Beer Scholar: Study Guides for the Cicerone® Exams

Study Guides for the Cicerone® Exams

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The Beer Scholar study guides have been created by Certified Cicerone® Chris Cohen. They are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone Certification Program.

All your questions about the Beer Scholar's Cicerone® Study Guides, answered.

Where can I  get a Beer Scholar Study Guide? 

You can purchase the Beer Scholar Study Guides and get more information about them right here

After your purchase, the Beer Scholar Study Guide will be emailed to you, typically within a day. If you have any questions, reach out at

What's in the study guides? 

The Beer Scholar study guides contain everything you need to pass your Cicerone Certification Program® exam. The bulk of the study guides contain the material you need to learn in a well-organized and condensed outline format that tracks the Cicerone Certification Program® syllabi. In addition, there are sections on what to expect on the test, how to effectively study for the test, and tips and tricks for ensuring you pass. The Certified Cicerone® study guide comes with three practice tests and a set of flashcards, the guide to the Certified Beer Server® comes with four practice tests. As you would expect, the Certified Cicerone® study guide is significantly more robust than the Certified Beer Server® study guide.

Who created the CBS and CC study guides? 

Chris Cohen is a San Francisco-based beer geek. He's one of just a couple dozen Advanced Cicerones®, a National BJCP judge, a former contributing beer writer for and SF Chronicle, and is the founder and 2012-2014 President and is a current Board Member of the SF Homebrewers Guild, San Francisco's biggest homebrew club. He consults with restaurants to help them take their beer programs to the next level and occasionally does beer pairing dinners. In 2016 he opened one of San Francisco's best beer bars - Old Devil Moon

Chris is a former attorney. He applied the techniques he used to pass the NY state bar exam to passing the Certified Cicerone® exam and has distilled that information into these comprehensive study guides. With his Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone® exam study guides, you'll have everything you need to crush the exams.

Are these study guides worth the price? 

The online Certified Beer Server® exam costs about $80 to take. You can virtually guarantee passage by purchasing and studying the Beer Scholar's CBS study guide. The Beer Scholar Study Guide for the CBS Exam is a time and a money saver. It's a no brainer.  

The Certified Cicerone® exam costs nearly $400 to take. Only 1 of 3 people pass the test. That's just crazy, don't be one of the many who flunk. As someone who's interested in beer, you probably read about it, but good luck getting through the long list of books the Cicerone Certification Program® suggests you read in preparation for the CC exam. The Beer Scholar CC Study Guide organizes and condenses all that info into a single comprehensive book and includes practice tests and flash cards. In addition, you'll get tons of info on what to expect on the test plus tips and tricks for passing. Walk into the test with total confidence and crush it. It's a no brainer.

Why get a Cicerone Certification Program certification? 

The craft beer industry is exploding, get on board! The Cicerone Certification Program's® certifications are a great way to prove you're serious about your work in the industry and that you have a certain level of beer expertise. Alternatively, maybe you just want some beer geek bragging rights. Here's an article about the various beer certifications programs and a small taste of the advice you'll find in the study guides - Serious Eats: Which Beer Certification Program is Right for You?

Among the reasons the Cicerone Certification Program® has been so successful is that they make their exam syllabi public and encourage people to teach to their tests. Most beer certification programs have students take an expensive course and then hand them a certification. The Cicerone Certification Program® actually  tests your beer knowledge. They demand a high level of competency to become certified. For these reasons the Cicerone Certification Program's® certifications have rapidly become the industry standard. 

What's the difference between the Certified Beer Server and Certified Cicerone® study guides? 

The Certified Beer Server® study guide contains everything you need to know to pass the online CBS exam. The CBS test covers much less material than the Certified Cicerone® test and therefore the CBS study guide contains the set of information you need plus tips specific to the CBS test. 

The Certified Cicerone® study guide contains everything you need to know to pass the intense CC exam. The material in this guide is specific to the CC test, from the complete set of information you'll need to know to tips for passing the tasting portion, to the practice tests and the flash card set. The Certified Cicerone® Study Guide is the product of years of beer experience and months of work by the author to distill everything you need to know into a single comprehensive guide.

The Beer Scholar Study Guide to the Certified Beer Server Exam (CBS) is a very pared down version of the Certified Cicerone (CC) with different practice tests. If you’re definitely planning to take the CC Exam, already have strong beer knowledge, and are merely taking the CBS exam to get it out of the way, consider purchasing just the CC Guide. The CC Guide is much more robust and will help you pass the CBS Exam. The CBS Guide will not prepare you for the CC Exam.

Why did you Kickstart these guides?

In early 2014 Beer Scholar raised money via Kickstarter for our Study Guides for the Cicerone Exams. It takes investment to get off the ground and we nailed it with this Kickstarter thanks to 303 fabulous backers!

Chris Cohen, the creator of Beer Scholar, is a big fan of Kickstarter and has supported 60+ Kickstarter projects to date (check out his Kickstarter profile). He's thrilled that good karma has come back to him and thanks backers, friends, and the beer community for their support in spreading the word to beer geeks all over the world

Are these study guides or the author associated with the Cicerone Certification Program? 


Chris is an Advanced Cicerone®, but he is not employed by or otherwise associated with the Cicerone Certification Program®. His study guides have been created independently of the program's control, that's why he can provide you with tons of great tips and tricks for how to pass!

The term Cicerone® is the trademark of the Craft Beer Institute®. This website and the Beer Scholar Study Guides are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone Certification Program.

The copyright for all material on this website is owned by Chris Cohen. 

Who should consider buying these guides? 

You should purchase one of these guides if: 

  • You're already planning to take the CBS or CC exam.
  • You love beer and want to know everything about tasting, pouring, serving, pairing, and styles.
  • You are considering entering the beer industry and want to increase your chances of getting a good job.
  • You are already in the beer industry and want to raise your game so you get that promotion.
  • You want some serious beer geek bragging rights.
  • You're a wine Somm and want to expand your skills and get with the beer revolution. 
  • You love one of the above people!

Have you done an AMA ("ask me anything") on Reddit where I can learn more about the Cicerone program and your study guides? 

 Copyright © Chris Cohen. All rights reserved.  
Made in San Francisco, CA.