Josh Scott, founder of Moa Brewing, has become New Zealand’s first Certified Cicerone (CC) or beer expert. After a long preparation (including sampling 1,000 craft beers in a year) he passed a challenging exam in Phoenix, USA. The exam included beer tasting, flavour analysis, keeping and serving beer, identifying different beer styles, and knowing different ingredients and the process of brewing.
Despite his long history in craft brewing, Scott described the process as “hard graft” but believes he learnt a great deal. He will be encouraging his brewing colleagues to complete the programme which was founded by American Ray Daniels in 2008 as the beer equivalent of a Master of Wine.
Scott is not content to rest on his laurels. In 2015 he plans to become a Master Cicerone. The Cicerone organisation says:
“Those who achieve this certification possess encyclopaedic knowledge of beer and highly refined tasting ability. Such knowledge generally results from years of thoughtful study and tasting, travel to classic beer producing areas, hands-on experience with beer service, in-depth familiarity with brewing and ingredients and frequent and repeated experience in beer and food pairing. Candidates have not only knowledge but experience and, as a result, an informed and nuanced understanding of the universe of beer flavour.”
Source: Stuff, Cicerone