As is becoming obvious from this blog, I love beer. I love buying beer, drinking beer, talking about beer, reading about beer, and rating beer. Yes – rating beer. And there’s no better place to do this than Ratebeer This is predominantly an American website, but has expanded dramatically over the last two or three years and has users all over the World, and in Scandinavia it is growing beyond all expectations. There are about 60 regular users in the UK.
Ratebeer is primarily a website for rating beers (i.e. giving scores for aroma, appearance, flavour, palate and an overall score) and writing a short but fairly succinct description of your impressions of the beer. But it has grown to much more than that. There are the obvious forums to talk about beer and beer events. There is a forum about homebrewing with recipes and hints and tips shared. There are pub reviews, although this is an area which we are trying to expand. There are regular meet ups between members at festivals, and increasingly at people’s houses where each participant brings beers along, and a huge tasting session ensues. There is also beer trading where people swap beers either in person or (pretty common overseas) by post. There are obvious risks to trading but more than 99% of trades are problem free.
I have been on Ratebeer since January 2004, and have seen it grow to the biggest drinks website in the World gaining the most hits. I have met more than 40 other members (never thought I would meet people from the internet!!), from England, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Gemany, Australia, USA and Canada. More importantly every single person I have met has been really great and I have made good friends on the site.
Every new beer I try I rate on the site and at the time of writing I have rated 2926 beers. It is not all about the numbers, but it does become a bit of an obsession trying different beers (ooh I must try that Ethiopian lager). Because of friendships made I have tasted some of the world’s best beers from other countries which I would never had managed to see otherwise.
Ratebeer is now my homepage on the net and is definitely the site I spend more time on than any else. Visit it, you might just get hooked!