There's a lot of beer in the
marketplace to be sipped, and I really don't want to be the
one to be sipping it all! And, I hope, neither do you. Which
is why people rely on sites like this one to distill down what's worth spending one's money and one's mouth on.
There's an old saying.
I heard it often in college, and I guess it's international,
too, because my wife's Korean family uniformly says it.
"A beer is a beer is a beer." You don't need a Ph.D in
linguistics to decipher the 'hidden' meaning. A beer
contains alcohol. Alcohol gets you drunk. And
one beer, with a certain amount of alcohol, is as likely to
get you as drunk as any other.
The aforementioned statement
isn't true. And I don't drink beer to get drunk. Vodka
and rum are a quicker way to get to inebriation. I
drink beer because it can potentially taste good. With
so many beers now in the marketplace, it's difficult for me
to remember which ones I've tried and which ones I've liked.
So I've setup a ratings system as explained below.
This is NOT a democracy, so you have no say in the system.
Get on board or get out!
0. Brand name
and specific type of beer this beer is marketed as.
I refrained from using brewery names because most breweries'
name recognition pales (as in pale ales) in comparison to their
signature brews. Oftentimes a brewery uses its
names in the marketing. Examples: Asahi, Sierra
Nevada, Samuel Adams, Chang. Other times, they don't,
as in Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch Inbev), Singha (Boon Rawd),
Tiger (Asia Pacific), Red Horse (San Miguel). I
briefly thought about subcategorizing beers by brewery.
Then, it occurred to me that breweries have become
megacomplomerates and the conglomerate's name doesn't mean a
whole lot to the average consumer. In limited cases, like with Van Honsebrouck, I mention
the brewery name in addition to the brand name. Van Honsebrouck isn't a huge brewery and by
including the brewery name with the brand name, the drinker can more easily see how one drink in the
company's small range overlaps with another.
1. Date review
2. Back button
so you can easily go back to the previous page you
were on. Handy, isn't it?
from 0 to 10. I didn't use 1 to 10 scale
because then 5.5 would signify an average beer when it
actually makes more sense for 5 to have that distinction.
Ratings are shown pictorially by thumb and by number.
5. Picture of
the beer in bottle or can or keg or enema bag --
whatever it's commonly served in. Click on that picture to
go to that beer's review page.
6. Excerpt from
a review. Usually just a sentence or two.
7. Average cost
in US dollars per liter of beer. The
price will naturally vary by country. I try to use the
grocery store price of the beer in its key markets.
Thai beers, for example, will be listed with the price of
the beer available in a typical Thailand 7 11 or Family
Mart. Beer Lao costs next to nothing in its country of
origin, so showing that price wouldn't be fair.
Instead, I use the price of the beer in Thailand which is
more reflective of what the beer would cost for most people
where they buy it. Price is not a scientific figure.
But I do gauge how expensive a beer is before I rate it.
If a beer is amazing but costs $30 per bottle, then it's not
so amazing that I'm going to be picking it up again and
again which will impact the rating negatively to some
extent. We drink and eat things that are great but
also able to fit into our budgets.
8. Alcohol by
volume percentage. Most people in the world
only care about this figure.
9. Type of beer.
Is it a lager? A stout? A porter? There
are potentially dozen of categories and no universally
agreed on designations. I attempt to keep this
category as broad as possible or it becomes a meaningless
classifier of subclasses of subclasses.
10. Country of
manufacture. With chocolate, a bar may
be manufactured in Switzerland but sold exclusively by an
American company. In the
Chocolate Republic, that bar would be classified as
American, not Swiss. In the Beer Republic, this is not
the case. Beer is manufactured locally to save money.
If a multinational company (Heineken, Asahi, San Miguel)
brews its beers in a variety of countries, I cite the
country in which the particular bottle I sampled was made.
Hence, you will likely see the same beer listed several
times in the Beer Republic with different ratings because
each of those brews was manufactured in a different country.