Making Cicerone ® History


You can find out more about investing in BrewDog at

When he left, he was but the learner. Now *he* is the master.

Yes, recently our Rob had the amazing news – delivered by the typically shadowy medium of a late night phone call – that he had passed the ultimate beer-related challenge; the Master Cicerone ® exam. Back in May, he travelled to the US to undergo two nerve-shredding days of talking, writing – lots and lots of writing – and evaluating beer, each and every step of the way being assessed by industry experts for the required ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of all issues related to brewing, beer and beer service.’ But it was all worth it as, thanks to his hard work, he triumphed.

It’s amazing – and a testament to Rob’s expertise and understanding. He is now only the tenth person in the world to reach the highest-ranked level of the Cicerone ® scheme, and in so doing means that in one fell swoop we have doubled the number of Master Cicerones ® that work for BrewDog (if you don’t know the identity of the other, there’s a clue in the picture at the start of this blog post). As a result, we now have more Master Cicerones ® than any other company in the world. 20% of all the people to have ever reached this level currently work at BrewDog in Ellon.

So why do we think this is important?

As you must know by now, at BrewDog we live and breathe craft beer (Rob probably dreams about it currently, too). In order to get as many people as passionate about it as we are, we believe that learning about the majesty of beer – about how it is brewed, stored, served and tasted – is imperative. Having skilled and knowledgeable employees doesn’t merely benefit us; it also directly benefits our customers due to the expertise and confidence instilled into every facet of our company. After all, to get better, sometimes you have to test yourself.

We encourage all BrewDog employees to take the Certified Beer Server exam, as well as supporting those who wish to go on and study for the second level, Certified Cicerone ®. To date, we currently have 167 BrewDog staff members who have passed the first level, 34 who have reached that second tier, and of course two who have gone all the way and joined the fewer-than-a-dozen people in the world that can call themselves Master Cicerones ®. We’ll leave the final word in this celebration of beer knowledge to the man himself, as Rob reflects on what the qualification means to him.

“I see Master Cicerone as an achievement (no question) but actually more as a marker; of how far I’ve come since I joined BrewDog, and how far I still have to go in the Great Journey of Beer. I’m super excited to be ranked in such esteemed company, but if anything, it reminds me of how little I actually know in the grand scheme of beer and brewing. When you go to work every day surrounded by people with such knowledge, such drive and passion, such a wealth of experience, it’s genuinely humbling. 

I’m just proud of what I’ve learned in the last year and a half, and know that, as clichéd as it sounds, I’ve only just scratched the surface and this is where the learning actually begins. As a company, we are so invested in our people, and I’m looking forward to being able to share what I’ve learned with the rest of the team. Now I just need to live by three awesome pieces of advice; ‘pass on what you have learned’, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, and ‘don’t panic’.”

And how did he celebrate on hearing the news that he had passed? With a bottle of Clown King from his cellar and another viewing of his beloved Star Wars. Live long and prosper, Master Rob.

You can find out more about investing in BrewDog at

Share This

Join the Discussion

Comments (14)

Dada 16.07.2015 @ 8:57pm
well done big boy , never doubted your ability xxx
Chris Airplays 13.07.2015 @ 1:31pm
Star Wars, Live Long and Prosper?
Joe 08.07.2015 @ 2:37pm
Fantastic achievement, Rob! Well done!
IanH 08.07.2015 @ 12:46pm
Good one, have to rate the enthusiasm and commitment highly!
anonymous 08.07.2015 @ 8:50am
Really chuffed for all you after all your hard work and commitment! It is an honor to have someone like yourself at Brewdog!
Steven Turk 07.07.2015 @ 11:35pm
Nice one Rob!
Rob 07.07.2015 @ 11:28pm
Well done mate. Not many people can claim to be an expert in a field they love. That's something you can't put a price on. Having a job in an area that you not only love, but you excel at. That's how the unusual becomes the normal. I look forward to the beer you're involved in. My small (all I can justify to spend) investment in this venture is already paying off. Have a beer on me.
BrewDogRob 07.07.2015 @ 10:30pm
Thanks everyone!
Gary 07.07.2015 @ 6:18pm
Awesome! Congrats.
Jack C 07.07.2015 @ 4:13pm
That Clown King is well deserved! Nice one!
Dave 07.07.2015 @ 4:11pm
Excellent work, Rob!
WooYay 07.07.2015 @ 4:07pm
Great acheivement, well done
Michaela 07.07.2015 @ 4:03pm
That's great news, congratulations!
Badger 07.07.2015 @ 3:25pm
Nice one dude!