How Long Do I Have to Complete the Program

There is no time limit in which you must complete the program. 

Unlike other programs, Cicerone is not a class that you take to receive a certification. Instead, our program is built around a series of certification exams designed to assess the knowledge required by beer professionals at specific levels of responsibility, starting with service staff and working up from there. To become certified, you take the exams. 

To help you prepare, we publish and make freely available a syllabus for each exam which states in considerable detail what content will be tested. From there we leave it up to the individual to decide how best to prepare for the exam by reading or taking classes. For each exam, we list recommended learning resources and various optional programs as well. Some of these items come from us, some come from other organizations.

Because each person's background and experience are unique, the amount of study time needed before passing each exam depends upon your own existing beer knowledge.  For instance, we recommend that those with just a few years of exposure to beer spend up to 8 hours studying recommended materials before attempting the Certified Beer Server exam.  Those with extensive experience in beer may be able to pass with considerably less study.

For the Certified Cicerone level, we recommend setting aside at least 100-150 hours to prepare. This includes brewing beer, hands-on experience with draft systems, readings, tastings, pairings, and other related activities. Often times, to gain a firm grasp on this volume of material it can take 9-18 months of study.
Preparation time for Advanced and Master Cicerone increases substantially, again based on a given individual's experience.

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