How to Become a Professional Beer Taster (Complete Guide)

Friends drinking beer

If you enjoy beer, wouldn’t it be great to take it to the next level… maybe you could become a professional beer taster?

Let me assure you, this job exists, and you can get paid quite handsomely to do it.

Interested? Welcome to our complete guide on how to become a professional beer taster!

What Is a Professional Beer Taster Called?

While being a professional beer taster sounds like everyone’s dream job, it isn’t the job title normally given to a person in this role.

A professional beer taster is known as a beer sommelier or a cicerone.

A beer sommelier or cicerone is someone with a deep knowledge of everything related to beer. These individuals work in the hospitality and alcoholic beverages industry and have a thorough understanding of all aspects of making and serving beer.

When you really stop to think about it, the beer sommelier and cicerone job titles both sound more impressive than professional beer taster!

An assortment of beers

What Does a Cicerone Do?

Since the profession has only been around since 2007, it’s understandable that you may not know what a cicerone does. The position, however, is becoming increasingly important within the hospitality sector.

The key responsibilities that you will have as a certificated cicerone mostly revolve around identifying, procuring, and serving a selection of beers that will appeal to your customer base.

As a cicerone, you’ll be expected to:

  • Know how to properly store and serve beer.
  • Identify and discuss the various ingredients involved in making beer.
  • Have an in-depth understanding of the brewing process.
  • Understand and be able to explain the differences between various styles of beer.
  • Taste, identify, and evaluate a variety of flavors in beers from all over the world.
  • Suggest innovative ways to pair beer with food.

A variety of different organizations employ cicerones, with some of the most popular organizations being breweries and hospitality establishments.

Be sure to keep an eye on job search engines for local breweries, restaurants and bars that may be looking for a cicerone!

What is a Typical Salary for a Cicerone?

Like many professions, more experience means a higher salary.

The average salary for a cicerone in the United States is approximately $45,000 per year. Keep in mind this is a national average. Compensation may be higher or lower depending on where you live.

When you start working as a cicerone, you may earn less money. As you progress in your career, you’ll likely surpass this national average.

The Cicerone Certification Program

If you’re interested in taking the next steps toward becoming a cicerone, you should check out the certification program at cicerone.org. They offer online courses and in-person training for groups of various sizes.

Cicerone certification program logo

There are four levels of certifications.

Level One: Certified Beer Server – First level certification for those who work with beer.

Level Two: Certified Cicerone – Certification for professionals dedicated to beer.

Level Three: Advanced Cicerone – A designation of distinctive expertise and tasting skill.

Level Four: Master Cicerone – The ultimate test of beer expertise.

As you process through the different levels and certificates, you will achieve a deeper understanding and appreciation of beer which will, in turn, help you advance in your career.

Now You Know How to Become a Professional Beer Taster!

So what do you think… are you ready to take the next steps now that you know how to become a professional beer taster?

It’s nice work if you can get it!

By Michael

Chief mixologist and cocktail enthusiast at Swizzle Club.