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Key Resources for the Advanced Cicerone Exam

advanced cicerone study material Feb 11, 2016

The Cicerone Certification Program (CCP) recently released recommended "Key Resources" you need to study to pass the exam for the Advanced Cicerone (AC)  exam, as well as every other level of the program (Certified Beer Server (CBS), Certified Cicerone (CC), and Master Cicerone (MC))

Let's look at what study resources the CCP recommends for the third level of the program, Advanced Cicerone. If you're taking the AC exam you've already passed the CC exam and know that it's a pretty difficult test. The CC exam's passage rate is less than 40%, about 1 in 3. That's worse than the NY or CA State Bar Exams. The AC exam's pass rate is likely to be similar at best. So, while the CCP says, "while it is not mandatory to review all of these resources in preparation for our exams, we hope candidates can utilize this list in conjunction with the syllabi to focus their studies," I would recommend reading and studying all of these resources. If you're taking the AC exam, you're probably already on board with that! 

CCP Recommended Key Resources for prepping for the AC exam

First, grab the AC syllabus.

General Resources:

Tasting Beer: An Insider's Guide to the World's Greatest Drink, by Randy Mosher

The Oxford Companion to Beer, edited by Garrett Oliver

Key resources for the "Keeping & Serving Beer" section of the exam:

Draught Beer Quality Manual, Brewer's Association

Draught Beer Quality Fact Sheets, Brewer's Association

Of course, the CCP recommends their "Road to Cicerone" material, but for the price I'm going to recommend my much less expensive, more comprehensive, and less flashy Beer Scholar Study Guide for the Certified Cicerone Exam.  It's a killer review of all of the CC material, and then some

Cellarmanship, Patrick O'Neill

Key resources for the "Beer Styles" section of the exam:

The 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP)

The Beer Bible, Jeff Alworth

Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew, Jamil Zainasheff

Great Beers of Belgium (6th Ed.), Michael Jackson 

Amber, Gold & Black: The History of Britain's Great Beers, Martyn Cornell

The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer: Rediscovered Recipes for Classic Brews Dating from 1800 to 1965, Ron Pattinson

IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale, Mitch Steele

Wild Brews, Jeff Sparrow

Farmhouse Ales, Phil Markowski

Brewing With Wheat, Stan Hieronymus

Brew Like a Monk, Stan Hieronymus

Key resources for the "Beer Flavors & Evaluations" section of the exam:

The Aroxa website & flavor cards. Aroxa makes "flavor kits" for beer, which contain small capsules full of compounds that are put in beer to allow tasters to learn various aromas and off-flavors. Folks who work on brewery tasting panels or do regular sensory analysis work of any sort use Aroxa product to learn to taste and to dial in their sensory analysis abilities. 

Tasty: The Art & Science of What We Eat, John McQuaid 

Key resources for the "Beer Ingredients & the Brewing Process" section of the exam:

How to Brew: Everything You Need To Know To Brew Beer Right The First Time, by John Palmer 

Designing Great Beers, Ray Daniels

New Brewing Lager Beer, Greg Noonan

Radical Brewing, Randy Mosher

American Sour Beers, Michael Tonsmeire

Malt, John Mallett

For the Love of Hops, Stan Hieronymus

Yeast, Chris White & Jamil Zainasheff

MBAA Practical Handbook for the Specialty Brewer Vol 1: Raw Materials & Brewhouse Operations, Karl Ockert

MBAA Practical Handbook for the Specialty Brewer Vol 2: Fermentation, Cellaring, & Packaging Operations, Karl Ockert

Key resources for the "Beer & Food Pairing" section of the exam: 

The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food, by Garrett Oliver

Additional resources I recommend: 

Again, my own Beer Scholar Study Guide for the Certified Cicerone Exam contains everything you need to review from the CC level plus a bit more.

My Beer Scholar facebook page contains tons of links to great beer readings and study material and gets a new one every day. Go like the page and read the articles I post (feel free to go through all the prior posts as well). I always post good educational material, no crap or clickbait.

And there you have it, quite a list! Please list any other good resources in the comments!

advanced cicerone study material