24 May 2019 - Best Beer HQ
The Best Craft Beer Job In The World
The beer industry offers a myriad of career paths for fun-loving job hunters out there with roles going beyond that of a brewer. For those interested, you can consider training your taste buds for a career as a beer Sommellerie, also known as a Cicerone. This trained professional works in the alcohol beverage industry specializing in knowledge and service of beer.
Zach O’Haire is a beer cicerone who believes he’s got the best job in the world. O’Haire establishes the craft-beer program where he chooses the best beer lineup for all the Cambria’s 42 hotels. His job allows him to explore flavors and experience new cultures all the time. Zack is among the elite group of more than 2500 individuals certified as a cicerone.
The Cicerone status is earned by passing a two-level examination from the Cicerone Certification Program. Passing the exam requires a person to show excellent skills and knowledge in beer service and sales. Former biochemist turned beer professional Ray Daniel launched the Cicerone program.
By working as a full-time beer expert for one of the leading brands of International Choice Hotels, O’Haire shows the importance of craft beer to Cambria’s hotel guests. Cambria offers more than five different local craft beers and other beers in all their hotels. The chain hotel brand has created its unique beer program as it believes that craft beer is a crucial indicator of the local culture. Cambria aims to give their guests a taste of the culture.
Craft beer is a multimillion dollar industry valued above $25 million, and it continues to grow exponentially every year. Cambria’s senior vice president Janis Cannon says the company decided to invest in a certified cicerone after noticing the rise in demand for local craft beverages.
Zach has worked with Cambria since 2017, collaborating and forging relationships with local craft beer brewers. The beer specialist has worked hard to explore new trends and tastes locally and internationally while bringing in the product in Cambria Hotels around the country.
Cambria recently began a program known as Profs and Pints, bringing together local guests and professors for a local craft beer sampling. The program kicks off in Dallas, Chicago, Columbia district, Nashville and Philadelphia Cambria hotels. O’Haire is also a crucial part of the program.
Becoming a Beer Cicerone
To begin your journey into craft beer as a cicerone, you’ll need to be a certified beer server before you can take the Certified Cicerone Exam. That means you’ll need to fully understand beer as a beverage, the ingredients, and other basics. You’ll also need to sharpen your tasting technique and demonstrate that you fully address customer complaints and pair it with food.
From the Cicerone title, you can also take the advanced cicerone exam as you get ready to be a Master Cicerone. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to try the exam only after servicing for over three years as a cicerone. That strengthens your knowledge and allows you to master different tastes of beer from different cultures.