What does the Advanced Cicerone® Coaching Program look like?

advanced cicerone May 24, 2024
I got this super kind email the other day from Jordan, a student in my Certified Cicerone® course:
Hey Chris,

I wanted to first off say thank you for the amazing Beer Scholar program you put together! I just found out that I passed my Certified Cicerone exam with an 87% overall! Your program was very instrumental in helping focus my energy on the things that mattered to be successful on the exam. I especially loved the flashcards as that was immensely helpful in reviewing and perfecting the knowledge I absorbed through the videos. Beer Scholar pumped confidence through my veins! I went into that exam knowing I had what it took to pass and that allowed the nerves to take a backseat. I wanted to see what your Advanced Cicerone program was looking like as I would love to take it to the next level. What do the next steps for that look like?

Thanks again for Beer Scholar and can’t wait to continue growing.

Jordan H

First, congrats on crushing the CC exam and thanks for the kind words, Jordan!
It's awesome that Jordan wants to continue his beer education by taking on the AC exam! When folks hit me up to ask about the Advanced Cicerone® Coaching Program, the first thing I always say is to go check out the AC workshop me and AC Scott Fielder put together. Here's the link – – the final 20 minutes of it are all about the AC program. You can't scrub through the video, so fire it up when you have a couple hours to pay attention. You'll get a lot of good info from it.
Me and Scott shot that video before we launched the AC Coaching program with Cohort #1 – we've added to and improved the AC Coaching Program a ton since then, but the overall flow of the program is the same. 
This is how it works. Think of the AC Coaching Program as a series of 3 months chunks: 
  • 3 months of Pre-Bootcamp Prep
    • After enrolling you'll immediately dive into the Pre-Bootcamp Prep material. We recommend around 3 months to get through all the reading. We provide loads of resources for you in the AC Coaching Program, but overall there's far too much to learn for me to create a series of short video lessons like I did for my Certified Cicerone® level course, in this case you need to do the reading!
  • 3 months of Bootcamp
    • These are once-per-week Bootcamp lessons via Zoom in which we teach you exactly what each section of the exam looks like and how to beat it. We also review the material you've been studying and provide homework and quizzes, which we discuss during the lessons. 
    • How do we determine when the meetups are? We poll the cohort a few months before Bootcamp to find a day/time that works for everyone. If it ends up being impossible for someone to make any of the days/times that work for the rest of the group, they can push off to a future cohort, get their money back and leave the program, or accept a discounted rate and stick with the cohort. 
    • What if you can't make one of the meetups? No sweat. We record all the lessons and tastings and make them available to you to watch anytime. 
  • 3 month of Tasting + Q&A sessions
    • These are once-per-week Tasting + Q&A sessions for which we pick a beer well in advance and everyone shows up with it (or another example of the same style) for the Zoom. We break the beer down on an AC level so you can level up your tasting and descriptive skills and learn technical descriptors, plus we end up covering related topics such as ingredients, brewing techniques, compounds found in beer, pairing with food, etc. 
  • 3 months on your own to ramp up for your AC exam
    • We expect folks to do the practice exams we provide during this period and to arrange their practice oral exams with us.
    • We encourage folks to schedule their exam for sometime during or soon after this period. 
  • 3 months of being invited to the next cohort's Tasting + Q&A sessions
    • Since the AC exam schedule doesn't always align perfectly with our AC Coaching Program, plus some people need more prep time than others, we offer this period to keep members sharp and in the game while their exam date approaches. 
  • Other features of the AC Coaching Program
    • The central hub for the program is a vibrant online community space members can post in, and that also features a group calendar and classroom area full of resources. All cohort members, plus ACs Scott Fielder and Chris Cohen are in the community. We're always available to you.
    • The best flashcard decks ever put together for the AC exam.  
    • A video series about how to write AC level essays.
    • A video series about beer compounds.
    • A Blind Proctor Guide to help your partner or friend easily shop for beer and set up tasting panels for you. 
    • Loads more! 
It's a truly badass program and there's nothing else like it out there! We launch new cohorts every 6 to 7 months.
As I type this, it's late May 2024 and cohort 3's Bootcamp series will begin in about two months. Cohort 3 is already overly full, we've got 14 signed up for it at the moment, plus a few other people knocking on the door.
The AC Coaching Program is currently $2,500. We think this is a screaming deal for what you get over a very long time period (in fact, the price is slated to go up in the not-too-distant future). FYI if you're in my Beer Scholar Course for the Certified Cicerone® Exam, I'll deduct $500 from the cost of enrolling in the AC Coaching Program. We offer flexible payment plans and work with folks to make sure the numbers work for them.
If you're thinking this all sounds too expensive, just imagine how pricy – in time and money – it gets if you have to retake the AC exam multiple times – especially if you eventually give up, like 90% of AC takers...that's right, the AC exam has a <10% pass rate! It's a lot easier and less stressful to knock it out on your first go because you prepped in a super efficient and structured manner with direction from educators who have already passed it and trained others to do so as well. Also, you can spend nearly as much as the AC Coaching Program costs on one or two week programs at Siebel and not learn 10% as much. Scott and I paid roughly the price of AC Coaching, each, for a one week Aroxa sensory training program – we loved it, but the math is clear that our AC Coaching is a great deal when it comes to continuing education. Plus, the result will lead directly to higher pay and better opportunities in the beer biz. The networking and relationships you build while studying with a crew of other top level industry folks is another serious perk members have repeatedly mentioned to us. 
Scott and I speak with everyone before sending them an enrollment link. That's in order to make sure the program is a good fit for them and also to answer any questions they may have about it.
Go watch the video – How to Pass the Advanced Cicerone® on your First Attempt – and then hit me back if you want to set up a Zoom to discuss enrolling!
Advanced Cicerone®
National BJCP beer judge 
Founder of Beer Scholar 
advanced cicerone