Home Industry News Releases ACA Welcomes Sixteen New Certified Pommeliers Following CiderCon® 2024

ACA Welcomes Sixteen New Certified Pommeliers Following CiderCon® 2024

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February 28th – The American Cider Association is pleased to announce that sixteen individuals successfully passed the Certified Pommelier examination held at CiderCon® 2024 in Portland, Oregon in January. The new Certified Pommeliers from the United States are Andrew Byers of Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Jason Cassidy of The Cider Farm, Daniel James of Pioneer Beverage, Jakob Jordan & Leah Pagett of  Bold Rock Hard Cider, Molly Leadbetter of Meriwether Cider, Hard Cider Guy Adrian Luna, Valerie Scott of Duluth Cider, Pete Serventi of Serventi Ranch, Clayton Slaughter of Slaughter Orchard & Cidery, Ashley Wilson of Schilling Cider and Olivia Yi of Brooklyn Cider House. New international Certified Pommeliers are The Ciderologist Gabe Cook of the UK, John Powell of Cider Apples New Zealand Ltd, Lee Reeve of inCider Japan, and freelancer Monika Sut of Italy.

The rigorous exam tested candidates on their understanding of cider production, history, and sensory evaluation. As a result, those newly certified are now equipped with advanced skills to guide consumers through the wide variety of ciders available and to help elevate the cider industry at the point of sale. The ACA congratulates all of the newest Certified Pommeliers on displaying their specialized cider knowledge and evaluation skills!

Early on, the American Cider Association recognized the need to promote specialized knowledge about the cider category. Certifications are increasingly being used to set food and beverage professionals apart. However, most certification programs cover cider in a cursory manner or not at all. With cider being a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements often less understood by food and beverage professionals, the establishment of the Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program in 2016 was a strategic maneuver. Today, the CCP program is designed to educate those on the front-line of cider sales, making it the world’s most comprehensive and in-depth cider appreciation program for food and beverage professionals. Most recently, due to increased inquiries and interest the CCP program has expanded to an international audience. For more information, the ACA press release outlines the international expansion.

The CCP program begins with a Certified Cider Guide (CCG) Level 1 certification to help industry professionals develop a fundamental understanding of cider. The Certified Pommelier (CP) Level 2 takes it a step further by encouraging cider professionals to think critically and showcase a higher level of understanding of the elements of cider. The rigorous testing process consists of four types of questions, including short answer, fill in the blank, essay, and blind sensory–which is based on tasting.

The ACA is dedicated to ensuring that all information tested on the exam is made accessible to anyone who desires to learn. To that end, the ACA released a textbook in March of 2023 to help candidates prepare to take the exam with just one comprehensive resource. The textbook is available for purchase through Kindle Direct Publishing. Additionally, the ACA offers sensory analysis practice webinars and a Facebook study group, continuously updated with resources for exam candidates. Interested candidates can find links to all Certified Pommelier resources on the ACA’s website.

A live sensory analysis webinar is scheduled for March 28, 2024 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM Pacific featuring Meriwether Cider. Those interested in attending can find all the details on the ACA website. Additional sensory analysis webinars will be released at a later date once cider availability for unique offerings has been confirmed. The ACA is also currently looking for additional cideries interested in having their ciders featured in a webinar. Interested cideries can reach out to Education Operation Manager Jennie Dorsey.

2024 Certified Pommelier exams will be held at the following locations:

  • April 18: Wolffer Estate Vineyard
  • April 27 : Frankfurt, Germany: CiderWorld
  • July 23: Bellingham, WA
  • August 20: Minneapolis, MN
  • October 8: Austin, TX
  • February 5, 2025: CiderCon® 2025 Chicago

More details and registration for all exams will be announced as soon as they are finalized.

Contact the ACA’s Education Operations Manager Jennie Dorsey if you have questions about the Certified Cider Professional program or are interested in taking either the Level 1 Certified Cider Guide or Level 2 Certified Pommelier exams. You can also learn more at https://ciderassociation.org/certification

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