UnPopOp Series #3: Don’t Rate, Appreciate

Yes, this series still exists. If anyone’s ever read these posts, you’ll know this is the third in a series of blog posts arguing some fairly unpopular opinions within the craft beer world. And if you haven’t read any of these posts yet…  this is the third in a series of blog posts arguing some fairly unpopular opinions within the craft beer world. The first two posts in this series discuss my take on the recent “buyouts” and “sellouts” in the craft beer industry as well as my belief on whether it’s okay for someone not to like a particular beer (especially if the beer has significant “off-flavors”).
Photo courtesy thisiswhyimdrunk.wordpress.com
 This particular post was inspired by a recent All About Beer article discussing “the agony and ecstasy” of opinions posted on websites such as BeerAdvocate, RateBeer, UnTappd, and others. I encourage you to read the article as it also gives perspectives on the reviews from various brewers around the nation. But here, perhaps I will go a different direction on these reviews.
Photo courtesy Summitliquor.com

If you’ve ready any of my previous posts, you will know that I recently traveled to Georgia. And while the Georgia beer scene has definitely come a long way, the selection of beers still differs greatly from those available in the California markets. Many of the beers available did come from local Georgia breweries, but there were also several from up and down the East Coast – many of which I had never heard of since they are not typically available in California. So what’s a beer drinker to do when he’s in the middle of an unknown beer world? Here’s my thought process:

 – Scan entire selection (Maybe I find something I’ve read about?)
– Search for the style of beer I’m in the mood for
– Repeat Step 1 for that particular style
– Scratch head a few times, still wondering what to pick
– Check RateBeer and UnTappd for local selection (Because that’s what the Internets is for right?)
Photo courtesy RateBeer.com
 That’s right… I checked RateBeer and UnTappd! I thought to myself, “Self, there should be some decent tasting-notes there, right? At least the reviews will give me an insight on what to expect?” Well, I will let you decide… Here are a few reviews of some of my favorite and not-so-favorite (I’ll let you guess those too) beers found on RateBeer.com:
 On Bells Oberon Ale: 
I was expecting more from this ‘hoppy wheat’…from the style and the brewer. not deserving of a 98 in style imho. not bad, but nothing stands out – was expecting more bright sunshiny hops, and got a decent American wheat.” – Rated 3.1/5


On Sierra Nevada/Bells Maillard’s Odyssey:
Bottle. The pour is a creamy black. The aroma is big on toffee and some malt. The taste continues the toffee, almost reminds me of mother of all storms.” – Rated 2.9/5

On Stones Delicious IPA:
Very good beer. A little less hoppy than what I expected, although what you lose in bitterness, you gain in complexity. It’s easy to make a very hoppy IPA, its difficult to make a beer as good and complex!” – Rated 4.2/5

On Founders Devil Dancer Triple IPA:
Somewhat disappointing. Founders rarely lets me down, but this one was not too great. Pours amber with little head. Alcohol on the nose is not unexpected given the ABV, but dominates unfortunately. I was hoping to get hop-bombed. Bitter taste for sure, but not all in a good way, and very little character. I’ll try it again next year, but glad I only got a single of this overpriced brew.” – Rated 3.5/5

On Dogfish Heads 120 Minute IPA:
This beer if my fav! Strong aromatic goodness. After 3 you are left satisfied and looking for a cheaper option. This beer hits everything perfectly and will spoil your tastebuds moving forward!” – Rated 5/5

So what’s my point in all of this? Are these people’s opinions wrong? Are they right? I personally believe each craft beer lover is entitled to their own opinion – even if I don’t fully understand what that opinion is (or means). But does that mean they have to share that opinion with the world? Certainly, they have the right to share their opinion. But is it considerate of others to post my opinion on a beer, which by the way, is also subject to my own preferences, experiences, palate, and food and drink eaten prior to sampling this particular beer?

Photocourtesy GrowlerMag.com

 Well here’s my challenge (and unpopular opinion) my fellow craft beer lovers: Just stop. Let’s stop posting our reviews and opinions, and stop reading others’ reviews for our next purchase or sampling. Maybe we don’t stop forever, but at least experiment for a short time by coming up with your own unadulterated opinion on the beer and allowing others to do the same. Let’s appreciate the beers we find on our own that we truly love. Let’s also appreciate the beer we don’t like, which we then hope to discover the why beyond “it’s bad” or “it’s just okay.” Perhaps we’ll be surprise with our findings? Join me in exploring the craft beer world with out another person’s craft beer “road map.” After all, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like I’m blocking your access to RateBeer or BeerAdvocate…
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to reach out… I love talking (not arguing) craft beer!

Conrad B.’s Bio:

God. Family. America. Craft Beer. Homebrew.
Sacramento, CA / Dallas, TX
 Website:   InBetweenthebrew.wordpress.com
Twitter: @inbituinthebrew

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Conrad B

God. Family. America. Craft Beer. Homebrew.

Sacramento, CA / Dallas, TX