Burr's Melinda Sellers Earns Cicerone Certification, One of Two in the State

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Cicerone, trademarked by The Craft Beer Institute, has become the industry standard for identifying a beer expert. A Certified Cicerone, of which there are only 1,000 nationwide, is the second of three Cicerone levels - Certified Beer Server, Certified Cicerone and Master Cicerone - and is attained through written exams, tastings and demonstrations. Sellers is one of only two women in Alabama to obtain the Certified Cicerone title, and is believed to be the only practicing attorney to earn the certification.

By passing the Certified Cicerone exam, Sellers has demonstrated knowledge in five key areas: keeping and serving beer; beer styles; beer tasting and flavors; brewing ingredients and processes; and pairing beer with food.

"Because of Alabama's many economic incentives, the state's economy and business development efforts have exploded, including the craft brewery industry. Within the past five years, the state has grown the industry from one to 35 breweries, creating a great need for alcohol regulatory expertise in the Southeast," said Lee Thuston, managing partner of Burr & Forman LLP. "As the firm's alcohol regulatory practice grows and the brewery industry grows in Alabama, it's important that our clients know that we understand their business inside and out. Melinda's certification demonstrates her dedication to her clients' businesses and her ability to assist our clients in the alcohol industry."

At Burr & Forman, Sellers' practice focuses on alcohol regulatory law, where she works with a number of local and national breweries and distributors on matters including negotiating contracts, protecting trademarks and consulting on the nuances of expanding brewery and distributor operations.

In addition, she is a member of the Pink Boots Society, an organization created to empower women in the beer profession to advance their careers through education programs and scholarship. Sellers is also a member of the Brewer's Association where she has been selected for the third consecutive year as a speaker for its annual conference.

Sellers received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University and her law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.

Birmingham Business Journal subscribers can read more about Melinda's achievement here.


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