July 23: Certified Pommelier Exam at Lost Giants Cider

Take the Certified Pommelier Exam at Lost Giants Cider in Bellingham, Washington on July 23!

Ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? If you have already passed the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide exam and are looking for that next challenge? Now is your chance! 

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier™ Exam will be held at Lost Giants Cider in Bellingham, WA. The exam big promptly at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, July 23, 2024.

*Level 1 Certified Cider Guide certification is a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pommelier Exam. (Haven’t taken your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Exam? Buy the bundle here! ACA Member discounts are available.)

There’s also a discount code available for ACA members for the Certified Pommelier Exam. You can find that code in our Resource Hub.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM? 

The American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful 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 hospitality (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!) while also welcoming journalists and serious cider enthusiasts. 

The exam for the  introductory level certification, Certified Cider Guide (CCG), is an online test that can be taken at any time. The exam for the more advanced second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, is only available in person. The exam consists of two parts, a written theory exam comprising short answer and essay questions and a blind sensory evaluation of a number of ciders. Passing the introductory level exam is a mandatory prerequisite to sitting for the Level 2 Certified Pommelier exam. 

Certified Pommeliers must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered at the introductory level, but must also be able to think critically and demonstrate a deeper understanding of cider and the cider industry.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

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

The exam is meant to be challenging. The only  information necessary for successfully passing the theory section of the exam is contained in the Certified Pommelier Study Guide available on Amazon. To study for the evaluation section of the exam, candidates should consider attending one of the sensory analysis videos available through the ACA’s website or attend one of the regularly scheduled webinars.  Access to pre-recorded webinars and registration for upcoming live webinars is available directly through our website.

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage that is less well understood by most consumers. Having the knowledge and skills required to become a Certified Pommelier will equip you to better serve customers, enhance your standing in the beverage community, and give you a unique and valuable professional qualification. Being recognized as a Certified Pommelier will put you in the vanguard of advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

The registration fee for the exam is $350. Current members of the ACA can register at a discounted price of $250 by using the discount code in our Resource Hub. If a candidate sits for the exam but does not pass either section, or only passes one of the two sections, theory or sensory evaluation, they can resit for the section of the exam that they did not pass at a future date. The fee for retaking the exam is $175 for non-members and $125 for current members of the ACA.

Read Terms & Conditions before registering.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE EXAM?

  • The Certified Pommelier Study Guide is available directly through Amazon. It is also available at all of Amazon’s international sites.This is the official study guide for the second level of the American Cider Association’s professional certification program. It contains all of the information needed to study for and pass the examination. No other reference materials are required.
  • There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in-depth peer conversations that many candidates have found useful. 
  • Sensory evaluation is an important part of being a Certified Pommelier which is why we test your ability to accurately analyze the structural components, aromas, and flavors of a variety of ciders. In order to aid in the development of your sensory evaluation skills and understand the approach to testing them,  we have several pre-recorded videos available for purchase. In addition, we host several live sensory analysis webinars each year. You can access the videos and look for scheduled webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download the Frequently Asked Questions document.)

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to sit for the event? YES. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you sit for the exam, and when checking in at the exam you must provide a photo ID that will both verify your age and identity .
  • Do I need to pass the Certified Cider Guide exam to take the Certified Pommelier exam? Yes.  Passing the introductory exam to become a Certified Cider Guide is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken this exam, you can purchase a package which includes an instructional video, study guide, and access to an online exam HERE.
  • How many Certified Pommeliers are there currently? You can find the current number of Certified Pommelers here.
  • Is the Certified Pommelier Exam available in my area? Certified Pommelier exams are held periodically throughout the year and in a variety of locations. Please check our current exam schedule to find an exam suitable for you. 
  • What can I bring into the event? You may bring only a water bottle into the exam space. Cell phones, smart watches, computers,  books or papers, and any and all other personal items must be left at a designated storage area in the exam room. Pencils will be provided, and spare paper will be available on request. Spit cups, and water will be provided during the evaluation exam. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle for the theory exam. Please contact the Cider Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org prior to registering for the exam if you wish to request special accommodations.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Cider Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • When can I register for the exam?  Exam registration is open until 14 days before the posted exam date. 
  • What happens if I cannot attend my registered exam? Please see Exam Rescheduling, Timelines and Fees in the Terms and Conditions Document for full details.  If you do need to cancel your registration, exam registration fees can be refunded up to 14 days before the exam. Please note that a $25 administration fee applies to any cancellation.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Registrations are not transferable, so the name on the I.D. presented when checking in for the exam must match the name on the registration.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory section of the exam and 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the sensory evaluation section.  There is a 15 minute break in between sections.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate six ciders in two flights, one flight that assesses your ability to distinguish between key structural elements and a second where you are asked to complete a full evaluation of three ciders using the Structured Sensory Analysis format. The possible aromas and flavors document will be supplied for use during the exam.
  • What is the grade needed for passing? 60% of the possible points for sensory evaluation and 70% for theory
  • When will we receive our graded exams? Exams are not returned to candidates, however you will be notified as to whether or not you have passed about 6 weeks from the exam date. If you did not pass a section of the exam, you may request a breakdown of your points by general topic to help you identify areas in which you could improve your score should you wish to retake the exam.

August 20: Certified Pommelier Exam at Minneapolis Cider Company

Take the Certified Pommelier Exam at Minneapolis Cider Company on August 20, 2024!

Ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? If you have already passed the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide exam and are looking for that next challenge? Now is your chance! 

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier Exam will be held at Minneapolis Cider Company, 701 SE 9th St., Minneapolis, MN 55414.

The exam will begin promptly at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, August 20, 2024.

*Level 1 Certified Cider Guide certification is a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pommelier Exam. (Haven’t taken your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Exam? Buy the bundle here! ACA Member discounts are available.)

There’s also a discount code available for ACA members for the Certified Pommelier Exam. You can find that code in our Resource Hub.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM? 

The American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful 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 hospitality (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!) while also welcoming journalists and serious cider enthusiasts. 

The exam for the  introductory level certification, Certified Cider Guide (CCG), is an online test that can be taken at any time. The exam for the more advanced second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, is only available in person. The exam consists of two parts, a written theory exam comprising short answer and essay questions and a blind sensory evaluation of a number of ciders. Passing the introductory level exam is a mandatory prerequisite to sitting for the Level 2 Certified Pommelier exam. 

Certified Pommeliers must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered at the introductory level, but must also be able to think critically and demonstrate a deeper understanding of cider and the cider industry.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

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

The exam is meant to be challenging. The only  information necessary for successfully passing the theory section of the exam is contained in the Certified Pommelier Study Guide available on Amazon. To study for the evaluation section of the exam, candidates should consider attending one of the sensory analysis videos available through the ACA’s website or attend one of the regularly scheduled webinars.  Access to pre-recorded webinars and registration for upcoming live webinars is available directly through our website.

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage that is less well understood by most consumers. Having the knowledge and skills required to become a Certified Pommelier will equip you to better serve customers, enhance your standing in the beverage community, and give you a unique and valuable professional qualification. Being recognized as a Certified Pommelier will put you in the vanguard of advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

The registration fee for the exam is $350. Current members of the ACA can register at a discounted price of $250 by using the discount code in our Resource Hub. If a candidate sits for the exam but does not pass either section, or only passes one of the two sections, theory or sensory evaluation, they can resit for the section of the exam that they did not pass at a future date. The fee for retaking the exam is $175 for non-members and $125 for current members of the ACA.

Read Terms & Conditions before registering.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE EXAM?

  • The Certified Pommelier Study Guide is available directly through Amazon. It is also available at all of Amazon’s international sites.This is the official study guide for the second level of the American Cider Association’s professional certification program. It contains all of the information needed to study for and pass the examination. No other reference materials are required.
  • There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in-depth peer conversations that many candidates have found useful. 
  • Sensory evaluation is an important part of being a Certified Pommelier which is why we test your ability to accurately analyze the structural components, aromas, and flavors of a variety of ciders. In order to aid in the development of your sensory evaluation skills and understand the approach to testing them,  we have several pre-recorded videos available for purchase. In addition, we host several live sensory analysis webinars each year. You can access the videos and look for scheduled webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download the Frequently Asked Questions document.)

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to sit for the event? YES. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you sit for the exam, and when checking in at the exam you must provide a photo ID that will both verify your age and identity .
  • Do I need to pass the Certified Cider Guide exam to take the Certified Pommelier exam? Yes.  Passing the introductory exam to become a Certified Cider Guide is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken this exam, you can purchase a package which includes an instructional video, study guide, and access to an online exam HERE.
  • How many Certified Pommeliers are there currently? You can find the current number of Certified Pommelers here.
  • Is the Certified Pommelier Exam available in my area? Certified Pommelier exams are held periodically throughout the year and in a variety of locations. Please check our current exam schedule to find an exam suitable for you. 
  • What can I bring into the event? You may bring only a water bottle into the exam space. Cell phones, smart watches, computers,  books or papers, and any and all other personal items must be left at a designated storage area in the exam room. Pencils will be provided, and spare paper will be available on request. Spit cups, and water will be provided during the evaluation exam. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle for the theory exam. Please contact the Cider Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org prior to registering for the exam if you wish to request special accommodations.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Cider Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • When can I register for the exam?  Exam registration is open until 14 days before the posted exam date. 
  • What happens if I cannot attend my registered exam? Please see Exam Rescheduling, Timelines and Fees in the Terms and Conditions Document for full details.  If you do need to cancel your registration, exam registration fees can be refunded up to 14 days before the exam. Please note that a $25 administration fee applies to any cancellation.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Registrations are not transferable, so the name on the I.D. presented when checking in for the exam must match the name on the registration.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory section of the exam and 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the sensory evaluation section.  There is a 15 minute break in between sections.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate six ciders in two flights, one flight that assesses your ability to distinguish between key structural elements and a second where you are asked to complete a full evaluation of three ciders using the Structured Sensory Analysis format. The possible aromas and flavors document will be supplied for use during the exam.
  • What is the grade needed for passing? 60% of the possible points for sensory evaluation and 70% for theory
  • When will we receive our graded exams? Exams are not returned to candidates, however you will be notified as to whether or not you have passed about 6 weeks from the exam date. If you did not pass a section of the exam, you may request a breakdown of your points by general topic to help you identify areas in which you could improve your score should you wish to retake the exam.

October 8: Certified Pommelier Exam at Texas Keeper Cider

Take the Certified Pommelier Exam at Texas Keeper Cider on October 8!

Ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? If you have already passed the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide exam and are looking for that next challenge? Now is your chance! 

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier Exam will be held at Texas Keeper Cider, 12521 Twin Creek Rd., Manchaca, TX 78652

The exam will begin promptly at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, October 8.

*Level 1 Certified Cider Guide certification is a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pommelier Exam. (Haven’t taken your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Exam? Buy the bundle here! ACA Member discounts are available.)

There’s also a discount code available for ACA members for the Certified Pommelier Exam. You can find that code in our Resource Hub.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM? 

The American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful 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 hospitality (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!) while also welcoming journalists and serious cider enthusiasts. 

The exam for the  introductory level certification, Certified Cider Guide (CCG), is an online test that can be taken at any time. The exam for the more advanced second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, is only available in person. The exam consists of two parts, a written theory exam comprising short answer and essay questions and a blind sensory evaluation of a number of ciders. Passing the introductory level exam is a mandatory prerequisite to sitting for the Level 2 Certified Pommelier exam. 

Certified Pommeliers must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered at the introductory level, but must also be able to think critically and demonstrate a deeper understanding of cider and the cider industry.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

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

The exam is meant to be challenging. The only  information necessary for successfully passing the theory section of the exam is contained in the Certified Pommelier Study Guide available on Amazon. To study for the evaluation section of the exam, candidates should consider attending one of the sensory analysis videos available through the ACA’s website or attend one of the regularly scheduled webinars.  Access to pre-recorded webinars and registration for upcoming live webinars is available directly through our website.

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage that is less well understood by most consumers. Having the knowledge and skills required to become a Certified Pommelier will equip you to better serve customers, enhance your standing in the beverage community, and give you a unique and valuable professional qualification. Being recognized as a Certified Pommelier will put you in the vanguard of advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

The registration fee for the exam is $350. Current members of the ACA can register at a discounted price of $250 by using the discount code in our Resource Hub. If a candidate sits for the exam but does not pass either section, or only passes one of the two sections, theory or sensory evaluation, they can resit for the section of the exam that they did not pass at a future date. The fee for retaking the exam is $175 for non-members and $125 for current members of the ACA.

Read Terms & Conditions before registering.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE EXAM?

  • The Certified Pommelier Study Guide is available directly through Amazon. It is also available at all of Amazon’s international sites.This is the official study guide for the second level of the American Cider Association’s professional certification program. It contains all of the information needed to study for and pass the examination. No other reference materials are required.
  • There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in-depth peer conversations that many candidates have found useful. 
  • Sensory evaluation is an important part of being a Certified Pommelier which is why we test your ability to accurately analyze the structural components, aromas, and flavors of a variety of ciders. In order to aid in the development of your sensory evaluation skills and understand the approach to testing them,  we have several pre-recorded videos available for purchase. In addition, we host several live sensory analysis webinars each year. You can access the videos and look for scheduled webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download the Frequently Asked Questions document.)

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to sit for the event? YES. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you sit for the exam, and when checking in at the exam you must provide a photo ID that will both verify your age and identity .
  • Do I need to pass the Certified Cider Guide exam to take the Certified Pommelier exam? Yes.  Passing the introductory exam to become a Certified Cider Guide is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken this exam, you can purchase a package which includes an instructional video, study guide, and access to an online exam HERE.
  • How many Certified Pommeliers are there currently? You can find the current number of Certified Pommelers here.
  • Is the Certified Pommelier Exam available in my area? Certified Pommelier exams are held periodically throughout the year and in a variety of locations. Please check our current exam schedule to find an exam suitable for you. 
  • What can I bring into the event? You may bring only a water bottle into the exam space. Cell phones, smart watches, computers,  books or papers, and any and all other personal items must be left at a designated storage area in the exam room. Pencils will be provided, and spare paper will be available on request. Spit cups, and water will be provided during the evaluation exam. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle for the theory exam. Please contact the Cider Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org prior to registering for the exam if you wish to request special accommodations.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Cider Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • When can I register for the exam?  Exam registration is open until 14 days before the posted exam date. 
  • What happens if I cannot attend my registered exam? Please see Exam Rescheduling, Timelines and Fees in the Terms and Conditions Document for full details.  If you do need to cancel your registration, exam registration fees can be refunded up to 14 days before the exam. Please note that a $25 administration fee applies to any cancellation.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Registrations are not transferable, so the name on the I.D. presented when checking in for the exam must match the name on the registration.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory section of the exam and 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the sensory evaluation section.  There is a 15 minute break in between sections.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate six ciders in two flights, one flight that assesses your ability to distinguish between key structural elements and a second where you are asked to complete a full evaluation of three ciders using the Structured Sensory Analysis format. The possible aromas and flavors document will be supplied for use during the exam.
  • What is the grade needed for passing? 60% of the possible points for sensory evaluation and 70% for theory
  • When will we receive our graded exams? Exams are not returned to candidates, however you will be notified as to whether or not you have passed about 6 weeks from the exam date. If you did not pass a section of the exam, you may request a breakdown of your points by general topic to help you identify areas in which you could improve your score should you wish to retake the exam.

February 5: Certified Pommelier Exam at CiderCon® 2025

Take the Certified Pommelier Exam at CiderCon® 2025 in Chicago, Illinois on February 5!

Ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? If you have already passed the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide exam and are looking for that next challenge? Now is your chance! 

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier Exam will be held at CiderCon® 2025 at the Chicago Hilton, 720 Michigan Ave.

The exam will begin promptly at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, February 5.

*Level 1 Certified Cider Guide certification is a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pommelier Exam. (Haven’t taken your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Exam? Buy the bundle here! ACA Member discounts are available.)

There’s also a discount code available for ACA members for the Certified Pommelier Exam. You can find that code in our Resource Hub.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM? 

The American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful 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 hospitality (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!) while also welcoming journalists and serious cider enthusiasts. 

The exam for the  introductory level certification, Certified Cider Guide (CCG), is an online test that can be taken at any time. The exam for the more advanced second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, is only available in person. The exam consists of two parts, a written theory exam comprising short answer and essay questions and a blind sensory evaluation of a number of ciders. Passing the introductory level exam is a mandatory prerequisite to sitting for the Level 2 Certified Pommelier exam. 

Certified Pommeliers must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered at the introductory level, but must also be able to think critically and demonstrate a deeper understanding of cider and the cider industry.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

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

The exam is meant to be challenging. The only  information necessary for successfully passing the theory section of the exam is contained in the Certified Pommelier Study Guide available on Amazon. To study for the evaluation section of the exam, candidates should consider attending one of the sensory analysis videos available through the ACA’s website or attend one of the regularly scheduled webinars.  Access to pre-recorded webinars and registration for upcoming live webinars is available directly through our website.

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage that is less well understood by most consumers. Having the knowledge and skills required to become a Certified Pommelier will equip you to better serve customers, enhance your standing in the beverage community, and give you a unique and valuable professional qualification. Being recognized as a Certified Pommelier will put you in the vanguard of advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

The registration fee for the exam is $350. Current members of the ACA can register at a discounted price of $250 by using the discount code in our Resource Hub. If a candidate sits for the exam but does not pass either section, or only passes one of the two sections, theory or sensory evaluation, they can resit for the section of the exam that they did not pass at a future date. The fee for retaking the exam is $175 for non-members and $125 for current members of the ACA.

Read Terms & Conditions before registering.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE EXAM?

  • The Certified Pommelier Study Guide is available directly through Amazon. It is also available at all of Amazon’s international sites.This is the official study guide for the second level of the American Cider Association’s professional certification program. It contains all of the information needed to study for and pass the examination. No other reference materials are required.
  • There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in-depth peer conversations that many candidates have found useful. 
  • Sensory evaluation is an important part of being a Certified Pommelier which is why we test your ability to accurately analyze the structural components, aromas, and flavors of a variety of ciders. In order to aid in the development of your sensory evaluation skills and understand the approach to testing them,  we have several pre-recorded videos available for purchase. In addition, we host several live sensory analysis webinars each year. You can access the videos and look for scheduled webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download the Frequently Asked Questions document.)

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to sit for the event? YES. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you sit for the exam, and when checking in at the exam you must provide a photo ID that will both verify your age and identity .
  • Do I need to pass the Certified Cider Guide exam to take the Certified Pommelier exam? Yes.  Passing the introductory exam to become a Certified Cider Guide is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken this exam, you can purchase a package which includes an instructional video, study guide, and access to an online exam HERE.
  • How many Certified Pommeliers are there currently? You can find the current number of Certified Pommelers here.
  • Is the Certified Pommelier Exam available in my area? Certified Pommelier exams are held periodically throughout the year and in a variety of locations. Please check our current exam schedule to find an exam suitable for you. 
  • What can I bring into the event? You may bring only a water bottle into the exam space. Cell phones, smart watches, computers,  books or papers, and any and all other personal items must be left at a designated storage area in the exam room. Pencils will be provided, and spare paper will be available on request. Spit cups, and water will be provided during the evaluation exam. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle for the theory exam. Please contact the Cider Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org prior to registering for the exam if you wish to request special accommodations.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Cider Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • When can I register for the exam?  Exam registration is open until 14 days before the posted exam date. 
  • What happens if I cannot attend my registered exam? Please see Exam Rescheduling, Timelines and Fees in the Terms and Conditions Document for full details.  If you do need to cancel your registration, exam registration fees can be refunded up to 14 days before the exam. Please note that a $25 administration fee applies to any cancellation.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Registrations are not transferable, so the name on the I.D. presented when checking in for the exam must match the name on the registration.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory section of the exam and 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the sensory evaluation section.  There is a 15 minute break in between sections.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate six ciders in two flights, one flight that assesses your ability to distinguish between key structural elements and a second where you are asked to complete a full evaluation of three ciders using the Structured Sensory Analysis format. The possible aromas and flavors document will be supplied for use during the exam.
  • What is the grade needed for passing? 60% of the possible points for sensory evaluation and 70% for theory
  • When will we receive our graded exams? Exams are not returned to candidates, however you will be notified as to whether or not you have passed about 6 weeks from the exam date. If you did not pass a section of the exam, you may request a breakdown of your points by general topic to help you identify areas in which you could improve your score should you wish to retake the exam.

Press Release: ACA Reaches 100 Certified Pommeliers Following New York Exam

The American Cider Association is thrilled to announce that 100 individuals have now attained the prestigious Certified Pommelier designation following the exam held at ACA member cidery Wölffer Estate in Sagaponack, New York on April 18. This benchmark is meaningful for the Certified Pommelier program because the exam is rigorous with robust theory and sensory evaluation sections . The new Certified Pommeliers are Hannah Keggins, Cidermaker at Westwind Orchard, Alicia Pelkey, Cidermaker at Red Apple Farm, and Charlee Oddo, Cider Expert at Ancona’s Wines & Liquor.

Hannah Keggins

Alicia Pelkey

Charlee Oddo

“We are beyond excited to celebrate that we now have 100 Certified Pommeliers. To see the dedication of so many in the beverage community equip themselves with advanced skills to guide consumers through the wide variety of ciders available is truly inspiring,” comments ACA CEO Michelle McGrath.

Early on, the American Cider Association recognized the need to promote specialized knowledge about the cider category. Most food and beverage 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 not known by culinary and hospitality professionals, the establishment of the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program in 2016 was a strategic maneuver to educate professional audiences.

Today, the CCP program is educating 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 worldwide.

“We know that consumers respond to engaged servers, and that confident recommendations go a long way in influencing their purchase decision. Our theory of change is that cider enthusiasm is contagious–CCP is how we keep the flame growing,” adds McGrath. 

Certified Cider Professional Program Benchmarks as of May 21, 2024:

  • Number of Level 1 Certified Cider Guides: 2,602 
  • Number of States with Certified Cider Guides: 49 including DC
  • Number of Countries with Certified Cider Guides: 20
  • Number of Level 2 Certified Pommeliers: 100
  • Certified Pommeliers Around the World: United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, New Zealand and the UK

More about the Certified Cider Professional Program and Upcoming Opportunities

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 second edition of the textbook was released in March of 2024 to present a more global view of the cider industry as well as including new sections covering important emerging sectors such as low and no-alcohol products.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 website.

For those interested in attaining their Certified Pommelier designation, there are several upcoming exams to choose from:

In addition, there is a live sensory analysis webinar scheduled for June 27 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM Pacific featuring Brooklyn Cider House. Those interested in attending can find all the details on the ACA website. Taking advantage of sensory analysis webinars is highly encouraged for those interested in taking the Certified Pommelier exam. 

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 Certified Cider Guide or Level 2 Certified Pommelier exams. You can also learn more at https://ciderassociation.org/certification

###

June 27: Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Brooklyn Cider House

You’re invited to a Live Sensory Analysis webinar on Thursday, June 27th, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Pacific!

Join our Certified Pommelier panel as they guide you through an immersive sensory experience featuring cider from Brooklyn Cider House in New York.

During this live practice session, you’ll learn how to analyze and appreciate cider like a pro and prep for your Certified Pommelier exam.

Not able to make it to the live event? No worries! The webinar will be recorded and available for you rewatch at any time with your initial purchase.

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. Ciders can be purchased from Brooklyn Cider House by clicking here. Use code “CP2024” at checkout to receive $2 off the bundle price.

Cost for the webinar is $30 for non-members and $20 for ACA members. Are you an ACA member? You can find your discount code in the Resource Hub.

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.

ACA Releases 2nd Edition of Certified Pommelier Study Guide

The ACA is thrilled to introduce the second edition of its Certified Pommelier Study Guide, designed specifically for students preparing for level two of the CCP program. With the CCP program expanding globally, the Certified Pommelier Study Guide has undergone a significant update to offer a more comprehensive overview of the cider industry from an international perspective. This new edition now includes sections on emerging sectors like low and no-alcohol products, catering to the evolving landscape of the industry. The new edition is also available digitally for the first time, providing students with more ways to access the guide.

New material in the second edition will be the source for questions on the exam beginning in 2025, so candidates who have already purchased the first edition will have all the material that they need for any exam being held in 2024.

Additionally, the ACA has revamped its product categorization system, known as the Cider Families, to better align with global marketing practices, providing students with a more accurate portrayal of the market. The revised Cider Families guide offers a fresh take on product categorization, reflecting the dynamic nature of the cider market on a worldwide scale.

For those interested, the updated Cider Families guide can be accessed on the ACA website, while the second edition of the Certified Pommelier Study Guide is now available for purchase on Amazon in both print and digital formats. Information from second edition will not appear on Certified Pommelier exams until 2025 to allow people the opportunity to purchase and review the new study guide.

For aspiring Certified Pommeliers and cider enthusiasts alike, the release of the second edition of the Certified Pommelier Study Guide marks a significant milestone in the CCP program. By incorporating a more global perspective and addressing key trends in the industry such as the rise of low and no-alcohol products, the ACA continues to demonstrate its commitment to providing relevant and up-to-date resources for industry professionals.

ACA Welcomes Sixteen New Certified Pommeliers Following CiderCon® 2024

PRESS RELEASE

American Cider Association

Contact: Michelle McGrath

Email: michelle@ciderassociation.org

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that sixteen individuals successfully passed the Certified Pommelier examination held at CiderCon® 2024 in Portland, Oregon in January. The new Certified Pommeliers from the United States are Andrew Byers of Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Jason Cassidy of The Cider Farm, Daniel James of Pioneer Beverage, Jakob Jordan & Leah Pagett of  Bold Rock Hard Cider, Molly Leadbetter of Meriwether Cider, Hard Cider Guy Adrian Luna, Valerie Scott of Duluth Cider, Pete Serventi of Serventi Ranch, Clayton Slaughter of Slaughter Orchard & Cidery, Ashley Wilson of Schilling Cider and Olivia Yi of Brooklyn Cider House.  New international Certified Pommeliers are The Ciderologist Gabe Cook of the UK, John Powell of Cider Apples New Zealand Ltd, Lee Reeve of  inCider Japan, and freelancer Monika Sut of Italy.

The rigorous exam tested candidates on their understanding of cider production, history, and sensory evaluation. As a result, those newly certified 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. The ACA congratulates all of the newest Certified Pommeliers on displaying their specialized cider knowledge and evaluation skills!

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. Most recently, due to increased inquiries and interest the CCP program has expanded to an international audience. For more information, the ACA press release outlines the international expansion.

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.

A live sensory analysis webiner is scheduled for March 28, 2024 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM Pacific featuring Meriwether Cider. Those interested in attending can find all the details on the ACA website. Additional sensory analysis webinars will be released at a later date once cider availability for unique offerings has been confirmed. The ACA is also currently looking for additional cideries interested in having their ciders featured in a webinar. Interested cideries can reach out to Education Operation Manager Jennie Dorsey.

2024 Certified Pommelier exams will be held at the following locations:

  • April 18: Wolffer Estate Vineyard
  • April 27 : Frankfurt, Germany: CiderWorld
  • July 23: Bellingham, WA
  • August 20: Minneapolis, MN
  • October 8: Austin, TX
  • February 5, 2025: CiderCon® 2025 Chicago

More details and registration for all exams will be announced as soon as they are finalized.

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 Certified Cider Guide or Level 2 Certified Pommelier exams. You can also learn more at https://ciderassociation.org/certification

###

Additional Information:

Bios for all Certified Pommeliers can be found on the ACA website.

April 18: Certified Pommelier Exam at Wolffer Estate

TAKE THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM AT WOLFFER ESTATE VINEYARDS ON APRIL 18!

Are you ready to take the next step in your professional development in the cider industry? 

If you have already passed the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide exam and are looking for that next challenge? Now is your chance! 

The American Cider Association is pleased to announce a Certified Pommelier™ Exam will be held at Wolffer Estate Vineyards in Sagaponack, New York. The exam will take place Thursday, April 18, 2024 at the Wolffer Estate Vineyards, 139 Sagg Rd, Sagaponack, NY 11962. The exam will begin promptly at 8:30 AM.

*Level 1 Certified Cider Guide certification is a prerequisite for taking the Certified Pommelier Exam. (Haven’t taken your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Exam? Buy the bundle here! ACA Member discounts are available.)

There’s a discount code available for ACA members who want to take the test. You can find that code in our Resource Hub.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER EXAM? 

The American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful 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 hospitality (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!) while also welcoming journalists and serious cider enthusiasts. 

The exam for the  introductory level certification, Certified Cider Guide (CCG), is an online test that can be taken at any time. The exam for the more advanced second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, is only available in person. The exam consists of two parts, a written theory exam comprising short answer and essay questions and a blind sensory evaluation of a number of ciders. Passing the introductory level exam is a mandatory prerequisite to sitting for the Level 2 Certified Pommelier exam. 

Certified Pommeliers must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered at the introductory level, but must also be able to think critically and demonstrate a deeper understanding of cider and the cider industry.

The topics covered in the exam are: 

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

The exam is meant to be challenging. The only  information necessary for successfully passing the theory section of the exam is contained in the Certified Pommelier Study Guide available on Amazon. To study for the evaluation section of the exam, candidates should consider attending one of the sensory analysis videos available through the ACA’s website or attend one of the regularly scheduled webinars.  Access to pre-recorded webinars and registration for upcoming live webinars is available directly through our website.

WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER? 

Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage that is less well understood by most consumers. Having the knowledge and skills required to become a Certified Pommelier will equip you to better serve customers, enhance your standing in the beverage community, and give you a unique and valuable professional qualification. Being recognized as a Certified Pommelier will put you in the vanguard of advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.

HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST? 

The registration fee for the exam is $350. Current members of the ACA can register at a discounted price of $250 by using the discount code in our Resource Hub. If a candidate sits for the exam but does not pass either section, or only passes one of the two sections, theory or sensory evaluation, they can resit for the section of the exam that they did not pass at a future date. The fee for retaking the exam is $175 for non-members and $125 for current members of the ACA.

Read Terms & Conditions before registering.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE TO STUDY FOR THE EXAM?

  • The Certified Pommelier Study Guide is available directly through Amazon. It is also available at all of Amazon’s international sites.This is the official study guide for the second level of the American Cider Association’s professional certification program. It contains all of the information needed to study for and pass the examination. No other reference materials are required.
  • There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in-depth peer conversations that many candidates have found useful. 
  • Sensory evaluation is an important part of being a Certified Pommelier which is why we test your ability to accurately analyze the structural components, aromas, and flavors of a variety of ciders. In order to aid in the development of your sensory evaluation skills and understand the approach to testing them,  we have several pre-recorded videos available for purchase. In addition, we host several live sensory analysis webinars each year. You can access the videos and look for scheduled webinars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (Download the Frequently Asked Questions document.)

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to sit for the event? YES. You must be of legal drinking age in the country where you sit for the exam, and when checking in at the exam you must provide a photo ID that will both verify your age and identity .
  • Do I need to pass the Certified Cider Guide exam to take the Certified Pommelier exam? Yes.  Passing the introductory exam to become a Certified Cider Guide is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken this exam, you can purchase a package which includes an instructional video, study guide, and access to an online exam HERE.
  • How many Certified Pommeliers are there currently? You can find the current number of Certified Pommelers here.
  • Is the Certified Pommelier Exam available in my area? Certified Pommelier exams are held periodically throughout the year and in a variety of locations. Please check our current exam schedule to find an exam suitable for you. 
  • What can I bring into the event? You may bring only a water bottle into the exam space. Cell phones, smart watches, computers,  books or papers, and any and all other personal items must be left at a designated storage area in the exam room. Pencils will be provided, and spare paper will be available on request. Spit cups, and water will be provided during the evaluation exam. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle for the theory exam. Please contact the Cider Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org prior to registering for the exam if you wish to request special accommodations.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact Cider Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org.
  • When can I register for the exam?  Exam registration is open until 14 days before the posted exam date. 
  • What happens if I cannot attend my registered exam? Please see Exam Rescheduling, Timelines and Fees in the Terms and Conditions Document for full details.  If you do need to cancel your registration, exam registration fees can be refunded up to 14 days before the exam. Please note that a $25 administration fee applies to any cancellation.
  • Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? Registrations are not transferable, so the name on the I.D. presented when checking in for the exam must match the name on the registration.
  • How long does the test take? You are given 2 hours to complete the theory section of the exam and 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the sensory evaluation section.  There is a 15 minute break in between sections.
  • Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate six ciders in two flights, one flight that assesses your ability to distinguish between key structural elements and a second where you are asked to complete a full evaluation of three ciders using the Structured Sensory Analysis format. The possible aromas and flavors document will be supplied for use during the exam.
  • What is the grade needed for passing? 60% of the possible points for sensory evaluation and 70% for theory
  • When will we receive our graded exams? Exams are not returned to candidates, however you will be notified as to whether or not you have passed about 6 weeks from the exam date. If you did not pass a section of the exam, you may request a breakdown of your points by general topic to help you identify areas in which you could improve your score should you wish to retake the exam.

March 28: Live Sensory Analysis Webinar with Meriwether Cider

You’re invited to a Live Sensory Analysis webinar on Thursday, March 28, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Pacific Time! Join our Certified Pommelier panel as they guide you through an immersive sensory experience featuring cider from Meriwether Cider in Idaho.

During this live practice session, you’ll learn how to analyze and appreciate cider like a pro and prep for your Certified Pommelier exam. Not able to make it to the live event? No worries! The webinar will be recorded and available for you to purchase and practice at your convenience.

We recommend ordering Meriwether Cider well in advance so you have it available to practice with during the webinar. You can purchase your Meriwether Cider for the webinar here.

Cost is $30 for non-members and $20 for ACA members. Are you an ACA member? Contact Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey for your discount code.