Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part I – German/Czech Styles

This is the first post in a series on knowledge for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam. All information disseminated is from the syllabus provided by the Cicerone website and mixed with my own thoughts. I’m doing this to 1) help me learn the material and 2) share the knowledge with people who haven’t heard of the exam or are planning to take the exam.

Feel free to skip ahead to other sections. Here’s a list of all the study guide parts:

Please study with me as I hope to take the exam this fall.

One of the topics I need to study the most is Beer Styles and specifically the History, characteristics, and flavor attributes of styles by region section.

One quick note – PB stands for Perceived Bitterness

This is Part I on German/Czech Styles:

German/Czech Styles



German Pilsner

  • PB – Assertive
  • Color – Straw to gold
  • ABV – Normal

Continue reading

My first guest blog post!

Wow! My first guest blog post got published today for E.C. Kraus’ blog. E.C. Kraus is a home wine and beer making supply company who you can purchase equipment and supplies online through.

My post entitled, How to Brew a Hefeweizen: Tips from a Beginning Homebrewer, goes over my steps and best tips for brewing a Hefeweizen from a malt extract kit without destroying your kitchen.

Click here to check out the article!!

Please tweet, email, pin or like the article on their site. I’m hoping to do more guest blog posts for them and having the extra social media stats for my articles will help me out greatly!

TWIB – Homebrews, Hefeweizens and Time Travel

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

This week in beer was a homebrew and entertainment filled one. Had a friend’s homebrew, tried my newest homebrew for the first time and went to the ballpark.

Boeser Brau’s American Pilsner Homebrew

Even though I’m a homebrewer (yes, a new homebrewer but regardless) I haven’t had many other people’s homebrews outside of my own. He put mine to shame! I absolutely loved everything about this beer. From the golden, yellow color to the crisp Pilsner taste, keep up the great work, Scott!

21st Amendment Bitter American

There’s a new movie theater by me called the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema where they serve you dinner, beer, popcorn, etc. at your seat (pretty cool, right?). So my wife and I went to check it out on Friday and saw Gatsby. We got their carnivore pizza which I’ll rate a 9 out of 10, their chips with queso dip which I’ll give a 6 out of 10 and their popcorn — usual awesome theater popcorn. I also ordered a 21st Amendment Bitter American. I’ve had this before and it’s one of my go-to beers. It’s light, flavorful, low in alcohol at 4.4% and has some badass artwork like all the 21st Amendment cans. The theater itself serves many local beers — Starr Hill, Lost Rhino, Williamsburg Alewerks, DC Brau and more. It also has a bar inside called Glass Half Full Taproom. We poked out heads in and it looks cozy. Full bar with beer reasonably priced.

One more thing! This is in the new One Loudoun development and it looks like a Bar Louie going in soon. I’ve been to the one downtown and I can’t wait for one to be here.

Continue reading

April Dirty Thirty Day 7 – Butternuts Heinnieweisse Weissebier Farmhouse Ale

We’ve made it a week! We’ve had some great beers so far. I guess it was time for that to change. Today’s April Dirty Thirty review is on…

Butternuts Heinnieweisse Weissebier Farmhouse Ale

Butternuts Heinnieweisse Weissebier Farmhouse Ale

Butternuts Heinnieweisse Weissebier Farmhouse Ale

Critical Information:

  • 4.9% ABV
  • Year-round
  • Canned

My Experience:


The first can beer for AD30. It has an opaque yellow-orange color with an airy-white head. Bubbles continue to rise for several minutes.


It smells sweet, like honey and citrus. There’s also some nectarine and grapefruit. I cannot smell any maltiness.


It’s tart and sour. It tastes fairly dry as well. I get some of the grapefruit coming through but not much of the sweetness I smelled earlier. There’s a lot of carbonation still working.


It feels more like sparking juice than beer. Almost like seltzer water. I guess that’s a characteristic of the farmhouse ale style though.


This beer feels very delicate. A summer salad with an oil-based dressing would pair well or mozzarella or similar cheese.


Beer comes in many styles. This trait is very beneficial because there is usually a style that someone can grasp onto and learn to tolerate even if they don’t like beer at all. This beer might be for them. Maybe it is technically a hefeweizen but it does not feel like it. I sometimes tease and call out ladies for liking hefeweizens (even though I really like them too, I actually homebrewed one today) but I’m not recommending this “not beer, beer” for them. I’m recommending this to the people who don’t care to like beer and never want to like beer. Hefeweizens are gateway beers for people, getting them to branch out little by little. This is for a beer hater who wants to drink a beer to be fashionable and continue on hating beer. This beer is not bad it’s just not for me. Maybe I’ll appreciate it more as my palate grows but for now pass me another Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout and let me enjoy my night.

Score: 2/10

Congratulations for being a part of the April Dirty Thirty project. Keep the tweets and comments coming, you’re doing fantastic! Remember to use #AprilDirty30. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this beer, what you had tonight, what you’ve tried recently, anything.

Try something new, grow your palate and share it with us.

Hoppy Birthday and Happy Home Conclusions

Picture of Birthday Cake

Hoppy Birthday Cake

Saturday my wife and I hosted our first event in our new home we called Hoppy Birthday and Happy Home. It was a great success that I could have never pulled off alone. My wife spent the two previous days prepping and cooking while I kept worrying if we had enough beer (which we did).

The Beers:

Buckets filled with craft beer

Craft beer was not at a shortage

  • New Belgium Trippel
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Bell’s Winter White Ale
  • Leffe Blond
  • Blue Point Toasted Lager
  • Brooklyn Lager
  • Anchor Steam Beer
  • Port City Monumental IPA
  • Stone IPA
  • Breckenridge Lucky U IPA
  • Troegs Java Head Stout
  • Bold Rock Virginia Apple Cider
  • Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen
  • Port City Optimal Wit

The Food:

Countertop full of food

No one left hungry

  • Beer Bread made with Leffe Blond
  • Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese Dip made with Breckenridge Lucky U IPA
  • Buffalo Chicken Bites made with Stone IPA
  • Praline Bacon with stout coating made with Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout
  • Buffalo Wings
  • Egg Rolls
  • Cheddar and Cottage Mac & Cheese
  • And more!


Hosting always makes me anxious but this went off without a hitch. I’m excited to host more and have some good ideas for next time.