For sometime now I’ve been contemplating becoming a Certifed Cicerone. Seeming as beer is hobby and interest of mine it makes very little sense to have any kind of accreditation on the subject. Although the benefits are purely academic from my standpoint I feel like the challenge pushes me to expand my horizons and challenge the weaknesses in my knowledge about the beer industry.
Too easy it is to fall into the trap of entering a liquor store only to return with a combination of beer usually in the following categories:
- I’ve had multiple before – Nothing wrong with this occasional mind you. Founders Porter I could drink any day of the year.
- Styles I am comfortable and often gravitate towards – The big hoppy beers or imperial stouts, ales which pack a punch in flavor.
- From a brewery I know and trust – Certain breweries produce consistently great ales, I put these companies in a elite category and I sometimes play it safe and stay within that realm.
This requirement for a much more rounded knowledge will hopefully push my boundaries into areas of which I am fairly uneducated. For example, understanding both the heritage and nuances of German lagers or the yeast complexities of a Belgian farmhouse ale.
Although I’m from England, my knowledge of British beer styles is relatively small. My interest in beer has really taken off the last few years, all of which time I have been domiciled right here in Bloomington Indiana. The last time I was living in England was as a student so the financial means and interest in drinking anything other than macro lager was practically zero. So I hope it will also be rewarding to go back and learn more about the rich brewing history my native country has to offer and how it has influenced American brewers.
With this blog I hope to document my progress and I’m sure other beer related escapades along the way anything ranging from my forays into homebrew, beer reviews and general musing from a beer geek.