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9th June 2015

The Beer Academy names Beer Sommelier of the Year

Beer Sommelier 2015 presentationThe Beer Academy has awarded Rod Jones of Meantime Brewing Company its prestigious Beer Sommelier of the Year title.

Rod, who began his career with Meantime as a brewer, now undertakes beer education for both colleagues and customers. He was accredited as a Beer Sommelier in 2013.

Rod was selected for the Beer Sommelier of the Year Award after a rigorous judging process, and was presented with the accolade at the BII Summer Event, held at the Honorary Artillery Company in London.

Simon Jackson, Executive Director of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, said: ‘The applications for BII Beer Academy Beer Sommelier of the Year were again of a very high standard and the task facing the judges was tougher than ever.

“Rod Jones is a worthy winner and a shining example of the status that the Beer Sommelier qualification has attained since it was launched by the Beer Academy in 2011. The judges singled him out from the strong shortlist because of his passion for extending beer knowledge and standards in the industry.

“It was very encouraging to note the level of onward education and training that the Beer Sommeliers are delivering, and also the range of activities with regards to the development of Beer menus and matched Beer and Food menus in which they are all involved.

“This is a good time for beer and the Beer Academy Beer Sommeliers are really making their mark across the industry.”

Rod Jones said: “Most of my work involves educating our own staff, as well as working with the clients who sell and serve our beers, to improve their knowledge. I’m doing a job I love, and I’m also very privileged to be working with young people coming into the industry to help equip them with the skills to develop their career prospects, which is a passion I share with the BII and the Beer Academy.

“I also have to say thank-you to Meantime, who  gave me all the time and support I needed to become a Beer Sommelier, and now give me the freedom to continue to develop my  passion for beer, as well as to pass it on “

Caption to attached image: (l-r) Simon Jackson, executive director of the Institute of Brewing & Distilling; Rod Jones, Meantime Brewery Beer Sommelier and Beer Academy Beer Sommelier of the Year; BII chief executive Tim Hulme.


Notes to editors

The Beer Academy was established in October 2003 as an independent educational trust, becoming an operating arm of the IBD in 2007. More than 10,000 delegates – employees in breweries, pubs, bars, restaurants, supermarkets and off-licences as well as interested consumers – have completed a Beer Academy course since launch.  The main courses for employees in the brewing/licensed trade industry are:


  • Foundation: one day introduction to beer, including beer styles, brewing process and history and some beer and food matching
  • Advanced: two day course designed to enhance delegates’ understanding of beer, distinguish between beer styles and equip them to construct beer lists and beer and food menus
  • How to Judge Beer: one day course designed to help delegates identify beer styles, spot key flavour faults and judge beers against the appropriate style criteria.
  • Beer Sommelier accreditation: awarded to individuals with a significant depth of knowledge of beer styles and beer and food matching. Beer Sommelier candidates must have completed Foundation, Advanced and How to Judge Beer courses, and are assessed via written application followed by interview at the Beer Academy.


For more information and to book, visit

Issued on behalf of:                Beer Academy

By:                                           ShielPorter Communications

Further information:                Ros Shiel: / 07841 694137

John Porter:  / 07734 054389