India’s largest craft brewer, Bira 91, will be the first brewery in South Asia to accredit it’s complete sales force through the Cicerone Certification Program.
Their full sales and marketing team have enrolled to participate in the programme, a series of four professional certification exams starting with the Certified Beer Server and ending with the top-level Master Cicerone.
The programme leading to the certification has been designed for them by Certified Cicerone Jason Flowers who heads International Business for the Cicerone organization.
The tailored programme was designed in the summer of 2020 to help build education on beer flavour, service and style and also help the team connect the learnings from the course to the beers in the Bira 91 portfolio.
Founded in the USA by Ray Daniels in 2008 the Cicerone Program educates beer professionals on European as well as American beer styles and culture and has become a global standard for industry skills assessment.
Speaking with India’s FnB News, Swayampriya Shah, VP, Human Resource and Administration at Bira 91 said “We wanted our teams to understand beer as a category. In Cervesio Felicitas (In Beer there is Joy) is the motto of our Bira 91 B-School for Learning. The Cicerone certifications are a proof of our passion for beer, and we’re excited to build a team of beer geeks. Looking at the success of the program this will now become part of our company calendar.”
Twenty one employees of Bira 91’s India team have so far qualified as Certified Beer Servers (Level 1 of the programme) – this is approximately 40 per cent of all Certified Beer Servers in India.
This number will only grow in 2021 as the programme will be conducted in batches twice a year across the company.
The company goal will then be to move move selected staff members on to Level 2 “Certified Cicerone” over the coming years.
Ankur Jain, founder and CEO, said, “We are building a beer-first culture at our company. The first step towards that is to ensure that we develop our sales team to be the most knowledgeable team around different beer styles, beer making and beer service. I am excited to see our team take the lead and use the downtime in Covid-19 to upgrade their skills. It is a great demonstration of our passion for beer and our role as evangelists for the gospel of good beer in the country.”