WebstaurantStore / Food Service Resources / How-Tos / How to Become a Certified Cicerone®
How to Become a Certified Cicerone®

How to Become a Certified Cicerone®

Last updated on 3/28/2018

Over the past 30 years, the number of breweries in the United States has grown from a depressing 89 prior to 1980 to over 2,800 today. At least 98% of today's operating breweries are classified as craft brewers. With a 14.3% dollar share of the total U.S. beer market, that's an estimated $14.3 billion, it's safe to say that craft beers are a rapidly growing segment of the beverage service industry.

Ways to Become a Certified Cicerone

Along with the explosion of craft beer and changing American taste buds comes the need for educated, knowledgeable beer service professionals who not only have a grasp of the 140 + beer styles, but who also understand how to serve, store, brew, and pair those various beer types.

For years, people with this kind of expert knowledge were referred to as beer sommeliers. Like their wine counterparts, this title could be self-adopted with nothing to prove those skills except their word and work. Fortunately, just as we now have sommelier certifying agencies to test and license experts in wine knowledge and service, there is also one certifying organization for beer experts: the Cicerone® Certification Program.

Certified Cicerone
Certification Level Level I: Certified Beer Server Level II: Certified Cicerone® Level III: Master Cicerone®
Prerequisites None
  • 21 years or older
  • Passed the certified beer server exam
  • 21 years or older
  • Passed the Certified Cicerone® Exam
  • 2 years experience selling, serving, or managing beer service
  • 3 recommendations from different brewers, wholesalers, or retailers can substitue for experience
Exam Format:
  • Online only
  • 60 multiple choice questions
  • 75% required passing grade
  • Must pass quiz about Cicerone® program
  • 2 attempts per payment
  • In-person only
  • Written exam with short answer and essay questions
  • Tasting and demonstration component
  • 80% required passing grade for written portion, 70% for tasting portion
  • In-person only
  • 2-Day exam with multiple written, oral, and tasting components
  • 85% overall grade required to pass
Cost: United States: $69
International: $79
Initial: $345
Retake written: $150
Retake tasting: $75
Initial: $695
Retake: 80% of current exam price
How to Take: Register online and purchase the exam from the "My Account" page
  • Register online and email Cicerone® certification program for exam schedule details
  • Exams are held every 6 to 12 months, limited to 12 people on a first come, first served basis
Things to Know / Syllabus:
  • Thorough knowledge of beer storage and service as well as basic knowledge of brewing processes and ingredients
  • See Certified Beer Server Syllabus for specific information
  • Extensive knowledge of beer storage, service, and styles as well as relative knowledge of beer history
  • Must identify flawed beers and appropriate beer pairings
  • See Certified Cicerone® Syllabus for specific information

Ways to Prepare:

Whether you're studying for a Cicerone® certification or wondering how to become Cicerone® Certified Beer Server, there is undoubtedly a huge amount of information to absorb and put to use. Thankfully, the Cicerone® Certification Program has plenty of tools and resources you can take advantage of or purchase to help get you ready for exam day.

Beginners can make preparing for their Certified Beer Server exam much easier by taking the BeerSavvy™ optional paid course prior to taking their certified beer server exam or their certified Cicerone® exam. This eLearning program teaches you to compare beer styles and can be purchased along with your beer server certification exam.

The Cicerone® Certification Program also offers a large compilation of free study links to help you learn more about beer service. For the Master Cicerone® exam, they suggest the following in addition to studying their free resources:

  • Tasting a Wide Range of Beer Styles
  • Practice Recognizing Off-Flavors using off-flavor kits and training
  • Travel to Beer Producing Areas (Particularly in Europe)
  • Brewing Alone or With Partners
  • Knowledge of the Proper Beer Glass Types for Serving
  • Practice with Daily Beer / Food Pairing

Corporate Program:

The Cicerone® Certification Program offers discounted group exam rates for companies who sell and serve beer. Businesses can take advantage of individual training for staff or on-site training by a Cicerone® representative. Your employees then take their Certified Beer Server exams individually online. This is a great option for brewpubs or any restaurant, brewery, or foodservice establishment that deals with the handling, manufacture, or serving of beer.

Related Resources

How to Hire a Bartender

Hiring an experienced and skilled bartender is central to running a successful bar . If you're looking to hire a new bartender for your establishment, there are a number of important factors to consider before making your final decision. From evaluating work history and asking the right interview questions to hiring specialty employees and checking safety certifications, there's a lot to remember. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about hiring a bartender for your restaurant or catered event! Evaluate the Bartender's Experience and Work History While hiring a recent bartending school graduate might seem tempting, you should always look for candidates with experience. However, this doesn't mean that inexperienced bartenders d

How to Become a Sommelier

Although the word sommelier may inspire images of a medieval steward scurrying through dark, damp corridors in a wine cellar with only torchlight to find the perfect bottle of wine for his master, in reality, the established profession of the sommelier, and the organizations that certify those professionals, only recently came into existence in the past several decades. Though the history of the Sommelier is long and rich, it wasn't until the mid-1900s, when wineries began to estate bottle and label their vintages, that restaurants gained the ability to stock more varied selections, making the need for knowledgeable wine experts all the more crucial. Along with the ever-expanding American palate and growing food culture, comes the need for

Beer Glass Buying Guide

You wouldn't serve soup on a plate, you don't serve sandwiches in a teacup, and you wouldn't dream of serving a Russian Imperial Stout in a pilsner glass. All right, maybe that last one didn't make quite as much sense as the first two. That's okay; this guide and the video below will boost your beer I.Q. and help you figure out the types of beer glasses you need to serve different types of beer ! How to Choose the Right Beer Glass

Subscribe now for great deals and industry tips! Sign up for our mailing list to have weekly discounts and industry knowledge sent right to your inbox.

From Our

At WebstaurantStore we love sharing our fun! Check out some of our weekly Instagram posts! We might even have a recipe or two to share!

View Posts
Display, merchandise, and serve a delicious variety of ice cream flavors with this Avantco ice cream dipping cabinet! Holding up to 12 ice cream tubs at a time, the unit is perfect for ice cream shops, candy stores, dessert bars, and cafeterias. The frozen storage space beneath the display even provides a convenient place for holding up to 8 tubs of back-up flavors, making it a convenient unit for businesses with limited space. Incorporate delicious beef recipes into your menu with this Knauss Foods 6 Ib. classic dried beef deli knuckle. It's ideal for crafting specialty sandwiches and subs or for putting together a tasty party tray with meats and cheeses. Simply cut it into a fine slice and spread softened cream cheese, worcestershire, scallions, and pepper on one side, then roll it up to create a tasty appetizer that's easy to grab and delicious to snack on. This beef accents any of your dishes with a mildly salty, yet beefy and smoky flavor profile that's especially delicious.â € Create signature cookies, easy pie crust designs, or fondant shapes for your bakery, restaurant, or cafe with this Ateco pineapple plunger cutter. Made of high-impact, food-grade plastic, this plunger cutter is perfect for daily use at your bakery. It's great for cutting, embossing, and pressing out fondant and gum paste decorations. Featuring a whimsical pineapple shape, this cutter ensures consistency of size while shortening preparation time. Fire up the grill and test your skills with these grilling techniques.
Food Service Resources

Tips, guides, & advice

Explore Resources
  • Visa
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • MasterCard
  • Paypal