You've heard of drinking on the job, but have you heard of drinking for the job?

An woman looks confused and asks,

Cicerones are certified professional beer tasters. They're the sommeliers of the beer world.

It takes a lot more than a love of beer to succeed as a beer expert, but that's where it all starts. ♥🍺♥

A man offers a group of men a beer and they all start to cheer for beer in excitement.

What Does a Cicerone Do?

Cicerones commonly work in restaurants, breweries, bars, and clubs.

They're guides for:

  • Restaurant and bar owners deciding what types of beer to serve

  • Guests wanting the best beer to pair with their food

  • Breweries needing advice on the science behind beer-making

A row of different types of beer, including pale ale, stout, lager, ale, and pilsner. Photo by Jon Parry on Unsplash

They're the go-to-people when you want to know about beer flavor, handling, service, and style.

Two men put their glasses of beer together. The image says,


Who would a cicerone help? Select all that apply:

What Does It Take to Be a Cicerone?

To be a cicerone, you must pass a written, serving, and demonstration certification exam from the Cicerone Certification Program, which starts with:

Level 1 — Certified Beer Server: first-level basic fundamentals.

Having Level 1 and being at least 21 years old unlocks the chance to take the Level 2 exam.

Level 2 — Certified Cicerone: demonstration of professional knowledge.

You then progress up from there with two more possible exams.

Level 3 — Advanced Cicerone: extensive expertise in beer service and knowledge.

Level 4 — Master Cicerone: the highest and rarest level of achievement.

Scott Pilgrim gaining a Level Up to show that he has new skills and achievement.

Necessary Skills

Besides passing the certification exam, cicerones need a number of skills.

  • Customer service skills to be pleasant when interacting with customers

  • Attention to detail to match and select the right beer for someone

  • Communication skills to explain the history of a beer and why it's a good choice

  • Patience to handle people who may be indecisive

  • Professionalism when handling and serving beer to guests

Read about the four personalities below:

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Arjun is an introvert who prefers computers to people. He likes drinking light beer but he won't turn down a darker beer as long as it's free.

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Heidi goes running every weekend. She has a short temper and doesn't like having her time wasted. She stays organized by setting notifications on her smart watch.

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Kimiko loves finding the perfect gifts for her friends. She circles every gift-exchange holiday on her calendar. Her shopping wish lists are extensive on many websites.

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Carlos only orders the same meal wherever he goes. Grilled cheese is his favorite. He doesn't believe in online reviews and feels like they're all paid for.


Which personality fits a cicerone's skills the best?

What Do Cicerones Earn?

Certified cicerones have an average base salary of $46,000 USD, with many possible jobs that they can do with their certification.

A bartender stands at a bar with a beer and an empty plate. There is alcohol behind him on the wall. Photo by Taylor Davidson on Unsplash

  • Head brewer: $37k-$62k USD

  • Brewer: $29k-$52k USD

  • Outside sales representative: $46k-$52k USD

  • General manager, restaurant: $50k-$77k USD

  • Brewmaster: $35k-$64k USD

  • Territory sales representative: $43k-$48k USD

Love It or Hate It?

Being a cicerone isn't always all fun, games, and beer.

A beer is poured into a glass next to a basket of bread at a restaurant. Photo by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash

Why someone would love being a cicerone:

  • Loving beer

  • Getting to tell the history and story behind beer

  • Advising people on the best beer for their needs

A bartender pours beer from the tap. The foam from the beer is spilling over the side of the mug. Photo by Poojitha Prasad on Unsplash

Why someone would hate being a cicerone:

  • Hating beer in general

  • Needing to frequently talk to customers and management

  • Reading (so much reading!) and researching beer and the brewing process

Take Action

A man says,

Do you think you have what it takes to become a cicerone, otherwise known as an expert beer taster? Take these steps today.


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