Friday, August 22, 2008

New Holland Brewing to Celebrate 25 Employees Earning National "Certified Beer Server" Status With Special Cicerone Seminars & Dinner

(HOLLAND, Mich) – Twenty employees at New Holland Brewing Company in Holland have recently been awarded “Certified Beer Server” status and the brewery is shooting for a total of 25 by Labor Day – a mark no other brewpub or microbrewery in the country can claim. This endorsement is the first in a the three-phase Cicerone Certification Program, operated by national beer master Ray Daniels. It is the brewing industry’s equivalent to a certified wine Sommelier.

“The Cicerone program is important because it recognizes and encourages expertise,” says New Holland Beervangalist, Fred Bueltmann. “Craft beer drinkers seek a complete quality experience along with their craft beer, and Cicerone will help them know where to find it.”

To help celebrate this accomplishment, the partners at New Holland have invited Daniels to host a day of Cicerone activities – including seminars and a beer dinner –on Wednesday, September 24.

The day kicks off at Noon with Brewhouse Tours of New Holland’s 23,000-square-foot production facility with brewmaster, John Haggerty.

An “Introduction to Cicerone” will be offered from 1-2pm. During this session, one will learn the basics of how to become a Certified Beer Server. The program includes a review of basic beer serving know-how, what it means to become certified and how to take the exam.

From 3-4pm, it’s “Preparing for the Certified Cicerone Exam,” where Ray discusses and reviews the topics included on the advanced exam. He will also present a sample-version of the blind-tasting portion included in the Certified Cicerone Exam.

“Too often, great beer is harmed by improper service practices,” Daniels says. “Our program offers independent assessment and certification so that industry professionals – as well as consumers – can be sure of the knowledge and skills possessed by current and prospective beer servers. The more beer professionals understand about the many aspects of beer culture and service, the better beer will be for consumers.”

There is no charge for the seminars, but reservations are required by logging onto or by calling 616-510-2259. Space is limited to 20 individuals.

“Anyone can call themselves an expert on beer,” says Daniels. “But when consumers want great beer, they need help from a server who really knows beer flavors, styles and brands. Those with the title of ‘Certified Cicerone’ or ‘Master Cicerone’ have demonstrated their expertise in selecting and serving fine beer.”

Later than evening, a New Holland Beer Cicerone Dinner will be held at the acclaimed Journeyman Café in Fennville. This specially prepared dinner accentuates the marriage of beer’s flavors with local, hand-made cuisine and is a celebration of the accomplishment of the brewery’s staff. An additional 25 seats are open to the public, at $65 each.

The evening – touted a hedonistic, culinary adventure – features pairings and discussions by Ray Daniels, restaurant owners Amy Cook & Chef Matt Millar, and several New Holland representatives including Brett VanderKamp, founder; John Haggerty, brewmaster; and Fred Bueltmann, beervangelist.

Menu offerings include a fine selection of mouth-watering delicacies. The evening kicks off with a reception featuring parmesan gourgeres with Kathy Halinsky chevre & chive and salt cod, garlic & Binje potato fritters, paired with Full Circle.

The main entrees include shellfish ragout with Boeve Farm leeks, lemon thyme and sweet cream, paired with Golden Cap; Pumpkin agnolotti in parmesan broth with pumpkin seeds, brown butter, sage & Styrian pumpkin seed oil, paired with Ichabod; and blackberry glazed breast of smoked magret duck with braised lacinato kale & caramelized shallots and duck liver & balsamic vinaigrette, paired with Blue Sunday.

The dessert flight features dulche de leche custard with muscavado caramel, paired with Pilgrim’s Dole; tobacco chocolate truffle, paired with Dragon’s Milk; black walnut & olive oil cake with fall berries and maple crème fraiche, paired with Black Tulip; and goredawnzola blue cheese with Hasselman’s honeycomb, paired with Existential.

Ray Daniels is an author, editor and publisher of more than a dozen books on brewing and beer. He is graduate and senior faculty member at the Siebel Institute of Technology, is an internationally-known beer judge and organizer of scores of beer tasting events, including Chicago’s Real Ale Festival. Daniels is also past director of the Brewers Association Craft Beer Marketing Program.

New Holland Brewing is located at 66 E. 8th Street, Holland. Find them online at

Fred Bueltmann, Beervangalist & Partner
New Holland Brewing

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