There are so many brewers out there now producing so many styles that it can be quite confusing, even intimidating, to decide what to purchase when you walk into the beer section of a store. There is nothing more disappointing than buying something you thought you would like; but it turning out to be something you don’t. One of the main goals of my beer blog is to help the reader with their decision-making by providing a good description and review of a beer.
Beer Rating Systems
I thought a lot about developing my own rating system; however, that’s been done quite thoroughly and most are not helpful at all. Rate Beer, Beer Advocate and Untappd are three popular sites that allow users to rate and comment on the beers they drink. While those have a great entertainment factor from users being able interact and influence ratings; they also have the obvious flaw of user bias toward styles they like or hate skewing results.
I will show a Beer Connoisseur rating, as they use good criteria for scoring that compares beers in the same style category for a more thorough explanation of their criteria go here: Beer Connoisseur – How We Score.
Very important: I purchase all the beers that I review. Many beer reviewers and Instagram “influencers” (I don’t consider myself to be an influencer either) solicit and receive free beers from breweries. I neither solicit nor will I accept free beer.
That being said, I wanted to come up with something a little more helpful and different. So below is how I simplify the process.
Bitterness Level: This is a major dividing line for a lot of beer drinkers and it can be deterrent for newer drinkers trying to find something they like. If one grabs a Lager that is more bitter than expected, that can be a big turn off. So I give a Bitterness Level description:
- None – No bitterness detectable
- Restrained – Bitterness is present; but not overwhelming
- Moderate – Bitterness is strong; but does not linger long in aftertaste
- Aggressive – Bitterness is strong; lingers in aftertaste
- Excessive – Bitterness is overwhelming; wow – these guys went off the chart!
There are a LOT of good beers out there. So another major consideration is, did you like it enough that you would buy it again? If yes, would you buy it occasionally or would you keep it stocked at home. So here is my approach to the question:
- Would I purchase this beer again? Yes or No
- Would I stock it at home? Yes or No
- Distinguishing characteristics (smooth, refreshing, sour, etc.)
Keep in mind, regardless of a reviewers opinion on a beer, it’s still only an opinion. Everyone likes different things and tastes/opinions can change over time. There is nothing worse than scoring systems that tend to favor a particular style over others. Just because IPA’s score higher in a system, doesn’t mean everyone will like them. So, I’ve tried to reduce bias as much as possible. Ultimately, it’s your own opinion that matters the most!
If you have any suggestions as to what other blog are missing, let me know. I’m always up for helpful tips.