The Cicerone Certification Program has announced that six individuals have earned the title of Master Cicerone, joining a group of only 22 other individuals worldwide to earn the title. Candidates earned the certification after completing two days of intense written and oral exams, testing knowledge of beer styles, draft systems, beer evaluation, brewing technology, and beer and food pairings.
The six are Craig Thomas, Sales Manager at Abstrax Hops, David Reese, Founder/ Brewmaster at Fly Llama Brewing, Federico Lantschner, Brewer Trainer at Brewdog, Jen Blair, Exam Manager at Cicerone Certification Program, Patrick Combs, Director of Liquids at Stem Ciders & Howdy Beer Co. and Shelley Smith, Senior Brewing Manager, Taprooms at Boston Beer Company.
“This year’s group of candidates was nothing short of outstanding, and we couldn’t be happier for the six who passed. We are thrilled for each of them to represent the Master Cicerone title,” said Chris Pisney, Program Director of the Cicerone Certification Program.
Master Cicerone is the fourth and highest level of the Cicerone Certification Program. It recognizes an exceptional understanding of brewing, beer, and pairing — combining outstanding tasting abilities with an encyclopedic knowledge of commercial beers. The Master Cicerone exam challenges individuals to master every technical and aesthetic aspect of beer. Candidates must converse with professional brewers and chefs as a peer, demonstrate the tasting ability of a seasoned quality control panel member, and speak with consumers using easy-to-understand but vividly descriptive language. Those who possess these skills serve the industry as consultants, educators, and knowledge leaders in various organizations.