Master Cicerone® is the third and final level of certification. Those who achieve this certification possess encyclopedic knowledge of beer and highly refined tasting ability. Such knowledge generally results from years of thoughtful study and tasting, travel to classic beer producing areas, hands-on experience with beer service, in-depth familiarity with brewing and ingredients and frequent and repeated experience in beer and food pairing. Candidates have not only knowledge but experience and, as a result, an informed and nuanced understanding of the universe of beer flavor.
Prerequisites - Must have passed the Certified Cicerone® exam and have two years experience selling, serving or managing beer service. Three recommendations from different brewers, beer wholesalers or beer retailers can be substituted for the work experience. Candidates for this certification must be at least 21 years of age.
Exam Format & Components - Candidates for Master Cicerone® will participate in a two-day examination that includes multiple written, oral and tasting components. The written component will consist of essay questions where candidates demonstrate the depth and breadth of their knowledge in each portion of the Master Syllabus. Oral examinations will be conducted by four different industry experts and often involve hands-on demonstrations of knowledge. Taste assessments will include a broad range of off-flavors, blind assessment of beer styles and advanced assessment of beer acceptance. Overall, a grade of 85% or better is required to pass the Master Cicerone exam.
Exam Cost - Initial test: $695; Retakes will be charged 80% of the current Master exam price.
Initiating an Exam - The Master Cicerone® exam is run every six to 12 months. Locations include Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia areas. Email us for information about the next scheduled exam.
Knowledge Area Responsibilities - Candidates for Master Cicerone® certification must demonstrate encyclopedic knowledge of all issues related to brewing, beer and beer service. The full Master Cicerone® Syllabus is your guide to preparation. All of the resources recommended for the Certified Cicerone® exam should be considered in your preparation for the Master exam. In-depth theoretical and hands-on knowledge of draft systems is required. Mastery of beer styles is expected. Tasting of a wide range of beers and styles is a must. Assessment of off-flavor recognition using Aroxa flavor standards should be undertaken. Travel to classic beer producing areas in Europe can be highly beneficial. Brewing beer alone or with partners can help to ensure thorough knowledge of the brewing process. Daily beer and food pairing experience will help. Throughout the exam, candidates will be expected to describe beer (and food) flavors using concrete and specific terms that accurately cover the the full spectrum of flavor.
Master Cicerone Exam Policies (Effective 1/1/13)
ALL registration for the Master Cicerone Exam is on a first come, first served basis. Once registration has filled, two alternate candidates will be designated for the exam in case of cancellation. These alternates are not required to submit payment until a spot becomes available. If no cancellations occur, alternates will be given priority registration for the next Master Cicerone exam.
Registration for Master Cicerone Exams will be capped at 12 candidates per exam. Registration will open first to those on the list of candidates retaking the exam who scored 75% or higher (up to 6 spots). Second, registration will open to the two alternates from the most recent Master Cicerone exam. Finally, remaining spots will be open to qualified candidates. Exam fees are non-refundable, and non-transferable.
Candidates can take the Master Cicerone exam no more than 1 time in an 11 month period. Candidates can take the Master Cicerone exam no more than 2 times in a 36 month period*
*Candidates who scored 81% or higher, can petition the Cicerone Certification Program for an exception when there is available space in an upcoming exam.
POSTPONEMENT/RESCHEDULING (effective 11/11/13)
If you postpone your exam registration to a later date, you will be charged a rescheduling fee (50% of your registration). To reschedule a postponed exam, please contact Virginia@cicerone.org.