Certified Cicerone

Certification of knowledge and tasting skills for professionals dedicated to beer.

Certified Cicerone

Certified Cicerone®                       

Certified Cicerone® is the second level of certification. Those who achieve this certification have a deep and well-rounded knowledge of beer and beer service as well as competence in assessing beer quality and identity by taste. 

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

Exam Format & Components - Written exam with short answer and essay questions plus tasting and a demonstration component. A grade of 80% overall and at least 70% on the tasting portion are required to pass. Click here for more details.  The exam is weighted as follows: Keeping and Serving Beer - 25%, Beer Styles - 25%, Beer Flavor and Evaluation - 25%, Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes - 15%, Pairing Beer with Food - 10%.

Exam Cost - Initial test: $395; Retake Tasting: $100; Retake Written: $175.

Initiating an Exam - Certified Cicerone® exams are scheduled throughout the US with occasional exams in Canada. See "Exam Schedule" for upcoming exams. To register go to the “My Account” page on this website. There is a six week waiting period between written exam attempts.  

Knowledge Area Responsibilities - The Certified Cicerone® 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 in-appropriate flavors in modern beer styles, good understanding of the beer ingredients and 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. 

Preparation for the Exam - This is a challenging exam which requires substantial preparation. Use the Certified Cicerone® Syllabus to guide your preparations and pursue training and knowledge from a variety of sources. We recommend a number of resources from various suppliers as listed below.

Certified Cicerone Exam Policies-For information on registration, postponement, disqualification or accomodation of Certified Cicerone exams please click here. Please note exam fees are non-refundable. Any non-emergency postponement made less than two weeks before the exam will result in a $25 rescheduling fee. No-shows on exam day will result in a $100 rescheduling fee.


Recommended Resources 

The following are recommended study resources for the Certified Cicerone® Exam

One or more of the following books on brewing: 

Other suppliers also offer training which may aid in preparation for the exam.

And, to repeat, begin with the current Certified Cicerone® Syllabus available on this website to see details of what will be covered on the exam. 

The Cicerone Certification Program has worked with Cara Techonolgies, makers of the Aroxa shelf-stable off-flavor standards to create a unique tasting kit. We now offer the "Cicerone Off-Flavor Kit" made by Aroxa for sale on our website—it comes with study materials and a recorded webinar you can use for your group. (Click here to view kit.)

We have adopted Aroxa as our official supplier for Certified Cicerone exam off-flavors. As of January 2014, candidates taking the Certified Cicerone exam taste samples spiked with the same dry-powder standards that are sold in our off-flavor kit.