From the get-go we had decided that we weren’t going to review beer on here. Main reason was that there were so many decent beer review sites out there we wanted to do something different. Recently that all changed – for two reasons.
1. When starting out the mug club at a great nearby beer bar (Moan and Dove in Amherst MA) we realized that while we had in fact tried many of the beers on the list, we didn’t really remember much about them. So why not do something on our own to keep track. Of course we could have started writing more reviews on BA or ratebeer, the logical place to keep some order to your beer drinking… That was until we went to a popular review site to look up a brew (as we often do) and read this excerpt from one of the reviews:
the subtle nuances of the under inspired hop use were characteristically absent but a touch of picante did manage to sneak through, creating a breathy release which was most noticeable in the nose rather than on the palate
2. WTF. When did beer become something we talked about like a couple of old poets? Amy and I have always been careful to toe the line between beer geek and beer snob. We love beer, love trying beer, learning about beer and meeting fun beer people. We do NOT talk about our beer using words like picante and breathy.
So we set out to come up with some categories we could use that would be unique to us but represent the way we look at beer. Which as far as we are concerned is far more fun than the guy who wrote that review. Here is what we came up with:
Sexiness – beer can be sexy. Hell, anything can be sexy – but certainly a delicious beverage containing alcohol will often rank up there. This is completely objective – the beers I find sexy are probably not the same as Amy’s sexy picks – but maybe they are – hell when that aligns it makes for an awesome night…
Packaging – why do so many brewers not give a rats ass about the package? Packaging is often how we select our beer. Certainly when we haven’t seen something before we scope out the bottle trying to determine what might be inside. A good package is key in spreading the word about good beer and getting people to try your crap – it also plays a part in your sexiness rating – so step it up…
Tastiness – now these aren’t in any particular order, mainly the order has been derived as how we came up with the categories. we are also not math majors, so they are all equally weighted and will stay that way. Anyway – tastiness is the obvious rating of how much we like the beer. Yep – we sum it all up into one category – take that.
Poundability – a throw back to our college days we chose poundability instead of drinkability because I am pissed that Miller stole that term and has added it to their repertoire which also includes “triple hopped” and ” taste protector lids”. bastards. Poundability is the scale of which a good session beer is showcased. Can I have more than one of these things? what happened to the session beer? Sometimes I don’t need 120 IBU’s to be happy.
Affordability – yes I know that beer can be expensive to make. I appreciate the work that brewers do and the cost of ingredients. But why do we avoid this as a category? Sometimes we are on a shoestring budget and need ourselves some cheap tasty beer to drown our financial worries. Oh Yuengling how we miss you in Vermont…
Aftertaste – the gift that keeps on giving. We aren’t just rating what comes in the bottle, but also what you get afterwards. Some of you beer snobs will call this the “finish” and speak of a “linger”. But you should probably keep that to yourselves. We are talking aftertaste.
So that sums up the plan. Cool part is that you can hop right in and rate the beers we do yourselves, using our categories of course. Hope that you will participate and enjoy our take on beer reviews.
Tim and Amy
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Bravo for your approach and your rating system! This is simply an excellent site by a couple of real beer lovers. Down to earth, easy to love, no-nonsense, straight-shootin’. I raise my mug to you.
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I feel you left out a very important category when evaluating beer. Every beer deserves to have its wetness factor noted. And no I don’t mean wetness as a side effect of sexiness. I mean how wet the beer is. Beer is composed mostly of water, and is therefore usually very wet. But imagine licking that crusty dried beer ring off the bar top that someone’s glass left behind hours ago. That may have many of the flavor characteristics of beer, but lack the wetness. As another example, an eisbock has a lower wetness factor than a doppelbock as the eisbock is intentionally frozen and the ice skimmed off to decrease the wetness. Budweiser on the other hand is almost entirely wet. In fact in a typical Bud-bar the tables and bar top are usually spotless as there are no dry bits left behind upon evaporation.
I find the most commonly used instrument for testing wetness is the mouth. Though I suppose other instruments such as paper towels, sponges, and the neighbor’s cat may be used if you should find your mouth missing or otherwise incapable of judging wetness. And as an extra-curricular activity, find other things your mouth can be used for to detect wetness besides beer. The pussabilities are endless! ;)
Very true. Hadn’t considered wetness. :) I do like my beer to be fairly wet. But not too wet – that can piss me off.
I have been thinking of adding shape as well. Not of the bottle so much as of the beer. I have had enough of this liquid taking on the shape of its container crap and think that a truly excellent beer would have a shape of its own.