What the hell is a Cicerone?

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of taking a free tour of the brewery with our Social Hall manager, Jesse, you probably walked away thinking, “Wow…that dude knows a lot about beer.” And you’re not wrong. But now his mastery and badassery is officially official after becoming a Certified Cicerone® !

But what’s a Certified Cicerone®, you ask? We decided to ask the man himself…

So Jesse…what the hell is a Cicerone?

A giant nerd! Seriously though, the Certified Cicerone® certifies and educates beer professionals in order to elevate the beer experience for consumers.


How do you study for a beer exam? Drink a lot? Any strange training? 

I drank a lot of beer, ate a lot of food, read a lot of books, smelled a lot of things. One of the weirdest things I did was walk around a grocery store and try to identify the smells of fruits without looking at them.


What was the most difficult part of the exam? 

It’s a hard test. There’s a written component that covers all aspects of the beer industry, from brewing process, to history, to modern day laws and taxation. For me though, the tasting section was not necessarily more difficult, but it made me far more nervous. At that point, you have to just trust your senses!


When did you become interested in learning more about beer? 

I’ve been fascinated by beer for most of my adult life. The more I’ve learned over the years, the more confident I am that there will ALWAYS be more to learn. The flashpoint for me, though, was my first homebrew. It was a wreck, both in process and in tasting and it really made me sit back and say “wow, I don’t know anywhere near as much as I thought I did.”


Do you have a favorite style of beer? 

I wish I did! For me, my favorite beer depends quite a bit on what time of day/weather/what I’m eating/what my mood is. Generally speaking, I prefer hop forward beers, but it’s different all the time.


What’s your favorite beer from the brewery right now?

My go-to beer is our Stiltsville Pilsner. It’s just a great beer. My current favorite though, Más Hops, our double IPA is just a stellar beer.


What does it feel like to know so damn much about beer?

Like I don’t know anywhere near as much as I’d like to.


Given your new title, do you have any crazy superpowers?

My newfound super power is being able to instantly sound like a douchebag by saying “As a Certified Cicerone®… [though we all know Jesse is anything but!]

So how do you get to hang out with Jesse and soak up all the beer knowledge he has to offer? We’re hosting our first ever Brew House Rock at Concrete Beach Brewery on November 2nd!

Tickets are $5 for a class with Jesse on how to become a better beer drinker! (and tastings…always tastings)

And in all seriousness….CONGRATS, JESSE! We are very proud to have someone on our team as knowledgeable and passionate about beer as you.

More on the Certified Cicerone® program