Wow how the times have changed. It wasn’t too long ago when there was only one Certified Cicerone® in the state of Hawaii and not really much interest in the program. Fast forward a few years to today and there are 15 Certified Cicerones® and there are dozens more studying for the exam. The huge leap in certifications is really a sign of how much our beer culture here in Hawaii has grown and where it is headed. We’ve got amazing breweries, lots of great beer and a large population that is truly excited about trying new flavors and learning about the art of brewing.
I’ve compiled a list of all 15 of Hawaii’s Certified Cicerones®. They’ve all put in the grueling hours of studying to take and pass the exam (which only 1 in 3 people pass). As more people pass the exam I’ll add them to the list.
Bill Carl is a Certified Cicerone® and Beer Specialist for Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii. He is extremely passionate about beer and food pairings and has written several articles on the subject for local and national publications. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Bill is also a Recognized Beer Judge from the Beer Judge Certification Program. Bill can often be found posting about beer on Twitter as well as Instagram and is always in search of his next pint!
I spent over 5 years behind the bar at Maui Brewing Company’s Kahana Pub. In 2015, I started a kombucha company with my friend and fellow Cicerone Ben Zerbe and it has begun to take off. Our company is called Leaf & Limb Kombucha. We are currently selling our kombucha at the local farmer’s market as well as Choice health bar in Lahaina. For now the kombucha business is my main focus and beer has become just a hobby instead of a profession. I’ve been doing some mentoring for some of the homebrewers in my neighborhood as well as helping friends with their draft systems (my true passion). I’ve also been more involved in the Brew Maui Homebrew club and the amateur side of brewing in general. After 10 years working in breweries, it’s kind of nice to drink beer just for fun again.
Growing up in the Pacific northwest, craft beer culture was almost second nature. It wasn’t long before I started home brewing and discovered a genuine passion and desire to absorb all that is fermentation. After 5 years in Maui, my days are now mostly spent crafting Kombucha, but my heart still races at the thought of opening any beer barrel aged or boasting a healthy amount of bacteria.
Steve is a founder and Brewmaster of Lanikai Brewing Company located in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii. Lanikai Brewing Company is an “Island Inspired” local craft beer company that sources some of the most rare and exotic ingredients in Hawaii, Pacific and beyond. They make premium, bold and flavorful beers to complement our island lifestyle. Lanikai Brewing Company differentiates itself by using local ingredients in every batch and focuses its efforts to be the go-to beer for the ‘local food/local beer movement.’ Steve is also a Director for the 501C7 Hawaiian Craft Brewers Guild, a collaborative effort of breweries in the State of Hawaii to lobby to reduce taxes, fight for truth in labeling and also create efforts for local, craft breweries to reduce expenses. He loves authentic craft beer, is an avid waterman, surfer and adventurer.
I am currently the Beer & Wine Specialist at Whole Foods Market Kahala Mall. I was born and raised here in Liliha on Oahu. I moved to Chicago when I was 21 to study improvisational theater, and that is when I started to get into beer through home brewing and from all the awesome local beers you can only get in the Midwest. After five years in the Windy City I decided to move back home to finish my college degree, and bring my knowledge and love of beer back home to the islands. I got my Cicerone certification because I feel it is a great tool to have in the beer industry, especially as more and more people are wanting to drink great beers. I love talking about beer to people who are only familiar with the macros – Bud, Miller, and Coors. I love learning about history, and love sharing that knowledge with others. I also love beer. And talking. Yay!
I am the grandson of an old school barman from Pittsburgh, PA. Growing up in the saloon I learned to appreciate the bonds that people form over the breaking of bread and indulgence in drink simple as the ritual is. That’s the real magic. In the modern arena of dining, I have made a career of doing whatever I can to be a more complete and well rounded bartender and server. In addition to the title of Certified Cicerone® I also hold titles of Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. I have worked in production, wholesale, and at every tier of restaurant service. I currently work at Capiche Restaurant and the McKenna Resort. It is my long term goal to own a pub of my own here on the island of Maui.
Kayla Jensen is currently the Quality Assurance Technician II at the Kona Brewery in Kailua Kona, HI. She has been in this role for six months; however, she worked in restaurant hospitality for CBA for two and a half years prior to transferring to the lab. Kayla is responsible for all aspects of quality in Kona, including microbiology, beer chemistry, and sensory evaluation and testing. Kayla will also be involved in the growth of the quality program at the new Kona Brewery location. Kayla received her Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. Kayla is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, AmeriCorps *NCCC alumni with over 1,700 hours of community service, and recently became a Certified Cicerone®. Her passion for the craft beer industry is abundant, and she hopes to become more involved with the local community on food and beer pairing events.
David Ericsen is a native of Portland OR and has lived on the Big Island since 1999. Since 2001, David has been with Kona Brewing Company in various roles, including Senior Brewer, Brewery Supervisor, Maintenance Manager and Lead Brewer. David is a graduate of the Siebel World Brewing Academy Concise Course in Brewing Technology 2003 class.
Parker has had a long love affair with the art and science of brewing craft beer. He has brewed professionally for the past eight years but always finds the time to experiment with new and interesting ingredients at home. In 2008 Parker started working for a small brewery in Washington called Dick’s Brewing Company. In 2013 he joined the Master Brewer Program at the World Brewing Academy (a partnership of Siebel Institute and Doemens Brewing Academy in Munich, Germany). After receiving his diploma, Parker jumped on a plane to the Big Island of Hawaii to work for Kona Brewing Company. Since then he has been promoted to lead brewer, became a Certified Cicerone®, and helped to spearhead a beer education school for the employees at the Kona Brew Pub. Parker is always eager to talk about anything and everything beer related and can’t wait to see what lies ahead in this fast paced and ever changing industry.
I was born in New Orleans and grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta. I went to college for marketing, but realized I had no interest in it. I moved to Oregon in hopes of finding something I had a passion for. I was lucky enough to move to the best beer city in the world (Portland, OR) and became engulfed in all things beer related. I quickly began homebrewing and researching/reading to teach myself. I was in the wine industry for my first year in Oregon but I knew I had to get into the beer scene. I was lucky enough to land a job at Widmer Brothers Brewing scrubbing floors/doors/windows for about 5 months until I was allowed to start working with the beer on the cellar side. Soon enough I began working in the brewhouse and at the same time started school at a community college to further my understanding of the basic sciences of brewing. After 3 years I decided to move to Kona to experience life in a small brewery. I am now working toward my Advanced Brewing Theory certificate from Siebel Institute and look forward to always continuing my education in beer. I am currently Brewer III at Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii.
Sandi Shriver is the Brewery Operations Manager at Kona Brewing Company, Hawaii. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Food Science at the University of Florida. Sandi piloted the quality assurance program at Kona Brewing Company for four years before moving into operations management. She has a love for science and brewing, as well as food and beer pairing. She is a Siebel scholar and a Glen Hay Falconer scholarship recipient.
About 8 years ago, I got into homebrewing and loved the science behind it. But as I got into the hobby and even spent vacations learning about brewing, I realized I enjoyed the history and stories behond the styles just as much. I never worked a day in a bar in my life, but decided I wanted to know everything I could about beer. Fast forward through many hours of study at home, trips to breweries and there I was flying to CA to take my Cicerone exam March 2013. Exhausting and fun simultaneously. Around the same time, I sat for the BJCP exam. Right now, I am BJCP Certified rank. My full time job is not in the beer world, but I stay involved by being an independent contractor for Mehana/Hawaii Nui and enjoy judging with the great crew of beer judges here in Hawaii.
Mike’s been drinking better beer since 2003 after stumbling upon a beer with a label saying he wasn’t worthy. Since then he’s been hard at work proving this theory wrong, with several years of beer industry experience under his belt. His roles have included Beer Director for several well-known restaurants in the DC Area, guest reviewer for The Beer Connoisseur magazine, as well as Brewery Representative for Duvel USA & Brewery Ommegang. A Certified Cicerone® since 2014, he chose the Certified Cicerone Program to expand his knowledge and passion for beer, while also focusing more on the “best practices” side of serving beer at a bar or restaurant. The CCP program is designed to educate beer lovers and bar/restaurant staff alike, which is an integral part of what being a professional “beer guy” is all about.
I am Brewpub General Manager for Maui Brewing Company. I’ve been with Maui Brewing for over 5 years now and have experienced first hand the tremendous growth and expansion both by our company as well as craft beer on Maui. A big part of my job, of course the part I like best, has been to bring knowledge and enthusiasm for craft beer to our staff, patrons and community. Though I had been professionally marinating in craft beer for years both working at MBC and as a food and beverage director in Bend, OR previously, the Cicerone program really pushed me to hone my knowledge and help me articulate this information to others. I rolled out a very successful ‘beer school’ series at the pub in ’14 and was amazed see how many people actually paid and showed up on Tuesday mornings for presentation topics varying from brewing ingredients to beer styles, each with appropriate sampling and cheese/charcuterie pairing. I’m truly stoked to be a professional in the craft beer industry for an amazing company and to be a part of the craft explosion here on Maui.
Beer is my passion and Hawaii is my home. You can read more about me and Beer In Hawaii here.
Originally from West Portal, NJ, Jeff is a former U.S. Army special operations Helicopter Pilot, and Maintenance Test Pilot. During a break in his service, Jeff lived in Denver and Boulder Colorado for several years to attend school in the early 90’s. It is here that his love for craft beer began. Toward the end of his Army career he saved up his leave and attended the Siebel Institute of Technology’s International Diploma in Brewing program in the spring of 2013.
After retiring from the military, Jeff worked as a cellerman in the Jacksonville, Fl. area before coming on as the assistant brewer, and eventually the Head Brewer for Service Brewing Company in Savannah, GA. While in Savannah he returned to Siebel and attended their Doemens Sommelier program to further his beer knowledge. His wife’s job relocation to Oahu brought him out to the island last July and he has been a Brewer with Lanikai Brewing Company since then.