Learning About Beer: Becoming a Certified Cicerone®

[Ed. Note: Earlier this month I introduced you to the Beer Judge Certification Program and mentioned that Lindsay from Love Beer, Love Food would be covering the Certified Cicerone Program. If you enjoy her article here, please follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog. I promise she’s got loads of great beer & food info. – Tom]

Hey there! I’m Lindsay, and I write a website called Love Beer, Love Food which is all about beer, home brewing, and cooking. Since I am a Certified Cicerone®, Tom asked me to come onto his lovely site here and explain more about the Cicerone program. As Tom mentioned, there are actually two kinds of ‘beer experts’ out there – Certified Beer Judge, which Tom recently achieved (hooray!), and Certified Cicerone® (pronounced sis-uh-rohn).

Cicerone Full Logo (R) JPG

Learning About Beer: Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP)

In the world of beer, there are a few organizations that focus on certifying folks on their knowledge of beer. The big two are the Cicerone Certification Program (just called Cicerone) and the Beer Judge Certification Program (abbreviated BJCP). The primary difference between the two is in their focus. Cicerones focus on restaurants and serving craft beer while BJCP focuses on judging homebrew competitions. BJCP is also an all-volunteer organization while Cicerone is a private for-profit company.

I’m proud to say that I was recently certified as a Recognized level Beer Judge. I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about it while my certified Cicerone friend Lindsey from Love Beer, Love Food will have a guest post for us on that soon.

BJCP

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The Utility of Beer Styles

This post is in direct response to Andy Crouch’s article “The Futility of Beer Styles” in this month’s (October 2013) Beer Advocate magazine [Edit: Andy has made me aware that this was only part 1 of 3 and these concerns will be addressed in future parts. A fact not mentioned in the magazine]. If you haven’t read it yet then I won’t fault you for reading it before continuing this post. However, if you don’t get Beer Advocate magazine or don’t want to wait then the quick summary is that he advocates for discontinuing the use of beer styles.

Beer Style Poster
Without beer styles we couldn’t have awesome posters like this!

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