Category Archives: Cicerone

CERTIFIED CICERONE

You guys, it’s official! I am a Certified Cicerone┬« !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
beginning And this is the day that started it all. Odell’s Small Batch Revival back in May 2011. I was hanging out with my brother and sister-in-law, joking about how I could run their brewery tasting room once they started it. They told me they wanted a beer sommelier to head up the tap room. As soon as we got back from the trip, I googled “beer sommelier” and began my adventure into the world of becoming a Certified Cicerone┬«.
Photo on 2011-08-11 at 12.54 It took almost two years to the day, and two attempts, but all of that suffering and frustration was worth it in the end!
am3 The first attempt was down at Stone with Grayson. Three months later, the results were in. I passed the tasting portion and missed passing the written by 3%. THREE PERCENT. Being so close, yet so very, very far away, was demoralizing, but I knew I had to give it another go.
am4 Last month, I decided it was time to take the plunge again. This time, the test was at The Bruery down in Anaheim. After another nail-biting and stressful test, the tour of the brewery really helped settle my nerves.

Today, the email came in:
Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 4.08.06 PM
And now, it’s time to celebrate!
Photo on 2013-06-06 at 15.15 #2 I’m debating which beer from my cellar to enjoy tonight…
am Any recommendations would be appreciated!

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The Cicerone Test

On Monday, I finally did it. I stopped putting it off as I had for months and months and took the Certified Cicerone test!
Grayson drove down from Santa Barbara and picked me up at 6:30am. We fought a mess of traffic all the way down to San Diego and wound up at Stone Brewing, where the test was being administered.
Since it was only 9:30 and the test didn’t begin until 11am, Grayson and I wandered through the gardens behind the brewery.
It was an absolutely beautiful day! We debated whether or not we should just skip the test and spend the whole day sipping beer outside.
We scouted out a picnic table, sat down in the gentle sunlight and did our final cramming session. Note: If not for this final study hour, I would’ve missed at least six extremely random questions on the test.
Around 10:30am, we headed into the brewery and joined the group of about fifteen, almost all of whom were also in the midst of a final cram session.
A view of the mezzanine where the torture test would take place.

The test was far more intense than I even imagined. After over a year of studying, you realize how much you’ve learned and how much you have yet to discover. There was a three hour written test with essay questions, food pairing recommendations, style questions, draught system maintenance and troubleshooting and history questions. This was followed by an hour of tasting – off-flavors, style discrimination and beer acceptance. THAT was followed by a filmed demo – “show and tell us how to do this”. After four of the most intense hours of my life, Gray and I headed downstairs to stuff our faces, drink good beer and forget about all that had just occurred.
Mac ‘n Beer Cheese with sausage and a Lukcy Basartd for me and Barbecue Duck Tacos with some other delicious beer for Grayson. The proctors called us all back upstairs to go over the tasting portion so we could find out if we passed that section.

BOOM. Passed the tasting! As for the written portion, I honestly have no idea if I passed or not. I feel relatively good about the majority of it (excepting the essays which I’m hoping for partial credit), but fully expect to have to retake it. I find out in seven weeks whether or not my low expectations will surprise me or not!

As for now, I’m sitting in my parental unit’s home in Colorado with the fireplace on and a hot cup of coffee, gazing out over the mountain range before we go to the gun range and Grimm Brothers Brewhouse (in that order). Commence relaxation in 3…2…1…
And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Meat Waffles

I’ve been spending the past month with my head buried in draught system manuals, online review programs and Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer in preparation for next Monday. That’s right, I’m taking the plunge and taking the Certified Cicerone test. I fully expect to not pass on my first go, given the success rates of all of my friends who have taken it already, but actually feel incredibly prepared for it.

Work has also been completely insane. I’m up by 5am most mornings, work until 4 or 5pm and then go out for my craft beer and wings group, go to Wades Wines to brush up on my beer style profiles or go home to get those whole five hours of sleep I can before waking up and starting the cycle all over again.

On random nights I take a break from studying to participate in lovely house parties.
Power tank nights with a few of my favorites.
Incredibly accurate slogans.
And what began the title of this post: “I just realized that a waffle maker is the origin of the George Foreman grill.”
Obviously we had to see exactly what my friend meant by this, so he seasoned some buffalo…
Patty-fied and pressed.
Then the ideas kept on flowing.
“Cheese in every nook!”
Topped it off with a fried egg.
Meat waffles topped with cheese and fried egg taste like bubbles floating above you on the night of your wedding.

Your argument is invalid. I’m going to pour another beer and get back to studying.

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