Last Monday the day finally arrived that I have been focusing on for months, the Certified Cicerone exam in Washington DC. For those that don't know, a cicerone is to beer what a sommelier is to wine.
So the exam, as expected and rumored, was very difficult. There is no definitive study materials, only a syllabus with an extensive list of suggested readings. I had hoped that I could read as much of the material as possibly within the time before the exam and have a favorable result.
Then there is the off-flavor tasting exam which means taste this beer and state what is wrong and why. Not an easy task.
Essentially, you need to be expert in brewing, serving, pairing with food and drinking beer. Not only reading but experiencing the life of beer. It takes 4-6 weeks to get your results. Stay tuned.