Andrew Aoun - Certified Cicerone Exam

Taps Fish House (Brea, CA)

*at time of award

To Whom It May Concern,

As a certified sommelier, my expertise has always been in wine, spirits and service. This knowledge has served me immensely throughout my career as a restaurant manager and bartender. However, the industry we work in is diverse well beyond the realm of just fine wines and those who wish to set themselves apart need to continue to explore other domains of knowledge.

The Cicerone program provided a great foundation to delve into the world of classical and modern beer styles from a hospitality-orientated perspective. The initial certification was not particularly rigorous but was definitely insightful and had practical application.  It did require an investment via reading, research, and tasting. The time spent studying took away the ability to work several shifts resulting in a real financial impact. This was the most difficult setback in trying to attain one of the many accreditations I am still continuing to pursue.

With the help of the IAM organization, I was able to receive aid to pay for my examination allowing me to focus less on bearing the financial burden and more so on my studies. The experience in dealing with their organization was pleasant and inspiring; it was thrilling to know that someone was out there assisting hospitality professionals in taking their service and expertise to the next level. I am truly indebted to the organization for selecting me as a recipient for their aid and will definitely continue to enroll in more courses to further grow as a member of our industry.


Andrew Aoun

Bobby Navarro