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.

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!

Questions?

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:

Take the Certified Pommelier Exam at CiderCon 2022!

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.

COVID PROTOCOL

Test takers must provide either proof of full vaccination against COVID or negative PCR test results received no earlier than Sunday, January 30. One these two things is required for entry, and there will be no refunds if you are unable to provide them. Test takers will be socially distanced and will wear masks unless actively evaluating a cider. Cider evaluations will take place in a separate room from the written theory portion of the exam. The full CiderCon Health & Safety Guidelines can be downloaded HERE.

WHERE WILL THE TEST TAKE PLACE

Marriott

500 E Broad St

Richmond, VA 23219

FAQs

  • What is the COVID-19 protocol during the Certified Pommelier™ test? Test takers must provide either proof of full vaccination against COVID or negative PCR test results received no earlier than Sunday, January 30. One these two things is required for entry, and there will be no refunds if you are unable to provide them. Test takers will be socially distanced and will wear masks unless actively evaluating a cider. Cider evaluations will take place in a separate room from the written theory portion of the exam. The full CiderCon COVID-19 protocol can be downloaded HERE.
  • 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 until January 26, 2022. Eventbrite doesn’t give us the option to issue refunds through the system so checks will be issued.
  • 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? It takes most students 2-3 hours to complete.
  • If I sign up for this exam, do I have to register to attend CiderCon? No. This exam is an independent event and does not have to be purchased in conjunction with CiderCon tickets.

Thanks to our CCP and Certified Pommelier™ sponsor:

CCP On Demand Now Available!

We are thrilled to announce that our introductory level Certified Cider Professional program is growing! CCP Level 1 training is now available online for the first time. Starting now, you can order the new Level 1 certification bundle. 

Pricing 

The Level 1 bundle is $99 for non-ACA members, $75 for members. The bundle includes:

  1. Detailed, updated study guide
  2. On-demand online training webinar (1.5 hours)
  3. Level 1 exam (2 attempts) 

Test & Test Prep

The training and exam cover cider-specific facts in these key areas: (1) Apples, the orchard & history (2) Cider making (3) Evaluation (4) Families & Flavor (5) Keeping & serving (6) Food & cider (7) Social Responsibility. The closed-book exam has 60 multiple choice questions. The training materials include an updated, detailed study guide and a 1.5 hour webinar. Careful review of the study guide and webinar should prepare you to pass the exam! 

Who Should Become a CCP? 

First and foremost, if you sell cider, this program is for you. If you write about alcohol or food, this program is for you. If you just really love drinking cider, this program is for you. Maybe you run a beer-focused bottle shop with a cider section and want to learn more about cider? Maybe you hope to prove to your community’s cider drinkers that your shop knows its fermented apples?  Maybe you are a sommelier or beverage director and want to be able to chat more about cider with customers?  Maybe you are a distributor that wants to better understand the diversity and range of the cider category? 

We target the front line of cider sales as our primary audience for CCP, but anybody is welcome to take the test. There is no pre-requisite for the Level 1 exam. 

Meet Our New Team Member

We are also excited to announce that Jennie Dorsey has joined ACA as our part time Cider Education Outreach Manager. If you have questions about CCP, please do connect with Jennie!

Sponsors 

Thank you to our 2021 CCP presenting sponsor, Petainer, and to our summer training sponsor, Arryved!

CCP Level 1 Test Prep Is Going On Demand!

SPONSORS: Thank you to our 2021 CCP presenting sponsor, Petainer, and to our summer training sponsor, Arryved!

We are thrilled to announce that our introductory level Certified Cider Professional program is growing! Starting June 1, we’re launching a new Level 1 certification bundle. 

Pricing 

The Level 1 bundle is $99 for non-ACA members, $75 for members. The bundle includes:

  1. Detailed, updated study guide
  2. On-demand online training webinar (1.5 hours)
  3. Level 1 exam (2 attempts) 

Presale

Between now and June 1st we are offering a 10% off pre-sale price. This special intro price is just $89 for ACA Non-Members and $68 for Members. 

Test & Test Prep

The training and exam cover cider-specific facts in these key areas: (1) Apples, the orchard & history (2) Cider making (3) Evaluation (4) Families & Flavor (5) Keeping & serving (6) Food & cider. The closed-book exam has 60 multiple choice questions. The training materials include an updated, detailed study guide and a 1.5 hour webinar. Careful review of the study guide and webinar should prepare you to pass the exam! 

Who Should Become a CCP? 

First and foremost, if you sell cider, this program is for you. If you write about alcohol or food, this program is for you. If you just really love drinking cider, this program is for you. Maybe you run a beer-focused bottle shop with a cider section and want to learn more about cider? Maybe you hope to prove to your community’s cider drinkers that your shop knows its fermented apples?  Maybe you are a sommelier or beverage director and want to be able to chat more about cider with customers?  Maybe you are a distributor that wants to better understand the diversity and range of the cider category? 

We target the front line of cider sales as our primary audience for CCP, but anybody is welcome to take the test. There is no pre-requisite for the Level 1 exam. 

Meet Our New Team Member

We are also excited to announce that Jennie Dorsey has joined ACA as our parttime Cider Education Outreach Manager. Tuesday was her first day, but if you have questions about CCP, please do connect with Jennie

Join the Education Committee

ACA is actively recruiting applicants interested in joining our volunteer committees, including our Education committee. This committee identifies target audiences for ACA’s cider education programs such as CCP, reviews & helps create ACA educational content, brainstorms strategic new educational programming, steers development of the third level of CCP. Applications are due May 26. Learn more about serving and how to apply here

Visit our website today to reserve your Level 1 CCP Presale bundle! 

Certified Pommelier Exam Prep Workshops Now Available!

We are bringing you two online Certified Pommelier™ cider evaluation workshops. The Certified Pommelier™ exam is a rigorous test of a beverage professional’s cider knowledge, including one’s ability to taste and evaluate an apple-driven cider. These workshops are an opportunity for students to practice using the formulated evaluation schema used in the tasting exam. The cost for each of these workshops is $35 for non-ACA members and $15 for members. The instructors will be teaching using a live evaluation of three featured ciders.

Certified Pommelier™ Guided Tasting – January 20, 2021 – $35 non-members, $15 members

The first workshop on January 20, 2021 will feature the Rare Apples Series: Variety 4-pack from Stormalong Cider. Registered students will be sent information on how to purchase those ciders. Cider purchases are entirely optional and are limited to states with amenable shipping laws. You can review the states that Stormalong can ship to here. The workshop will be led by Jenny Dorsey and Brian Rutzen. This workshop can be purchased here. *The deadline to purchase cider for this workshop on 1/20 has passed, but the workshop will be available on-demand and may be viewed at any time.

Certified Pommelier™ Feburary Guided Tasting – February 17, 2020 (Pending) – $35 non-members, $15 members

The second workshop will feature different ciders from three different producers (TBD). That workshop is tentatively scheduled for February 17, 2021. The workshop will be led by Darlene Hayes and Tim Godfrey. Purchase this workshop here.

Test Driving a Cider Lexicon

The American Cider Association introduced our first cider style guide in 2017.  Our ultimate target audience was consumers. How can we help consumers find a cider they like and come back to the category again and again, and how can we advance this goal by training beverage professionals, the folks that interface between the producer and consumers?

We stipulated from the start that the style guide was meant to be an evolving document that could grow with the industry. The release of the guide sparked critical conversations about the power of words, how consumers interact with cider, and how the guide could be improved to further facilitate those interactions. We made minor changes in the 2018 version, but after training hundreds of people through our Certified Cider Professionals program we came to the conclusion that the current vision of the guidelines was not as effective as we wanted it to be.

We are happy to share with you this latest evolution in language. It was developed based on industry feedback as well as our experience training Certified Cider Professionals. Our goal is to use this language to teach the beverage and hospitality industries about cider and to align on the language we use to describe a cider while maintaining the flexibility to celebrate regionality. We are soliciting your input on this updated approach. 

 Key changes include: 

  • Simpler product families focused on the ingredients paired with more objective terms for describing the thing that matters most to a consumer : How does it taste?
    • Does it taste dry or sweet?
    • Is it tart? Spicy? Sour? Floral?
    • Is it fruit-forward or tannic?
    • Is it light, medium, or full-bodied?
    • Does it taste like the adjunct? 
  • Focusing on the accepted scientific classifications of apples: sweet, sharp, bittersweet and bittersharp. 
  • The introduction of a lexicon with descriptive phrases and terms that tell the consumer more about how the cider was made and how it tastes, many that are already widely used within the beverages industries.

Please review the following lexicon framework from the view of a consumer. Is there something we’ve missed? Something we need to consider cutting?  We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us. You can contact us specifically about this project at lexicon@ciderassociation.org.