WHAT IS THE CERTIFIED POMMELIER™ EXAM?
American Cider Association’s mission is to grow a diverse and successful U.S. cider industry by providing valuable information, resources and services to our members and by advocating on their behalf. One way to fulfill this mission is through the Certified Cider Professional Program–a program aimed at educating the front-line of cider sales (distributors, retailers, bartenders and more!).
The intro-level certification (CCP Level 1) is an online test that can be taken at any time. The more advanced level of certification–the Certified Pommelier™ exam–is a sit-down hand-written exam: part short answer, part essay questions, and part sensory and taste evaluation questions. *CCP Level 1 is a prerequisite for Certified Pommelier.
Certified Pommeliers™ must have a fundamental understanding of all topics covered in CCP Level 1, but must also be able to think critically and use the basics to demonstrate a higher understanding of the elements of cider. The exam consists of five types of questions: short answer, fill in the blank, matching, essay and blind sensory (based on tasting).
The test is meant to be challenging. Studying is highly recommended.
The topics covered in the exam are:
- Apples, the Orchard & History
- Cider Making
- Flavor & Evaluation
- Cider Families
- Keeping & Serving
- Food & Cider
- Social Responsibility.
*If a test-taker passes only the written or only the tasting portion of the exam, they are permitted the opportunity to retake the un-passed portion of the exam at a future date (within 18 months).
WHY BECOME A CERTIFIED POMMELIER™?
Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements that are often misunderstood by food and beverage professionals. Certifications are increasingly used in the professional realm to set oneself apart as an individual with specialized knowledge, though cider is often covered in a cursory manner by most certification programs, if at all. Although there are already more than 1,700 Level 1 Certified Cider Professionals, being recognized as a Certified Pommelier™ will put you in the vanguard of verified advanced cider specialists in this ever growing category.
HOW MUCH DOES THE TEST COST?
For ACA members, the exam is $125 per attempt. There is a discount code that members can access to receive the exam at the membership rate of $125. That discount code can be found here. For non-members, the exam is $200. Should it be needed, test takers can retake future written or tasting portions of the exam at a separate sitting with a 25% discount.
Test takers must provide either proof of full vaccination against COVID or negative PCR test results received no earlier than Sunday, January 30. One these two things is required for entry, and there will be no refunds if you are unable to provide them. Test takers will be socially distanced and will wear masks unless actively evaluating a cider. Cider evaluations will take place in a separate room from the written theory portion of the exam. The full CiderCon Health & Safety Guidelines can be downloaded HERE.
WHERE WILL THE TEST TAKE PLACE
500 E Broad St
Richmond, VA 23219
- What is the COVID-19 protocol during the Certified Pommelier™ test? Test takers must provide either proof of full vaccination against COVID or negative PCR test results received no earlier than Sunday, January 30. One these two things is required for entry, and there will be no refunds if you are unable to provide them. Test takers will be socially distanced and will wear masks unless actively evaluating a cider. Cider evaluations will take place in a separate room from the written theory portion of the exam. The full CiderCon COVID-19 protocol can be downloaded HERE.
- Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event? YES- You must be 21 or older and you must provide an ID to prove you are who you say you are.
- Do I need to pass the level 1 CCP exam to take the Certified Pommelier™ test? Yes. Passing the Level 1 CCP exam is a prerequisite. If you have not yet taken the Level 1 exam, you can purchase the Level 1 bundle on demand HERE. The bundle includes an on-demand webinar, study guide, and access to the online exam.
- What can I bring into the event? Nothing may be brought into the exam room. Cell phones must be left at the door. Pencils and drinking water will be provided.
- How can I contact the organizer with any questions? Please contact CCP contributor and proctor Jennie Dorsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What’s the refund policy? We will refund test takers up until January 26, 2022. Eventbrite doesn’t give us the option to issue refunds through the system so checks will be issued.
- Is there a training workshop? This is not a workshop, but an exam only. Once you register for your exam, study materials including webinars and study guides will be emailed to you. There is also a dedicated Facebook Group (that is open for all to join) with prep materials and in depth peer conversations. STUDY! We highly recommend interviewing cidermakers and cider tenders to help prepare. Blind tasting flights are also good prep.
- Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends? If you are transferring registration to another person, please email us in advance.
- Is there a tasting section on the test? Yes. You will be asked to evaluate ciders from multiple cider families.
- How long does the test take? It takes most students 2-3 hours to complete.
- If I sign up for this exam, do I have to register to attend CiderCon? No. This exam is an independent event and does not have to be purchased in conjunction with CiderCon tickets.
Thanks to our CCP and Certified Pommelier™ sponsor: