Here'south What It Takes to Obtain Hired as a Whole Foods Beer Expert

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 1:49 PM

Love wine sommeliers, cicerones exercise their expertise at various levels. Whole Foods' expansion into the beer market has led the company to hire certified cicerones across the country.

Here'south What It Takes to Obtain Hired as a Whole Foods Beer Expert

If you select to celebrate National Beer Day today, you could memorise a thing or two from Whole Foods Market'south "cicerones," certified experts in all things beer.

Love wine sommeliers, cicerones exercise their expertise at various levels. Whole Foods' expansion into the beer market has led the company to hire certified cicerones across the country.

More than two hundred thirty Whole Foods stores, out of four hundred twenty in the country, serve beer and wine for on-premise consumption. That includes the "appreciate while you shop" model and stores with committed bars or restaurant venues. Stepping into a Whole Foods store that sells beer will likely imply you'll encounter one of their beer experts.

Taylor Cathala, a "Level one Cicerone" who works at Whole Foods, passed an online test that's a $395 exam fee that made him a "certified beer server." Reaching Level two makes you a "Certified Cicerone" and at Level three you become a "Master Cicerone."

"The leap from Level one to Level two is beautiful intense, and requires a heavy quantity of commitment," Cathala said. That includes reading books, doing intensive tastings on off-flavors and styles. To reach the second level, you should get a proctored exam in which candidates are certified on the skill to call out beer styles and pinpoint flavors that are "off."

"I'd ballpark a couple of years of study," Cathala said, regarding the second level. "If you really wish to hit the books tough and have a career that revolves around the beer world, you’re looking at a few months of study to be confident in your craft. Tough to say, as people memorise different ways."

But he said the leap from Level two to Level three "is just incredible," and it'south likely a lifelong goal for some people. There are only eleven in the world.

Whole Foods' beer choice has grown steadily, the company said. The average no of different beers sold in stores is currently between three hundred fifty to four hundred.

Doug Bell, global beverage buyer for Whole Foods, said the company is constantly looking for new ways to serve customers, including investing in training and education for beer and wine specialists.

Bell said most Whole Foods Market regions cover the costs of programs if any of the specialists wish to pursue cicerone and sommelier certifications.

Cathala samples about thirty different beers in a typical mo working at Whole Foods.

But he added, “That no can leap if I meet up with friends and we finish up sharing some of our cellar items. In a week or so I'm meeting with some friends and we'll probably taste in total about fifteen beers, bringing my monthly total closer to tasting forty-five different options.”

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