Cicerone (Beer Sommelier) Jobs
Are you a knowledgeable beer enthusiast? Do you consider yourself to be a beer connoisseur? Do you wish you could find a career in beer? Why not become a cicerone?
A cicerone is a beer sommelier. The word cicerone is pronounced Sis-uh-Rown. Cicerones are a part of the hospitality industry. They help choose and purchase beer, oversee beer storage, educate staff, provide brewery tours, and help make beer recommendations. Basically cicerones know everything there is to know about beer.
This new and growing job appeals to beer enthusiasts who want a beer career. With the craft brewing boom, there are plenty of opportunities for cicerones to find work. Did you know that as 2013, there were 2,822 craft breweries in the US? Craft breweries make up 98% of all operating breweries. With over 152 styles of craft beer, this niche has quickly grown into a $14 billion industry that provides 110,000 jobs. One of those in demand beer careers is the cicerone.
While there are several beer sommelier courses and certifications, the Cicerone Certification has a prestigious and demanding reputation. It’s competitors include the Beer Academy, Prud’homme, World Brewing Academy, and Beer Judge Certification Program. All offer valuable beer knowledge, but the Cicerone program is leading the industry.
By working through the three levels of certification and by gaining experience, the certification process has produced people who know about beer flavors, styles, and services. These beer experts are trusted, certified professionals who know how to select, acquire, and serve a variety of beer choices. As a certified professional, they can “elevate the beer experience for consumers.”
Ray Daniels established the Cicerone certification program in 2007. Daniels is a Harvard grad who is also President of the Craft Beer Institute. The program focuses on five areas of studies: Serving, Styles, Flavor and Evaluation, Brewing Process and Ingredients, and Beer and Food Pairing. To learn this material, aspiring cicerones must have years of experience and a mind full of encyclopedic beer knowledge.
Throughout their experience and studies, they will learn about beer storage, glass ware, bottled beer, draft beer, economics of beer, beer styles, history, taste, flavors, ingredients, brewing processes, cooking with beer, and so much more. Extensive studying and preparation is required to pass each level of certification and many are known to fail.
The Cicerone Certification Program consists of three levels – Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone, and Master Cicerone. Each level of certification becomes progressively harder and may include multiple choice exams, short answers, essays, oral exams, and taste testing. It’s an extensive process and only a handful of beer enthusiasts make it to the Master Cicerone level. Those who do are not only passionate about beer, but can understand and communicate their knowledge about beer to everyone.
Becoming a cicerone doesn’t guarantee you a job, but the chances are very good that you can find a job at restaurants, pubs, clubs, bars, and breweries once you are certified. Other opportunities exist for cicerones as beer consultants, beer judges at festivals, and beer reviewers. People trust the tastes, opinions, and recommendations of a beery savvy cicerone.
Once you find a cicerone job, you can expect to make a salary of $20,000 to $60,000. Pay depends on location, experience, clientele, and employer.
If you are passionate about beer and want to pursue a beer career, becoming a cicerone is one of the absolute best job choices for you. Get started today.
Quick Facts About Cicerones
Job Title: Cicerone, Beer Sommelier
Office: Surrounded by beer
Description: Enhance the consumer beer experience
Certifications/Education: Cicerone Certification Process
Necessary Skills: Encyclopedic knowledge of beer
Potential Employers: Restaurants, Bars, Breweries
Pay: $20,000 to $60,000