Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part III – British Styles

This is Part III of 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:

This is Part IV on British Styles.

**Note – PB stands for Perceived Bitterness**

British Styles

English Ales

Pale Ales

Special/Best/Premium Bitter

  • PB – Pronounced
  • Color – Gold to amber
  • ABV – Lower

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TWIB – Anniversary in Annapolis

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 was a special weekend for me. My wife and I celebrated our first anniversary. We took a trip Annapolis, MD, a place we’ve never been to before.

Fordham Brewing Company

Well I was in charge of planning the trip and right off the bat when we arrived Sunday afternoon I took us to get lunch at a restaurant that doesn’t open until 5:00pm. Nice work. So plan B kicked in and I walked us around until we found the most crowded spot which ended up being Rams Head Tavern.

I ordered the Fordham Brewing Company sampler. It consisted of 6 of their beers:

  • Rams Head IPA
  • Rosie Parks Oyster Stout
  • Copperhead Ale
  • Helles Lager
  • Tavern Ale
  • Wisteria Wheat

The Copperhead Ale was my favorite by far. It was complex and flavorful. However, it was the only one I’ll ever get again besides maybe the Oyster Stout. The rest were average at best.

Boulevard Brewing Company Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

Even though I struck out with lunch I hit a homerun with dinner. We went out to Severn Inn and feasted on seafood while sitting on the water.

I’ve had Tank 7 before and knew it was a winner. This beer is one of the few Saisons I enjoy. It’s dangerous at 8.5% ABV so I only had one while my wife took down a delicious white wine sangria.

Boulevard is relatively new to being distributed to where I am in Virginia so I’m just beginning to have their beers and hear about the company. From what I’ve seen these guys “get it” and are doing things right. I mentioned them in a post last week Why a Brewery Needs an Online Video Presence.

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TWIB – Hello Raleigh, It’s Wedding Season!

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 all about trying new beer in new places.

It's wedding season!

It’s wedding season!

Leesburg Brewing Company

I checked out Leesburg Brewing Company on Friday for lunch. It’s in a great location in downtown Leesburg, Virginia which is quickly becoming a craft beer Mecca with MacDowell Brew Kitchen, Fireworks Pizza, Doner Bistro, the future Crooked Run Brewing, and more all within close walking distance.

Leesburg Brewing Company has been open for two weeks. Unfortunately they aren’t serving their own beer yet. They are still getting the proper state licenses. The owner said they hope to be serving in the next three or so months. They will be specializing in ales with something like 40 different ale recipes they brew offsite. However in the meantime they still carry five craft beers on tap. I had DC Brau’s Penn Quarter Porter for the first time with my WOW! Burger made with chorizo. The beer was just as good as the burger — I highly recommend them both.

Hey give Leesburg Brewing Company a follow if you’re on Twitter!

North Carolina Brewery Trifecta

Big Boss Brewing

I was lucky enough to go to my cousin’s wedding in Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend. It was a beautiful ceremony for a beautiful couple. What made the night even better was that they served two Big Boss Brewing beers. I’ve never even heard of them, a brewery in Raleigh.


This beer was a perfect beer for a summer day. It’s almost a session beer at 4.75% ABV and is very light tasting. I’d buy this if I came across it where I am in Virginia.

High Roller American-Style IPA

This one wasn’t as good as the Angry Angel. But I’m also not a hophead. The couple hopheads I talked to at the wedding seemed to like this one a lot. It’s not for me however.

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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.