Posted May 14, 2013 by Crafted Pours in Blog Posts

Tips on How to Review and Rate Craft Beer

Tips on How to Review and Rate Craft Beer

Keep it Casual but Expertise is Welcome

Crafted Pours presents craft beer reviews and ratings for all fans of craft beer. Focus on flavor, aroma, and appearance. Talk about what aspects of the beer you like and what flavors you perceive. Don’t be afraid to describe it as you would to a friend, telling us why the beer was so great.

Crafted Pours provides technical data, as well as ingredients, and descriptions with common beer terminology. ┬áDon’t worry if you’re not up to speed on IBUs, malt backbones, hop types, and funky yeast flavors, when you rate and review a beer. Part of the fun in craft beer is learning and as you explore more craft beers all of these terms can become commonplace – or you can just solely focus on flavor and ignore them!

Try to focus your ratings and reviews on Beer Styles you like to drink; IPAs, Sour Beers, Stouts, etc. You may enjoy all, and that is great for everyone using the site.

Expertise is very welcome. If you are a connoisseur of IPAs, you can probably tell us when one has overly harsh bitterness or the body is too thin for the hopping levels of the beer. You can also tell us when the hop aromas are exceptional and the bitterness is just right. Those insights are very helpful.

Avoid rating beer styles or certain beers which do not appeal to you. If you do not like anything bitter -food, drinks, etc, then you may unfairly rate IPAs on the site. If you absolutely hate chile peppers, then you probably do not want to rate beers which are brewed with them.

Rate a Beer in Comparison to other Craft Beers Brewed in the Same Style

When rating an IPA base your score on how it compares to other IPAs. Try to avoid comparing a standard IPA to a Double IPA, as the flavors and aromas in a Double IPA are going to be more intense. The same goes for many other styles, such as rating American Stouts vs. other American Stouts, and not against Imperial Stouts. If the beer is your favorite or the one of a few favorites in a particular style, then you may want to rate it an A.

On the Crafted Pours site the best Cream Ale can be rated with an A, just like an Imperial Stout can. However, when it comes to an A+ rating you will probably not see a Cream Ale, but will see several Imperial Stouts.

When to Rate a Beer with an A+

A+ ratings are meant to be reserved for the best beers in the world. Complex, flavorful, and artfully crafted by world class brewers. For an A+ rating, you will want to compare beers against every other great beer, and determine if you think the beer is one of the very best out of all styles. Many of these beers will undergo long aging periods to build complex flavors, and use special processes such as barrel-aging, lactic-fermentations, and dry-hopping.

Account for How a Beer is Served and in What Setting

Unclean tap lines, dirty glasses, warm and flat beer, or ice cold served beer ,can all impact the flavor and aroma perception. A flat and warm IPA is not going to give you that proper hop bite without the carbonation lifting flavors and aromas. An ice cold Barleywine is not going to display all those wonderful malty and dark fruit aromatics. A dirty or improperly cleaned beer glass (soap residue remaining) is going to affect a beers head. The head allows aromatics of hops and malt to rise from the beer, and provides the start to the mouthfeel and texture of a sip.  Try not to penalize a craft beer with a poor rating if it is improperly served, instead talk to the bar or brewery about it.

Finishing a three mile uphill hike in the summertime with a refreshing Belgian Wit, may make it taste like the best beer in the world, whereas that same Wit served on an ice cold snowy day may not be as refreshing. Keeping perspective on your beer reviews will help greatly.