Version 5 Notes

On December 29, 2021, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) announced the release of an update to its beer style guidelines, characterized as a “minor revision” to the 2015 guidelines. Since BJCP guidelines are the primary reference source for all quantitative style parameters on Cicerone exams, we updated our program syllabi accordingly. With this update, we took the opportunity to make a small number of other updates to syllabus content, included in the summary below. The majority of changes were minor adjustments to the text and organizational structure for improved clarity.

We will begin testing candidates on the new syllabi on August 1, 2022. Anyone taking exams before August 1, 2022, should study a syllabus with a V4 version number, while anyone taking exams after August 1 should use a V5 version number. 

All English- and Spanish-language program syllabi have been updated to Version 5 and are available for download now. Syllabi in other languages are being translated and will be posted soon.

To check out the new Version 5 of the syllabi, use the following links:

Canada English: Certified Beer ServerCertified Cicerone

International English: Certified Beer ServerCertified Cicerone

International Spanish: Certified Beer ServerCertified Cicerone

United Kingdom English: Certified Beer ServerCertified Cicerone

United States English: Certified Beer ServerCertified Cicerone

Advanced Cicerone

Master Cicerone

Key Changes to V5 Syllabi

This summary excludes minor changes to text and the organization of concepts. Note that changes generally roll up from lower-level syllabi to higher-level syllabi (e.g., changes made to the Certified Cicerone syllabus are also included on Advanced and Master Cicerone syllabi)

Certified Beer Server

Name change: New England IPA changed to Hazy IPA

Style removed: English IPA (note: United Kingdom Certified Beer Server and all Certified, Advanced, and Master Cicerone candidates will continue to test on this style)

Certified Cicerone

Name change: English Barleywine changed to English Barley Wine

Topic introduced: Understanding of Czech-style side-pull faucet pouring and hygiene considerations

Advanced Cicerone

Style added: Brut IPA

Name change: Trappist Single changed to Belgian Single

Topic introduced: Familiarization with function and anatomy of Czech-style side-pull faucets

Topic introduced: Hop creep

Master Cicerone

No additional knowledge requirements introduced or changed

Beer Style Quantitative Parameters

It is worth noting that most of the changes to quantitative parameters (ABV, IBU, SRM, etc.) resulting from the BJCP 2021 update were minor. For the vast majority of beer styles, differences in data between the two sets of guidelines have no impact on a candidate’s performance on an exam. Those styles with more substantive changes primarily impact Advanced and Master Cicerone candidates (e.g., International Dark Lager, Sahti, Belgian IPA, Brown IPA, etc.).

We wish you the best of luck in your studies and encourage you to reach out to with any questions.