The Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) is striving to become one of the most cultured companies in craft brewing. The brewing rollup (representing brands like Widmer Brothers Brewing and Kona Brewing Co.) tapped the Cicerone Certification Program, the most recognized beer knowledge certification program in the country, to advance its team’s knowledge about beer, beer styles and service. We say kudos.
“I’d like to congratulate Craft Brew Alliance on having 100 percent of their customer-contact employees achieve Certified Beer Server,” said Ray Daniels, founder and director of Cicerone Certification Program. “The Craft Brew Alliance team joins more than 35,000 people worldwide who have demonstrated their knowledge of beer through the Cicerone program. We are proud to know they have found Cicerone to be an effective tool in providing excellent beer service in their daily operations.”
Last year, CBA challenged its entire team to pass the Cicerone Level I Certified Beer Server exam while requiring all consumer-facing employees in sales, marketing and restaurant and retail to pass the exam by the end of the year. Of the more than 330 employees in consumer-facing roles, 100 percent completed the Certified Beer Server course by January 2014.
CBA’s craft beer portfolio includes a broad array of styles to satisfy a variety of consumer tastes and occasions, and the company is continuously adding new employees to support its growth.
“Our roots tie back to the beginning of the craft beer movement, in the early 1980s before the term ‘craft’ even existed,” said CBA Chief Executive Officer Andy Thomas in a press release. “From the beginning, we have been driven by a desire to extend our own love of beer through delivering unique craft beer experiences to consumers. As we continue to grow, we remain fully committed to that same sense of purpose — and through great programs like Cicerone, we are ensuring that everyone at CBA is empowered to educate beer drinkers and enhance their experiences across all types and styles of beer. It is our hope that more beer companies taking a similar approach and encouraging this level of stewardship in all things beer.”
Moving forward, CBA is requiring all new consumer-facing employees to register and complete the Certified Beer Server exam as part of the orientation process. CBA provides all necessary resources, encourages study groups and classes, and reimburses employees for the certification registration fees. The company is actively exploring ways to support select teams who want to continue on and achieve Certified Cicerone status.
About the Level I Certified Beer Server Exam:
The Certified Beer Server requires competent knowledge of beer storage and service issues as well as modest knowledge of beer styles and culture and basic familiarity with beer tasting and flavors and basic knowledge about brewing process and ingredients. Knowledge of the Cicerone Certification Program’s levels and titles is also required.