The Cicerone Certification Program has announced that Canadian Mirella Amato and Missourian Neil Witte became the fifth and sixth individuals to earn the title of Master Cicerone. Amato is the first Canadian citizen and first non-US resident to earn the top rank among beer professionals. Witte works as Field Quality Manager for Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City. They both earned the certification through a series of exams culminating with two days of intense taste testing plus written and oral questioning about beer styles, draft systems, beer evaluation, brewing technology and beer and food pairing.
Overall more than 18,000 have passed the first level Cicerone exam known as Certified Beer Server, but only six individuals have now earned the Master Cicerone title — the third and top level of the program. Founded in 2007, the Cicerone Certification Program tests and certifies beer expertise similar to the wine world’s Master Sommelier program. The Master Cicerone exam includes 10 hours of written questions, 2 hours of oral questions and 2 hours of beer tasting and evaluation.
Witte started at Boulevard Brewing brewer and has worked since 2000 as field quality manager. In this role, he works with distributors and retailers providing education and training on brewing, beer styles, beer and food and draught system installation and maintenance.
Amato runs Beerology, a beer consulting and training service based in Toronto. She conducts guided beer tastings, beer dinners and food pairing workshops for consumers, and retailers and also offers staff training and consulting services for retailers and breweries.
Since it began offering certifications in January 2008, the Cicerone Certification Program has awarded more than 18,500 first level certifications, called Certified Beer Server and 650 certifications at the second level of the program, called Certified Cicerone.
Once again, Wynkoop Brewing Company is seeking beer resumes from the nation’s most beer-minded men and women for its 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year contest. The 17th annual contest seeks and honors America’s most passionate, knowledgeable beer lovers and ambassadors.
The Beerdrinker of the Year wins free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing Company, a $250 tab at their local brewpub or beer bar, and has his or her name engraved on the Beerdrinker of the Year trophy at Wynkoop.
They also design and brew a special batch of beer at Wynkoop Brewing (with head brewer Andy Brown) as part of their winnings.
The three Beerdrinker of the Year finalists are flown to Denver at Wynkoop’s expense for an action-packed weekend that culminates with the Beerdrinker of the Year National Finals on February 23, 2013 at 2 PM at Wynkoop Brewing.
This year’s three finalists will stay in Denver’s famed Brown Palace Hotel while in town for the finals.
To enter the contest, applicants must submit beer resumes that include the entrant’s beer philosophy and details on their passion for beer and 2012 beer experiences.
Resumes should also detail the entrant’s understanding of beer and its history and importance to civilization, along with the entrant’s efforts to educate others to the joys of great beer.
Resumes for the Beerdrinker of the Year are reviewed by national beer experts and previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners.
Resumes must be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and be received by Wynkoop by no later than December 31. Each entrant will receive an email confirmation that their resume was received.
So who’s up for a 11-beer vertical tasting?
You bring the Stone 02.02.02. We seem to be out.
Stone Brewing Co. released the final beer in its Vertical Epic Ale series Monday, Stone 12.12.12. For those unaware, each year since Feb. 2, 2002 (02.02.02), Stone has released a Stone Vertical Epic Ale beer exactly one year, one month and one day apart. The idea was that each year a beer in the series would be brewed with its own unique recipe, one that would allow the beer to mature over time enhancing the flavors and aromas. The intention was that drinkers would cellar the bottles from each year and open all 11 vintages together for a vertical tasting on Dec. 12, 2012, the date of the last Stone Vertical Epic Ale.
Like everybody lets beer sit around for 11 years.
Fortunately, Stone has an alternative for those of us who kept opening bottles. The brewery will hold a festival at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens: Stone Epic Festival: The Final Chapter. It will take place on December 12 and commence at exactly 12:12 p.m. PST. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to experience all 11 Stone Vertical Epic Ales, in addition to special barrel-aged variations, with food pairing stations featuring dishes specifically created to marry with each of the vintages.
For the record, Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale was brewed with a Belgian yeast strain and features cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, rosehips, sweet orange peel, and a dash of clove.