Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Old Devil Moon & Beer Scholar Study Guides for the Cicerone Exams

Been awhile! Here a quick update about what I've been up to.

  • I'm now selling study guides for the Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone exams through my Beer Scholar Study Guides for the Cicerone Exams website. The guides have been selling like crazy, getting great reviews, and have helped lots of people pass their tests.

  • Some partners and I recently began demolition on the space where we'll be opening Old Devil Moon. ODM will be among SF's top beer bars (plus full liquor and Southern leaning bites!) when we get the doors open. We're gunning for opening around the beginning of 2016. Can't wait to see you there!

Friday, February 14, 2014


I launched a KickStarter to help raise money for an initial print run of study guides for the Certified Beer Server and the Certified Cicerone exams. For all the information you need about the study guides, check out this Beer Scholar FAQ page.  After only a day and a half it's nearly 50% funded!

If you're a beer geek and want to raise your game by taking the Certified Beer Server or Certified Cicerone exams, pick up a copy during the KickStarter while they're less expensive.

If you know any beer geeks who may be interested, please let them know about it or link it on your social media sites.

Every little bit of spreading the word helps. Thank you!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chris is a Certified Cicerone and is now working as a beer consultant!

It's been a few years since we arrived in San Francisco! After working for several years as an attorney, I'm excited to announce that I've made the move into the beer business.

Since 2009 I've explored the growing craft beer scene in the US in a deep way, learning about the industry and making contacts all over California and beyond. I also started homebrewing in 2009, I love the the community of people around the hobby. Obviously, I learned a ton about beer this way and have become a beer judge thanks to the knowledge I gained about beer styles and brewing technique.

I launched the San Francisco Homebrewers Guild in February of 2012. I have served as the President of the SFHG for 2012 and 2013. Only a year and a half after launching the Guild, we have over 130 annual-dues-paying members, hold monthly meetings at Anchor Brewing, and organize four BJCP-AHA registered homebrew competitions per year on top of plenty of other events including Homebrew Shares and brewery tours.

I earned my Certified Cicerone® status in 2013 by passing the rigorous Certified Cicerone test. The Cicerone program tests knowledge of beer styles and history, beer off flavors and how they come about, food and beer pairing, properly running and cleaning tap systems, and proper beer service. A high level of beer knowledge is required to pass. There is only one higher level in the Cicerone program, that of Master Cicerone, of which there are currently only seven. I will be preparing for the Master Cicerone test over the coming years.

I celebrated earning my Certified Cicerone status by taking a three week trip to two of my favorite beer (and whiskey) producing countries - Scotland and Belgium! Here are some pics from my beer travel adventures to Scotland and Belgium. Prior to that huge European beer trip, I went on a week-long road trip down the coast of California to visit breweries. Ultimately, the trip ended with a massive two day bottle share with friends in San Diego, which included some of the greatest and rarest beer on Earth, plus the 7th Annual Stone Sour Fest.

I recently launched a new website to make folks aware of my availability for beer consulting services: Chris Cohen, Cicerone. I am highly qualified to help bars and restaurants that want to take the beer programs to the next level by helping them put together a great beer list and by training their staff in proper beer service. I am also available to help with setting up beer dinners and other fun beer tasting events. I am based in San Francisco but am available for travel.

Please don't be shy about getting in touch, I can talk about beer all day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

We Made it to San Francisco!!!!!

When we arrived in SF from our massive trip we were ready for a break, ready to hang with old friends and make new ones, we knew we had lots of work ahead of us getting our living situation in order and finding jobs. A few months's all gone by pretty quickly and we're thrilled that we made the move!

At first we stayed in the Inner Richmond on friend's couches for two weeks, then got a sublet nearby for six weeks (from a dude who has since become one of my best SF buds!). After about two months we got a more permanent place in the Outer Richmond. We've been loving it out here since. We've made loads of new friends and have traveled all over the Bay Area - gorgeous country. It's much different out here from Manhattan!

I've taken about 10,000 photos in the Bay Area already and I'd love to share them all, but let's face it, we all have short attention spans. That's the case throughout this entire blog - I take thousands of shots and post maybe 1 in 100 (seriously, it's probably more like 1 in 1,000), it takes lots of time to do this so "cheers" to you for reading. I hope that you'll go ahead and check out our trip from start to finish - it was such an AWESOME ride!

Also, I gotta say, I'm really glad I created this site to preserve some of the memories of the trip and I would urge others to take the time to do the same for whatever event or trip they'd like to remember and share.

Cheers again, ciao people! *cue the outro music*

Ocean Beach and Sutro Park:
Surfer -- Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA Sand Dollar & Bird Footprints -- Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA

Ocean Beach -- Sutro Park Sunset Photowalk with Steen, Steve, & Carson

Light the path -- Sutro Park Sunset Photowalk with Steen, Steve, & Carson Carson & Steve -- Sutro Park Sunset Photowalk with Steen, Steve, & Carson

Refraction and birds -- Sutro Park Sunset Photowalk with Steen, Steve, & Carson

Golden Gate Park:
Those are definitely D cups -- Golden Gate Park The tiniest of curls -- Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens

Cliff House area:
Gull & Seal Rock -- Leah's visit to San Francisco

Leah & Joey -- Leah's visit to San Francisco

Sea Lions!
Sea Lions -- Leah's visit to San Francisco

Crissy Fields & Golden Gate Bridge:
Cartwheel -- Leah's visit to San Francisco

The downtown from Dolores Park:
Looking Downtown -- Mission Delores & Park area

Mission Dolores & a typical SF Victorian home:
Mission Delores & Park area Typical SF Victorian -- Mission Delores & Park area

Xmas tree burning on Ocean Beach:
Steve, Carson, Crio, & Steen -- Christmas Tree Burning on Ocean Beach!

Wine tasting in Napa, Sonoma, and Lodi:
Swan posing - Winetasting in Napa

Crane Reserve in Lodi, CA

Wine tasting at Heritage Oaks in Lodi, CA

Wine tasting at Heritage Oaks in Lodi, CA

Then Obama won the election and everything seemed to be coming together nicely in the world!
High Five for oBAMa! oBAMa!

And finally, I started brewing beer. Here's a pic of my first brew, a straight ahead amber. Cheers to you for reading, come have a brew with me sometime!

Nice amber color -- My first brew - Amber Ale

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Driving through the Willamette Valley and breaking down in Grant's Pass, Oregon

Yeah, so the Willamette Valley is gorgeous to tool through, but try REALLY hard not to break down in Grant's Pass...there's not much to do there. Trust me.

Easy St is off to the right...

Driving in the Willamette Valley, OR

There are several Weeds in OR, this here is the way to "Central Weed."

Driving in the Willamette Valley, OR

Right about at Grant's Pass, the car started doing some funny stuff, like puttering the way a car does when it's running out of gas. I didn't want to push it and end up damaging it worse, so we pulled into a Holiday Inn parking lot and called up AAA and got our SECOND tow of the trip (the first being in Durango, if you'll recall, Dear Reader).

Grant's Pass, OR

Grant's Pass, OR

Grant's Pass -- "It's the Climate!"

Grant's Pass, OR

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Visiting Carson's Grandparents in Eugene, Oregon

We popped into Eugene, OR to visit with Carson's grandparents. It was a nice relaxing time and a great visit.

Shell & Jan, plus Jake the puppy!

Eugene, OR

Lookin' good, Jake, FETCH!

Eugene, OR

Eugene has Geese.

Eugene, OR

The sun shines on Eugene. Oh, and it has a river.

Eugene, OR Eugene, OR

It was great meeting the fam for me and seeing them again for Carson. They're not TOO far away, so we hope to see them again soon!

Eugene, OR

Eugene, OR

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Images of Portland, Oregon

Portland was another city that was on our short-list of places we were thinking about moving to. Honestly, I loved it and if I knew a few people that lived there already I may well have voted to stay. It was gorgeous, had great public transportation, incredible nature surroundings, and the the best book stores ever (other than maybe Strand in NYC, of course). Everyone there was friendly and warm, the city is well planned out, and the restaurant/foodie/craft beer brewing scene there is fantastic, plus they've got wine flowing in from the Willamette Valley right next door.

We stayed at Ace Hotel, great. Ate at Le Pigeon and the McMenamin's Kennedy School, fantastic. Chilled at the Jupiter Hotel bar, fun. Drank at Portland City Grill on the top floor of the tallest building in town (and at a bunch of other places), excellent. Spent a bunch of time browsing in Powell's Book Store, which is awesome. I liked it, I liked it a lot.

Portland, OR

It's not a huge city, and certainly not very tall. Like I mentioned above, we did hang out at Portland City Grill, a piano bar at the top of the tallest buildings in town, which was great.

Portland, OR

Portland, OR

2,443 miles from Times Square, sigh.

Portland, OR

Mt. Hood looms on the horizon.

Portland, OR

Powell's Book Store. Note the Elvis impersonator singing out front.

Portland, OR

Turkey Vulture at the Audubon Sanctuary, where we hiked some trails and met various ravens, vultures, and other birds.

Portland, OR

A couple random shots...

Portland, OR

Portland, OR

Bye Portland, we loved you!

Portland, OR

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Images of Seattle, Washington

Seattle was on our short-list of cities we were considering moving to. While it didn't end up that we wanted to stay, we did think Seattle rocked.

Oh, and let me just say that, yes I know there are things in Seattle other than the Space Needle. It's just that I like a bunch of my pics of it, sorry!

I'll just get all the Space Needle pics out of the way first...

Seattle, WA

An obvious shot that I saw in the NYT recently --

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

At some point we ended up right by it...because I just HAD to go to the Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame! It was awesome and you should go there, too, by the way.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Ok. Moving on...

If you thought cops on Segways was interesting, wait 'till you see these bad boys.

Seattle, WA

Seattle has AWESOME parks!

Seattle, WA

We really loved the Pike Place Market, it'd almost be worth living in Seattle just for that.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA Seattle, WA

One thing Seattle has is insane traffic. And also Mt. Ranier!

Seattle, WA

Like the sign says, head this way to Portland, OR, that's our next stop!