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May 18, 2018 6:07 AM   Subscribe

John Carruthers at Serious Eats learns a lot about beer in a quest to become a Certified Cicerone (previously, previously)
posted by Stark (9 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am taking my CC exam in August. I am very excited so this is relevant to my interests. (I'm also currently working on my BJCP certs too!)
posted by Kitteh at 7:00 AM on May 18, 2018 [7 favorites]

Oh, and I know a lot of great women who are also Advanced Cicerones (the fabulous Beer Sisters among them) in my region and one of the only female Master Cicerones, Mirella Amato, is also based in Toronto. The general feel is that while it's great to have the knowledge and the certifications, it's also pretty limiting in terms of careers. The feeling is that not many craft breweries can pay you what your knowledge is worth (hence, Amato working for Anheuser-Busch, who can). If you are looking to have a beer cert for the sheer passion of beer and are not interested in making a career from it, go for it! But if you are looking to make a living, passion and certs can only go so far. I think this is why--myself included--a lot of beer savvy ladies branch out into making their own businesses.
posted by Kitteh at 7:06 AM on May 18, 2018 [7 favorites]

That was a fun read. I've taken the BJCP exam, and that was fun but pretty low-stakes compared to the Cicerone.
posted by slogger at 9:02 AM on May 18, 2018

I started studying for the BJCP years ago but never got around to taking the exam. Its a great way to learn interesting things about beer, though! Here is the BJCP study guide. The example questions are fun. eg:

-Describe the aroma, appearance, flavor, and mouthfeel of each sub-style as in the BJCP Style Guidelines.
-Identify at least one aspect of the ingredients (malts, hops, water chemistry) or background information (history, fermentation techniques and conditions, or serving methods) that distinguishes each sub-style.
-For each of the sub-styles, name at least one classic commercial example as listed in the BJCP Style Guidelines.
-Describe the similarities and differences between the three sub-styles.

Note, there are at least 50 sub-styles. And then questions like this:

Describe and differentiate Abbey and Trappist beers. Give commercial examples of each.

posted by scottatdrake at 9:02 AM on May 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's surprisingly difficult to track down the answer to what I felt was the obvious question: how the heck do you pronounce cicerone? OED gives both /tʃiːtʃəˈrəʊni/ and /sɪsəˈrəʊni/.

Sorry, Cicerone®.

It's not in the FAQ, but searching the site turns up Picking a Name, Or What About “Marquis de Cerevisiae?”, in which Ray Daniels discusses the name.
…“Cicerone” is easy to pronounce if you assume it is an English word and say it the way it looks: “sis-uh-rone.” But that hasn’t stopped some variations in pronunciation from popping up. A common one is the Italian take. Since “cicerone” is a common word in that language (and some other romance languages), people sometimes want to adopt the pronunciation of that language. As a result, we get people who call it “chee-cha-rown” or “chee-cha-row-nee.” A mild variant of that comes from those who want to use our preferred pronunciation, but can’t seem to stop themselves from throwing a long “e” in that first syllable, making it “see-sa-rone” instead of “sis-uh-rone.”
So, /sɪsəˈrəʊn/, I guess.
posted by zamboni at 9:21 AM on May 18, 2018

I keep meaning to take the Cicerone exam just to thumb my nose at Ray. (For the record, I've known Ray for years. Like many beer people we like to tease each other and he wrote Designing Great Beers, which was a fundamental touchstone for me developing into the beer nerd that I am today)
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:47 AM on May 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

> how the heck do you pronounce cicerone?

I'm guessing like chicharrónes?
posted by haileris23 at 10:28 AM on May 18, 2018

I'm kind of surprised to learn that "cicerone" is not from the same root as "cerveza". I hadn't thought about it but somewhere in the back of my head I'd assumed they're related. The link Zamboni gave doesn't spell it out, but it looks like it's from an old word for tour guides, after Cicero. Cicero's name derives from a word for chickpeas, so etymologically cicerones should be guiding us through different kinds of hummus.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:19 PM on May 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

siss er own
posted by beerperson at 10:25 AM on May 20, 2018

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