Certified Cicerone Overview
Those who pursue a career in beer learn from many different sources and soon accumulate knowledge that sets them apart 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 allows individuals to quickly demonstrate that they possess a professional body of knowledge and essential tasting skills related to beer. Those who pass earn the right to use the title "Certified Cicerone®" and display the logo on their card and correspondence. They also get listed in our certification directory where anyone can verify their status. Certified Cicerones enjoy enhanced respect and prestige that can help improve their business success and career prospects.
Prerequisites: Must have passed the Certified Beer Server exam. Candidates for this level of certification must be of legal drinking age.
Exam Cost: $395 for first-time exam (USD) Exam fees are non-refundable.
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.
Certified Cicerone is the second level of certification. Those who achieve this certification have a solid and well-rounded knowledge of beer and beer service as well as basic competence in assessing beer quality and identity by taste. The four-hour exam includes written, tasting, and demonstration portions. It is given more than 100 times each year at sites across the US and Canada and also at other international sites.
Preparation for the Exam - This challenging exam requires substantial preparation. Use the Certified Cicerone Syllabus (below) 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.
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, excellent knowledge of modern beers and styles with some familiarity with beer history and historical styles, competence in identifying flawed beers and recognizing appropriate and inappropriate flavors in modern beer styles, good understanding of the beer ingredients, familiarity with the brewing process and its common variations, plus knowledge of beer pairing principles and the ability to recommend reasonable beer pairings for common foods. Consult the Certified Cicerone Syllabus for a comprehensive catalog of the knowledge required.