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Certified Cicerone Overview

Beer industry workers learn from many different sources and soon gain knowledge that distinguishes them from those on the customer side of the bar. But without certification, it is hard to tell what people really know simply by looking at a resume or business card.

The Certified Cicerone exam lets you quickly demonstrate that you hold a professional body of knowledge and essential tasting skills related to beer. You'll earn the right to use the title Certified Cicerone® and display the logo on your card and correspondence. You'll also appear in our certification directory, where anyone can verify your status. Certified Cicerones enjoy enhanced respect and prestige to help you succeed in the industry.

Prerequisites: Must have passed the Certified Beer Server exam. Candidates for this level of certification must be of legal drinking age.

Exam Cost: First time written $285 (CAD pre-tax); First time tasting $225 (CAD pre-tax); Retake written $225 (CAD pre-tax); Retake tasting $160 (CAD pre-tax). Exam fees are non-refundable. Candidates have the option to take the written exam online during a remotely proctored exam session.

Purchasing Options: To purchase the Certified Cicerone exam, view the exam schedule for available dates. Candidates have the option to take the written exam online during a remotely proctored exam session. Available online sessions can also be found on the exam schedule.

Passing Score: A grade of 80% overall and at least 70% on the tasting portion are required to pass. For more detailed information please see Certified Cicerone® Exam Scoring Breakdown further down this page.

Postponement/Rescheduling: 

Candidates may postpone their exam pursuant to the following guidelines:

  • More than 30 days from the exam date, no fee to postpone or reschedule
  • Less than 30 days before the exam date, a $25 fee applies and is collected when the exam is rescheduled
  • Neglecting to attend an exam for which one is registered (no show/no call) results in forfeiture of the exam registration
  • Candidates must contact Cicerone staff (info@cicerone.org) to arrange postponement and rescheduling
  • Postponement due to injury, illness, or a medical emergency will be considered upon review of a doctor's note
  • Exam rescheduling is subject to availability
  • Exam and rescheduling fees are non-refundable and non-transferable

Exam Details

Those who earn this certification have extensive knowledge of beer and beer service and competence in sensory evaluation. This document offers a detailed summary of what to expect from the exam.

 

Certified Cicerone Preparation

Cicerone® Certification Program Canadian Certified Cicerone® Syllabus

The Canadian Certified Cicerone® Syllabus presents an outline of the knowledge tested in the exam. Review it to guide your studies and assess your readiness for the exam.

Knowledge Area Responsibilities

As with all Cicerone exams, your first resource should be the syllabus. Certified Cicerone candidates must have detailed knowledge of retail beer storage and service issues, an excellent understanding of modern beer styles, and some familiarity with beer history and historical styles. Competence in identifying flawed beers and recognizing appropriate and inappropriate flavors in beer is required. Candidates must demonstrate a good understanding of beer ingredients, the brewing process, and common principles of pairing beer with food. Consult the Certified Cicerone Syllabus for a comprehensive catalog of the knowledge required.

Preparation for the Exam

This challenging exam requires substantial preparation. Use the Certified Cicerone Syllabus to guide your preparations and pursue training and knowledge from a variety of sources. In addition to the study materials we offer, we recommend a number of resources from other suppliers in our Resources & Links section. While an experienced professional or someone with excellent tasting and academic skills might prepare for this exam in as little as six months, many individuals should plan to spend one to two years preparing for this exam.

Certified Cicerone® Exam Scoring Breakdown

Those preparing for the Certified Cicerone exam should be sure to review the Certified Cicerone Syllabus. This syllabus outlines all the knowledge that may be tested during the exam and is organized into five knowledge areas:

  • Keeping and Serving Beer (25%)
  • Beer Styles (25%)
  • Beer Flavor and Evaluation (25%)
  • Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes (15%)
  • Pairing Beer with Food (10%)

Overall, the Certified Cicerone exam will be graded so that each of these knowledge areas accounts for a certain portion of the overall grade as shown in parenthesis after each section above.

 

  Short Answer Essay Demo Tasting Exam
Keeping and Serving Beer 16.50% 4.50% 4.00% 0.00%
Beer Styles 20.50% 4.50% 0.00% 0.00%
Beer Flavor and Evaluation 8.25% 0.00% 0.00% 16.75%
Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes 11.50% 3.50% 0.00% 0.00%
Pairing Beer with Food 10.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Totals percentage of overall score 66.75% 12.50% 4.00% 16.75%

Road to Cicerone Courses

These courses guide your learning through hands-on activities supplemented by readings both from the text and from the Oxford Companion to Beer*. Each online course comes with an accompanying end-of-course quiz to validate your knowledge of the topic. Passing the quiz earns you a digital badge.

View Road to Cicerone Courses

*purchased separately

Exam Schedule & Details

The Certified Cicerone Exam is taken in-person at multiple locations throughout the United States, Canada, and other international sites. View the schedule to find a location and date near you.

View Exam ScheduleView Exam Details

Other Certification Levels

Learn more about the Advanced Cicerone level of certification.
Level 3
A designation of distinctive expertise and tasting skill.