The American Cider Association is thrilled to announce that for the second time in 2022, nine people have passed the Certified Pommelier™ exam. The exam took place June 20 in Seattle, WA, at Seattle Cider Co. The new Certified Pommeliers are Sara Cravens of 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Nick Hill of Puget Sound Cider Co., Timothy Powers of Commonwealth Wine School, Dave Klawer of Alma Cider, Kate Pinsley and Suzannah Klaniecki of Schilling Cider, cider enthusiasts Storie and Erik Madrid and cider influencer Alexsis Cassady (@ciderminded).
Cider is a beautifully nuanced beverage with a diverse set of elements that are often misunderstood by food and beverage professionals. Certifications are increasingly used in the professional realm to set oneself apart as an individual with specialized knowledge, though cider is often covered in a cursory manner by most certification programs, if at all. This led the ACA to establish its Certified Cider Professional (CCP) program to educate those on the front-line of cider sales.
The CCP program began with a Level 1 certification to help those in the industry develop a fundamental understanding of cider. The Certified Pommelier certification was developed to move beyond a fundamental understanding and to encourage cider professionals to think critically while demonstrating a higher understanding of the elements of cider. The rigorous test consists of five types of questions: short answer, fill in the blank, matching, essay and blind sensory (based on tasting).
“The Certified Pommelier exam is designed to be challenging,” said Michelle McGrath, executive director of the ACA. “However, accessibility remains important. We’re rolling out more and more study aids in 2022, with a book on the horizon.”
The next Certified Pommelier exam is planned for Aug. 18, 2022 in Walden, NY, at the Angry Orchard Innovation Cider House and will be the last opportunity to take the test before CiderCon® 2023 in Chicago in February 2023. You can learn more and register for the New York exam on the ACA website.
The ACA asks that you contact Cider Education Outreach Manager Jennie Dorsey if you have questions about the program or are interested in taking either the Level 1 Certified Cider Professional test or the Certified Pommelier exam. You can also learn more at ciderassociation.org/certification.
Editor’s note: Want to learn more about an orchardist who became a Certified Pommelier? Check out our sister publication’s story about Kyle Degener on the Country Folks Grower website.
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