The Beer Sommelier FAQs


1. What is a “Beer Sommelier”?*  We all have expertise in different areas: cars, electronics, real estate, etc. Yours may even be food and wine. But much like wine Sommeliers, there's a new instructor emerging, for this "craft beer renaissance": the Beer Sommelier.*

Their passion and depth of knowledge belong to beer…every aspect of it. And let's face it, many people love beer. Today's Beer Sommelier acts as a consultant, educator, host and advisor for this burgeoning market. In fact, renowned restaurants, like Café D' Alsace in New York City, have been hiring people to fill that position on premise, for many years.

We drink it at parties, gatherings and barbecues, but what most people fail to realize, is that there are dozens of styles and substyles of beer, using dozens of different malts, hops and yeasts. All this makes beer potentially an infinitely complex beverage. So complex, in fact, that those styles can be lined up and compared in tastings, much like wine. And these tastings are incredibly fun and educational. Food pairings and beer dinners are also increasingly high on the short-list of entertainment destinations for upwardly mobile urbanites.

Most people think that wine is the ultimate beverage for pairing with food, like Szechuan chicken, braised lamb chops or even something as simple as a burger. But beer actually pairs with these foods, including cheese and chocolate – allowing for a fuller appreciation and sensory experience.

In fact, the Beer Sommelier's duties parallel those of the wine Sommelier: hosting tastings, recommending the proper beer and glassware to serve with any given foods, staff instruction and cellar maintenance. And community education doesn't hurt either.

But additionally, The Beer Sommelier® offers full industry consultation, including startups, beer program creation, corporate and hospitality industry events, staff education, speaking engagements and much more.        

If you'd like to know more, simply contact me and we can chat!

2. What’s the difference between a “Cicerone®,” and a Beer Sommelier?  Cicerone® is simply a trademarked word and certification system, that’s analogous to the term “Beer Sommelier”. They both represent similar educational tenets and responsibilities, as outlined above. The truth is, there are several world-class certifications of competence and The Beer Sommelier® has several, including BJCP and Siebel/Doemens Bier Sommelier. To see more about all the certifications, awards and experience held by The Beer Sommelier®, just click here!  

3. What makes a real beer expert?  The world of craft beer is changing rapidly and its industry is experiencing explosive growth. With that, so is its base of fans, hobbyists and aficionados. But simply enjoying and sampling many of the products offered in the marketplace, isn’t sufficient experience to call oneself an expert. While this certainly is a first step, craft beer expertise takes years of real study, testing, brewing, industry immersion, travel, writing, objective tasting and much more. While lots of fun, it really is work!

Decades of hands-on experience and study, is what separates The Beer Sommelier® from many claiming to have expertise. If someone claims to be able to provide you with service in the craft beer arena, ask for their credentials and see for yourself. At The Beer Sommelier®, we pride ourselves on not only maintaining an incredibly high professional standard, but continuing education and ongoing, consistent, industry engagement. See what our clients have to say about our service and level of expertise here. And to see all about what makes us eminent in our field, just click here.  

4. What are your fees? It may sound like a cop-out, but every single client is different - with different needs, circumstances, and parameters. So the only way to establish how much any project will cost, is through discussion. The truth is, the sooner you contact us with all you needs, budget and details, the sooner we can establish what the fee for any given project will be...and the sooner we can secure your project(s) on our calendar and lock it in.

Suffice it to say, we can work within almost any budget. As for events, none is too small, or too large.


* While “Beer Sommelier” is a descriptive term, The Beer Sommelier® is a registered trademark of The Beer Sommelier, LLC. All rights therein are reserved.