International beer expert Mirella Amato is looking forward
to trying some Dunedin beers. Photo by Jonathan
International beer expert Mirella Amato will attend this
year's ScienceTeller Festival in Dunedin.
Ms Amato is one of seven Master Cicerones (beer sommeliers)
in the world.
She has sat on the jury for numerous global brewing awards,
including the prestigious World Beer Cup, was the first
Canadian female to qualify as a Certified Cicerone and first
non-United States resident to earn the title of Master
Ms Amato says she has dedicated herself to promoting local
beer and the art of beer appreciation since 2007 and is
looking forward to attending the festival.
''My favourite thing about beer, apart from the fact that it
is delicious - of course, is that it is a multifaceted
beverage. There are so many different ways to appreciate it.
"It's fascinating how much science is involved in crafting
the perfect pint. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit
Dunedin and be part of the ScienceTeller Festival,'' she
''I have always enjoyed beer and thought that I'd like to
make a career of it but, at the time when I was going through
university in the mid-90s it didn't seem like a realistic
Then, in 2007, I found myself contemplating a career change
and decided that I owed it to myself to follow my passion and
see where it led.
Fortunately for me, this decision coincided with a period of
dramatic growth in the local craft beer industry as well as
an increased consumer interest,'' she said.
Ms Amato had never sampled Dunedin beers such as Emerson's or
Greenman before but said she looked forward to trying them.
Kiwi beer writer Geoff Griggs had assisted her with making
the beer selection for her talk and helped connect her with
the local breweries.
''As I'm sure you can imagine, it's challenging to select the
right beers for the occasion when you haven't had the
opportunity to sample any,'' Ms Amato said.
ScienceTeller Festival Director Phil Bishop said this was the
first time a Master Cicerone had visited New Zealand.
''Delegates at the festival are in for a fun and informative
session with Mirella Amato. She will only be giving one talk,
so anyone interested in attending the festival needs to
register now,'' he said.
Ms Amato was the recipient of the 2012 OCB Center of
Excellence Industry Choice Award in Food and Beer Matching
She was a board member for the Canadian Amateur Brewers'
Association from 2007 to 2010 and is a founding member of
Toronto-based cask-conditioned ale advocacy group Cask.