We are thrilled to share that the American Cider Association is hosting the inaugural Certified Pommelier™ Ceremony at CiderCon® 2024 in Portland, Oregon. This isn’t just any ceremony, it’s a celebration of achievements, a recognition of passion, and a toast to education.
Each and every Certified Pommelier™ brings their hard work, dedication, and cider expertise to the table. Their journey deserves to be celebrated, and what better place to do so than in the cider haven of Portland, Oregon.
So come join us at lunch on Friday, January 19 at CiderCon® 2024 to raise a glass high to our Certified Pommeliers™ accomplishments and the beginning of a new chapter in cider education. Let’s toast to the future of cider and the continued success of our Certified Pommeliers™!
Interested in learning more about our Certified Cider Professional programs? Head to our Certification page.
We were so excited to share the news of our 12 new Certified Pommeliers™ last week, but that’s not all we have to share; we’re not just about numbers (although they are fun) – we’re also about community, education, and advocacy. That’s why we’re also thrilled to announce the launch of the Certified Pommelier™ Chapters program.
Picture this: a network of educated cider enthusiasts spreading an understanding of the beverage across the globe. With leaders appointed in all six current ACA regions and Canada, the chapters are set to redefine the regional cider experience.
Meet Your Chapter Leaders:
- East: CT, MA,ME, PA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT- Paige Flori
- Midwest: IA,IL, IN, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI, KY- Sean Niemisto
- South: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV, MD, DE, DC- Josh Corl
- Mtn West: AZ, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY, SD, ND, KS, NE, OK, TX- Matthew Ostrander
- Northwest: OR, WA, ID, MT, AK- Storie Madrid
- Pacific Coast CA, HI- Brandon Buza
- Canada- Sara Boyd
How Do We Plan to Redefine the Regional Cider Experience?
- Community building: Our chapters, meetings and events will be more than just gatherings, they will help ignite a spark in the heart of local cider communities. Imagine sharing stories, clinking glasses, and forging friendships with like minded individuals who appreciate the art of cider. Chapters will play a pivotal role in nurturing these connections creating regional cider centric hubs.
- Education: Certified Pommelier™ chapters will be the epicenter of knowledge-sharing and skills development. From cider tastings to hands-on workshops, we hope to bring these educational events down to the local level and make them accessible for any cider lover.
- Advocacy: We’re not just sitting in the wings; we’re raising our glass high and advocating for the value of cider education. Certified Pommelier™ chapters will champion the industry in their respective regions aspiring to advance consumer understanding of the beverage and how it is made.
So, whether you’re a seasoned cider aficionado or just starting to dip your toes into the world of cider there’s a place for you in the Certified Cider Professional education community.
The American Cider Association is proud to announce that twelve individuals successfully passed the Certified Pommelier™ examination in October 2023. The new Certified Pommeliers™ are Ann Bliss of Mullers Cider House, Bryan Barry, Christian Rodriguez, and Tom Hansen of Angry Orchard, Katie Black of DSSOLVR, Johnny Rice of Orchard Hill Cider Mill, Don Whitaker of Castle Hill Cider, Henry Johnson of Bold Rock Hard Cider, Chris Jackson of Treasury Cider at Fishkill Farms, Aaron Gore of Fresh Pitch Beverage Consulting, and cider enthusiasts Sabrina Nencetti and David Lindsey.
The rigorous exam, held in both New York and North Carolina last month, tested candidates on their understanding of cider production, history, and sensory evaluation. As a result, these newly Certified Pommeliers™ are now equipped with advanced skills to guide consumers through the wide variety of ciders available and to help elevate the cider industry at the point of sale.
Early on, the American Cider Association recognized the need to promote specialized knowledge about the cider category. Certifications are increasingly being used to set food and beverage professionals apart. However, most certification programs cover cider in a cursory manner or not at all. With cider being a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements often less understood by food and beverage professionals, the establishment of the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program in 2016 was a strategic maneuver. Today, the CCP program is designed to educate those on the front-line of cider sales, making it the world’s most comprehensive and in-depth cider appreciation program for food and beverage professionals.
The CCP program begins with a Certified Cider Guide (CCG) Level 1 certification to help industry professionals develop a fundamental understanding of cider. The Certified Pommelier™ (CP) Level 2 takes it a step further by encouraging cider professionals to think critically and showcase a higher level of understanding of the elements of cider. The rigorous testing process consists of four types of questions, including short answer, fill in the blank, essay, and blind sensory–which is based on tasting.
The ACA is dedicated to ensuring that all information tested on the exam is made accessible to anyone who desires to learn. To that end, the ACA released a textbook in March of 2023 to help candidates prepare to take the exam with just one comprehensive resource. The textbook is available for purchase through Kindle Direct Publishing. Additionally, the ACA offers sensory analysis practice webinars and a Facebook study group, continuously updated with resources for exam candidates. Interested candidates can find links to all Certified Pommelier™ resources on the ACA’s website.
The next Certified Pommelier™ Exam will be held at CiderCon® 2024 in Portland, Oregon on January 17, 2024
Contact the ACA’s Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey if you have questions about the Certified Cider Professional program or are interested in taking either the Level 1 or Certified Pommelier™ exams. You can also learn more at https://ciderassociation.org/certification.
Are you ready to take your passion for cider to the next level? Join us at Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House during New York Cider Week for an in-person Certified Cider Professional Level 1 certification workshop! We are thrilled to collaborate with the American Cider Association to bring you this amazing opportunity to become CCP Level 1 certified.
During the workshop, you will learn about the history of cider, the cider making process, and the different styles of cider. This workshop also features a Certified Pommelier™ led tasting experience featuring New York Ciders! After the training, participants can take the test online immediately (BYO computer) or at a later date.
The cost per person for this fantastic experience is $65, which includes the test fee. But that’s not all! Lunch and, of course, more cider will be available for purchase at our tasting room after the training.
We would love to see anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, owners, chefs, sommeliers, cicerones, buyers and cidermakers who are interested in cider education and adding a cider certification to their accreditation sign up and join us!
Space is limited, so register now and get ready to become a Certified Cider Professional!
Far West Cider is excited to collaborate with the American Cider Association to host an in person Certified Cider Professional workshop on the afternoon of August 14!
Do you sell cider or work in a tasting room or retail shop? Are you a chef, sommelier, cicerone, buyer or cidermaker? Do you just love cider and want to be able to spread the word with some serious cider knowledge to back it up? Then this workshop is perfect for you! This is a great opportunity to gather with fellow California cider folks to develop your cider knowledge so you can keep on promoting the amazing California ciders you know and love or to learn about them if you’re new to cider! Not to mention, you’ll have the chance to walk away with a Certified Cider Professional Level One designation!
Attendees will enjoy a two hour workshop and tasting session with American Cider Association Education Operations Manager and Certified Pommelier™ Jennie Dorsey. After the workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to take the online test at Far West Cider (bring your own computer). The test can also be taken online at a later date if so desired.
Did we mention that after the workshop, you’ll be able to purchase Far West Cider to take home or to enjoy with fellow attendees in the tasting room?!
Cost to attend is $65 per person and includes the test fee (this is a $30 savings from individual bundle purchases AND includes a cider tasting).
*A note about arriving at Far West Cider: Use the above address in Google Maps and just follow the navigation, if it feels like you’ve headed the wrong way you’re right on track. Riggers Loft is located at the end of the long winding road. Look for a building marked “SHEET METAL / PAINTING” and a red banner marked “WINE TASTING HERE.” Far West is right inside!
South Hill Cider is excited to collaborate with the American Cider Association to host a training workshop in person for the Certified Cider Professional Level 1 Certification at their cidery on August 21, from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern. Participants will have the opportunity to take the test online immediately after the training or take the test at a later date.
This is a great opportunity for the NY cider community to gather in person to attend the workshop and get CCP Level 1 certified. Anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, is an owner, chef, sommelier, cicerone, buyer or cidermaker who is interested in cider education and adding a cider certification to their accreditation is welcome and encouraged to join the training session!
Lunch will also be available for purchase at the South Hill Cider tasting room after the training.
- 9:45 AM: Arrival and check-in
- 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Workshop in tent
- 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM: Lunch break (food will be available to purchase)
- 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM: Take the online CCP 1 exam (please bring your own laptop)
- 2:15 PM: Enjoy a glass of cider and the view
Cost per person is $45 which includes the test fee. Tickets are available on EventBrite.
Interested in learning how you can host an in-person training event at your location? Learn more on our CCP Level 1 website.
TAKE THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA!
Are you ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? Already passed the Certified Cider Professional Level 1 Certification and looking for that next challenge? Now’s your chance!
The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that the next Certified Pommelier™ Exam will be held in San Francisco, California! The exam will take place Sunday, August 13, 2023 at Barebottle Brewing, 1525 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110.
After the exam you can stick around for a tour and tasting at Barebottle Brewing too!
PREPARING FOR THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM
The Certified Pommelier™ Exam is our second tier of certification and requires in depth study. You must have passed our CCP Level One Certification prior to taking the Certified Pommelier™ Exam. You can purchase a CCP Level One bundle here. (ACA members can find a discount code to purchase the bundle here). The bundle includes an on demand training webinar, a study guide, and two exam attempts.
The ACA has also recently released a Certified Pommelier™ Study Guide that covers the information needed for the theory portion of the exam. It can be purchased here on Amazon.
In addition, several pre-recorded sensory webinars are also available for purchase and can be found here. Please be aware that cider must be purchased separately. Also, be aware that key sensory elements of these ciders may vary from year to year.
Stay tuned for the option to participate in a live sensory analysis webinar this summer prior to the exam in San Francisco. You can check our certification page for the latest news.
WHILE YOU’RE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Why not make it a weekend (or longer) since you’ll be heading to the beautiful Bay Area of California anyway, especially since it’s the weekend of the Gravenstein Apple Fair, which will be celebrating it’s 50th year!
Join our Certified Pommelier™ panel in a live practice sensory webinar on May 4 from 4:00-6:00 PM Pacific featuring cider from Artifact Cider Project. This webinar will also be available to rewatch and practice as a prerecorded event.
Cider must be purchased separately. Please be aware that it may take several days to receive your cider order, so we encourage you to purchase your ciders as soon as possible. Also, please verify that cider can be sent to your state before purchasing ciders. Order the Certified Pommelier Study Sample Pack from Artifact to participate along with the webinar here.
Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email. This email is a placeholder for the event. The evening before the event you will receive an email with a Zoom link to the webinar. Please note this link will be sent to the registered email.
The American Cider Association is thrilled to announce that twenty people have newly earned the title of Certified Pommelier™ as a result of the exam held at CiderCon® 2023 in Chicago, Illinois last month. It is the largest passing cohort of any Certified Pommelier™ exam to date.
The new Certified Pommeliers™ are: Ann Marie Thornton of James Creek Cider House (NC), Anthony Lopez of Casa de Oro Cider (CA), Brian Wing, James Kerr & Khris Johnson of Green Bench Brewing (FL), Cam Workman of Schilling Cider (WA), Casey Simpson of Artifact Cider Project (MA), Danny Dispo of Hydraulic Hearth (NY), David Lugo of the Clyde Theatre (IN), Deirdre Birmingham of The Cider Farm (WI), Geoff Happel (NC), Ian Niblock (VA), Karl Hartdegen (NC) & Max Finnance (CT) of Bold Rock Hard Cider, Janelle Balsillie of Carolinia Cider Company and Heeman’s Cidery and Meadery (ON), Joseph Nosse of Frontier Ciderworks (OH), Sarah Pozgay of Twin Cities Somms (MN), Walker Smith of Goldeneye Cider (WA), cidermaker Eric Gasser (CA), and cider enthusiast Brandon Buza (CA). You can learn more about our Certified Pommeliers™ on the ACA website.
Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements that are often less understood by food and beverage professionals. Certifications are increasingly used in the professional realm to set oneself apart as an individual with specialized knowledge, though cider is often covered in a cursory manner by most certification programs, if at all. This led the American Cider Association to establish its Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program to educate those on the front-line of cider sales. Today it is the world’s most comprehensive and in-depth cider certification program for beverage professionals.
The Certified Cider Professional program began with a Level 1 certification to help those in the industry develop a fundamental understanding of cider. The Certified Pommelier™ certification was developed to move beyond a fundamental understanding and to encourage cider professionals to think critically while demonstrating a higher understanding of the elements of cider. The rigorous test consists of five types of questions: short answer, fill in the blank, matching, essay and blind sensory (based on tasting). Test questions fall into seven categories: Apples, the Orchard & History, Cidermaking, Evaluation, Families & Flavor, Keeping & Serving, Food & Cider and Social Responsibility.
“To see twenty people pass the Certified Pommelier™ exam in one sitting is remarkable for many reasons,” says Michelle McGrath, CEO of the ACA. “People are valuing the Certified Pommelier™ designation and putting in the hard work of preparing for the exam. It’s exciting to watch ACA’s cider appreciation program grow and succeed.”
While the Certified Pommelier™ exam is designed to be challenging, the ACA is dedicated to making sure all the information tested on is accessible to those desiring to learn. To that end, the ACA recently announced the release of their new textbook to help candidates prepare to take the exam. Those interested in preparing for the exam can purchase the new textbook through Kindle Direct Publishing. In addition, sensory analysis practice webinars and a Facebook study group are continually being updated with resources for candidates studying for the exam. Links to all CCP resources can be found on the ACA’s website.
“We have seen a huge advantage for candidates that utilize the study aides we make available,” states Jennie Dorsey, ACA’s Cider Education Outreach Manager. “We’ve also witnessed new professional connections form through ACA prep-webinars and informal study groups. It’s exciting to see networking as one of the CCP program’s many positive impacts on the cider community.”
The ACA asks that you contact Cider Education Outreach Manager Jennie Dorsey if you have questions about the program or are interested in taking either the Level 1 Certified Cider Professional test or the Certified Pommelier™ exam.
The next Certified Pommelier™ exam will be scheduled for the Bay Area of California in September, and more tests dates will be announced shortly. You can also learn more at https://ciderassociation.org/certification.
The American Cider Association is very pleased to announce the release of its new textbook for candidates preparing for the exam to become a Certified Pommelier™. Certified Pommelier™ is the second level of the ACA’s Certified Cider Professional program, the world’s most comprehensive and in-depth cider education program for beverage professionals.
“Cider is a broad and complex category,” commented ACA chief executive officer Michelle McGrath. “Our program is designed to give professionals in the beverage and hospitality industries a thorough knowledge of cider, the how and why as well as the what, empowering them to not only improve their ability to help advise customers but to create and grow whole cider programs. It is really the equivalent of any of the other well known and respected professional certification programs such as Cicerone® or the Court of Master Sommeliers. It is clear how much having those credentials can enhance someone’s career prospects, and we’re seeing that with the CCP program, too.”
The Certified Pommelier™ exam has two separate parts, one examining theory and the other a candidate’s ability to taste and accurately describe a cider. Study materials geared toward the theory portion of the exam have previously been made available through the ACA’s website, but these materials are now considered obsolete. Those interested in preparing for the exam can purchase the new textbook on Amazon.com.
You can learn more about our Certified Cider Professional Program on our website.
Thinking about studying for the exam? Join our Certified Pommelier™ Facebook group.
For more information, contact Michelle McGrath at firstname.lastname@example.org