Ray Daniels: The Educator
Sommeliers are wine drinkers’ tested guides. Beer? It lacked hoppy Sherpas till Ray Daniels battled his nemesis: “Bad beer, short and simple,” says Daniels. To rectify shortcomings in beer knowledge and care he founded the Cicerone Certification Program, which educates industry professionals on styles, history, taste, and proper care and serving. (Cicerone is a bygone term for a guide.) While your buddy might call himself a beer expert, passing the Cicerone test — the four levels start at Certified Beer Server and culminate with Master Cicerone, counting 11 worldwide — proves he knows why German kölsch is like American cream ale. (Answer: They’re ales fermented at colder, lager-like temperatures.) Since 2008, some 75,000 people in more than 30 countries have become Certified Beer Servers, and around 2,500 are Certified Cicerones, able to offer beer-pairing tips and smartly steer you to your happy hour pint.