On July 24, 2012 the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) conducted their first Hospitality Beverage Specialist Exam at this year’s annual conference in San Mateo, CA. Eight of San Francisco Wine School’s recent graduates were among those tested and all of them passed!
The Hospitality Beverage Specialist is an entry-level program designed for hospitality and culinary students, waiters, bartenders, cocktail servers and others looking for an introductory credential.
The program fills some gaps that others have not addressed, such as: coffee, tea, bottled water, mixology and alcohol’s health risks and benefits. Beer, sake, spirits, wine and wine service are also covered. History and recent trends were covered for all beverages. The 146-page study guide is thoughtfully organized and gives the entry -level beverage professional a well-rounded introduction to the industry. It is also a good pathway to SWE’s more in-depth study guides for their CSW, CWE or CSS programs. The 40-question multiple-choice exam covers all of the areas, tests basic competency and is easy enough to encourage further study.
One test-taker, Susan Marsh, CS, CSW, said, “I thought it was a great study guide with a nice introduction into beverages in general. It gives hospitality service people a chance to gain a strong basic understanding of each of the beverage categories without getting too bogged down into detail.”
This new credential exam compliments SWE’s other offerings: Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS). More information on all of these programs can be found on their web site.
What credentials do you think are most relevant? Is one better than the rest or is there room for all of them? Do you have any questions about any of the acronyms or competing information?