Welcome to Cicerone Canada
This month we are launching an effort to offer a version of the Cicerone program specifically adapted to the Canadian market. Already we have had our materials reviewed by Canadian beer experts and had meetings with leaders in the Canadian beer industry to discuss ways that the program can help to improve beer quality for Canadian beer drinkers. Soon you’ll be able to access versions of our syllabus and take versions of our exams that are specifically adapted to Canada. (Please note that for the time being, all content except for this page will be identical to that which appears on the US website.)
What is the Cicerone Certification Program?
Unlike other programs, Cicerone is not a class that you take to receive a certification. Instead, our program is built around a series of certification exams designed to assess the knowledge needed by beer professionals at specific levels of responsibility, starting with servers and working up from there. To become certified, you take the exams. To help you prepare, we publish and make freely available a syllabus for each exam which states in considerable detail what content will be tested. From there we leave it up to the individual to decide how best to prepare for the exam by reading, taking classes from others or maybe even taking a class from us.
Ultimately, beer is complicated. But enjoying it shouldn’t be. Since its founding, the mission of the Cicerone Certification Program has been to increase beer knowledge and quality awareness among professionals in the beer industry. As a result, we hope that consumers will be able to relax and enjoy a good beer without any stress or worry.
Ultimately ordering and enjoying your beer shouldn’t be any more difficult than ordering an entre at a restaurant. If you have a question about the menu, your server should be able to provide useful answers. If want help in deciding, your server should have a suggestion! And once you know what you want and order, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether the beer has been handled properly, prepared appropriately and is in good shape.
The Cicerone Certification Program began in the US in early 2008. It was built on a grassroots basis with initial certifications going to enthusiastic beer industry professionals who then spread the word to colleagues and friends. From the very beginning, Canadians involved in better beer have pursued certification using the US versions of the various exams.
But of course the beer scene in Canada isn’t quite the same as that of the US. So there were always some extra challenges for Canadian exam takers. Despite this, Canadian citizens have managed to achieve all three levels of certification: Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone® and Master Cicerone®.
Here’s the Cicerone Canada Hall of Fame:
First Certified Beer Server: Scott Lyons-Belt, Regina, SK (January, 2008)
First Certified Cicerone®: Chester Cary, Vancouver, BC (April, 2009)
First Master Cicerone®: Mirella Amato, Toronto, ON (November 2012)
To date Canada has:
More than 600 Certified Beer Servers
60 Certified Cicerones®
1 Master Cicerone®
View the Canadian Roster.
Canadian Program Coordinator
Canadian program coordinator Mirella Amato has dedicated herself to promoting local beer and the art of beer appreciation since 2007. She is the author of Beerology: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Beer...Even More. Mirella regularly conducts fun and informative guided beer tastings, beer dinners and food pairing workshops, and offers staff training and consulting services to pubs, restaurants and breweries. She is a National Level BJCP Judge and Master Cicerone® and was the recipient of the 2012 OCB Center of Excellence Industry Choice Award in Food & Beer Matching Development. Mirella can be reached at mirella at cicerone dot org.
The Cicerone Certification Program was founded by Ray Daniels, a long-time homebrewer, beer author and festival and event organizer. For a number of years, he worked for the Brewers Association, the trade group for small brewers in the US promoting craft beer. About 10 years ago, he noticed that many bars which specialized in beer too often knew little about the beer or correct ways to serve it. Tired of stale, off-flavored beer and uninformed servers, Daniels decided the time was right to bring more knowledge and professionalism to the sale and service of beer.