Victoria, BC, has a vibrant and historic brewing community. A group of four craft beer enthusiasts have built on this tradition to become Certified Cicerones.
The term “Cicerone” is trademarked by The Craft Beer Institute and has become industry standard for identifying a beer expert. A Certified Cicerone, of which there are only 25 in Canada, is the second of three Cicerone levels Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone and Master Cicerone and is attained through written exams, tastings and demonstrations.
“A Cicerone is to beer as a Sommelier is to wine,” explains Ian Lloyd, Certified Cicerone and local beer consultant. “To truly enjoy quality craft beer, it must be served and stored properly. When paired with the right meal, local craft beer can enhance any dining experience.”
Rob Ringma, General Manager of Vancouver Island Brewing, speaks highly of Jeff Kendrew’s certification: “Employing people who are passionate about beer is a cornerstone to our brewery and our love of craft beer. Having Jeff Kendrew obtain his Cicerone certification is a great accomplishment for him and one that our entire brewery applauds him for.”
Lighthouse Brewing also has a Certified Cicerone on staff now. Lighthouse head brewer Dean McLeod applauds David Mitchell’s certification,”Our approach to new product development at Lighthouse is very much a collaborative one. I think that the Cicerone qualification is a fitting recognition of Dave’s beer knowledge and passion.”
Bryan Paler is both a Certified Cicerone and Certified Sommelier; the only one in Canada. As manager of the Quadra Village Cascadia Liquor Store, his passion for fine libations is demonstrated by the impressive craft beer selection in his store. “Working with such an amazing selection of craft beers inspired me to take the exam,” says Bryan, “Drawing on 25 years of
being a craft beer lover, one bottle at a time, helped me pass.”
Ian, Jeff, Dave and Bryan plan to help grow the Victoria craft beer community in their own way. “Victoria, and British Columbia as a whole, have such a diverse selection of craft beers. In any
quality beer store or pub, one can find a wide ranging selection of beer styles from both near and far away breweries,” Ian explains. “Our goal as Cicerones is to help people enjoy the beers from
these passionate brewers.”
Jeff summarizes the Cicerones thoughts best,” “Craft beer is here to stay. To nurture this fantastic business, we need knowledgeable craft beer enthusiasts to tell the story and share the passion of what beer is really about!”
These Cicerones are planning events for the first annual Victoria Beer Week, March 19th. There will be events for all levels of craft beer enthusiasts. Visit victoriabeerweek.com for more details.