COMPLETING OUR CICERONE CHALLENGE
We live and breathe craft beer here at BrewDog, so last year we decided to go all in and prove it. To underline our passion for great beer, we set a goal for every single person on the Good Ship BrewDog to pass the Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam. All 700 of them. Given the resources, encouragement and the backing – guess what happened, just prior to Christmas?
On December 14th we hit the target. Everyone who works at BrewDog is now Cicerone qualified.
This herculean feat is a testament to the people who work for us – whether they clock in at the brewhouse, our HQ office, run the road on our sales team or man the frontline in BrewDog bars. All of them are now qualified Cicerone Certified Beer Servers. This is a new baseline for beer in the UK and we are proud of every single one of them.
The Cicerone Program is important to us because it was started by a man (the legendary Ray Daniels) who was disheartened by bartenders and industry professionals not knowing nearly enough about the beverage they proffered. So he decided to do something about it. The first level of his Cicerone pathway has given our crewmembers more knowledge and skills than ever, to directly help our customers as well as their own personal development.
It doesn’t stop there of course. In order to continue spreading the word about how craft beer is brewed, stored, served and tasted, there are levels beyond CBS, and we encourage our staff to go as far as they wish. One in every six BrewDog employees is a Certified Cicerone, having passed a day-long exam that sees fewer than half the people who take it succeed. We are rocking a 61% pass-rate and have 114 Certified Cicerones on our roster (Two thirds of UK-based Certified Cicerones work for us).
But, truth be told, this is about more than numbers and percentages – even with the 100% Certified Beer Server milestone. It’s about speaking the same language; about sharing the same goal to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are. The hours of workshops run by our forty-strong volunteer Cicerone-squad, the workbooks, tasting sessions and multiple mock exams to get our crew in the perfect beery zone to ace the exam. It’s all to make us, our industry and our business better.
And now we are bringing it full circle. If you’re reading this wondering where we go next, the answer is closer to home. Your home. We have set another target for this year – we are kick-starting a challenge to support 1,000 of our BrewDog Equity Punks in passing the Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam in 2018. As we grow our community of Equity Punks, we want to give as many of you as possible the chance to discover just how awesome beer can be.
Stay tuned for more announcements soon. And next time you see one of our BrewDog staffers in the wild, give them a high-five for being a certified beer geek!