Here are the differences between versions 2 and 3 of the Certified Cicerone syllabus

certified cicerone Sep 15, 2015

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On September 1st, 2015 the Cicerone Certification Program (CCP) released version 3.0 of their Certified Cicerone syllabus. I'm here to answer your questions about the differences between version 2 and version 3. I compared the syllabi side-by-side to figure out exactly what's new, from subtle shifts of phrasing to whole new beer styles. The below is an overview of the important changes. I've catalogued all the changes, but I'm not going to mention minor rewording here, only important changes and new information you'll be required to know. The majority of changes are updates to beer styles, which brings the Cicerone program up to date with the 2015 BJCP Stye Guidelines. Read on for what you need to know!

First, the new v3 CC syllabi states that it is specifically for the U.S. As of mid-Sept 2015 the CCP has not yet launched syllabi specific to other regions, but it's clear that they plan to do so. It remains to be seen what the differences between the U.S. and other CC syllabi are, but certainly any non-U.S. syllabi and exam would use Celsius and the metric system. 

Changes to the Keeping & Serving Beer section of the version 3.0 CC syllabus:

  1. "Wall brackets" has been added to the beer side components in I.D.3. 

  2. A "draft system design" section has been added at I.D.5 with subsections for dynamic resistance and static resistance. For information about resistance in draft systems look on page 36 of the BA's Draught Beer Quality Manual and elsewhere. 

  3. New wording in I.E.2 regarding glass cleaning procedure includes that you should rinse glassware "heel in, heel out" in sanitizer and that glassware should be dried "inverted" on a rack so air circulates inside. 

  4. Under I.H.1 regarding growlers and draft beer to go, there is a new subsection for "safety considerations."

Changes to the Beer Styles section of the version 3.0 CC syllabus:

  1. The biggest change is that the CCP now uses the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines as their standard (rather than the older 2008 BJCP Style Guidelines). Thanks to homebrewers and the American craft beer movement driving rapid change in the industry, the BJCP recently updated their standards for many major beer styles. The CCP uses the BJCP's Guidelines as their own standard and has therefore followed the BJCP update with their own updated syllabi for all levels of the Cicerone program.

  2. For Belgian and French beer styles the CCP did not add any new styles and did not remove any styles. They renamed several styles and style subcategories, such as the "farmhouse beer" category, which includes Saison and Wit, which is now under "unique beers."

  3. For British, Irish, and Scottish beer styles, the CCP:

    1. Removed Baltic Porter and Robust Porter (which has essentially just been renamed American Porter and moved into the American styles). 

    2. Foreign Extra Stout was moved from the Irish section into the English dark ales section. 

    3. Added Oatmeal Stout (actually, they shifted it to the British styles from the American style section). 

    4. Updated style names: 

      1. Mild is now Dark Mild. 

      2. Ordinary/Standard Bitter is now Ordinary Bitter.

      3. Special/Best/Premium Bitter has changed to Best Bitter.

      4. Strong Bitter/Extra Special Bitter (ESB) is now Strong Bitter 

      5. Brown Porter is now English Porter. 

      6. Northern English Brown Ale is now British Brown Ale.

      7. Sweet/Milk Stout is now Sweet Stout.

      8. Scottish 60/-, 70/-, and 80/- are now Scottish Light, Heavy, and Export.

      9. Strong Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy is now Wee Heavy. 

      10. Dry/Irish Stout is now Irish Stout.

  4. For the German, Czech, and Austrian beer styles, the CCP:

    1. Removed Maibock. 

    2. Added Festbier, Helles Bock, Dunkels Bock, and Gose. 

    3. Split Märzen/Oktoberfest into separate Märzen and the new Festbier styles.

    4. Updated style names:

      1. German Pilsner is now German Pils.

      2. Bohemian Pilsner is now Czech Premium Pale Lager.

      3. Hefeweizen/Weizen/Weiss is now Weissbier (thank you for that, CCP!). 

      4. Dunkelweizen is now Dunkels Weissbier. 

      5. Dusseldorf Altbier is now Altbier.

  5. For United States' beer styles, the CCP:

    1. Removed Oatmeal Stout (actually, shifted it over to the British styles). 

    2. Added American Porter (similar to "Robust Porter" from the 2008 BJCP Guide) and American Barleywine. 

    3. Added two "Specialty IPA's" - Black IPA and White IPA, 

    4. Changed the Light, Standard, and Premium American Lager styles to American Light Lager and American Lager.

    5. Updated style names:

      1. American Lager (Light, Standard, Premium) is now merely American Light Lager. This style was also moved out of the "historic styles" section.

      2. Imperial IPA is now called Double IPA.

  6. For Other Regions beer styles:

    1. This entire category is new and includes the styles International Pale Lager and Baltic Porter (which used to be included in the British styles). 

Changes to the Beer Flavor and Evaluation section of the Version 3.0 CC syllabus:

  1. "Carbonation" has been removed from the III.A.1.ii "emerging flavors." 

  2. There's lots of new information regarding key evaluation techniques in III.A.3.c. The version 2 syllabus discussed only doing short sniffs of beer, but the Version 3 lists a variety of aroma evaluation techniques including Distant Sniffs, Short Sniffs, Long Sniffs, and Covered Sniffs. 

  3. Under III.B.2 traditional hop traits, the CCP has:

    1. Added "tropical fruit" and "catty" to traditional American hop traits. 

    2. Removed "woodsy" from the traditional German/Czech hop traits. 

  4. H2S (hydrogen sulfide) and acetaldehyde were removed from the common off flavors that come from "process and ingredients" in III.C.4., however, they are still included under III.C.1. as off flavors that can come from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They appeared in both locations in the v2 CC syllabus.

Changes to the Beer Ingredients and Brewing Process section of the version 3.0 CC syllabus:

  1. Whirlpool hopping was added to the list of uses and effects for hop additions in brewing in IV.A.2.g.

  2. Dextrose and glucose were added to the "fermentable sugars" under IV.A.5.a and the sugars categories were combined rather than being separate "fully fermentable" and "highly fermentable" categories. 

  3. The "impact on finished beer characteristics" for lagering was added to IV.B.9.

Changes to the Pairing Beer with Food section of the version 3.0 CC syllabus:

  1. No meaningful changes, yay! That was easy. 

There you have it, all the major changes in the v3 Certified Cicerone syllabus. The changes are definitely nothing to freak out about. You will need to go through the beer styles section and update your material if you're taking the CC exam in 2016, when testing on the V3 syllabus begins. Going through the tedium of updating your material will help you learn it. Meanwhile, I'll be here updating my Guides in preparation for the shift to the new syllabus. It'll be obvious when the updated versions are ready because I'll say so on the purchase page. Look out for a detailed breakdown of the new syllabus for the Advanced Cicerone exam here soon.

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