Cicerone Certification Program

Cicerone Certification Program
4043 N Ravenswood
Ave Suite 306
Chicago, IL 60613
United States
Additional Information 

Hours: M-F 9 am to 5 pm CST


Anyone can call themselves an expert on beer. But when consumers want great beer they need help from a server who really knows beer flavors, styles, and service. They also want to buy beer from a place that understands proper storage and serving so the beer they drink will taste the way it should. Too often great beer is harmed by improper handling and service practices.

In the wine world, the word "sommelier" designates those with proven expertise in selecting, acquiring and serving fine wine. At one time, some beer servers adopted the title "beer sommelier" to tie into the credibility of the wine world. But in the years since its founding, the Cicerone Certification Program has become the industry standard for identifying those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service. The Cicerone Certification Program offers independent assessment and certification so that industry professionals—as well as consumers—can be sure of the knowledge and skills possessed by current and prospective beer servers.


Ray Daniels
Ray Daniels

The Cicerone Certification Program was founded by Ray Daniels, a long-time home brewer, beer author and festival and event organizer. Daniels brings more than 20 years of brewing, judging, studying and writing about beer to the task of managing the Cicerone program.  

Prior to starting Cicerone, Daniels worked for 9 years at the Brewers Association, the trade group for small brewers in the US as a magazine editor, book publisher and promoter of craft beer. Prior to that, he was also a leader in the Chicago Beer Society for more than 10 years where he helped create many events including the annual Brewpub Shootout and what is now “Day/Night of the Living Ales.” He also organized many homebrew competitions and events.

Daniels is an author of four books and scores of articles on brewing or beer. His first book, Designing Great Beers (Brewers Publications), is a classic of US brewing literature which has sold more than 100,000 copies. Other titles include Brown Ales, Smoked Beers and 101 Ideas for Homebrew Fun. He also self-published The Perfect Pint: Producing Real Ale in America. 

Daniels education includes a B.S. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University as well as top marks in the Siebel Diploma Course in Brewing. He also completed graduate coursework in brewing science and brewery engineering through Herriot-Watt University. 

In addition to being the Founder and Director at the Cicerone Certification Program; Ray is currently a senior faculty member at the Siebel Institute of Technology, America's oldest brewing school and an investor in Revolution Brewing Co.

Craft Beer Institute and Cicerone Certification Program are registered business names in the state of Illinois. The Craft Beer Institute is the business entity Daniels has used for a variety of beer-related activities since 1996 such as the Chicago Real Ale Festival and minor publishing or educational activities.