Home Industry News Releases ACA Announces International Expansion of Certified Cider Professional Program 

ACA Announces International Expansion of Certified Cider Professional Program 


February 26th – The American Cider Association is pleased to announce the expansion of its beverage professional education and certification program to the global cider community. The Certified Cider Professional program was launched at CiderCon® 2016 with a particular focus on the United States. Since then, the certification program has developed to become the most robust and thorough cider appreciation and education program for beverage professionals in the world. Most recently the ACA has revised study and exam materials to have a broader scope, and the ACA’s Certified Cider Professional program is now applicable to anywhere in the world that cider is made and sold.

“We have been getting an increasing number of inquiries about the CCP program from all over the world,” says Jennie Dorsey, ACA Education Operations Manager. “A number of candidates for the second level of certification, Certified Pommelier, have even made a trip to the U.S. just to sit for the exam, so clearly there is an unmet need out there and no other comparable education program available.”

Award winning educator and global cider expert Gabe Cook, aka The Ciderologist, has joined forces with the ACA to help expand its certification program to a global audience. Cook says, “I am delighted to be teaming up with the ACA through CCP to increase the knowledge, respect and passion for one of the world’s truly great and ancient drinks.” He continues, “Now is the time for a unified education program that is applicable and open to anyone and everyone from Seattle to Somerset to Shanghai to Sydney. It is a true reflection of the globalization of cider and indicative of this being an incredibly exciting time for cider.”

Additional updates geared toward program growth include CCP branding. The ACA has newly retitled CCP’s introductory level to “Certified Cider Guide,” and has updated the CCP branding to better distinguish the two offered CCP levels–(1) Certified Cider Guide and (2) Certified Pommelier. 

The first international in-person Certified Cider Guide training workshop and exam was held in Melbourne, Australia in the fall of 2023 with the support of Cider Australia. The exam took place following the Australian Cider Awards and ten individuals earned the title of Certified Cider Guide.

Additional in-person classes and exams are planned for Europe in the coming months. On-demand virtual training and Certified Cider Guide exams are also available at any time. 

The inaugural international Certified Pommelier exam is scheduled to be held in April 2024 to coincide with the Cider World event in Frankfurt, Germany. To earn their title Certified Pommeliers are rigorously tested on their cider knowledge with a written theory exam and a sensory evaluation exam. 

“We are very confident in our educational programming, and these recent steps will help us reach more US beverage professionals as well as international ones,” says ACA’s CEO Michelle McGrath. “Gabe Cook is uniquely suited to help us grow the program overseas, and we’re really excited about the partnership. He works tirelessly for the cider category,” McGrath adds. 

There are currently 2,480 Certified Cider Guides and 97 Certified Pommeliers. 

The American Cider Association is an organization of cider and perry producers in the United States. The Certified Cider Professional program is helping the ACA reach its vision for the US cider industry which includes but is not limited to the following aspirations: (1) Throughout America, it is widely understood that cider pairs exceptionally well with food, (2) America’s most talented chefs and beverage professionals are promoting cider and food pairings on their menus, in their public relations and on television, (3) US cider is the most coveted cider in the global marketplace.

Visit cidercertification.org to learn more about CCP training and exam opportunities around the world. International certification inquiries can be made with Gabe Cook at Gabe@ciderassociation.org. North America based inquiries can be made with Jennie Dorsey at Jennie@ciderassociation.org.