Sicera: Getting Certified in Cider

By Brooklynn Johnson

Wine servers and aficionados go after the incredibly prestigious Court of Masters Sommelier title. Beer experts can get certified as experts in their craft through Cicerone. And now, the United States Association of Cider Makers presents Sicera, the Cider Certification Program that allows distributors, servers and producers to get certified in cider.

Sicera, which is the Latin word for cider, was founded by USACM board members James Kohn of Wandering Aengus/ANTHEM Cider and David Cordtz of Sonoma Cider.

“The art and science of cidermaking has all the nuance and complexity of winemaking and brewing great beer, but until now, there has been no way to formally acknowledge that expertise,” says Cordtz.

The program is broken down into a series of classes, the first of which is to be held on February 6, 2016 in Portland, Oregon, during the 2016 USACM Cider Conference. Topics covered will include the history of cider, pairings and how to serve it. Later classes will go over orchard subjects and proper, thorough sensory skills and just about everything else in the spectrum of cider. This course is designed to bring out the master in those who have already got their hands dirty in the world of cider.

“By standardizing the curriculum and providing a framework for evaluating cider expertise we now have an apples-to-apples way to compare and evaluate someone’s depth of knowledge in our field,” Cordtz says. This is the first time something like this has been offered for cider, which is further proof that the cider revolution is in full swing and that this fermented apple beverage, much to our joy, is here to stay.

Registration for Sicera opens this September, with Level One certification listed at $149, Level Two at $299 and Masters Level ringing in at $899. For more information, visit the USACM website.

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