Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Two Broads Ciderworks

Join our Certified Pommelier™ panel in a live practice sensory webinar featuring cider from Two Broads Ciderworks on December 8 from 4-6pm Pacific. This will be your last chance to participate in a live sensory analysis webinar prior to the Certified Pommelier™ exam at CiderCon® 2023, so sign up now!

This webinar is also available to rewatch and practice as a prerecorded event.

Order cider to participate along with the webinar here. Please make sure the ciders can be shipped to your state before registering for this event.

Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Ploughman’s Cider

Looking to up your sensory analysis skills? Studying for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam at CiderCon® 2023? Join our Certified Pommelier™ panel in a live practice sensory webinar featuring cider from Ploughman’s Cider on November 17 from 4-6pm Pacific. Cost to attend the workshop is $15 for ACA members and $30 for non-members.

This webinar will also be available to rewatch and practice as a prerecorded event.

Ploughman’s has generously created a limited time Sensory Analysis Bundle for this webinar. You can purchase the cider bundle here.

ACA Celebrates 2000 Certified Cider Professionals

Cider can be a misunderstood beverage and with its increasing popularity in the United States the American Cider Association felt it was vital to create an education based program that would help those who work on the front line of cider sales speak in a knowledgeable manner about the ciders they’re selling, serving, and supporting. Thus, in 2016 the American Cider Association founded the Certified Cider Professional program (CCP) to educate those in retail and trade about cider. The success of the program is in the numbers. In just six years, 2000 people have become Certified Cider Professionals.

“We couldn’t be more delighted that 2000 have chosen to become Certified Cider Professionals,” says ACA Executive Director Michelle McGrath, “Reaching tastemakers and influencers is part of our broader strategy to increase cider sales and we look forward to watching the ranks of Certified Cider Professionals continue to grow.”

The ACA has continued to improve the CCP program since its inception and now offers a bundle package for those interested in becoming Certified Cider Professionals. The bundle includes a full study guide, an on-demand webinar, and access to the online 60 question exam. There are bulk discounts available for those wishing to get their staff certified and discounted pricing available to ACA members.

In addition, the ACA has developed a second tier Certified Pommelier™ designation. Certified Pommeliers™ must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered in CCP Level 1, but must also be able to think critically and use the basics to demonstrate a higher understanding of the elements of cider. In order to become a Certified Pommelier™ candidates must sit for an in person exam that consists of five types of questions: short answer, fill in the blank, matching, essay and blind sensory (based on tasting). So far, 38 people have passed the rigorous exam and you can get to know them on the Certified Pommelier™ page.

To learn more about the Certified Cider Professional program you can head to the Certification page of the ACA website. For more information about the program, bulk discounts, and member discounts contact Cider Education Outreach Manager Jennie Dorsey.

Next Certified Pommelier™ Exam Will Be At CiderCon® 2023

TAKE THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM AT CIDERCON® 2023!

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 at CiderCon® 2023 in Chicago, Illinois! The exam will take place February 1, 2023 starting at 8:30am at CiderCon® 2023. Read on to learn more about the Certified Pommelier™ Exam and how to prepare, what to expect, and how to register! (P.S. There’s a discount code available for ACA members who want to take the test. You can find that code HERE by logging in to your account.)

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM? 

American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful U.S. cider industry by providing valuable information, resources and services to our members and by advocating on their behalf. One way to fulfill this mission is through the Certified Cider Professional Program–a program aimed at educating the front-line of cider sales (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!).

The intro-level certification (CCP Level 1) is an online test that can be taken at any time. The more advanced level of certification–the Certified Pommelier™ exam–is a sit-down hand-written exam: part short answer, part essay questions, and part sensory and taste evaluation questions. *CCP Level 1 is a prerequisite for Certified Pommelier.

Certified Pommeliers™ must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered in CCP Level 1, but must also be able to think critically and use the basics to demonstrate a higher understanding of the elements of cider. The exam consists of five types of questions: short answer, fill in the blank, matching, essay and blind sensory (based on tasting).

The test is meant to be challenging. Studying is highly recommended.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

  • Apples, the Orchard & History
  • Cider Making
  • Flavor & Evaluation
  • Cider Families
  • Keeping & Serving
  • Food & Cider
  • Social Responsibility

*If a test-taker passes only the written or only the tasting portion of the exam, they are permitted the opportunity to retake the un-passed portion of the exam at a future date (within 18 months).

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER™?

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements that are often misunderstood 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. Although there are already more than 1,700 Level 1 Certified Cider Professionals, being recognized as a Certified Pommelier™ will put you in the vanguard of verified advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST?

For ACA members, the exam is $200 per attempt. There is a discount code that members can access to receive the exam at the membership rate of $200. That discount code can be found here. For non-members, the exam is $275.  Should it be needed, test takers can retake future written or tasting portions of the exam at a separate sitting with a 25% discount. Price now includes access to a pre-recorded introductory webinar to the updated sensory form and sample sensory forms from key cider regions. The webinar can be accessed at any point to prepare for your exam.

FAQs

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event? YES- You must be 21 or older and you must provide an ID to prove you are who you say you are.
  • Do I need to pass the level 1 CCP exam to take the Certified Pommelier™ test? Yes. Passing the Level 1 CCP exam is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken the Level 1 exam, you can purchase the Level 1 bundle on demand HERE.  The bundle includes an on-demand webinar, study guide, and access to the online exam.
  • What can I bring into the event? Nothing may be brought into the exam room. Cell phones must be left at the door. Pencils and drinking water will be provided.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact CCP contributor and proctor Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • What’s the refund policy? We will refund test takers up two weeks before the exam.
  • Is there a training workshop? This is not a workshop, but an exam only. Once you register for your exam, study materials including webinars and study guides will be emailed to you. There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in depth peer conversations. STUDY! We highly recommend interviewing cidermakers and cider tenders to help prepare. Blind tasting flights are also good prep. In addition, two new upcoming sensory webinars will be released in fall of 2022 and available for purchase.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? If you are transferring registration to another person, please email us in advance.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate ciders from multiple cider families.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory portion of the exam and 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the sensory portion.  There will be a 15 minute break in between exam portions.

Refund and Opt Out Policy

Refunds will be offered up to 2 weeks before the exam.

Any purchaser can opt out of the exam up to 72 hours prior to scheduled time.  If opt out is chosen, another exam date must be chosen within 18 months. No refunds will be given.

ACA To Hold August 18 Certified Pommelier™ Exam in New York

The American Cider Association (ACA) will be holding their third Certified Pommelier™ exam of 2022 in Walden, New York on August 18 at the Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House. Cider’s popularity has dramatically increased in the last several years, but that doesn’t mean the food and beverage community understands this exciting beverage category. That’s why the ACA created a way for food and alcohol industry professionals to, not only gain knowledge and expertise, but also to prove their cider knowledge through our Certified Cider Professional program (CCP).

“At the center of what we do at Angry Orchard is innovation, and education is at its core. We’re thrilled to host a Certified Pommelier™ Exam on the east coast and give more industry members the opportunity to advance their education,” says Will Loughlin, Certified Pommelier™ and Assistant Cidermaker at the Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House. “We see the Pommelier™ Certification as an excellent tool to highlight exceptional individuals, as well as the cider industry as a whole. We’re thrilled to see interest in the exam growing and gaining more standing alongside wine and beer programs.”

There are two levels of certification available in the CCP program. Level 1 CCP is designed for people who would benefit from a deeper but still introductory level of cider knowledge. The ACA has created a bundle that includes an on-demand  webinar, study guide, and two online test attempts. The more advanced Certified Pommelier™ test covers more in depth cider knowledge, including sensory evaluation. Successful completion of Level 1 CCP is required to sit for the in-person Certified Pommelier™ exam.

“We really want people to learn about cider and see what a nuanced and exciting beverage it is. That’s why we’ve created study guides, reading lists, webinars, and a Facebook group to help people study for the Certified Pommelier™ exam. It is rigorous, but we want to set people up to succeed,” states Jennie Dorsey, ACA Cider Education Outreach Manager.

If you are interested in learning more or sitting for the exam, you can head to the ACA’s Certification website or contact Jennie at jennie@ciderassociation.org

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ACA Welcomes 9 New Certified Pommeliers™

The American Cider Association is thrilled to announce that for the second time in 2022, nine people have passed the Certified Pommelier™ exam. The exam was held June 20 in Seattle, Washington at Seattle Cider Co. The new Certified Pommeliers™ are Sara Cravens of 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Nick Hill of Puget Sound Cider Co., Timothy Powers of Commonwealth Wine School, Dave Klawer of Alma Cider, Kate Pinsley and Suzannah Klaniecki of Schilling Cider, cider enthusiasts Storie &  Erik Madrid and cider influencer Alexsis Cassady (@ciderminded).

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements that are often misunderstood 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. 

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). 

“The Certified Pommelier™ exam is designed to be challenging, ” says Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the ACA. “However, accessibility remains important. We’re rolling out more and more study aids in 2022, with a book on the horizon.” 

The next Certified Pommelier™ exam is planned for August 18, 2022 in Walden, New York at the Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House and will be the last opportunity to take the test before CiderCon® 2023 in Chicago, Illinois in February 2023. You can learn more and register for the New York exam on the ACA website.

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. You can also learn more at https://ciderassociation.org/certification.

Why to Become a Certified Pommelier™

There are a plethora of reasons why we think folks should become Certified Pommeliers™ but don’t take our word for it. Hear from some of our Certified Pommeliers™ why they decided to take the Certified Pommelier™ exam and find out how you can sign up for our next exam in Walden, New York on August 18, 2022!



What will your reason be to take the Certified Pommelier™ exam?

Your next chance to take the Certified Pommelier™ exam is coming up on August 18, 2022 at the Angry Orchard Innovation Center in Walden, New York.

In depth study in required to pass the Certified Pommelier™ Exam. Study aides are available here and anyone interested in taking the exam should take advantage of these learning aides and also join the Certified Pommelier Study Group on Facebook here.

The cost for the exam is $200 for non-ACA members, and $125 for members. Members can find the coupon code to use during checkout here. You will be prompted to log in first.

For more information on the exam or if you have questions please contact our Cider Education Outreach Manager Jennie Dorsey.

ACA Announces New Certified Pommelier™ Exam

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce an additional opportunity in 2022 for folks wishing to take the Certified Pommelier® Exam. The exam will be held at the Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House in Walden, New York on August 18, 2022 starting at 8:30am.

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.

In depth study in required to pass the Certified Pommelier™ Exam. Study aides are available here and anyone interested in taking the exam should take advantage of these learning aides and also join the Certified Pommelier Study Group on Facebook here.

The cost for the exam is $200 for non-ACA members, and $125 for members. Members can find the coupon code to use during checkout here. You will be prompted to log in first.

For more information on the exam or if you have questions please contact our Cider Education Outreach Manager Jennie Dorsey.

ACA Announces June Dates for Virginia Cider Ed Road Show

The American Cider Association (ACA) is hitting the road to partner with Virginia cideries and chefs to teach food and beverage professionals about the diversity and versatility of Virginia hard ciders. Workshops will be held in Alexandria, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Hampton during the week of June 6-9, 2022. The events will be free, but sign up is required to participate in these introductory cider education sessions.

Each workshop will be tailored to the cidery and city where it’s taking place with a focus on exploring ciders made with Virginia grown apples, crafting trendy cider cocktails, and mastering delicious cider pairings. Jennie Dorsey, a Certified Pommelier™ and the Cider Education Outreach Manager for the ACA, will be leading the cider learning, tasting and pairing experiences.

The ACA hopes to draw a wide swathe of participants from the food and beverage industry, including bartenders, servers, kitchen staff, distributors, bottle shop owners, and anyone else interested in learning more about cider. 

“This is a great opportunity for Virginians to learn more about the cider being made here and help support the growth of the industry in Virginia and beyond,” says David Glaize, a Virginia apple grower and cidermaker who was recently elected to the ACA board of directors. 

The ACA is able to offer this opportunity through a grant from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Serves and the Virginia Wine Board.

“We see education as vital to the continued growth of the cider industry across the United States. We hope that these events will be something we can recreate in states across the country to help educate food and beverage professionals about cider,” comments ACA Executive Director Michelle McGrath. “But there is something very special about Virginia’s cider–the apples,” she added.

Learn more about the Virginia Cider Ed Road Show and sign up for one (or more) of the events at: https://ciderassociation.org/virginia-cider-ed-road-show/. If you have questions about the Road Show or other cider education opportunities please contact Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.

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Certified Pommelier™ Exam June 20, 2022 in Seattle

TAKE THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM JUNE 20, 2022 IN SEATTLE, WA

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 a new date for those interested in sitting for the Certified Pommelier™ Exam! The next Certified Pommelier™ Exam will take place June 20, 2022 from 7:30-11:30am at Seattle Cider Co. in Seattle, Washington. Read on to learn more about the Certified Pommelier™ Exam and how to prepare, what to expect, and how to register! (P.S. There’s a discount code available for ACA members who want to take the test. You can find that code HERE by logging in to your account.)

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM?

American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful U.S. cider industry by providing valuable information, resources and services to our members and by advocating on their behalf. One way to fulfill this mission is through the Certified Cider Professional Program–a program aimed at educating the front-line of cider sales (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!). 

The intro-level certification (CCP Level 1) is an online test that can be taken at any time. The more advanced level of certification–the Certified Pommelier™ exam–is a sit-down hand-written exam: part short answer, part essay questions, and part sensory and taste evaluation questions. *CCP Level 1 is a prerequisite for Certified Pommelier. 

Certified Pommeliers™ must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered in CCP Level 1, but must also be able to think critically and use the basics to demonstrate a higher understanding of the elements of cider. The exam consists of five types of questions: short answer, fill in the blank, matching, essay and blind sensory (based on tasting). 

The test is meant to be challenging. Studying is highly recommended. 

The topics covered in the exam are: 

  • Apples, the Orchard & History
  • Cider Making
  • Flavor & Evaluation
  • Cider Families
  • Keeping & Serving
  • Food & Cider
  • Social Responsibility

*If a test-taker passes only the written or only the tasting portion of the exam, they are permitted the opportunity to retake the un-passed portion of the exam at a future date (within 18 months).

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER™? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements that are often misunderstood 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. Although there are already more than 1,700 Level 1 Certified Cider Professionals, being recognized as a Certified Pommelier™ will put you in the vanguard of verified advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

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.  Should it be needed, test takers can retake future written or tasting portions of the exam at a separate sitting with a 25% discount.

FAQs

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event? YES- You must be 21 or older and you must provide an ID to prove you are who you say you are.
  • Do I need to pass the level 1 CCP exam to take the Certified Pommelier™ test? Yes. Passing the Level 1 CCP exam is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken the Level 1 exam, you can purchase the Level 1 bundle on demand HERE.  The bundle includes an on-demand webinar, study guide, and access to the online exam.
  • What can I bring into the event? Nothing may be brought into the exam room. Cell phones must be left at the door. Pencils and drinking water will be provided.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact CCP contributor and proctor Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • What’s the refund policy? We will refund test takers up two weeks before the exam.
  • Is there a training workshop? This is not a workshop, but an exam only. Once you register for your exam, study materials including webinars and study guides will be emailed to you. There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in depth peer conversations. STUDY! We highly recommend interviewing cidermakers and cider tenders to help prepare. Blind tasting flights are also good prep.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? If you are transferring registration to another person, please email us in advance.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate ciders from multiple cider families.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory portion of the exam and 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the sensory portion.  There will be a 15 minute break in between exam portions.

Refund and Opt Out Policy

Refunds will be offered up to 2 weeks before the exam. 

Any purchaser can opt out of the exam up to 72 hours prior to scheduled time.  If opt out is chosen, another exam date must be chosen within 18 months. No refunds will be given.