About the Advanced Cicerone® Exam

Advanced Cicerone® is the third level of certification in the Cicerone® Certification Program. Those who achieve this certification possess expert knowledge of beer and excellent tasting ability. Such knowledge generally results from several years of additional study and tasting after achieving Certified Cicerone®. Well-prepared candidates will have excellent and extensive style knowledge, hands-on experience with beer service, direct familiarity with brewing and ingredients, and frequent and repeated experience in beer and food pairing.

Prerequisites - Must have passed the Certified Cicerone exam. Candidates for this certification must be  age (or legal drinking age in the location where the exam is given).

Exam Format & Components - Candidates for Advanced Cicerone will participate in a day-long examination that
includes multiple written, oral, and tasting components. The written component will consist of questions in various formats from multiple choice to fill-in-the-blank and essays where extensive knowledge will be asked for. Two oral examinations will be conducted involving hands-on presentation of beer in various formats. Taste assessments will include a significant range of off flavors, blind assessment of beer styles, and descriptive analysis of blind samples. A grade of 80% overall and at least 75% on the tasting portion are required to pass the Advanced Cicerone exam.  

Exam Cost - First-Time/Initial Test: $795; Retake tasting: $250; Retake written: $375.

Initiating an Exam - The Advanced Cicerone exam is held several times a year in various locations. Dates and registration information are announced via email so make sure that the email address associated with your profile is current and that your email program is not diverting emails from cicerone.org to a spam folder.

Knowledge Area Responsibilities - Candidates for Advanced Cicerone certification must demonstrate expert knowledge of all issues related to brewing, beer, and beer service. The full Advanced Cicerone syllabus is your guide to preparation.  All of the resources recommended for the Certified Cicerone exams should be considered in your preparation for the Advanced Cicerone exam in addition to more advanced resources including many of those recommended for Master Cicerone® Exam preparation. In-depth theoretical and hands-on knowledge of draft systems of all types is required. Comprehensive and in-depth beer style knowledge is expected including tasting experience with multiple commercial examples of each style. Candidates must be able to recognize a specific list of off flavors as given in the syllabus. AroxaTM flavor standards will be used in testing. 
Travel to classic beer producing areas in Europe can be beneficial. Brewing beer alone or with others can help to ensure thorough knowledge of the brewing process. Experience preparing and presenting beer and food pairings is strongly recommended. Throughout the exam, candidates will be expected to describe beer (and food) flavors using concrete and specific terms that accurately cover the full spectrum of flavor.  

Advanced Cicerone Exam Policies 
To ensure that all interested parties have an equal opportunity to register, Advanced Cicerone exam registrations will begin with a lottery for the time being. We will announce the lottery period via email to all eligible individuals. Anyone interested in taking the exam should submit their name for the lottery. We will randomly select names from the lottery pool to fill the exam roster. We will continue with random selection until the pool is exhausted to generate a list of alternates for the exam. Any confirmed candidates will be asked to submit payment within one week or forfeit their spot. Alternates will be emailed that day and notified of their alternate number. In the event that a candidate withdraws from the exam, alternates will be notified in order, and asked to submit payment within one week. If the lottery does not fill the exam, then additional registrations will be allowed on a first-come, first-served basis until the exam is full.

Individuals who do not pass the written portion of the Advanced Cicerone exam will be allowed to retake the written exam again starting six months after the date of their most recent exam. There is no required waiting period between retakes of the tasting portion of the Advanced Cicerone exam. All portions of the Advanced Cicerone Exam must be passed within a three year period.

If you postpone your exam registration to a later date, you will be charged a rescheduling fee.
  • Candidates may postpone their exam pursuant to the following guidelines:
    • Greater than 3 months from the exam date - a $150 rescheduling fee will be assessed before one may register for another exam
      • The rescheduling fee is $75 for postponement of a partial retake (tasting or written)
    • Less than 3 months before the exam date - a $400 rescheduling fee will be assessed before one may register for another exam.
      • The rescheduling fee is $200 for postponement of a partial retake (tasting or written)
    • Neglecting to attend an exam for which one is registered (no show/no call) will result in a $625 rescheduling fee before one may register for another exam
      • In the event one ‘no shows/no calls’ for an exam retake (full, tasting, or written), the entire registration fee is forfeited
    • Candidates must contact Cicerone staff (info@cicerone.org) to arrange postponement and rescheduling
  • Postponement due to injury, illness, or a medical emergency will be considered upon review of a doctor's note
  • Exam rescheduling is subject to availability
  • Exam and rescheduling fees are non-refundable and non-transferable

Did you find this article helpful?