5 Tips to Review Beer Respectfully

Advocate This by | Aug 2010 | Issue #43

These days, the internet gives everyone the chance to be a critic—which is fine, until people take advantage of the freedom to say whatever the hell they want. Often, the safety that comes with anonymity makes it all too easy to fire things off from the keyboard without giving much thought to what you’re saying. We see this all the time in online beer forums, and it can get ugly.

Perhaps you’ve gotten ugly? Sure, most of us have at some point. To ensure you critique brews with respect, try following these guidelines:

1. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, but be constructive by adding suggestions, so that readers will take your opinions seriously and hopefully find some value in them too.
2. Subjectivity will always come into play, but try to be as objective as possible. If you know you don’t like a beer or a style, don’t review it—your bias will likely be apparent and will undermine your review. Keep the style and brewer’s intentions in mind, and never review a beer known to be past its prime.
3. Don’t like a beer or brewery? No need to get all agitated about it. It’s just beer.
4. Never drunk post—this applies to more than just beer reviewing.
5. Have fun. It’s beer.

And you don’t have to be a brewer, expert or certified judge to know what you’re talking about. You’ve been tasting things your whole life, and you know what you like and dislike. Use what you know, learn as you explore beer and think before you post.