3 thoughts on passing the Certified Beer Server exam

It’s been a while since I passed the Certified Beer Server exam, and I’m still super excited. Here are 3 thoughts on the experience.

Graduation by Mark Ramsay on flickr (CC BY 2.0) has been modified from it's original state

Graduation by Mark Ramsay on flickr (CC BY 2.0) has been modified from it’s original state

First: I passed the Certified Beer Server exam!

I hadn’t worked so long and hard at anything since college!

Okay, I’m not saying the exam itself is that hard. It’s just a 60 question, multiple choice exam online. But I wasn’t just studying to pass the exam itself.

I wanted to actually learn from the experience, gain some working knowledge, and make myself more valuable in the alcoholic beverage industry.

Plus, I was recording all my notes and flashcards, and publishing them on this site for you to use so you can also pass the heck out of the Certified Beer Server exam, too.

Turns out, building up a webpage from scratch is a lot more involved that it seems.

Second: I passed the Certified Beer Server exam!!

And I aced it, too!! I scored 54 out of 60. Which I have mixed feelings about.

After I passed the exam, Cicerone® Certification Program emailed me a Certified Beer Server certificate.

After I passed the exam, Cicerone® Certification Program emailed me a Certified Beer Server certificate.

On one hand, I studied for more than a year. (My first study notes were published October 9, 2014. And I took the exam January 3, 2016.) So I kind of felt that I should have gotten a hundred percent!

On the other hand, it really validated that I needed to study hard for the exam. By the time I had gotten to 20 lessons of study notes and over 200 flashcards, I was worried that I might have been over studying. Especially because I’ve heard of people taking the exam over a couple of beers (there’s a 30 minute time limit) and passing without studying at all. I even worried that this whole Beer Exam School website was pointless, maybe nobody needs any help passing the Certified Beer Server exam. :,(

But after all that effort, I still didn’t completely ace the exam one hundred percent.

I’m glad I did study. I’m glad I studied as hard as I did. I’m glad I put together all my notes on this website to help you pass the heck out of the Certified Beer Server exam, too!

90% is pretty good.

Third: I passed the Certified Beer Server exam!!!

After I passed the exam, Cicerone® Certification Program mailed me a Certified Beer Server lapel pin.

After I passed the exam, Cicerone® Certification Program mailed me a Certified Beer Server lapel pin.

I added it to my resume. I know a lot more than I did about beers from around the world, and about excellent beer service.

More and more breweries, distributors, and even retail outlets are requiring their staff to become Certified Beer Servers.

Having this certification will help you get that job you want in craft beer or anywhere in the alcoholic beverage industry.

Use my free study notes and flashcards on this website for the best way to pass the heck out of the Certified Beer Server exam the first time! Start with the table of contents here.

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Study along with my notes–pass this exam!

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Nathan Pierce

    I’m Nathan Pierce. I drink beer, I quit my job, and I’m planning to start a brewery. I also host a podcast about how to start a brewery. So I’m studying for Cicerone® Certification Program, Certified Beer Server exam.

    Study along with me!

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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    9 thoughts on “3 thoughts on passing the Certified Beer Server exam

    1. Congrats!!! Thank you for giving us so many pointers. I believe I’m almost ready just stuck on beer styles ugh so many to remember.

      • Thank you, Symone! ! ! Yes, the beer styles were my toughest part, too. You don’t need to know every point about every style. But you can’t know which style you’ll get asked about on the exam, so you kind of have to study them all. The flashcards are crucial for the beer styles. Did you write them all out onto the cards and keep studying them? If you don’t want to write them all, you can buy the beer style flashcards here and print them out from home.

    2. Nathan,

      Your website was so valuable for me to supplement the syllabus and build my own set of notes and summaries. Thank you!

      Yet, there are some of the missed questions form which you may incorporate to your notes for others to be successful such as,

      The most common size of keg in the US, a 1/2 barrel, holds how many gallons?

      Which modern style name best describes the Belgian beer Duvel?

      A server was pouring two glasses of beer from a large bottle at the customers’ table. The first glass wound up half full of foam. For the second glass, if the server wants to reduce the amount of foam, what should she do differently?

      What sort of plant do hops grow on?

      Also, summary charts per beer-nations as well as 1 or the most 2 flashcards per nation should be valuable too.

      Regards and thank you again,

      Rodrigo.

      • Rodrigo, I am so glad to hear that my notes helped you study for Certified Beer Server.
        Congratulations on passing the exam!!!
        Thank you for the tips, I will look to add those as I update my study notes to reflect the new syllabus.

        • Hi Nathan

          Like yourself I probably knew a lot of the material covered in the course before I started. I’m a homebrewer so that certainly helped a lot. Still, there were areas that I hadn’t come across before and your note/flashcards were great for giving concise notes along with great references. In particular the references for draft systems was very useful and I’ve even put some of what I learnt into practice too.

          One note: I’m not sure your comments about the terms “Milk” or “Cream” Stout being illegal in England is quite true. I know that St Peter’s has a Cream Stout, while Bristol Beer Factory does a Milk Stout. So you might want to double check that information.

          Well, good luck with your brewery, Monterey certainly is a great spot for it!