You might recall from my post on January 31, that I was really eager and motivated to finish studying and take the exam. Well, as you might’ve guessed based on the dates of my posts, I hadn’t been in such a hurry to finish anymore. There was a huge gap between lessons 12 and 13. Looking back, I’m mildly ashamed and kind of embarrassed about the amount of time that I let go by. More on that in a minute. Anyway… Then I learned that the Cicerone® Certification program is planning on changing the Certified Beer Server exam in 2016—so we gotta get this thing done!
Taste and flavor
By becoming more aware of your senses and then developing a vocabulary to articulate those senses, you can develop a deeper understanding of beer. When you are better able to tease out different aromas and flavors, and when you are able to articulate those senses into words, you can better understand why different characteristics are present in a beer, you can understand what a customer wants, and you can know when a beer has gone bad.
Alright! We’ve gotten over the hump. That part about the beer styles was brutal, so we’ve got to be on the home stretch now. We’re now in part 3 of the Certified Beer Server syllabus: Beer Flavor and Evaluation. This is where we’re finally talking about actually tasting beer. We’re going to tease out how to evaluate a beer, how to identify the normal flavors of beer, and a bit about off-flavors. Then we’ll close up the last 2 quick sections of the syllabus. Woohoo!!
History, characteristics, and flavor attributes of styles by region
In the previous lesson we learned how to describe a beer by its qualitative and quantitative measurements. Now we can dig into the different styles of beer.
It’s important to know the defining characteristics for a variety of beer styles. As beer servers, we’ll not only need to speak in an educated manner of the products we’re selling, but sometimes we’ll also need to help customers decide which beer they want.
Beer styles can be measured qualitatively and quantitatively. Today’s lesson describes the different ways to measure the characteristics of a beer, and understand its style.
Understanding beer styles
Beer is perhaps more varied than wine. BJCP Style Guidelines lists approximately 80 different styles of beer, many of which have been around for centuries—or longer! And each of those styles have stories as varied as the cultures from which they originated.
Ok we’re moving on to part 2 of the Certified Beer Server Syllabus: Beer Styles. First, we’ll learn a basic understanding of beer styles. The next section will explain both the qualitative and quantitative parameters of beer styles. Finally, we’ll learn a little about the history and culture of styles and dig into the styles by region.
One of the reasons I started this site was to motivate me by accountability to finish this exam! Yes, WordPress has given me quite a beating this past year. Nonetheless, here it is, 8 months after my first post on Beer Exam School, 3 months since I really started studying, and I have a long ways to go. But I got a job at a brewery!
Serving draft beer
The place you work might have some beer in a bottle and others on tap. Serving beer on tap is easy and simple, but don’t make a very common and pretty gross mistake.
Serving bottled beer
The customer has chosen a beer that you carry in a bottle. Good beer service for bottled beer starts with storage and carries through to actually presenting the glass to the customer. In addition to storage and presentation, there are best practices for opening a bottle, and pouring the beer into a glass. All of it is important for excellent bottle service.