Beer Sommelier Natalya Watson recently achieved her Advanced Cicerone® certification, making her Britain’s most qualified woman in beer.
Five years ago, beer was simply a hobby for Natalya. Now she can tell a Czech pilsner from a German pils in a blind tasting, suggest the perfect food pairing for each, and identify flaws in beer with a single sniff and is set to publish her debut book, Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles, next month.
Back in 2015, Natalya decided to leave her marketing job at an organic baby food company to follow her passion and pursue a career in beer.
She got her start behind the bar at Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green, then landed the role of UK marketing manager for one of Belgium’s best known breweries, Duvel Moortgat. During her time with Duvel, Natalya became an accredited Beer Sommelier through The Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s Beer and Cider Academy.
She then decided to leave Duvel to set up her own beer education business, Beer with Nat, and pursue her Advanced Cicerone® certification, which she successfully passed last month.
According to the Cicerone Certification Program, which administers the exam, Advanced Cicerones are said to “possess expert knowledge of beer and excellent tasting ability.” Natalya is one of nine individuals in the UK with the qualification, with only 136 holding the title worldwide.
Natalya sat her exam in London in November 2019 and received her passing results in January 2020. She was commended for her “impressive work” by exam director and Master Cicerone® Chris Pisney.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to have qualified as an Advanced Cicerone®. After months of reading, revising, honing my blind tasting skills, and preparing beer and food pairings, I feel incredibly privileged to call myself a beer expert,” Natalya said.
And now she wants to encourage others to discover beer, too.
“I realised during my studies that what brings me my greatest joy is sharing my knowledge of and passion for beer with others,” Natalya explains. “So this year, I’m going to focus on hosting as many brilliant beer tastings as I can. Because I believe beer is simply too delicious to remain undiscovered and I want to help everyone find their favourite.”
For further information, contact Natalya Watson on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07490 425345.
About Beer with Nat
Natalya Watson is a Beer Sommelier and Advanced Cicerone® passionate about sharing her knowledge of beer with others. She leads staff trainings, offers consulting, and hosts beer tastings for all kinds of audiences through her beer education business, Beer with Nat.
In addition, Natalya regularly teaches at the Beer & Cider Academy, judges at beer competitions, and produces and hosts the podcast ‘Beer with Nat’. Her debut book, Beer: Taste the Evolution in 50 Styles, will be published by Kyle Books on 19 March 2020.
About the Cicerone Certification Program
Launched in 2008 by brewer, author, and beer educator Ray Daniels, the Cicerone Certification Program seeks to ensure that consumers receive the best quality beer at every service occasion. To facilitate this, those who sell and serve beer are encouraged to acquire knowledge in five areas: 1) Keeping and Serving Beer, 2) Beer Styles, 3) Beer Flavor and Evaluation, 4) Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes, and 5) Pairing Beer with Food.
The Cicerone Certification Program certifies beer professionals at four levels: Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone®, Advanced Cicerone®, and Master Cicerone®
To date, more than 125,000 individuals worldwide have been certified through the program.
For more information on “What is a Cicerone?” visit: http://cicerone.org/about