Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Greetings from the fringe

Those of you that know me, know that I like a lot of BEERADVOCATEs and RATEBEERians. They are the reason we are still brewing. They are some of the most passionate beer people that I know. My main criticism though, is that many lack a sense of humility. Rating beer is great fun, but if I want to try a new beer, these websites would be the last place I'd look for insight and confirmation. Let me shed some light. I particularly love the reviews that disclaim, right off the bat, that the reviewer doesn't like the beer style he/she is reviewing but, "here's what I think .......". Another good one is the reviewer that's not quite sure what style the beer falls in, "so, I'll just review this as a weizenbock". Yeah, that's a favorite of mine.
These websites ( and should be about beer and appreciation (which the founders had in mind, I'm sure), instead of rating the most beers.
Beer is a wonderful thing. But dumbing down the drinking pleasure to: aroma (smells like my wife's corn cobbler) or color (looks like a lemonade sitting on my grammie's front porch for 4 hours) does little to advance understanding. That brings me to another point. How many adjectives do we need to describe maltiness? Do all these reviewers sit in front of the PC with a thesaurus? I heard Michael Jackson once describe a beer's flavor as "the burnt currants on the edge of his mother's fruitcake." That was a wee bit of prose that I could relate to, but when someone writes "Copper, pepper, caramel and butterscotch lead the aroma, reinforced by apple spice, dates rolled in holiday spice pipe tobacco, and maple nut fudge.", well, come on, get a grip.
Wait, did I state how much I like the BEERADVOCATEs and RATEBEERians? I love these folks, so keep those cards and letters coming.


At 10:11 AM, Blogger pschar said...

I just want to agree with you regarding reviews. Not reviewing to style and reviewing a style you don't like both annoy me. (Hey, this barleywine sucks - where's all the hops?!? And I guess I just don't like wheat beers - so let me give this one really low marks)

At 7:33 PM, Blogger renata said...

thanks for saying out loud (or in print, anyway) something i've found intimidating & annoying on those sites. i'd like to learn more about beers & beer styles, but the "i have more beer knowledge than you" reviews don't tell me anything! where's a beer fan to turn?

At 12:21 PM, Blogger unclebob said...

agree totally


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