
The three levels of available certifications through the Cicerone® certification program are – Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone® and Master Cicerone®.
Wine & Spirits
The Master of Wine and Master Sommelier are two of the highest designations a person can earn in the wine world, and they are awarded by an organization called the Court of Master Sommeliers. There are just over 300 Masters of Wine in the world, and roughly the same number of Master Sommeliers. Candidates must pass four extremely difficult examination levels to attain the qualification of Master Sommelier. Level I – Introductory Sommelier, Level II – Certified Sommelier, Level III – Advanced Sommelier, Level IV – Master Sommelier.
En route to the Master of Wine designation is the diploma from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. This is a two to three year program that ends in the DWS designation, which is also known as the AIWS in the United Kingdom. The Society of Wine Educators offers three designations: CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine), CWE (Certified Wine Educator) and CSS (Certified Specialist of Spirits).
The CSW is received following a very involved written test in which one must get 80 percent of the questions right. Once the CSW is earned, one can work towards the CWE, which tests a candidate’s wine knowledge as well as their tasting acumen and teaching ability. The CSS (Certified Specialist of Spirits) tests a candidate’s spirits knowledge and mastery of key elements within the world of distillation and spirits production.
The Certified Sake Professional (CSP) certification is earned after successfully passing a 75-question multiple-choice examination covering all basic aspects of sake. It assesses the ability to professionally work with sake and demonstrate competence about all things sake related including terminology, classifications, production and culture.