BrewDog and Certified Cicerone

BrewDog and Certified Cicerone

At BrewDog, we are committing ourselves 100% to the craft beer cause. As such, we are passionate about doing everything we can to learn as much about craft beer as is humanly possible in order to spread the message far and wide. In order to help us on this quest for craft beer conscientiousness, we encourage BrewDog bar staff to take the level 1 Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam. Cicerone is the most well known and respected beer sommelier qualification on the planet. On top of that, this year we wanted to go the extra mile and offered our scamps the opportunity to take the second level Cicerone exam for Certified Cicerone. A much heftier challenge, but one that some of our resident beer geeks were well and truly ready for!

In April the founder of Cicerone, Ray Daniels, flew over to the UK and held the first ever Certified Cicerone exams to be undertaken in this country. Giving our staff the opportunity to learn the intricacies of beer for an exam is a great way to really ramp up the level of expertise within BrewDog. It makes our team stronger, massively increases their confidence, adds huge potential for our development as a business and brewery, and arms us with a wealth of knowledge to help educate the rest of the team. We also offer a pay rise with every level of Cicerone passed.cicerone_2_620_01

Cicerone Certification Program offers independent assessment and certification on:

            •          Beer Storage, Sales and Service

            •          Beer Styles and Culture

            •          Beer Tasting and Flavors

            •          Brewing Ingredients and Processes

            •          Pairing Beer with Food

It was no walk in the park. The Certified Cicerone exam consists of a number of areas including tasting, written and oral exams. Confidence was shaky across the board but everyone dedicated countless hours to study and revision to prepare for the exam, which we’re very proud of and we appreciate all of their efforts…which paid off! Overall, 8 members of the BrewDog team passed and now hold the Certified Cicerone qualification! Well done to all our clever beer geeks who did so well – we’re super stoked for you!cicerone-pin_540

We will be bringing Ray back over periodically to enable more members of our team to take the exam, and some of the pups who passed level 2 will now go on to study for the third level, Master Cicerone, of which there are only 6 in the world!

On top of the Cicerone project being an awesome achievement for us as a company, training up our people and allowing them regular opportunities for personal development is intrinsic to enabling us to grow BrewDog and mobilise the craft beer revolution. This made Cicerone a key focus for us this year. We have also recently appointed Zarah as HR Manager to further support our pups and make sure we give them as much of a platform to mould and shape their careers as craft beer commanders as possible.

cicerone_620_01Well done to everyone who sat the exam and congratulations to our newly qualified Certified Cicerone scamps!

To find out more about the Cicerone, check out

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BrewDog Dan 10.06.2013 @ 4:32pm
Hi BeerHawk. I am one of the guys who passed. I'm based up at the brewery but if you have any questions you are welcome to email me on [email protected]
MatthewWilkes 10.06.2013 @ 1:06pm
+1 for opening up the Certified Cicerone exams to the public. I've already got Certified Beer Server, but the Cicerone badge is so much prettier.
mark h 06.06.2013 @ 8:15pm
Very impressed! Is there going to be a list of who has the qualifications and where they are based? I'm in Newcastle and would love the opportunity to chat with one of the guys if they are in there. Or maybe you could introduce a McDonalds style star badge! Ok, maybe not...
BrewDog Zarah 06.06.2013 @ 3:34pm
Great suggestion Tommy and Nick! We'd definitely be keen to help other people pass their Certified Cicerone, and would happily work with Ray to open up the exam sessions to members of the public. It is a pretty hefty exam though, so people would have to be willing to invest their own time in studying and preparing for it!
Mattias E 06.06.2013 @ 2:20pm
I can only echo what Tommy suggested there! As a beer enthusiast whose line of work is sadly not in the brewing industry I'd be well excited about taking the Cicerone course. Then it's just a matter of finding the time...
degmau5 06.06.2013 @ 1:48pm
dont forget the beards, an absolute must if you like beer
Nick T 06.06.2013 @ 1:34pm
Great idea there from Tommy. Was about to ask the same thing...
Tommy 06.06.2013 @ 12:31pm
If you are bringing Ray back regularly, is there a possibility that you might look at running certification/training for shareholders or customers? I'm sure a lot of us would be interested in this kind of qualification should it become available in the UK.
Maxwell Power 06.06.2013 @ 11:40am
Why are loads of them wearing hats indoors?
BrewDogSarah 06.06.2013 @ 11:34am
Congrats you nerdy lot! x