5 Reasons to Register for the Certified Pommelier Exam

CiderCon® is right around the corner, and that means so is your next chance to join the elite crew of Certified Pommeliers™ that are spreading the good word about cider around the country. The exam itself will take place on February 1, 2021 during CiderCon® at the Richmond Marriott Hotel. That leaves plenty of time to prepare and we have plenty of resources to help you (see below)!

5 Reasons to Register

Still on the fence about taking your exam? We can think of a few reasons why you should:

  1. Research. That’s right, drinking lots of different ciders (as if we needed a reason) will actually help you prepare for your exam!
  2. Mastery. You too can be a master of the language of cider and help share that knowledge with others.
  3. Prestige. Pass your exam and show the world that you are one of the top experts in the cider industry.
  4. Experience. By learning more about the intricacies of cider you learn to love cider even more.
  5. Camaraderie. When you pass your exam you will join an amazing group of cider professionals that love cider and spreading the love just as much as you do.
  6. Okay, we said 5 reasons, but really, we thought mentioning research (a.k.a. drinking cider) again might be worthwhile.

Register Now!

For ACA members, the exam is $125 per attempt. There is a discount code that members can access to receive the exam at the membership rate of $125. That discount code can be found here. For non-members, the exam is $200. You can register for the exam here.

Get Studying!

Now, about those resources we mentioned. When you sign up to take your Certified Pommelier™ exam, you will be provided with a study guide and access to webinars to help you develop your knowledge and skills.

There are several books that will also help you further develop your understanding of cider, apples and history. We have created a list with our recommended reading materials. You can access this list by clicking here.

And there’s a dedicated Facebook Group with prep materials and in depth peer conversations.

Want more to fortify your cider knowledge? We highly recommend interviewing cidermakers and cider tenders to help prepare. Blind tasting flights are also good prep. See research in our list above!


Contact our Cider Education Outreach Manager Jennie Dorsey with any questions you might have.

Don’t miss out on you chance to join this elite community of cider professionals by taking the Certified Pommelier™ Exam at CiderCon® 2022 in Richmond, Virginia in February!

A huge thanks to our CCP and Certified Pommelier™ sponsor:

CiderCon® Early Bird Registration Extended

Who needs some good news? Yes, Mercury is no longer in retrograde. But that’s not our news. We know our members are busy making cider right now, so we’ve decided to extend early bird CiderCon® 2022 registration pricing until Halloween. We can’t wait to see all of you for our beloved CiderCon® in Richmond, Virginia in February!

The extension means an extra 11 days to lock in the early registration fee of $395 for you and all of your employees for what promises to be an awesome return to CiderCon® in-person.

We are happy to have renowned cidermaker Diane Flynt join us as our Keynote Speaker. You can read more about Diane in our blog. This year’s workshop tracks include: (1) Cidermaking (2) Apples & Orcharding (3) Sales & Distribution (4) Better Business (5) Flavor & Terroir (6) Legal & Compliance (7) Marketing & Trends and (8) History. 

The famous CiderCon® trade show is shaping up to be a great place to meet the amazing vendors who help support our industry. Are you a vendor that would like to join us? Do you know a business that you would love to see at the trade show? Contact Ellenfor details.

There’s a plethora of add-on options available this year. We have tours, tasting, t-shirts, cider share and more available. You can learn more about these options on our registration page. Definitely check out the incredible tours and tastings before they sell out!

You can learn about all things CiderCon® 2022 at our website, and we’ll have more exciting announcements soon.

We’ll see you in Richmond!

Michelle, Woodley & Ellen 

P.S. Wanting to up your cider street cred? You can take your Certified Pommelier™ exam at CiderCon®! The exam will be held Wednesday, February 1, 2021 at the Marriott Hotel in Richmond. You can learn more and find links to register in our blog

P.P.S. Don’t forget to book your rooms in the CiderCon® block at the Marriott. You can book them here.

Thank you to our premier sponsor:

CiderCon 2022 Registration Now Open

The American Cider Association Presents CiderCon® 2022 in Richmond Virginia!

February 1-4, 2022

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that registration is now open for CiderCon® 2022! We are thrilled to be planning to gather in person in Richmond, Virginia from February 1-4, 2022. Register before October 31 to lock in early bird pricing!

Click below to learn about:


Health & Safety Guidelines

Latest News


Cider Share

Cider Tasting/Cidermaking Workshops

Virginia Cider Country Tours

Add ons

Certified Pommelier™ Exam


Draft Speakers (More Soon!)

Trade Show

Thanks to our premier sponsor:

CiderCon 2022 Tasting Sessions

We are thrilled to offer several tastings at CiderCon® 2022! Seating is limited in CiderCon® workshops, including tastings. Read our full Health & Safety Guidelines. Sign-up for tastings available during registration.

NEW! Top of the Mitten: High Latitude Ciders from Northern Michigan

Moderator: Nicole LeGrand Leibon

Speakers: Dan Young, Tandem Cider; Dion Stepanski, Presque Isle Farm; Left Foot Charley, Bryan Ulbrich

Price: $10 Thursday, 1:45-2:45pm

Already registered for CiderCon® 2022 but you’d like to add on this tasting? Register here.

This session will be a guided sensory exploration of ciders from near or north of the 45th parallel. We’ll explore the impact of the Great Lakes, the soil, orchard history and more on these ciders from Northern Michigan.

400 Years of American Alcohol: Cider, History, Cocktails and More

Presenter: Tiffanie Barriere, The Drinking Coach

Price: $10 Thursday 10:30-11:30

Already registered for CiderCon® 2022 but you’d like to add on this tasting? Register here.

Alcohol has a tasty history in America. Cider was seen as early as 1622. We are still counting and discovering some of the historical names that helped alcohol become what it is today. With the help of original records from the service industry we are able to explore many stories on alcohol production, service and even cocktail incorporation dating back hundreds of years. To explore this history, Tiffanie Barriere–a renowned mixologist, author, speaker and researcher–brings this mash-up session to CiderCon. Her workshop will be one part history and one part inspired cider cocktail creation. She will talk about important names, historical figures, legendary Black bartenders and she will also teach you how to make amazing cider cocktails.

Fruited Ciders: Beyond the AppleSOLD OUT

Moderator: Christine Walter 

Price: $8  Thursday 10:30-11:30

Fresh, frozen, puréed, essenced? Before, during, after? Answers to all of your questions, plus sourcing ideas and tasty examples to making excellent fruit ciders. This session is designed for cidermakers just getting their start. Featured Cider Makers: TBA

Creating Consumer Excitement with Food Pairing SuggestionsSOLD OUT

Presenter: Jennie Dorsey, Cider Educator

Price: $10  Thursday 2:00-3:00

We all know the “Four C’s” of food pairing, but putting theory into practice can be a little intimidating, especially for members of your tasting room staff that are just beginning their adventure with cider. In this session, cider and food pairing expert Jennie Dorsey will walk you through a pairing framework (with tasting samples!) that you can take back to your business, train your staff, and watch your sales grow.

Tasting and Terroir of True Crabs Non- Malus Domestica ApplesSOLD OUT

Moderator: Dan Pucci, Author

Price: $12 Thursday 3:30-4:30

Malus Domestica is not the only game in town. The Malus genus is diverse with apples native to biomes across the world, wild, feral or bred with intention. Typically valued more for their flowers than fruit, cider is adapting them into its diverse tool box. This talk will look at how these apples perform in a wide range of different growing environments and how they can be used in a wide range of different cider making styles. Featured Cider Makers: TBA 

Survey of Yeast-Derived Characteristics and Hands-On BlendingSOLD OUT

Moderator: Aaron Homoya

Price: $10  Thursday 3:30-4:30

Take your experience with the possibilities of flavor and aroma contributions of yeast strains to the next level with this tasting panel of cider made from one juice and a range of yeasts. Featured Cider Makers: TBA

Southern Cider Apples: A Recipe for Complex Flavor & Changing ClimateSOLD OUT

Moderator: Diane Flynt, Apple Grower and Cider Maker

Price: $12  Friday 10:30-11:30

Diane Flynt will set the stage for exploring southern cider apples with historic context for old southern cider apple varieties. Presentation will include color slides of southern apple varieties. The panel discussion will touch on fruit cultivation but will focus on the use of older southern varieties in cider.
Panel discussion topics: Varietal characteristics of old southern apples in cider; Cidermakers’ experience in using old southern apples in cider; Consumer response to cider made with old southern apples; Optional: apple tasting and cider tasting. Featuring: David and/or Ann Marie Thornton, James Creek Cider House, Tim Wright, Wise Bird Cider, Will Hodges, Troddenvale Cider

A Cider Among the Faults – An Aroma-Based Sensory Workshop

Presenter: Nicole Leibon, Chris Gerling, Jocelyn Kuzelka

Price: $12 Friday 10:30-11:30

Already registered for CiderCon® 2022 but you’d like to add on this tasting? Register here.

Take a good look at this line-up of five suspect ciders and put your detective (and detecting) skills to the test. Only one is innocent, the other four are fatally faulted by the usual (and maybe unusual) suspects. Discussion will include detection and rejection thresholds, their impact on how ciders and faults can be perceived differently, and ways to avoid or fix the faults found in the line-up.

Introductory Palate TrainingSOLD OUT

Presenter: Darlene Hayes

Price $10 Friday 2:00-3:00pm

When learning the art of evaluating a cider it can be helpful to start by familiarizing your palate with individual structural elements. In this session, you will experience first hand the flavor and texture differences between several types of acids typically found in cider as well as different sugar levels and types of tannin. Give yourself a great foundation from which to take your tasting skills to the next level.

Best Practices for Producing Ciders with Residual SugarSOLD OUT

Moderator: Brighid O’Keene

Price: $10 Friday 2:00-3:00pm

This tasting session will explore methods and tips for producing cider with residual sugar. You will hear from cider makers producing at various scales and with different equipment about how to successfully make sweeter cider. We’ll explore downstream processing and safe bottling with a focus on best practices. Featured Cider Makers: TBA

Wild, Clean & Free: Harnessing the Beauty of Wild-fermenting, Without the FlawsSOLD OUT

Moderator: Christine Walter

Price: $12 Friday 3:30-4:30pm

This tasting session will be a deep dive into making the most of traditional and pet-nat processes while producing a cleanly fermented sparkling cider. Featured Cider Makers: TBA

New and Updated Cider Share Returns to CiderCon!

UPDATE 01/25/2022: The 4:00pm Cider Share is Sold Out. If you are already registered and would like to add the 6:00pm Cider Share on to your registration please email Ellen and she will add you and you can pay when you check in at the registration desk. If you are not registered, Cider Share can be added on during the registration process.

CiderCon® is thrilled to present an in-person conference and trade show in Richmond, Virginia from February 1-4, 2022 for American Cider Association members. Our beloved welcome reception, Cider Share, is also back! 

There are two Cider Share receptions on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, a 4:00pm salon and 6:00pm salon. Tickets to Cider Share will be $20 per person. Each Cider Share time slot will be limited to 200 people. Please read the complete Health and Safety Guidelines for more information about the American Cider Association’s COVID-19 protocol for CiderCon® 2022.

Each Cider Share Salon will feature 25 different cideries, representing cider from around the US and the world. Featured cideries will be chosen using a lottery along with considerations of geography and style. If you would like to be considered as a featured cidery at Cider Share 2022, please select that choice during the CiderCon registration process. The lottery drawing will be held in early November and those selected will be notified via email with further details.