Call it the takeover of the cicerone. Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada just beefed up its beer knowledge by bringing Certified Cicerones Russell Gardner and Samuel Merritt on board as the director of craft beer and director of on premise beer and non-alcoholic beverages, respectively.
Both work under vice president of beer & trade development Clyde Burney. Gardner comes to Southern Wine as the opening cicerone for Public House at the Venetian. As the first Certified Cicerone in Nevada, Gardner also previously held the position of head brewer at Joseph James Brewing Co.
Merritt jumps on board full time in September. Previously, he was the brand manager for Brooklyn Brewery and the founder of the Civilization of Beer, a program that brought beer training to the culinary studies.
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Sam Merrit, Clyde Burney and Russell Gardner [Photo: Southern Wine and Spirits of Southern Nevada]