Press Release: Certified Cider Professional Program Expands to Asia

PRESS RELEASE

The American Cider Association (ACA) is pleased to announce the expansion of its Certified Cider Professional (CCP) education and certification program to Asia. Lee Reeve, founder of inCiderJapan and organizer of the prestigious Japan Cider Cup, has joined the ACA team as an educator for the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide in Japan, China, Korea, and elsewhere in Asia. The first in-person class for candidates studying for the Certified Cider Guide exam is scheduled for August 31, 2024 at Antenna America Kannai in Yokohama, Japan. Registration for the class will open in July.

Lee Reeve, Certified Pommelier and ACA Licensed Educator

“The American Cider Association’s Certified Cider Professional program is the world’s leading cider education program,” states Reeve. “It is an invaluable tool and certification that can benefit anyone with an interest in cider: from enthusiasts to those working in the food and beverage sector, and especially professionals within the cider and drinks industry.”

“Lee has been keen to bring the CCP program to Asia for some time,” says ACA CEO Michelle McGrath. “With his extensive knowledge of cider and the Asian cider market, and his many contacts in the region, we are very excited by what he will bring to the program.”

“As cider continues to grow and become increasingly relevant to the Asian region,” continues Reeve, “so will the thirst and desire for quality information and knowledge regarding all things cider. As such, making the CCP available in Asia is an exciting and welcome opportunity and win-win for everyone. As someone who has been promoting cider and cider education since 2017, and also a Certified Pommelier, I very much look forward to helping the ACA reach out and empower others through learning about this historic and future significant drink.”

While Asia is not commonly thought of as a cider region, Japan has a growing number of enthusiastic cidermakers as well as a robust and fruitful track record in the breeding of new apple cultivars, which are an important crop in several parts of the country, including Aomori and Nagano. In addition, China grows more apples than any country in the world, and while the market for cider there is relatively new, the possibilities are enormous.

The American Cider Association is a not-for-profit trade organization of cider and perry producers in the United States. The Certified Cider Professional program is helping the ACA reach its vision for the industry by increasing the understanding and appreciation of these historic beverages. 

For more information about CCP in Asia, contact Lee Reeve at lee@ciderassociation.org. For more information on the global CCP program, contact the ACA’s Education Operations Manager, Jennie Dorsey, at jennie@ciderassociation.org.

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Press Release: ACA Welcomes Six New European Certified Pommeliers

The American Cider Association is pleased to welcome six new European Certified Pommeliers after completion of the first certification exam offered outside of the United States. The new Certified Pommeliers are some of the key members of the European cider community, and their embrace of the Certified Cider Professional program is another step forward in the realization of the ACA’s vision for the industry through increasing the understanding and appreciation of cider and perry. 

The new Certified Pommliers hale from countries across the continent including the UK, Italy, France, Germany, and Lithuania. They are Adam Wells, who was on the shortlist for 2024 Fortnum and Mason’s Drink Writer of the Year for his work at Cider Review, Marco Manfrini, president of the Associazione Pommelier e Assaggiatori di Sidro,  influential cider writer (Cider Explorer) Natalia Wszelaki, historian, writer and maker at Kertelreiter Cider & Perry Barry Masterson, cidermaker at Sodo Sidrinė Donatas Genys, and wine and cider scientist and consultant Yann Gilles.

Donatas Genys

Yann Gilles

Marco Manfrini

Barry Masterson

Adam Wells

Natalia Wszelaki

“The response to the exam was amazing,” shares the ACA’s CEO Michelle McGrath, “and to have such a distinguished group now part of the growing global CCP community is a testament to the CCP program’s role in supporting the growth of cider within the larger beverage category. It is a rigorous exam, and you could tell that all who sat for it had taken their studies seriously though they are all already playing significant roles in the cider industry. We are so grateful to Christine Isensee-Kiseau, Michael Stöckl, and the whole Cider World Frankfurt team for partnering with the ACA to make this exam happen and hope we can do it again next year.”

Education and certification programs such as those run by Cicerone, the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and the Court of Master Sommeliers, have done much to increase the understanding of the beverages they cover and enhance the professional standing of the individuals that complete them. With its CCP program, the ACA is poised to do the same for cider, raising the drink’s profile within the larger hospitality community as cider’s share of the global beverage market continues its steady growth. Continuing education is an important part of staying relevant in a rapidly changing hospitality environment.

For more information about the CCP program contact Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey at jennie@ciderassociation.org or visit the ACA website at www.ciderassociation.org. For information about CCP classes in Europe, contact European CCP representative Gabe Cook at gabe@ciderassociation.org.

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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

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June 17: Sensory Analysis Workshop at Bivouac Ciderworks

Interested in learning how to taste cider like a pro? The American Cider Association is proud to announce that we will be teaming up with Bivouac Cider to host a cider sensory workshop. Join us Monday, June 17 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Adventure Lodge, 3980 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104 for an in person workshop.

Over the course of 2 hours, an expert Certified Pommelier will lead you on a guided tasting through two ciders and a food pairing. This hands on workshop will teach you the professional tips and tricks for understanding the elements of local and national ciders. Come sip, swirl, and savor delicious ciders! Perfect for cider lovers at any level

Cost: $40

Agenda:

  • 5:30 PM: Doors open
  • 6:00 PM: Cider sensory analysis workshop begins.
  • 8:00 PM: Networking

Must be 21 or over to attend.

Are you an ACA member? Click here to access the member exclusive discount code in our Resource Hub.

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.

July 22: Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification in Bellingham, WA

Earn your cider certification and enjoy a tasting experience at Lost Giants Cider Company!

The American Cider Association is excited to collaborate with Lost Giants Cider Co. to host an in person workshop and tasting for the Certified Cider Professional Program, Level 1 Certified Cider Guide on July 22 at 1:00 PM Pacific. Participants will be able to take the certification test online immediatly after the training or take the test on their own at a later date. Registration to this event will also include a tour of Lost Giants!

Cost per person is $189 which includes the in person training, tasting experience, and test fee. ACA Members can find their exclusive discount code in the Resource Hub.

This is a great opportunity for the Northwest cider community to gather in person to attend the workshop and earn their certification.

Food and more cider will be available for purchase at the tasting room after the training.

We would love to see anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, chefs, sommeliers, cicerones, buyers, cidermakers, and anyone interested in cider in any way. You are all invited to build your cider education and earn your Certified Cider Guide accreditation.

Location:

Lost Giants Cider Company, 1200 Meador Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98229

Schedule:

  • 1:00 – 2:30 PM Certified Cider Guide Workshop
  • 2:30 – 3:30 PM Cider Tasting Experience
  • 3:30 – 4:00 PM Take the Online Certification Exam
  • 4:00 PM Guided Tour and Networking

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.

July 25: Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification in London

Join Us July 25th in London for a Level 1 Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification!

For the first time, the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) Program is being taught in the UK! The world’s finest cider education program will launch with a Level 1: Certified Cider Guide (CCG) classroom session and exam in the heart of London on Thursday 25th July. Leisurely run over the course of a day, this L1 CCG training has been developed specifically for those who work directly with consumers and trade customers, namely those working in retail and hospitality, importers, distributors, wholesalers and employees of cider producers. It is also the program for cider fans, aficionados and drinkers can showcase their extra weight of knowledge and passion. It is designed to enable participants to have a professional standard of knowledge and appreciation for different types of cider and how they are achieved, an approach to assessing cider and the different sensory qualities they have, and guidance on the best practice principles for serving, storing and selling.

Candidates will receive an email containing a downloadable study guide and a link to the online exam in advance of the workshop. The day itself will consist of a presentation of the materials from the study guide, with extra elaboration and, of course, the opportunity for questions. There will also be a guided sensory session of at least 3 ciders clearly demonstrating the key structural characteristics within cider, and utilizing a structured approach to their assessment.

The topics covered in Level 1: CCG are:

  • Apples, Pears and Orchards
  • Cider Production
  • Families and Flavor
  • Evaluating Cider
  • Keeping and Serving
  • Cider and Food
  • Social Responsibility

Event Timeline:

  • 09:30: Arrival and Check In
  • 10:00: CCG Presentation Part 1
  • 11:30: Break
  • 11:45: CCG Presentation Part 2
  • 13:15: Lunch
  • 14:15: Sensory Analysis
  • 15:30: Exam

August 19: Certified Cider Guide Workshop & Certification at France 44

Earn your Level 1 Certified Cider Guide accreditation and enjoy a tasting experience at France 44 on August 19 at 1:00 PM Central!

The American Cider Association is excited to collaborate with France 44 to host an in person workshop for the Certified Cider Professional Program Level 1 Certified Cider Guide. Participants will have the opportunity to complete the online certification exam immediatly after the training or on their own at a later date.

Cost per person is $189 which includes the in person training, instructor led tasting experience, a downloadable study guide, and access to the online certification exam. ACA members can contact Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey for the discount code to receive $50 off their registration.

This is a great opportunity for the Minnesota cider community to gather in person to network and earn their first level of cider certification. Registration to this event will also include a 15% discount to France 44 retail store and a celebratory cider on their roof following the event.

We would love to see anyone who sells cider, works in a tasting room or retail shop, chefs, sommeliers, cicerones, buyers, cidermakers, and anyone who loves cider. All are welcome to begin their cider education journey by adding this cider certification to their accreditations.

Location:

France 44, 4351 France Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410

Schedule:

1:00 – 2:30 PM: Certified Cider Guide Presentation

2:30 – 3:30 PM: Cider Tasting Experience

3:30 – 4:00 PM: Take the Online Exam

4:00 PM: Celebratory toast on the rooftop, networking, and retail discounts

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.