The ever-growing competition of craft beer sales requires new and highly intelligent recruits. How can you train your beer sales force to be as impressive as Chuck Norris’ Delta Force? Try the Cicerone Certification Program, which just announced a new series of live educational courses, dubbed “bootcamps,” to help train and educate those who sell and serve beer for a living. The new courses will be held on-site at the company’s Chicago offices in their recently upgraded classroom facilities starting in January 2015.
“With these bootcamps we want to offer unique hands-on learning sessions utilizing the people and resources we have available in Chicago,” said Ray Daniels, founder and director of the Cicerone Certification Program.
BeerSavvy Bootcamp educates servers and others in the essentials of beer styles and service during a four-hour course. Participants taste and study five foundation beer styles from lagers to sours in order to understand the full spectrum of beer flavor. Then they explore the flavor variations that connect the foundation beer styles to every other beer style brewed today. Through these activities, students come to understand a wide range of beer styles so they can talk knowledgeably about the flavor of beer with customers. Along the way, they also learn how to properly serve draft and bottled beer, clean beer glassware and troubleshoot common draft beer problems. The BeerSavvy Bootcamp price is $99 and will include a supplemental study text.
“Through this program we start with a single familiar beer style then connect it to all other styles so any server can begin to be effective in discussing and selling a wide range of beers,” said Daniels. “The training will include tasting and interactive exercises that bring the flavor profiles of the beers in to clear focus.”
The advanced Road to Cicerone Bootcamp offers five days of in-depth learning experiences suitable for those studying for the Certified Cicerone exam, as well as industry members looking for advanced beer knowledge. Participants spend about half of their in-class time on tastings and hands-on explorations guided by Cicerone Director Ray Daniels and other experts. Major study topics will include a complete survey of beer styles, key principles of draft systems, active understanding of brewing, practical exercises in off-flavor tasting and hands-on work with beer and food. Tuition of $1,995 includes all course materials and handouts plus lunch each day and two multi-course beer and food pairing dinners.
“We’ve gotten very positive feedback about the hands-on, experiential learning approach we introduced earlier this year with the Road to Cicerone Coursebooks,” said Daniels. “We extend this concept through the Road to Cicerone Bootcamp with a big focus on face-to-face tasting, activities, and discussions between students and industry experts.”
The Cicerone Certification Program offers a series of professional certification examinations for people who sell and serve beer. Since its founding in 2007, more than 43,000 individuals have earned one or more certifications. The company publishes free syllabi for each level outlining the content of each exam and they do not require anyone to take training or courses from them before attempting the exams.
“As with all of our educational offerings, the Bootcamp courses are completely independent of the certification exams,” Daniels said. “The courses can help you prepare.” for exams if you choose, but no one is required to take our courses before attempting the exams.”