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IS SEEN BY MANY DRINKERS AS THE
perfect beer for winter.
but different styles, how beer is made, the way
to look after it, how it should be poured and
presented,” says Sam Johnstone from Australian
Johnstone also suggests that partnering with local
brewers is a great way to get more interaction to the
benefit of your customers.
“There are craft brewers brewing in corners of
every city now, so [pubs should] work with their
local brewers. They’re generally willing to offer
support and tastings, menu matchings and are a
bit more flexible. With Yenda and Australian Beer
Company, we’re constantly doing beer and food
dinners with our customers and also consumers.”
Greenstone and Jeffares have taken their staff’s beer
knowledge one step further, encouraging their bar
hands to train through the Cicerone Certification
Program, the world’s leading beer training program.
Since last year, all of the St Kilda venue’s front-of-
house staff have been put through the level one
Certified Beer Server course.
The program has four levels: Certified Beer Server,
Certified Cicerone, Advanced Cicerone and Master
Cicerone. Earlier this year, four of Taphouse’s staff
passed the Certified Cicerone exam after preparing
for months. It required a thorough knowledge of
beer and beer service, as well as competence in
assessing beer quality and identity by taste.
Greenstone suggests that these qualifications bring
advanced skills to the venue, and was very proud
of the staff: “To now have four staff in just one of
our venues achieve the immensely difficult Certified
Cicerone accreditation is extraordinary by any
measure. Our plans moving forward are to create
ongoing opportunities for staff across all our venues
to advance their beer education so we remain among
the leading beer venues in the country.”
Jeffares agrees, and states that training pays off
with satisfied patrons.
“The structure of the Cicerone program has
allowed us to further raise the level of staff
knowledge about beer which, in turn, gives them
the confidence to use that knowledge to improve the
Also of importance are the management and OH&S
aspects of handling beer dispensing equipment.
Later this year, Bracton will be introducing a new
industry-first training seminar to educate operators
on the best independent practices to manage,
serve and maintain their beverage systems, while
explaining key issues such as OH&S compliance
and the applicable Australian standards.
This course will be overseen by the managing
director and head-formulating chemist of Bracton,
Michael Hunter, who will also feature as a keynote
speaker in support to Rob French who will run the
academy. Hunter wanted to share his concerns on
the current state of the industry and to help further
educate the young, transitory staff that plays such a
key part of it.
(L-R) James Smith, Cassie O’Neill, Toby
Martin and Mark Robinson of the Local
Taphouse are all now Certified Cicerones
HOW TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS
Steve Jeffares shares his tips on how to educate patrons on different styles and
• Create a menu that includes the style and/or character of the beer and, if possible, a
• Whatever the number of beers you offer on your menu, try to ensure you showcase a variety
of beer styles and characters. There is little point offering six pale ales.
• Even if you just change one beer on your menu often (it might be Beer of the Week for
instance), it keeps it interesting for customers and staff alike as well as introducing them to
new beers, breweries and styles.
• If possible, try and support the better local breweries by including their beers on your menu.
If the beer is good and fresh, local is always best.
• When suggesting different beers to patrons, it’s important to understand what their
expectations are so they are not turned off by the experience. Don’t offer, for instance, a high
alcohol, bitter and/or complex beer to someone looking for an interesting – but still easier-
drinking – beer. The best way of introducing people to new beers is to give them a little taste,
something especially easy with draught beer.
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