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All the books on beer and brewing are missing from WA library shelves.

A band of lovers of the delicious nectar of the gods are feverishly tasting, studying, testing and querying all aspects of the manufacturing and drinking of our favourite drinks.

The internationally recognised Cicerone(R) Certification Program heads to Perth for the first time in November, offering beer aficionados the opportunity to gain honours for their knowledge. The program is more than just achieving a badge. It is an accreditation that allows the title expert to be added to a name. It is particularly significant for brewers, servers and sales staff. Those with the certification have shown “detailed knowledge of retail beer storage and service issues, excellent knowledge of modern beers and styles with some familiarity with … historical styles, competence in identifying flawed beers and recognizing appropriate and inappropriate flavours in modern beer styles, good understanding of beer ingredients and familiarity with the brewing process …” That is such a mouthful the palate is a bit dry. And a Certified Cicerone, a part of the program that originated under Ray Daniels (above) in the US, can recommend what beer to have and to which food it should be paired. The first level of the Cicerone scheme is Certified Beer Server. The next step, Certified Cicerone, significantly tougher and only 12 Australians have reached the mark. None have reached the third limb, Advanced Cicerone, or the top branch, the Master Cicerone, of which there are just 11 throughout the world. A certified Cicerone exam will be held in Perth as part of WA Beer Week on Thursday November 17. A venue has yet to be determined. The test will be conducted by the Australian Institute of Beer, which has a strong working relationship with Cicerone headquarters. Only three West Australian-based beer gurus, Artisan Brewing maestro Brian Fitzgerald, The Monk's Matt Marinich and Steven Blaine from Lion, have got the accreditation and both achieved their gongs outside of the State. For more information contact the Institute of Beer –

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