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

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April Dirty Thirty Day 5 – Legend Brewing Maibock

Today’s April Dirty Thirty review is on…

Legend Maibock

Legend Maibock… It’s Legendary.

Legend Brewing Maibock

Critical Information:

  • 6.6% ABV
  • Spring Seasonal

My Experience:


Poured from bottle into pint glass. Decent sized pure-white head. There are very tiny bubbles that keep working for a few minutes.


Caramel and maltiness mix with some cloves. It has a rich, toasty lager aroma.


It’s sweet and toasty. Very minimal to no hop flavor. It has a bite to it’s aftertaste where it lasts for several moments. The aftertaste has just a slight bitterness to it (and not in a bad way). I’ve only had one or two Maibocks before and honestly can’t remember what they tasted like. I did no research on the style as well so I had no idea what to expect. But I like it. A lot.


It’s slightly thicker than I would have expected. It has a heavy, dense weight to it.


You don’t need any. But what’s the fun in that? How about a soft cheese, Brie?, and some deviled eggs. Ford’s Fish Shack has great deviled eggs that’s served with candied bacon.


Maibock. Yeah, might have to try more of them. I’ll have to do some research on them too. Legend Brown Ale is high on my list of go-to beers and now the Legend Maibock might be on it too. What makes this even better is that it’s from a Virginia brewery from a great city in Richmond. Speaking of Richmond I’m going to have to get a Hardywood beer into the rotation. Everyone keeps talking about them and I have to try more from them.

Score: 9/10

Congratulations for being a part of the April Dirty Thirty project. Keep the tweets and comments coming, you’re doing outstanding! 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 and share it with us.

April Dirty Thirty Schedule 4/2-4/6

Here is what’s on tap this week for the April Dirty Thirty:

Tuesday 4/2Heavy Seas Powder Monkey Pale Ale

Wednesday 4/3RJ Rockers Bald Eagle Brown

Thursday 4/4Yards IPA

Friday 4/5Legend Maibock

Saturday 4/6Atwater Vanilla Java Porter

Hope you can participate. Try these out if you can. If not, try something new. Review it. Talk about it. Grow your beer knowledge!

Will this theory help you enjoy new beers?

Unless you’re brand new to beer (nothing wrong with that though) you know that hops are measured on a scale of bitterness. IBUs, International Bitterness Units, measure the bitter alpha acids from hops that are isomerized and dissolved during the boil.

Some beers, like Hefeweizens, have IBUs of 10-15 while Double IPAs will go to 80+ IBUs.

Randy Mosher’s Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink has a great graph in chapter four that shows the relationship of IBUs to Original Gravity (think the amount of alcohol in a beer. Yes, it’s more complicated than that but now’s not the time.). What I noticed that was generally the hoppier the beer, the more Original Gravity, OG, is has. Mosher describes why a lot better than I am able to.

So looking at the chart I came to this hypothesis: if you enjoy a certain beer, wouldn’t you enjoy a beer with a similar hoppiness-to-OG?

I challenge you to try this experiment. Ladies Hefeweizen lovers – try a Doppelbock. Pale Ale fans (like myself) – try a Maibock. And IPA buffs – try an Irish Dry Stout.

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