Sunday, April 13, 2008

About Those Beer Bloggers and Their Opinions

Alan over at A Good Beer Blog has opened the proverbial beer can of worms with his post "The Anonymous Brewers Speak: Rating The Raters". He posts on behalf of an unnamed brewer:
Sites like R(H) are a thorn in the side for many brewers. They are dominated by a handful of posters that don't reflect the opinion of the general public. As with most critics they go off half cocked and I think often fully pickled. They pretend to know grain and hop varieties that they feel were used in a certain beer. I have seen the same poster rate the same beer twice in the same day and give it very different reviews. Hiding behind the mask of anonymity (like I am now) instills false bravery into these fellas (mostly boys but not all.)

Be sure to read Alan's entire post, along with the comments here. A similarly-themed post by Stan Hieronymus entitled "A (beer) critic’s job? Demolishing the bad?" has generated a lengthy discussion as well. While my "Musings" carry nowhere near the authority of the two aforementioned bloggers, I have given a lot of thought to the type of posts I choose to make and what I want this blog to reflect.

What are my qualifications for writing this blog? Well, they're more like reasons than qualifications. I like craft beer. I like the people I met, the places I've visited, and the new beers I've been privileged to try. I write simply to share some of that fun with anyone who chooses to spend a bit of time reading it. I have opinions, but so does everyone else. I intend to stick with writing about beers, people, place I've enjoyed. I am not going to spend my precious free time writing at length about a beer I hated. I wouldn't presume to waste the reader's time in reading about some misery I experienced.

The same policy applies to comments submitted in reply to my posts. If they are vulgar or simply complaints with no constructive criticism, or part of a personal vendetta, they probably won't get published.

So sit back and relax. Have a beer, read a book, visit a brewery. It's all about having fun and enjoying the experience. That enjoyment should extend to beer blogs as well. Even when there's a brewing battle brewing, the participants can still have fun.


  1. Thanks for the comments but I have to admit it really isn't my post - there are actual anonymous brewers who have asked to post in this way. A great discussion, though.

  2. Thanks Alan. I've clarified my post.

    Great discussion, agreed. A little introspective can be useful.

  3. I think ratebeer and similar sites provide a useful service, but my main complaint would be that these sites, especially, are biased towards big, hugely flavored beers. If you look at ratebeer's top picks, they are mostly imperial stouts, double IPAs, and the like. What about a good lager? Sometimes balance and subtlety are the mark of a good brewer.

  4. In fact, there's a lengthy discussion on just this topic going on over at RateBeer.

    Time to overhaul the top 50?

  5. Not to change the subject, but kicking ass and taking names is way more important to me than this "fun" business you keep talking about.

  6. Interesting post, sir, and I'm glad I found it. I discovered your blog by chance, and I'll be making a point of keeping up with it. Being a fellow Virginian is an added bonus ;)

  7. Well stated David... I'm still pretty new at reviewing beers, but I do enjoy it. I find I learn more when I really stop to think about what I'm drinking. I think my reviews will mature along with my taste over time. But you are correct, not much point in focusing on the negative... Beer is about fun and good times, so it should be with beer blogging.


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