Brandon Sosa - Cicerone Exam

Brasserie Witlof (Brooklyn, NY)

*at time of award

“Dear IAM, 

            I would really like to thank you for helping me take my Certified Cicerone exam. I might have not been able to take my exam without your organization and the funds that I received from you. The exam that I took with the funds that you produced, helped me realize what I really need to focus on. When I took the examination I was very confident going into it. I had studied for several months reading books, taking notes, and making flash cards. After I finished my written portion of the exam I still felt very good, I knew I had passed. Then came the tasting portion. Although I had never done much formal beer tasting, I believed I had the knowledge to pass. Unfortunately this was not the case, I failed miserably. The tasting portion is reviewed on the spot and I knew I hadn’t answered many questions correctly. I felt defeated, but happy at the same time because I knew I passed my written portion, even though I wouldn’t receive official results for about 6 weeks. I finally got my results and as I expected, passed my written with great scores, and totally failed my tasting. I was actually relieved, it was nice to now focus on one more aspect. I respect the Certified Cicerone program because it doesn’t let just anyone get certified. I wasn’t upset that I didn’t pass, it made me realize that I wasn’t ready to get certified and that I needed to work harder. I was soon empowered to take advantage of what was being offered to me. I learned so much in my failure that it didn’t phase me one bit. I forced opportunities for me to learn. I called people and annoyed people to help me and give me advice, taste beer with me, and let me teach them. I took an opportunity to take the next available exam in Berkeley, California on January 6th. I flew up there with my father and took my tasting portion of the exam at Pyramid Brewing Company. I left feeling ecstatic, I had a smile from ear to ear! Since we review the tasting portion after the exam, I knew I had gotten almost every question correct. I still do not have my official results for my tasting exam, however; I know that I studied hard and achieved my goal. I would like to thank you again because you helped me jump off into the direction that I wanted to go to. My knowledge will not stop here fortunately. I will continue to push myself and my boundaries into refining my craft.”

Bobby Navarro