Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

August 7, 2007

Beer Diary:

Here’s A Rating For You: Wine Sucks

How to use the Beer Dorks’ craft beer reviews.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
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There’s been some hubbub lately on beer sites around the ’net about 100-point beer ratings and how bad an idea they are, started by the Philadelphia Daily News’ Joe Sixpack.

I’m not going to get into that debate, since the obvious has already been stated several times over: beer doesn’t need a 100-point rating scale. The scale was invented to allow spoiled grape juice producers to jack up the price on shit that people actually stuck their feet in, as well as to let ignorant/lazy consumers pretend they’re wine snobs.

OK, so I got into the debate, but that’s all I’ll say about it right now. Honest. What I am going to talk about is the ratings we Beer Dorks give to craft brews. “But wait, Eddie,” you say, “I thought we didn’t need beer ratings. Are you talking out of your ass? Again?”

Unlike the 100-point ratings, the Beer Dorks ratings aren’t here as some definitive scoring system to tell you what you should drink or buy. It’s just what each individual reviewer thinks about that particular beer. We give the beer a rating to tell our readers how much we really liked (or hated) it.

Here’s what our mug-ratings actually mean:

5 mugs: The beer’s quality transcends style and is—to the reviewer—one of the best beers in the world.

4 mugs: The beer is outstanding within its style.

3 mugs: A solid beer that is very drinkable but doesn’t do anything to stand out from the rest of its ilk.

2 mugs: The beer is drinkable but flawed. Flaws may be aroma, appearance, taste, or poor adherence to style.

1 mugs: The beer is damn near undrinkable to the reviewer.

0 mugs: We don’t give zero mug ratings. A zero mug rating means the subject of the review isn’t really beer. So you won’t be seeing any reviews of Bud Light.

The ratings allow readers to see if you have anything in common with any of the reviewers. I’ve found that if you find a reviewer that has similar tastes to yours, that’s when you’ll start to find some new beers that you’ll really like. And since you probably don’t have a lot of time to comb through all 133 (and counting) beer ratings, I’ll give you a quick and cheap overview of our review crew.

Nigel is a hophead. That pretty much sums it up. If you’re into hops, you’ll dig Nigel’s favorite beers. He can appreciate other styles, but hops will always be in his heart.

She’s not a fruit, as her mini-bio/tagline says, but Jill loves a finely crafted fruit beer. She also digs wheats, lagers, smaller-bodied ales, and men wearing bow ties.

Franz’s day job is a yeast wrangler for a commercial brewery, but at night he roams the mean streets, saving beer philistines one glass at a time as a Beer Dork reviewer. To get over the hump of such an awful day job, he enjoys maltier beers along the lines of alts, marzens, and bocks.

Beer and whiskey fusion is Baby-boy’s bread and butter. He likes his beers dark and dangerously big, and if they’ve been soaked in old bourbon barrels, so much the better. He also likes to cut the tops off champagne bottles with a sword. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Jug is normally too busy drinking—and brewing—home brew to get out there into the land of “commercial” beer, but when he comes across something he likes, he lets the world know about it.

And then there’s me, Eddie Glick, who likes all good beer. Except brown ales. There’s a few out there that’ve tickled my palate, but as a whole I usually pass. But otherwise, I like ’em all: doppels, IPAs, tripels, wheats, alts, fruit beers, porters, bocks, barrel-aged, rye beers, stouts. And that’s just what’s in my beer fridge now.

So peruse our reviews and find a new beer to try right now.

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...