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WSJ: "As Craft Brew Sales Grow Frothy, Pourers With Pedigrees Bubble Up"

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by rousee, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. rousee

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  2. steveh

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    Was about to post this too. Anyone take the quiz? 100% Does that make me an honorary Cicerone? ;)
     
  3. TongoRad

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    Just did. Answers all seemed pretty obvious, even if the Stout question might ruffle some feathers (though it's obvious that they're going for the 'conventional wisdom' answer).
     
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  4. Hanzo

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    Nice article.

    Got one wrong on the quiz, "which of the following is a dark ale made with roast barley so that it has a flavor reminiscent of coffee?"

    I went porter for some reason :(
     
  5. jbertsch

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    Yeah the stout question was a little lame, but I can tell which answer they're looking for. I was more tripped up by this questions --> "What is the key flavor difference between ales and lagers?"

    I'm not the smartest beer geek on the planet, but it seemed like a bogus question. I don't think any of the answer choices are 100% true. It's like picking the least wrong answer, which itself is subjective. Please don't tell me the cicerone exam has questions like this.
     
  6. steveh

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    Yeah, to us probably.
     
  7. TongoRad

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    True, but even to those in the biz I'd put the questions as pretty basic. If I were to look at an upside I'd say that if this represented the bare minimum of knowledge that servers I'd encounter would have, it would definitely represent a step up. Man, we have a long way to go ;) ...
     
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  8. kexp

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    I am of the opinion that my server's beer knowledge should come through experience, rather than a $70 written test. I get the impression that restaurants use this as a marketing item.
     
  9. otispdriftwood

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    I just hope that beer pedigrees don't lead to beer snobbiness like IMHO what's transpired with wine.
     
  10. leedorham

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    Unfortunately, passing even the highest level cicerone exam still leaves you without the most sought after qualification for serving beer, large breasts.
     
  11. steveh

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    Yeah, that's far above the minimum knowledge of any servers I know!
     
  12. Grohnke

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    Its pretty valid man. Ester production is high in ales as a result of the warmer fermentation temperatures. Lagers are fermented at cooler temps, thus dont have (have less) a fruity/estery component.
     
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  13. TongoRad

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    Depends on where you go. Obviously in beer bars, brew pubs, etc. servers will be knowledgeable (heck- one of the reasons I love going to places like that is to shoot the shit with people who are familiar with the craft brewing scene). But in neighborhood watering holes, chain restaurants, and the like I'd suspect it could be a whole lot better across the board.
     
  14. jbertsch

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    Yeah I definitely understand that, and I assumed that's where they were coming from, but I can think of lagers that give me plenty of fruity notes. Hell, maybe because just last night I had this...
    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/428/2412
    and others that come to mind, like Korbinian, and Ayinger's Jahrhundert, etc. don't fit the fruit-less lager mold to me. But I guess those are considered mere exceptions to the general rule. I just figured they were latching on to the other not-entirely true statement of "ales are (typically) more malty"
     
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  15. steveh

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    Oh, don't take that for granted -- I know a few brew-pubs where the servers don't know diddly.

    I saw someone ask for "something like a Maibock" that had just been finished at a pub. Bar tender says, "Well, we got this Brown Ale." o_O
     
  16. StarRanger

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    The test is not there to *give* them knowledge, they should get the knowledge from training, reading, and experience. The test it there to prove that they do have that knowlege.
     
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  17. rlcoffey

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    You need to drink at better bars.
     
  18. Hanzo

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    I have to say with the internet I can find just about anything I want to know about a particular beer, so I for one would trade being served by the greatest Cicerone for an attractive female.
     
  19. steveh

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    Someone needs to open better bars -- or at least train their servers better.
     
  20. kexp

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    I hear what you're saying. But if I read the article correctly, the recipient gets a syllabus to study, and the test is based on the syllabus. No tasting involved, no knowledge of the breweries, etc. Does it really matter if a server can list the 4 basic ingredients of beer? Maybe I'm just cynical. More likely, I am jealous that I didn't figure out a way to extract $70 for each server to study a short syllabus and test them on it, then market the Cicerone brand as an industry standard.
     
  21. rlcoffey

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    Maybe you need to move. :)

    I have a number of them near me. Enough that I dont have to go to places with crappy servers.
     
  22. steveh

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    In Louisville? Things must be changing down there.

    I have quite a few places to go where there is good beer served, just that a knowledgable bar tender is far from the norm. I rely on myself to make the right choices.
     
  23. jageraholic

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    I'm not sure about the fancy names. I just like a knowledgeable beer guy. I'm not looking to order a Venti from a Barista.
     
  24. rlcoffey

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    Lot has happened here in the last decade or so (Im including New Albany as part of Louisville).

    For one thing, this place opened 2 years ago: http://holygralelouisville.com/ . It will be hosting its 2nd Zwanze Day in a few weeks.

    I believe part/all the servers there are low level cicerone certified. They know A LOT more than the depth of questions shown in that sample.
     
  25. steveh

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    Good to know. I had a friend who lived down there for a while and was starving for good beer -- so much so, he moved to Boulder!
     
  26. TMoney2591

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    For the higher levels, there is indeed a syllabus, but there's also a tasting portion, which you can't really study for beyond experience with the product on your tongue.

    Also, think of a college degree: You're given a syllabus, you're given books to reference, then you're given a test and, if you do well enough on said test, you get a piece of paper that shows you supposedly know a certain amount. All for a price. Not much difference really, especially considering that in both cases the true results bear themselves out in the future, when those who put in true effort and dedication rise and those that coasted fall (ideally, anyway...).
     
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  27. vurt

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    (shrug) Maybe that's the maltiest brew they had on tap. A brown ale might be a stretch for a maibock drinker, but not nearly as much as an IPA or pale ale would be.
     
  28. steveh

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    Their Brown Ale (hell, any Brown Ale) was nothing at all like their Maibock. Hoppy, roasty, estery -- nowhere near the same. If you'd seen the bar tender you could tell he was tap-dancing.
     
  29. UCLABrewN84

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    Unless you drink a lot of beer and get male beer tits.
     
  30. IceAce

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    Decent enough article...until this,

    I'm sure Mr. Gardner would have tactfully pointed out that cask is naturally carbonated and not 'un-carbonated'.

    Still...one of the better explanations of the Cicerone® program
     
  31. axeman9182

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    Very cool article on the program, and I'd like to commend Mr. Gardner both for the mustache and the checkered bow tie. Well played sir.
     
  32. rousee

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    There are plenty of beer advocates that arent on this site
     
  33. nrs207

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    Was gonna say. I thought that answer was pretty correct.
     
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