Meet a Cicerone® - CC Sandy Hugill of Thunderwing Brewing

advanced cicerone certified cicerone podcast Apr 25, 2024


Sandy Hugill is a Certified Cicerone®, a BJCP Certified beer, cider, and mead judge, she’s on the board of her local homebrew club, SODZ, and she’s the Sales and Experience Manager at Thunderwing Brewing in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to all that, she also offers guided beer tastings and consulting through her company, The Brewery Log.

Sandy recently made a major career change, moving from project management roles in tech to the beer biz. She’s a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) – every company in every industry needs strong project managers! Sandy took a very thoughtful approach to her career change, her plan included passing the Certified Cicerone® exam in order to gain beer knowledge and to strengthen her résumé. As a woman entering what has, at least in recent history, been a male dominated industry, Sandy wanted that leg up. She points out that learning about beer (or anything you’re super interested in) is fun, so preparing for the Cicerone exams wasn’t exactly an unpleasant process! She used both the Cicerone® Program’s Road to Cicerone® material and Beer Scholar to help her prepare. In particular, she found the Beer Scholar practice exams to be critical for testing her knowledge and for lowering her exam anxiety when she took the real exam.

Sandy reached out to me about coming on the “Meet a Cicerone®” show, noting there hadn’t yet been a woman Cicerone® featured on it for the first few episodes. I was very aware of that issue as well and I was stoked to bring Sandy on for a chat! The Meet a Cicerone® podcast is all about sitting down with folks who are “all in on beer” to discuss their beer education journey and their careers. 

If you’re interested in becoming a Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone®, or Advanced Cicerone® in the easiest and quickest way possible, reach out to me at [email protected] or head to for more info.

Thanks so much for listening! –Chris 

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Episode transcript: 

Chris (00:02)
Sandy Hugill! You're a Certified Cicerone and Certified BJCP beer cider and mead judge.

You are also on the board of your local home brew club, SODZ in Columbus, Ohio. And you are the Sales and Experience Manager at Thunderwing Brewing in Columbus. That sounds like a really cool job title. I can't wait to hear about that. And you also offer guided tastings and consulting through your company, The Brewery Log. So that's really awesome. That's like a whole litany of cool beer stuff.

Sandy Hugill (00:28)

Chris (00:39)
You're obviously really involved in the community. So I'm excited to hear from you about why you pursued the Cicerone exam and getting your certification and how you did that and how it's helping you today. So yeah, I would love to hear about all that. Let's start with the sales and experience manager position at Thunderwing, because that sounds really cool.

Sandy Hugill (01:03)
Okay, yeah, sure. So, I kind of wrote my own job description. My friend, Jason Wing, is our owner and head brewer, and he came out of the homebrew world before starting his own brewery. And I had been talking to him about my career change because he was making this career change. And in a very small brewery, you need to wear a lot of hats. So,

you know, discussions went on about, well, what can Sandy do for the brewery? And obviously sales is important. Without selling beer, we won't exist. So that was going to be the first thing that I needed to concentrate on. But bringing people into the taproom through events and tours, and that's where the experience part comes. I also run our sensory program. So that is also an extension of the customer experience.

with the brewery that they've got good, high quality beer. So, gosh, lots of other little things. I order our merchandise. I also bartend one or two shifts a week. So it's really a little bit of everything except for working in the brew house.

Chris (02:18)
Amazing. Yeah. Wow. That's cool. So you're all over the place, but a lot of what you're doing definitely feels, uh, you know, like creating experiences for consumers. Um, and, and, you know, probably using your, well, you can tell me how you're using your, you know, the skills you gained and knowledge you gained, um, in prepping for the Cicerone exams. But I imagine, you know, with sales, when you're talking to other industry people, that's super helpful to be able to, you know, have that confidence to talk about the beer.

You know, and you're also, I don't know, how is the creation of experience for your customers? Are you doing all kinds of events and giving tours, it sounds like?

Sandy Hugill (03:07)
We do. We offer a beer school, which is a one and a half hour session. We're in, let me back up a little bit. We're a very new brewery. We opened in October of 2023. So we are still figuring things out. We are about to host our third session of beer school this coming Saturday. And that's 90 minutes of a guided flight. So five beers.

Chris (03:08)

Sandy Hugill (03:33)
and we talk about the beers, we do a tour of the facility, we teach people a little bit about pairing. So we might pair one of the beers with a dark chocolate or with a cheese, something like that. Talk about history and beer culture, just all of that good Cicerone -ny stuff, really. So I manage that, but I co -teach it. I trade off with one of our bartenders who is an MBAA beer steward.

Chris (03:43)
Yeah, cool.

Mm -hmm, yeah.

Sandy Hugill (04:04)
And I think that certification kind of went away as Cicerone was gaining ground. But she has that certification. So we trade off on doing the beer school. I ordered the glassware for the brewery. So I got to choose what glassware was going to work to best showcase our beers. And we're not a brewery that can afford to have a glass for every beer style. So I kind of had to make some decisions.

Chris (04:06)
Mm -hmm.


Sandy Hugill (04:32)
what's going to work and we ended up with a nice curved kind of pub glass. So all of those little things and I work with the rest of our team and deciding what events to bring in. We do music bingo, we do euchre which is a very Midwestern centric card game, but it's very popular in Ohio. We do yoga, all kinds of things. Just we're trying to see what works to engage people. I also run our mug club.

Chris (04:34)


Yeah, very cool.

Sandy Hugill (05:01)
So we have a club of about 115 or so members in the Mug Club.

Chris (05:09)
apologies for the tech issues. We will keep on trucking here. So yeah, we were talking about your work at Thunderwing Brewing, which is only six months old, so you're wearing all kinds of hats there, and that's a big career change for you.

Sandy Hugill (05:28)

Chris (05:29)
Not very long ago, you were doing like, what, like a tech career?

Sandy Hugill (05:35)
Yeah, IT, project management, management consulting. I'm not a tech person, but I'm a project manager. So I can work with the techies. I worked for a number of years out in Washington, DC doing consulting for federal government organizations, mostly in IT organizations.

Chris (05:56)
Mm -hmm. And so what got you to want to move into the beer game?

Sandy Hugill (06:03)
Once I moved back to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, I started exploring breweries because so much had changed in the time that I was gone. I started driving around the state to go to different breweries because our state has a great organization, the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. It's basically a brewer's guild for all of the craft breweries in the state that choose to be members and they have a great app. So on your phone, you can use their passport app.

that takes you to all the breweries and you win prizes for checking into different breweries. So I started doing this. I was looking for something to do, kind of a new career and also just some life changes. So I became really quite a beer geek hobbyist. I started compiling lists of all the breweries I had ever been to and taking notes. And a friend of mine said, why don't you start a blog? And I thought, I don't know.

Chris (06:37)
Yeah, that's cool.


Sandy Hugill (07:01)
I want to start a blog and then I realized, yeah, okay, I'll start a blog and I'll do Instagram and I'll do all of these things. And that's where The Brewery Log came from. And then I found out, you know, I just don't have time to write really long, detailed blog posts. So I'll focus on shorter, quick hit Instagram things. And I like to talk about the stories of breweries, the beer as well, but mainly the stories of breweries and how did this place come to be and what's special about this particular brewery.

Chris (07:09)
Mm -hmm.

Sandy Hugill (07:30)
And then some of that does become, well, they specialize in these types of beers, whether it's German styles or Belgians or something. So I started really geeking out about beer and I stumbled upon the Certified Beer Server certification. And so I took Cicerone's Beer Savvy online course. I read Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer and took the test and passed. And I thought, well, maybe there's something to this. Maybe I can do something.

with this hobby because my day job while doing a great job, well -paying industry wasn't really fulfilling me. It wasn't my passion and beer became my passion and I put together a plan to make that my career.

Chris (08:18)
cool. Yeah, I've been there. I used to be an attorney. Yeah, so I had a similar, journey, so the Cicerone stuff was was sort of an entry point for you in terms of, of like ramping up for this career change.

Sandy Hugill (08:21)

Yes, and at first I didn't know I was going to make a career change. I did the Certified Beer Server just as a hobbyist thinking, well, this is cool. Let me see if I know enough to pass this test. And I did, and it was fun. So a couple years pass and I said, well, let me try.

to learn all of these beer styles and started really deep diving into BJCP beer styles and the Road to Cicerone self -paced courses. And once I got through all of those, I thought, well, why don't I just go for Cicerone? And that will jumpstart my career change. At the same time, I had joined a home brew club and started judging home brew competitions.

Chris (09:09)
Mm -hmm.


Mm -hmm.

Sandy Hugill (09:25)
So it made a lot of sense to study for Cicerone and BJCP certification at the same time because of all the overlap that there is. And that's what I did. And I knew that coming from outside the industry, especially as a woman, I would need to prove that I knew beer. So I was very systematic about studying. And one of the things I did was I purchased your

study guide, the Beer Scholar Cicerone study guide, the previous version, and dug into all that material, especially the practice exams. So, great tool.

Chris (09:59)
Mm -hmm.

Yeah, well thank you. Yeah, and since that since those days I have turned it into this whole online course with an with like a community space for everybody and we're doing weekly style tastings and all that. So huge evolution there, but it's really funny. I mean your path, your your your journey is not wildly different from mine. I mean I did all this stuff for fun at first. You know all as a hobby. I was also I actually founded the.

Sandy Hugill (10:31)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Chris (10:37)
kind of main homebrew club in San Francisco, the San Francisco Homebrewers Guild, and was doing homebrewing and BJCP stuff, like at the same time that I was prepping for the Cicerone exams and making this career change. So actually really similar path. That's neat.

Yeah. So, all right. So you also have done some consulting through The Brewery Log and folks can find you online under that name. Is that your like Instagram handle and all the social stuff?

Sandy Hugill (11:12)
It's my website, it's my Instagram handle and the Facebook page as well. So this started out as a blog pretty much and if you were to go to the website right now it's pretty static. I have someone working on updating it and I'm trying to do a little bit more of this beer consulting on the side than what I have been doing.

I've done a few things. I've done some beer tastings. One fun thing I did was a Father's Day beer tasting in a retirement home. So that was pretty cool. And talked to some of these folks that lived in the facility and they were telling me I used to home brew back in the 60s and things like that. That's really cool. So exactly.

Chris (11:48)
That's fun.

Back when it wasn't even legal, yeah.

Sandy Hugill (12:07)
So that was a fun thing that I did. But I'm just kind of stumbling upon some of these opportunities and now I want to make it more of a focus to kind of build my brand up. So I'm just in the beginning stages of that. I do more Instagram and Facebook posting, just little quick hits about beers and breweries right now and hope to eventually...

Chris (12:28)
Okay, yeah.

Sandy Hugill (12:34)
get the consulting going a little bit stronger when I get that website updated.

Chris (12:39)
Yeah, very cool. I know a lot of Cicerones who are definitely wanting to do that kind of stuff, you know, do consulting work, do events for breweries, that kind of stuff. That's definitely stuff that I think once you hit that Certified Cicerone level, you're like perfectly set up to do that kind of stuff. One thing I want to go backtrack to is, you know, you mentioned that as a woman coming into the industry, you know, you were facing challenges and, you know, and that

Sandy Hugill (12:48)

Mm -hmm.

Chris (13:07)
the Cicerone certifications were, were helpful. And, you know, I, I say that all the time, kind of, you know, one of the ways that I try to convince folks to, to, you know, sign up for my course and then follow through and do the exams is, you know, it, it helps open doors and for women, for people of color, it can definitely help kind of kick those doors open, break those glass ceilings. And in fact, you reached out to me and said,

Um, you know, that you'd noticed that there hadn't been a woman on the Meet a Cicerone podcast. And I really appreciated that because I was actually also well aware of that. And like anyone who's really following, I don't know that anyone actually pays this much attention, but anyone who's following me would notice that like last week I didn't put out an episode and that was because I wanted to record. I wanted to, I have a couple episodes banked.

but I really wanted to make sure to get some women on here before I just ended up posting, you know, a dozen like bearded white guy episodes. So I appreciated that very much. And I would love to hear more, you know, about how you're navigating that.

Sandy Hugill (14:19)
Yeah, so there are a lot of industries that are, I guess, in our society, traditionally male dominated industries, which is kind of funny that brewing is one since, as you would know, the history of brewing is women used to brew. Historically, women brewed in the home. Then men took it over when things became more commercialized.

Chris (14:39)
Yep. Yep.

Sandy Hugill (14:49)
So just like other industries, it's not that women can't do it and aren't trying to do it. And it's not that people even say women shouldn't do it. It's just not, I'm not the demographic that people expect, I guess, to be moving into this industry. I mean, it's definitely getting better. I do see a lot of women in the industry. Maybe it's because I'm looking for them. But...

Chris (15:03)
Mm -hmm.

Sandy Hugill (15:14)
Just knowing that I wasn't gonna get a job because I was a bearded white male who had a buddy who had a brewery. I needed to show that I knew my stuff and certifications are part of it and networking was another big part of it too. I just had to be comfortable putting myself out there. And I went to brewery owners and brewers that I knew and said, hey, can I come and shadow you for a day? Can I help out on a brew day?

Chris (15:21)
Yeah. All right.


Sandy Hugill (15:43)
And not just because I want some free beer, because I'm working on this career change and I'm working on my Cicerone. So when they saw that I was serious, I was given some of these opportunities to go in and do really glamorous things like help cleaning draft lines and stuff like that. So, yeah, I just felt like I had to work a little bit harder to do it because I wasn't the, you know, the first person someone would think to hire.

Chris (16:00)

Sandy Hugill (16:11)
And looking at my resume, I don't look like someone who belongs in the industry until you see that, yes, I do have certifications and I had some volunteer experiences, the home brew club and things like that. I really tried to build that up to help me, especially as a woman, but as a career changer of any gender, really, that's important.

Chris (16:24)

Right. Well, yeah. And a background as a project manager. I mean, that's huge. That applies to pretty much every industry. So yeah, I mean, that's very cool. And you have that PMP certification. So you really know what you're doing when it comes to project management.

Sandy Hugill (16:39)
It sure does.


Yes, I can herd the cats.

Chris (16:48)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every brewery needs people like that. Every brewery needs a good solid project manager and every brewery needs a Certified Cicerone non -staff. So, I mean, to me, you're like a double, triple threat, whatever. Yeah, I mean, it's a perfect fit. But the beer industry is a people industry. All industries are kind of like people industries. All jobs are mostly obtained through networking.

And obviously networking is going to involve in many cases, just kind of the friend groups, right? And in beer, that's going to be in a lot of cases like bearded white dudes. So, you know, it's not fair, but when you get these certifications, I mean, I do think that it kind of helps, kind of helps kick the door open. It makes you immediate. It makes it immediately obvious that you're a serious candidate for.

Sandy Hugill (17:25)

Chris (17:46)
you know, entry level positions at least, you know.

Sandy Hugill (17:48)
Yes, yes. And I just love it when I go to our home brew club meetings and all the bearded white guys come up to me and say, Sandy, do you like my beer? I want to hear your thoughts on my beer. Do you get any diacetyl? Yeah.

Chris (18:02)
Awesome, yeah, that's great. That's very cool. Yeah, you know, it really does kind of confer like a bit of authority and it, you know, it's not just having the certification, obviously. It's really what you learn to get it that matters. But in the end, yeah, you have that thing on your resume that says a few things about you before you even start speaking to whoever the hiring manager is, which, you know, I think it kind of says like, and you already had a career, right? So I think this would have been clear.

Sandy Hugill (18:14)

Chris (18:33)
In any case, but I do think that people trying to get like entry level jobs or promotions in the business, like having Certified Cicerone on your resume just kind of says like, A, you can make big goals and follow through on them. You know, B, you're the kind of person who is definitely going to show up on time and do your job. I mean, you just get rid of those like baseline concerns that a hiring manager would have. And it says that you really know your stuff about beer. You can do training, you can do events.

And I think another thing it says that's really important is that you're a beer industry person. I do think while some people do these things for fun, for the most part, it kind of says, I'm not just passing through the industry. I'm here to have a career.

Sandy Hugill (19:19)
Right, right. And another thing I would say to people who are looking to do a career change is you need to be a little bit humble too. Even if you have a certification, you are still new to the industry. So I had two part -time industry jobs before I landed at Thunderwing Brewing. And I had to be humble enough to do something like just bartending. And...

Chris (19:28)
Mm -hmm.

Sandy Hugill (19:45)
And that led to being able to do a couple other things in that brewery that I worked previously. But don't expect that you're going to come in at the top. It's not going to happen. You're going to start at the bottom again, even if you have lots of experience, even if you have that PMP, even if you have your Cicerone. So a little bit of humility and just, but it all comes together in the end.

Chris (19:55)
Oh yeah, right.

Yeah, you still have to pay your dues. You still have to do those entry level jobs. I mean, you know, the real power of these certifications is when you combine them with experience, but that takes a little time, you know, and you do have to be humble coming in the door. And in fact, I'll name check my partner who runs the Advanced Cicerone Coaching Program, Scott Fielder. He's an Advanced Cicerone. He just got his first job in the industry at the Bruery

Sandy Hugill (20:14)

Chris (20:40)
in placentia, B -R -U -E -R -Y, the brewery. And, you know, he's, he's an Advanced Cicerone and he's coming in for his first job entry level. And he's like, you know, cleaning kegs and doing bottling and stuff like that. But, but like immediately he's being pulled aside by the sensory folks and the brewers to help with lab work and to do sensory. And now he's training people already. He's only been there a few months. I mean, clearly he is going to, you know, move up the...

Sandy Hugill (20:43)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (21:10)
ladder rather quickly, I would expect. And, but you still have to come in there and, and clean kegs first. That's just how the business works. Yeah. And, um, so yeah, I think that's an important point to make. Cause I see people asking all the time. Like if you search around on Reddit or whatever, you'll see all these questions like,

Sandy Hugill (21:11)


Chris (21:33)
people just don't understand necessarily what the Cicerone, you know, what these certifications will do for them. They're always asking like, will this help me get a job? And the answer is definitely yes, but it's not gonna, like you said, you're not gonna come in as an executive just because you got the Certified Cicerone on your resume. But yeah, you know that, and that's the whole point of this series of podcasts is to just talk to Cicerones about their journey, understand how it has helped them.

Sandy Hugill (21:52)

Chris (22:03)
Um, understand if it's worth doing. Um, so yeah, so I think that, you know, your, your path is, is just kind of beautifully illustrates how helpful it can be. At the same time, I would say you are clearly very involved in the community in many ways. So that's, that's gotta be super helpful with the networking and all that.

Sandy Hugill (22:27)
Yeah, and that was by design. I knew I needed to do that. I am an introvert, but I knew that I needed to put myself out there. I needed to brew my first homebrew batch. Even if I'm not gonna be a person who homebrews regularly, I need to do it once so I can understand the process. I need to join the club, so I'm networking with these folks. I need to go out to brewers and ask them if I can help with draft line cleaning. And that was...

That was a challenge as an introvert, but I made it happen because I was very focused and specific with my training and my activities that I needed to do to move on to the new industry.

Chris (23:11)
Yeah, very cool. And so are you digging it? Are you happy to be here?

Sandy Hugill (23:18)
Absolutely, yes. I'm loving it. Yeah, I don't make as much money as I did as a project manager in IT, but I am much, much happier. And there's nowhere else I'd want to be right now. Yeah.

Chris (23:20)
Good, awesome.

That's awesome. Yeah, you make a good point there. You know, it's like, if you want to get rich, the beer industry maybe is not the, you know, state go into banking or something. Yeah. The beer industry is, is a fun community and you get to work with beer, which is awesome. And, and yeah, I think it's just a, well, certainly. Yeah, exactly. The community is awesome. The people are great. I do think that, yeah.

Sandy Hugill (23:44)

and the people are great.

Chris (24:01)
Most people in this business are not getting rich though. If you want to be in the booze biz and you want to make real money, I think liquor is the place to be. I don't know why liquor is so expensive, but yeah. So that's very cool, Sandy. What's the, you know, looking forward, like what are kind of the long -term goals?

Sandy Hugill (24:10)

Yeah, so I could see myself being a partner in a brewery at some point, rather than just an employee. Digging in and learning all I can while I'm here is great. I have, if my boss is listening, I have no plans to leave anytime soon. But long term, I could see that as a place I could be. Or I could see myself in a larger brewery where I am managing.

Chris (24:30)
Mm -hmm.

Sandy Hugill (24:50)
the people who do all the things I'm doing now, the education and some of the marketing, things like that. Or I could take it and be completely independent and build my brand and do my consulting. So there are so many opportunities and right now I'm just happy where I am. I'm not planning two steps ahead right now other than I do have my radar on Advanced Cicerone.

Chris (25:17)
Oh, very cool. Yeah, I wasn't trying to put you on the spot there. Yeah, that's very cool. And Advanced Cicerone, very cool. So you are thinking about going on, keeping on with the education.

Sandy Hugill (25:32)
I'm thinking about it. I'm a little scared about the level of difficulty that increases with the tasting exam.

Chris (25:41)
Mm -hmm. Yeah. Yeah, people find it hard to believe, but the jump from Certified to Advanced is about the same as the jump from beer server to Certified, which seems impossible because that's a pretty big jump. But the jump to AC is another big one. And gosh, what you learn, though, is amazing. I think...

When you get to the Advanced level, you are starting to get into a place where like typical management folks don't even know what that means exactly and what you're capable of. But it is, um, gosh, the sensory training is, is, uh, is amazing. Yeah. And of course, you know, you know, we have, we have the Advanced Cicerone Coaching Program. If you were, if you were interested, we would love to talk to you more about that. Uh, Scott Fielder.

teaches that, kind of designed the program. And yeah, he's taking Certified Cicerones and just like minting Advanced Cicerones. I'm quite sure. We've had a few people take the exams, like one part or the other. Only one person took both so far, because we just launched that program, like I guess it was like eight months ago. So the first cohort of folks are just getting to the point where they're all taking their exams. The one person who took both,

He passed Jesus Martir. So we have our first, you know, quote unquote graduate. But many more, yeah, many more to come. Second cohort, they're in the middle of their bootcamp and tasting sessions now. We're bringing in folks for the third cohort at this point because that bootcamp will start in about three months or so, which is about how long we recommend folks take to do all the pre -bootcamp readings to get prepped for that. So.

Sandy Hugill (27:13)
That's great.

Chris (27:37)
You know, anyone who's listening, now's a great time to hit us up if you're interested in joining Cohort 3, because Cohorts launch about every seven months.

Sandy Hugill (27:48)
Okay, so what I like about that is the idea of having people to work with. When I studied for Cicerone, I did it by myself, pretty much. I did a lot of tastings. I did all the style comparisons that you could think of. I tried every beer style in the world and I tried to get all of the commercial examples. So I did all of that by myself. And I missed the opportunity to...

Chris (28:13)

Sandy Hugill (28:16)
talk to people about it, to share the experience, because at the time I just didn't know anyone else who was going through the same journey that I was.

Chris (28:23)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I feel you on that. It is super helpful to have other people to work with on that stuff, just to bounce ideas back and forth to share like your sensory impressions, to build your vocabulary and and you know to split costs even right because you're buying all this beer, you're doing off flavor tastings. So yeah, I get it. The Advanced of course is is just another level of difficulty so.

It is super helpful to have kind of a built in study group. You know, we do this cohort model. I think it's really good for folks. They've, they've commented repeatedly on it being helpful. And one of the cool things about these cohorts is we'll have, you know, professional brewers and we've got like a guy who's like a draft tech. So, um, although you're learning this broad, a bunch of information about all these different areas of beer, you know, we do have.

people who are like technical specialists in different areas who've been able to really help us when we're doing our teaching. You know, we, there might be someone in the group who actually knows more about this than me and Scott and speaks up and helps us all understand it better. Yeah. So that's been super fun. Of course, you know, people don't necessarily live right near each other, but we're, we're getting together every week for.

Sandy Hugill (29:35)
That's great.

Chris (29:46)
these bootcamp lessons and these tasting sessions, you know, for six whole months weekly, uh, which is obviously a lot of face time. And then we also have this online community space, which is vibrant and active where all of the members of all the cohorts are. And, you know, they're sharing their experiences, you know, when they take the exams, they're like sharing, you know, not, not stuff they're not allowed to share, but I mean, this is just the sort of helpful stuff that, that.

that is sort of building this culture of people who are sharing information. I just think that these exams feel to folks like they're impossible to crack because you don't even know what's on them or what to expect. Like the syllabus doesn't really tell you everything you need to know going in. So that's a big part of what we do is teach people how to approach every single section of that exam.

Sandy Hugill (30:37)

Chris (30:45)
And meanwhile, you're surrounded by these people, these different cohorts, some of whom are ahead of you, some of whom are behind you. And so, of course, just folks are talking about the exam and how they're prepping for it, they're sharing their resources. It's really great.

Sandy Hugill (30:59)
Yeah, and I would, like I said, I've got my radar. I haven't made any decisions yet, but I would do Advanced Cicerone less for the resume and more for just my own knowledge.

Chris (31:12)
Yep, yep. When it sounds like some of your long -term goals might be sort of entrepreneurial, and I do think that the AC, you know, you're getting, I think those higher level Cicerone, like the AC, the MC, I think are really clutch for people who want to do entrepreneurial stuff or who kind of want to move up the ladder to like pretty high levels at larger breweries. But yeah, it's a, you know, whenever you're ready, just hit me up and we'll set up a Zoom with Scott.

and me to talk through all the details of the program and we'll pitch you. See if we can get you to join. Yeah, we would love to have you though. You killed the Certified, you got a 96 I think you told me on the written.

Sandy Hugill (31:43)


I did, I did. And again, that is because of all the study I did, but it's also because of your practice exams. I did not have exam anxiety because I had a really good idea of what to expect when I sat down for the written.

Chris (32:14)
Right, right, yeah, I feel like that's half the battle. You know, if you've already passed these practice exams, you're going in, not only knowing what you're gonna see, but also kind of feeling like, well, I've already passed this exam, like, I can just do it again. Yeah, yeah, that's cool. And we do have, so yeah, my Certified Cicerone program has multiple practice exams. We do a couple full practice exams for our Advanced folks, one of which Scott and I grade, the other one is self -graded.

Sandy Hugill (32:28)
Exactly. Yep.

Chris (32:44)
Lots of quizzes involved in both programs. So yeah, I do hear that those practice exams are super helpful. So it's good to hear that. That's the kind of feedback that's very helpful for as I go forward and improve these courses and these programs. I try to build out the things I keep hearing people talk about. So that's very helpful.

Sandy Hugill (33:06)
Yep. Yeah.

Chris (33:08)
Well, very cool. It sounds like you are on a great journey and it's exciting. Yeah. And I'm glad to hear that these, these certifications and this knowledge you've been gaining have been, have been super helpful.

Sandy Hugill (33:22)
Absolutely. And it's learning for the sake of learning, just because it's material I love. It's so much different than going to school and being told you must learn this, you must learn that. Anytime you choose to learn something that's fun, it's going to work out.

Chris (33:44)
Right, yeah, I'm with you. Yeah, it's funny. Like you, I started doing this kind of for fun and then it turned into a career for me. So yeah, I agree. There's that danger of turning your interest and hobby into a career. But it certainly, yeah, well, it certainly makes learning a lot more fun and a lot easier though. Yeah, I'm with you on that. All right, well, Sandy, you know,

Sandy Hugill (34:01)
the way it should be.

Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Chris (34:11)
Let's just one more time let folks know where they can find you online.

Sandy Hugill (34:16)
Yes, yes. So, TheBreweryLog .com and that will be updated soon. So right now it's some old stories about some cool breweries, but I will be putting more fresh content out there. Also, at The Brewery Log on Instagram and Facebook. And if you are in the Columbus, Ohio area, come out to Thunderwing Brewing.

Chris (34:43)
Very cool. Yeah, you know, I would love to. My sister lives in Cincinnati. Not not same, but you know, not too far. I make it out there. Yeah, I make it out there about once a year, at least to visit her. So maybe we'll pop on up to Columbus next time.

Sandy Hugill (34:48)
Ah, not too far.

But let me know when you're coming. You get us a private tour.

Chris (35:01)
I would love to. Well, thank you so much for joining me, Sandy. It's been a real pleasure. Thanks again for reaching out to me. That was great. I really appreciated that.

Sandy Hugill (35:10)
Yeah, thank you Chris for having me. I appreciate this opportunity too.



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