The number of Beer Sommeliers has reached the 100 milestone, following a handful of recent accreditations by global beer education body the Beer Academy. Linda Sheehan of Barry Group in Ireland became the 100th Beer Sommelier after passing the final stage of the assessment at the Beer Academy offices in London earlier this month. Two other candidates, from the United Kingdom and Lithuania, successfully completed their Beer Academy accreditation on the same day.
The Beer Sommelier accreditation is the ultimate qualification in beer knowledge. To succeed, candidates must first submit a written application including a portfolio demonstrating their work in promoting beer. If successful at this stage, they attend an assessment with Beer Academy director of training Alex Barlow, where they are questioned on their portfolio, before being asked to identify a number of beer styles and off flavors, and to recommend beer matches for a range of dishes.
Jerry Avis, chief executive officer of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, which operates the Beer Academy, said: “We are delighted to have reached the 100 mark on Beer Sommelier accreditations. Since launching the qualification in 2011, we have seen demand for it grow in tandem with the interest in beer and brewing both in the UK and abroad.
“For beer professionals across the industry, securing this endorsement of their beer knowledge has been of enormous value, opening new opportunities for them to host beer tastings, design beer lists or deliver beer training. Beer Sommelier accreditation is fast becoming a quality marque, used by brewers, operators, educators, publishers and others seeking professionals with beer knowledge.”
Sheehan is currently International Trade Specialist and Exclusive Label Brand Ambassador for Alcohol with Barry Group, a leading independent retail and wholesale company with franchises including Carry Out specialist off-licences. She has worked in the food and drink industry internationally for 14 years.
Sheehan said, “My love of beer guided me to the Beer Academy, and I completed four of its training programs before applying for Beer Sommelier accreditation.
“The world of beer is becoming ever more diverse and dynamic and offers exciting opportunities. I’m keen to engage more people across retail, wholesale, on and off trade channels with beer, and this highly-regarded qualification will add huge value to my endeavours. Becoming the 100th Beer Sommelier makes it an even greater celebration.”
Beer Sommelier accreditation has been achieved by beer professionals in 16 countries, among them brewers, licensees, restaurateurs, writers and marketeers, On passing the accreditation, Beer Sommeliers are presented with a certificate and listed with a biography on the Beer Academy website.