What is Cicerone

The other day I was listening to CBC’s Q (I believe someone was filling in for Jian Ghomeshi). An expert on craft beer whose name I cannot recall and cannot find was on the show. Much discussion was made about how North American beer has come a long way from the days of Blue, Canadian, Ex and 50, or Bud, Coors Light and Miller High Life. A topic that came up was Cicerone.

Cicerone is a (trademarked) certification program similar to the sommelier program. Those interested in becoming certified Cicerones or master Cicerones go through exams where they are asked questions about beer styles, serving styles, food pairings, brewing technology, etc.  The founder of the program is Ray Daniels, also president of the Craft Beer Institute (who may have been the guest on Q). On the site certified Cicerones are listed and their city is included. One Toronto-area Cicerone is Mirella Amato, who runs the guided beer-tasting program, Beerology.

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