Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part I – German/Czech Styles

This is the first post in a series on knowledge for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam. All information disseminated is from the syllabus provided by the Cicerone website and mixed with my own thoughts. I’m doing this to 1) help me learn the material and 2) share the knowledge with people who haven’t heard of the exam or are planning to take the exam.

Feel free to skip ahead to other sections. Here’s a list of all the study guide parts:

Please study with me as I hope to take the exam this fall.

One of the topics I need to study the most is Beer Styles and specifically the History, characteristics, and flavor attributes of styles by region section.

One quick note – PB stands for Perceived Bitterness

This is Part I on German/Czech Styles:

German/Czech Styles



German Pilsner

  • PB – Assertive
  • Color – Straw to gold
  • ABV – Normal

Bohemian Pilsner

  • PB – Pronounced
  • Color – Gold
  • ABV – Normal

Amber, Dark or Strong


  • PB – Moderate
  • Color – Gold to amber
  • ABV – Normal

Munich Dunkel

  • PB – Moderate
  • Color – Amber to brown
  • ABV – Normal


  • PB – Moderate
  • Color – Gold to light amber
  • ABV – Elevated


  • PB – Low
  • Color – Gold to brown
  • ABV – High


Wheat/Rye beers


  • PB – Low
  • Color – Light gold to light amber
  • ABV – Normal

Rhine Valley ales

  • PB – Moderate
  • Color – Straw to light gold
  • ABV – Normal

Happy studying! Next post will be on Belgian/French styles.

14 thoughts on “Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part I – German/Czech Styles

  1. Beer blogger brains must be part of a hive mind…I was just thinking about doing a “beer styles” post. I’m definitely going to do something with off flavors soon 🙂

    Great post! Do you only need to know these three pieces of information? The BJCP exam is a lot more in depth if so.

    • As far as I know which is also why I’m doing the CBS exam instead of BJCP. You also get two tries at it so if I fail miserably I’ll at least know what I need to study.

      Look forward to reading about it!

  2. Pingback: Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part II – Belgian/French Styles | Short On Beer

  3. Pingback: TWIB – Talking, Studying, Mailing and Drinking | Short On Beer

  4. Pingback: Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part III – British Styles | Short On Beer

  5. Pingback: Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part IV – American Styles | Short On Beer

  6. Pingback: Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Study Guide Part V – Off-Flavors | Short On Beer

  7. Hi, I have been on and off studying to take this exam. I am so glad I found your blog as it has become a bit of a challenge trying to decide to pay the 199.00 for the Beersavy on line course. I have been working at a beer bar for 6 years and my boss has been saying they will pay for our courses and exams and it has yet to happen. Its nice to see this in this format as I am a visual learner and the syllabus, while helpful, makes me a bit nervous. Now that you have taken the exam and passed, do you believe reading Tasting Beer in its entirety is helpful? Thanks again for your Blog..

    • Hi Ingrid! IMO, take the exam first before you decide to pay for an online course. You get two shots at it anyway so why not take it once and see how you do and what you need to study for next time if you fail?

      I also have several years of experience working at a bar so most of the beer storage, tapping keg, etc. stuff was knowledge I already had. If you can learn the majority of these five study guides you’ll be fine. And again, if you fail you get another shot anyway!

      As far as Tasting Beer, I have to admit I stopped after 3/4 of the book. I’ll pick it up again one day and finish. The section on the history of beer was definitely helpful but it’s probably not a prerequisite to pass the Certified Beer Server Exam.

      Keep studying a little bit each day and you’ll be ready in no time. Let me know when you pass!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s