Ratebeer: How to know if a beer is good

Something I encounter very often is people commenting and talking about if a beer is good or crap, based purely on the subjectivity of the person. In that sense, beer isn’t like music. There’s good beer and bad beer, no matter what your personal tastes or preferences are, but you’ll judge a beer based on your experience, the beer you know or you’ve tried and how much you actually know about beer.

Starting at the point that all opinions are respectable, one thing is your personal preferences and the other – the objective fact that the beer is good or bad. Let’s say that you love McDonald’s burgers, or the wine from the corner shop next to your house. That’s fine, but until you’ve tried French wine, Italian wine, a gran reserva from La Rioja or even gone to a vineyard and actually saw how good wine is made, you don’t have enough knowledge about if it’s good or bad, the only factor in your judgment is that you like it. Same happens with beer: if you don’t know about styles, about how it’s made or about how good it is compared to others in the same style you can’t make an objective judgement.

The fact of claiming that a beer is very good without knowing about beer is not just going to create a bad image to someone who listens to you and doesn’t know about beer either, but you’re going to look like an ignorant person in the eyes of someone who knows. And not just that, you’re going to disparage all the work and effort there’s behing a good beer. And I know that’s going to create some controversy, but your pint of Peroni, Fosters, Kronenburg or Heineken are very poor quality beers, hence bad beers. Back to the example of McDonald’s, they’re beers made for the masses, cheap and without taste. Like it happens with the burgers: cheap, bad quality and tasteless, and their only purpose is to fill you up.

But worry not, as I’m not trying to make you feel ignorant or an idiot, but to try to share my knowledge and maybe teach you something. Even if you don’t know about beer to the level of saying if it’s good or bad, there’s a webpage/forum/information point that at the same time is the biggest library of beer information that can help you to have a reference before saying a  beer is good or bad.

It’s called Ratebeer, and with a ranking from 1 to 100 you can find out how good is the beer you’re drinking. As they say:

“RateBeer.com is widely recognized as the most in-depth, accurate, and *most-visited source for beer information. RateBeer is an independent world site for craft beer enthusiasts and is dedicated to serving the entire craft beer community through beer education, promotion and outreach.

Since May 2000, RateBeer has remained an active forum for beer lovers to come together and share opinions of beers, and beer retailers in a free environment. Established and maintained by dedicated volunteers, RateBeer has become the premier resource for consumer-driven beer ratings, features on beer culture and industry events, weekly beer-related editorials, and an internationally recognized, annual RateBeer Best competition. A vibrant community of hundreds of thousands of members from more than 100 countries have rated hundreds of thousands of different beers around the world. Our mission is to provide independent, unbiased, consumer-driven information about beer and breweries and to enhance the image and worldwide appreciation of beer.”

You can also check underneath any beer, comments from users talking about the colour, aroma and taste of the beer. I invite you to type any beer you like or you’ve tried, craft or not, so you can get an idea if what you’re drinking is good or not.

That’s all for today, I hope I helped you from now on before you claim a beer is good or bad. As I said you can like it more or less, that’s respectable, but that doesn’t mean it’s good.

Source of images: https://www.ratebeer.com/

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