The first two accredited female Beer Sommeliers have been announced by the Beer Academy. Six months after the Sommelier qualification was launched, Dea Latis members, Sophie Atherton (pictured right) and Annabel Smith (pictured left) were accredited as Beer Academy Sommeliers following a stretching viva examination with Beer Academy Chief Examiner, Dr George Philliskirk.
George said “Traditionally the vast majority of UK beer has been drunk by men. But things are changing. Women do enjoy beer but tend to be more discerning that the average male beer drinker. They like to know how it’s brewed, what raw materials are used and how these affect the flavour of the final product and which beers are the best partners for different foods.
The Beer Academy’s two new sommeliers are exceptionally well placed to take the beer message to both women and men across the UK. A beer lover for nearly 25 years, Sophie is a journalist and beer blogger writing about beer in the national, local and specialist beer press. In her work with Cask Marque, Annabel is in regular contact with their 8,000 accredited pubs around the country and in her spare time she is a founding member of Dea Latis, the forum set up to increase women’s awareness of beer.
George added: “We are delighted to welcome two such passionate experts to the pool of Beer Academy Sommeliers that is growing up around the world and look forward to many more women joining their ranks.”
After passing, Annabel, who is also a founding member of Dea Latis, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have achieved the Beer Sommelier accreditation with theBeerAcademy, and it’s an honour to be recognized as an ambassador for beer. I have an absolute love for the beer industry and the wide range of styles and flavours it produces.”
To achieve Beer Sommelier status, Annabel was required to attend and pass a number of BeerAcademy training courses. The courses covered in depth knowledge of beer production, understanding raw ingredients and how they contribute to flavour, identify different beer styles from around the world and understand what types of beer paired best with food.
Annabel had to submit a portfolio of evidence illustrating her practical competence of using beer menus in retail outlets, her knowledge of beer and food pairings and demonstrations of high end beer retailing and image standards through cellar hygiene standards and training retailers
At the assessment with the BeerAcademyon 10th July Annabel had to identify a number of beer styles from around the world, differentiate between them, and illustrate her knowledge of the principles of beer and food matching