The ultimate test of beer expertise.
The ultimate test of beer expertise.
Master Cicerone® is the fourth and highest 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 - Starting in 2018, Must have passed the Advanced CiceroneTM exam. Candidates for this certification must be at least 21 years of age.
Exam Format & Components - Candidates for Master Cicerone Exam 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 industry experts and often involve hands-on demonstrations of knowledge. Taste assessments will include an extensive range of off-flavors, blind assessment of beer styles and descriptive analysis of blind samples. Overall, a grade of 85% or better is required to pass the Master Cicerone exam. All sections of the syllabus are weighted equally on the Master Cicerone exam. (20% each for Keeping and Serving Beer, Beer Styles, Beer Flavor and Evaluation, Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes, and Pairing Beer with Food.)
Exam Cost - Initial test: $895; Retakes will be charged 80% of the current Master exam price.
Starting in 2017: Exam Cost - Initial test: $995; Retakes will be charged 80% of the current Master exam price.
Initiating an Exam - The Master Cicerone exam is run one to two times a year, typically in Chicago. Dates and registration information are announced via email so make sure that you email address associated with your profile is current and that your email program is not diverting emails from cicerone.org to a spam folder.
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® and Advanced Cicerone exams 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 AroxaTM 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. Experience preparing and presenting beer and food pairing events to groups of critical tasters is strongly recommended. Throughout the exam, candidates will be expected to describe beer (and food) flavors using concrete and specific terms that accurately cover the full spectrum of flavor.
- Key Resources for the Master Cicerone Exam (pdf)
- Cicerone Program Resources Overview (pdf)
- Sample Master Cicerone Tasting Exam (pdf)
Master Cicerone Exam Policies
Registration for Master Cicerone Exams will be capped at 24 candidates per exam. We expect to run all future Master Exam registrations by lottery. We will announce the lottery period via email to all eligible individuals. Anyone interested in taking the exam must submit their name for the lottery. We will randomly select names from the lottery pool to fill the exam roster. We will continue with random selection until the pool is exhausted to generate a list of alternates for the exam. Any confirmed candidates will be asked to submit payment within one week or forfeit their spot. Alternates will be emailed that day and notified of their alternate number. In the event that a candidate withdraws from the exam, alternates will be notified in order, and asked to submit payment within one week.
Eligibility for Retaking the Master Cicerone exam shall be based upon the last score you received on the exam.
In the history of the exam, no candidate has improved their score by more than five percent within one year. With that in mind, we have implemented a retake policy to allow any retakers adequate time to prepare between tests based on their score.
If your overall score was:
80-84: Candidate can enter the lottery for any exam run at least 12 months after the date of their prior exam
75-79: Candidate can enter the lottery for any exam run at least 18 months after the date of their prior exam
70-74: Candidate can enter the lottery for any exam run at least 24 months after the date of their prior exam
Less than 70: Candidate can enter the lottery for any exam run at least 30 months after the date of their prior exam.
If you postpone your exam registration to a later date, you will be charged a rescheduling fee. If you are postponing more than six months from the date of the exam you registered for, the fee is 50% of your registration. If you postpone less than six months from the date of the exam you registered for, you forfeit your exam fee.