What's the story behind your first beer review on BeerAdvocate?

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Aug 23, 2021.

  1. JamFuel

    JamFuel Poo-Bah (7,907) Mar 26, 2009 Sweden
    Moderator Society

    I used BA for years to just look up beer I was thinking of buying. After a while I started rating, and a cold day in January of 2017 I figured I'd try using some words as well. The beer was Lorelei by Omnipollo, and reading the review now isn't too cringey. I use pretty much the same format now, but I'm sure my palate and tastes have shifted through the years. I would love to get my hands on a Lorelei now to see what I think.
    Bitterbill, Rug, SLeffler27 and 6 others like this.
  2. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (9,863) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader


    And just an aside, while I joined BA officially in 2015, I was a background creeper prior to. I was never a big fan of having accounts before, and for maybe for good reason, as I can get a little wordy and even aggressive with my views. But it's also a good way to take my mind off other things and focus on one of the things I really enjoy, which, aside from the beer itself is picking apart others' work and finding what I really like most about it to begin with lol!

    But honestly, like @SFACRKnight said, going back and reading what you wrote about something in the past is actually a realistic form of time travel, even if just a small blurb. It's more than just words, since you wrote them you often remember a lot more about your entire state of mind and other things surrounding you at the time
    Bitterbill, Shanex, Rug and 9 others like this.
  3. Lukass

    Lukass Meyvn (1,397) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    Domaine DuPage French Style Country Ale by Two Brothers Brewing Company, back in December 2012. But why the hell did I give this a 2/5??? It's a fantastic beer, and I remember even loving it back then so I really don't know what the cause for this is, lol
    Bitterbill, Rug, SLeffler27 and 5 others like this.
  4. wingedeel

    wingedeel Zealot (541) Nov 17, 2005 Indiana

    January 2007, "Spruce Juice" from Peaks Pub.

    The wife and I had moved to Port Angeles, WA. for a couple of years, and I worked for Peaks (now long closed). It was a tiny brewery/beer bar. Spruce Juice was by far the best beer ever brewed there, and I reviewed it as it was the first such beer I had ever tasted. I don't review beers often, others are much better at it.
    Bitterbill, SLeffler27, DIM and 3 others like this.
  5. Amendm

    Amendm Meyvn (1,019) Jun 7, 2018 Florida

    I lurked in the shadows of this site for a year or two before I took the plunge. In June of 1918 I was on vacation in South Florida visiting my parents, noticed some Cigar City beers at a gas station and decided to try two of them. I had seen Jai Alai for sale in Rhode Island but always passed for other choices.

    I drank an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale and really liked it so even though I had promised myself a week away from the “net” I checked it out and saw that it was a 4+ rated beer. I drank another while reviewing it and the rest is history.

    It appears that the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown has been retired however Cigar City still has offering in the English Brown Ale category, Maduro Brown for example.

    It turns out that writing a beer review is relatively easy and Cigar City is one hell of a brewery.
    cjgiant, Bitterbill, Shanex and 10 others like this.
  6. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (6,083) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Congrats to one of the truest "old timers" right here. :wink:
    cjgiant, Bitterbill, Rug and 5 others like this.
  7. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,685) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    After about a month of lurking, my first was Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout on 17 Dec 2011. A new local store had opened up and they had all these "strange" beers. The store has since gone down the tubes but now I know things! Like you can visit breweries and they will actually sell you beer in these little things called flights and they will talk about it with you. And a carefully curated store with a good beer person on staff are hard to find but a real joy to behold.

    But at the time, I was still new to the sport in general and learning as much as I could, reading a lot of reviews and being a tad bit intimidated...but I just decided what the heck if they can do it, I can too. It was not a very sophisticated review, that's for sure, and it is pretty cool to look at the evolution. I'm still pretty casual about it and focus heavily on the "real time" impression of the beer and I've no issue with saying what I think, but my descriptors have improved at least a little bit (NBW nee NBS has really helped in the learning department). I also admit to being heavily influenced by "liking" a beer, although I have learned to at least give half a thought to looking for the style markers. You do the best you can, discuss and learn from others, and keep up the little bit of effort it takes to do a review - it's still fun 494 beers later.
    cjgiant, Bitterbill, Shanex and 7 others like this.
  8. Amendm

    Amendm Meyvn (1,019) Jun 7, 2018 Florida

    Hah, I just noticed 1918. Should be 2018. Spell check can't catch that $#!t.
    dcotom, Shanex, Rug and 4 others like this.
  9. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,774) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I had only recently moved to CO. and was trying the multitudes of zany beers I'd never heard of before. This site had proved to be a terrific resource for teaching me what was what and I wanted to give reviewing a shot. For a little while I was reviewing a whole bunch, but I lost interest after a while. It got tougher and tougher to compare/score things or write something unique, so I mostly stopped.
  10. TMoney2591

    TMoney2591 Poo-Bah (9,418) Apr 21, 2009 Illinois

    Nigh on eleven-and-a-half years ago, I was still in Virginia earning my Master's, living it up, soaking up the local flavor. Still relatively new to BA, I felt I should throw some love toward an old favorite, namely the Exklusiv Pils from Ladenburger. Thing was, said beer did not exist in the BA database. At the time, you had to have some number of reviews before you could add a beer to the database (and then you had to actually review the beer you were adding), so I figured I'd knuckle under and get the prerequisite reviews done, starting with the beer I had on hand one night, Terrapin's Dark Side Belgian-style stout (part of their Side Project series). Once I had done the necessary reviews, I did my addition, which led to more additions and quite a few more reviews. It just wouldn't stop, at least not until a few years later (I'll get caught up one of these days, though). Having left NoVa and the rest of the east coast behind, I haven't been able to have another taste of The Dark Side (if it's even been made again, or if any bottles are still extant), but it was tasty then, and that's how I'm gonna remember it.
    cjgiant, Bitterbill, Rug and 7 others like this.
  11. Sound_Explorer

    Sound_Explorer Poo-Bah (1,991) Dec 29, 2013 Washington

    Mine was Omnipollo's Fatamorgana on 1/28/2014. I was so young and naïve then, having no idea how beer would change over the coming years. When I first had this beer so long ago I loved it, blew my mind and was my fav DIPA for a couple years after. It was a bit hazy even then based on what I wrote. But it was killer to the young me and my first baby steps into describing beer publicly.

    Note: B-bomb says I reviewed it first but it was simply an updated rating of later vintages so I don't count that.
  12. MikeWard

    MikeWard Poo-Bah (2,931) Sep 14, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    September 18th 2011, 10 years ago. Golden Avalanche's Old Brick Alt at the Kutztown Tavern, Kutztown Pa. Simple review, "it was good, it was balanced". 3.63 score. Evening particularly memorable for the "massive" fish and chips serving.
    snaotheus, Bitterbill, Rug and 4 others like this.
  13. ejimhof

    ejimhof Poo-Bah (1,868) Apr 12, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Penn Pilsner brewed in the Northside of Pittsburgh which is actually a Vienna Lager and not a pilsner. I did not like the first couple of years of this beer but it became a very good beer after a few years. Unfortunately the original brewer passed away and now this beer is a former shell of what it used to be. Just a constant reminder of how life changes day by day.
    snaotheus, Bitterbill, Shanex and 5 others like this.
  14. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,738) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I started writing reviews both to participate more here and to sharpen my own tasting skills approaching beer as a subject of analysis in addition to being something good to drink.

    My first review, April 10, 2016, was New Belgium Accumulation and re-reading that review today there's nothing I would change.
  15. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (2,849) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    Once upon a time... basically I really liked beer. Unfortunately the best beer was uncommon. You know, Bass Ale, Killian’s, Guinness, etc. Kinda drifted away from beer for a while; then tried Rare Vos which lead to La Fin Du Monde, which led to wanting to know more about beer and... voila!

    During this great awakening, I was working on a project in the Adirondacks with an otter for a mascot. By the time Otter Creek released Otter Kilter, I had a soft spot for the little critters and enough confidence (aka naiveté) to write a review. Thus began a new hobby.

    That was 24 February 2008. Still have the same avatar, still have the glass with the happy little fella who’s not afraid to show his subtle playful qualities.

  16. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,401) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    My first beer review was for Ballast Point's Victory at Sea. I had been a member of the site for a while and had spent some time lurking on reviews, learning what I could from here and professional beer review channels on YouTube. When I felt confident in my knowledge, I waited until I found the perfect first beer to review. Victory at Sea blew me away and I knew it was the one.

  17. deleted_user_995920

    deleted_user_995920 Crusader (796) Jun 4, 2015

    I liked Long Trail double bag so much I had an inspiration to rate it. My first review was "Tastes like chocolate milk" that is it. I was a bit hammered at the time. I think BA thought I was trolling them or something. I got a few weird replies-
  18. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,429) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    :thinking_face: "THE GENESEE BREWING CO. INC, ROCHESTER, N.Y." on the label wasn't a good enough clue that it wasn't? :wink:
  19. jkrich

    jkrich Meyvn (1,386) Nov 1, 2001 Florida

    After signing up for Beeradvocate in October 2001, I finally completed my first beer review on August 2, 2007. Prior to this I normally read the reviews of any new beers and followed the beer news from the BA brothers.
    When I completed my first review, it was not a good time for me as I had just lost my job (I was terminated or "fired") and there were few prospects at the time. So, while looking for jobs online, I kept going to Beeradvocate more than ever. Feeling somewhat alienated because of my situation, I wanted to get involved with Beeradvocate; so I tentatively started my review of
    Three Floyds Brewing Company's Pride and Joy Mild Ale. After reading my review of this beer after so many years, I think I did okay.
    Little did I know I would move a couple of times and finally end up in Florida. (I would also burn through a couple more jobs) During those changes, I always stayed in contact with Beeradvocate. Beeradvocate has also changed over the years (mostly for the better) but it has always remained a quality and welcoming site, even though some of you can be quite passionate with your opinions of beer. :slight_smile: I am just glad to be along for the ride. I wonder if Three Floyds still brews Pride and Joy Mild.
  20. SoylentGreen45-70

    SoylentGreen45-70 Initiate (26) Dec 28, 2018 Nebraska

    I intend to roam Beertopia wastelands in search of those and more. They are very hard to find, Im not sure the importer is still in business.
    Since these early samples and some brewing of the Germanic styles, I really start to feel bad about blowing the crap out of them during WW2.
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  21. BigIronH

    BigIronH Meyvn (1,375) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I wouldn’t feel too bad…
  22. arizcards

    arizcards Poo-Bah (5,170) Jun 11, 2003 North Carolina

    My long time enjoyment of beer and my natural inclination for accounting (yes i am a retired accounting gnome) led me to BA. Liked the look and feel of it compared to Rate Beer.
    I had just returned from a trip taking my mother up to see my brother and sister in law up in Idaho Falls. While up there we spent a Saturday afternoon at the Mountain Brewer's Beer Festival which essentially was the northwest region of the country. It was an interesting day getting my then 70 year old Miller Lite aficionado mother sampling some craft beers, dodging my ex-sister in law, and at the same time enjoying my first major beer festival!
    My first review was inspired by a sampling at the festival and was "reviewed" after we had returned to PHX. It was not a review, just a half-assed account of why i liked Deschutes Black Butte Porter so well. Embarrassing.
    A handful of years ago i started making an effort to re-review beers still actively brewed that were over/under 10% of the average rating. Black Butte fell under that tolerance but in today's world i know i cannot rate it a 4.42 like i did 18 years ago. Someday i will find a BBP and review it properly!
    Squire, cjgiant, snaotheus and 4 others like this.
  23. flagmantho

    flagmantho Poo-Bah (6,647) Feb 19, 2009 Washington

    Bit late to this conversation but ... my first review was Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar back on July 20, 2009. I had used the site for a while to look at stuff before (I think I officially joined the previous January?), but was apprehensive about the responsibility of adding a review to the site. Like ... would I screw it up? Is my palate even worthy of reviewing a beer? I kept pen & paper notes of beers I tried for a while, before making the plunge. 3,851 (and counting) reviews later, I'm glad I did!

    I've heard some distressing things about Rogue's practices since then, so I haven't had HBN in a while. But damn if it wasn't one of the best beers I'd ever had at the time!

    Edited: I guess I joined in February, not January. I could have just looked next to my avatar
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  24. Retsinis

    Retsinis Meyvn (1,008) Sep 25, 2009 Arizona

    My first beer review was Lost Coasts Downtown Brown. I reviewed the bottle fresh when I reviewed it, but my first time having it was probably three or four years earlier. I chose to review that beer because it was my aha beer, it was my gateway beer. While I had tried a lot of beers before it, mostly lagers, maybe an ale or two, through friends, poker games, and college parties. They were mostly macro BMC, or mass euro lagers.

    At the time I first had it, about 2007ish, downtown brown was hard to find in Los Angeles, and so rare to most of my friends at the time, and one many of them wouldn't even try it. To paraphrase a quote from Frost, I took the road less traveled. I made new friends, and tried so many beers along the way. I never regret the lesser traveled road I chose, and looking back, I am all the better for it.
    #64 Retsinis, Aug 29, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  25. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,862) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    Ok - saw this promoted thread and wanted to check it out, but just now getting to it. Before reading about y'alls's first reviews, I had to reverse sort to find mine. And given my proclivity to wordiness...
    Mad Fox ended its life a couple years ago. Outside of that, of note:
    • That is quite succinct for me, though I worded up the "O" - relatively
    • I didn't know how to spell stou[d]t!!
    • I apparently wasn't a fan of barrel aging :dizzy_face:
    My next review was of Avery's Average Joe's Pilsner and I actually recall that review and specifically how it felt weird to do it, given I had only rated a beer before (via BrewGene, not Untappd).
  26. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,880) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Back in 2014, one of our HyVee wine club tastings included a few craft beers that the store planned to feature at their upcoming holiday show. One of those was Fresh Squeezed. I'd never had anything like this. I was instantly hooked, and I had to find out more about it. I found BA in the course of my research, then joined shortly thereafter. Fresh Squeezed was my first "tick." I reviewed it (much) later and was surprised at how close my first impressions were to my later ones. Incredible beer then, incredible beer now. :beers:

    My first actual written review was for Wychwood Ginger Beard. (How many of you can say that? :grinning:)
  27. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (5,922) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

    Holy shit, Fresh Squeezed is that old? I still think of it as a new addition to the Deschutes lineup! :grimacing::sweat_smile:
    flagmantho, dcotom and cjgiant like this.
  28. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,862) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    I can recall when getting Deschutes beers in the DC area was a pretty big deal and we were glad for it. I *think* it had to do with a collaboration with a local restaurant [group] - and I might guess José Andres but that's a huge guess (think maybe he [also?] did something with Estrella) - (edit: next guess would be with Engert and ChurchKey's group, but that doesn't fit with my memory well, meaning it's more than likely accurate).

    Anyhow, bittersweet to see that the SWVa Deschutes outpost didn't end up making sense, especially since I would think it might bring/create more Obsidian Stout this side of the U.S.
    dcotom and snaotheus like this.
  29. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (5,922) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

    You've had Black Butte Porter, right? I like their standard line beers (and honestly, Obsidian is probably better than I remember it), but Black Butte is a gem.
  30. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,862) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    Oh yeah - we get Black Butte (and the anniversary version, of which me and a friend have a decent vertical of). Black Butte is near the tops of American Porters in my mind, which begs the question of why I don't post more of it. Shut up, Dad!!

    Sorry, sidetracked...

    The GF actually gets Fresh Squeezed fairly regularly, too. I sleep on it even more than Black Butte. So you're saying I have no right asking for Obsidian if I can't truly buy into Deschute's core flagships? Well, then, sir........

    I can't disagree :disappointed

    But I still wish I'd see Obsidian here :wink:
    snaotheus likes this.
  31. Mindcrime1000

    Mindcrime1000 Poo-Bah (1,592) Apr 30, 2016 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    No great story for me for the first review. I had to look back at those first few to remember. I had tried Orval and some other classics, but had never gone to a site like BA. I ended up trying Chimay Blue and Rochefort 10 in almost side-by-side fashion on the same night, with the Rochefort being the first review. (With the Chimay close behind). My deep affection for Trappists has never waned. I just polished off another "10" before bedtime tonight.
  32. BucannonXC5

    BucannonXC5 Poo-Bah (4,347) Jul 10, 2011 California
    Society Trader

    This is great. My story was I told my wife one night that I was going to start rating beers. Just out of the blue one night after stumbling upon this website. She just kind of said, "oh, cool." This was before Untappd and it was really reviewing beers but I didn't know the difference. I got all ready to rate a beer (Mothership Wit from a New Belgium variety 12-pack) and then found out I had to wait 48 hours (I think) after creating account to review a beer. Jeez. I was at my home four places ago when I did it. I've realized a lot since then. Not sure it's being produced anymore but a few years ago I decided I wasn't having anything that wasn't real independent beer. And New Belgium now is not real independent beer so I won't be going back. It's #CraftAdjace.
    Rug, Todd, snaotheus and 1 other person like this.
  33. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,478) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Happenstance is probably the best way to describe my first review. My methodology is to rate only selective beers and to give the same numbers across the board depending on what I think the beer should be scored. However, if one of the five characteristics of the beer is rated upward or downward for cause I'll comment about why. Sometimes I might get wordy and exceed the threshold to land in the Review zone.
    FBarber and Squire like this.
  34. ATS9K

    ATS9K Initiate (45) Dec 29, 2020 Illinois

    I can't even remember from my first account. Was unable to access that account when I returned.
    Ex-best friend at the time introduced me to the site. We'd discuss at length the beers we drank. When I signed up to the site, my review was just a fragment of larger conversation we had about the beer. I had already been taking notes of beers in documents I drank by that point, probably had tried more than 100-200 different beers by that time.

    First on this account, Epic Brewing Company Big Bad Baptist - Chocolate Rapture. Catching up on logging a bunch I could remember from memory since I began drinking again last year. Stopped drinking because dui while I was homeless living in my car on the streets, more important to get license back than drink during that time. Finally get license back & I won't be driving again because now I have seizures, so a little casual drinking, not letting it become a problem, enjoy some things before this brain tumor concludes my life.
  35. Rug

    Rug Poo-Bah (1,690) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I’m happy to see you’re doing better now brother. That shit is inspiring. Best of luck to you :beers:
  36. biboergosum

    biboergosum Poo-Bah (13,594) Oct 28, 2007 Canada (AB)

    I was on vacation in Washington state, with an ex-Gf in 2007. We were there mostly to tour the wineries, but I became enamoured with the IPAs of the broader region. Plus, being able to purchase an Arrogant Bastard bomber at a gas station across the interstate from our hotel at 11pm, kind of blew my mind. Anyway, I had lurked on BA for a year or so, and bought a number of bottles to bring back home, one of which was Stone IPA. My first review. It wasn't very thorough, and I updated it years later, when Stone products made their way to the Alberta market.
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  37. ivegot3Dvision

    ivegot3Dvision Zealot (559) Feb 9, 2015 Oregon

    Madeira Sucre. I had been into beer for a bit and had lurked the BA forums but didn't sign up until 2015.

    It's still one of my favorite beers, it's too bad it's falling off now.
    Rug and Todd like this.
  38. carolinabeerguy

    carolinabeerguy Meyvn (1,172) Oct 10, 2005 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I was pretty fresh into my craft beer journey and grabbed a sixer of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. It was so bad I couldn’t finish it and began searching the Internet to see if there was anyone else reviewing beers that might agree with me. That’s when I stumbled upon this place. That was almost 16 years ago.
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  39. Electros

    Electros Poo-Bah (2,471) Feb 20, 2007 Canada (ON)
    Moderator Society Trader

    Bah Humbug Christmas Ale, Wychwood Brewing.

    November, 2008. New house, new wife, first married Christmas season coming (also not long after finding out about our first daughter :heart_eyes:).

    I was a first term electrical apprentice moonlighting at a brewery in down town Toronto to make ends meet. It was my second tour of duty there and still miss it.

    I happened upon BA by chance after many years of loving craft beer... The internet was a very different place back then.

    I had lived in the UK when I was younger loving real ale and everything British going to school to become a brewer but that path didn't work out but my love for good beer never stopped growing and how fitting it was my first review...

    To my dismay at the time their had been a tinkering of the recipe and a reduction in the ABV. Thinking about it now I still have the bottle downstairs amongst the many others that jog my memory of different moments in life.

    Great thread idea. I'm smiling.

    Cheers all!
  40. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,239) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    The review is just fine, but Double Simcoe was a trailblazer and simply an excellent beer. In fact Weyerbacher was ahead of the innovation curve for quite a while.
    snaotheus and DIM like this.