Why don't you review?

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by rocdoc1, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (278) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    For those of us who choose to not review beers, why not? The simplest answer for me was laziness, when I'm drinking beer my work day is over and it's time to let the brain cells relax.
    But a more fundamental reason came to me after reading dozens of reviews of beers I was very familiar with. Who really cares what I think about a particular beer? I realized reading reviews really didn't have any effect on what I liked or what I wanted to try next. Not because the reviews(or the reviewers) were flawed but because they had not relation to my personal choices in beers. I don't follow beer fads, don't chase whales, and I don't really care what kind of beer anybody else likes or why, my tastes in beer are what matter to me. And writing about a beer I like should not influence anybody else in following what makes them happy. My approach over the past 50 years of beer drinking has been to blindly buy beers I've never heard of before and make up my own mind without being influenced by anything anybody else has said about it. I travel a lot and buying local beers I've never heard of has always been a very fun part of traveling. What if I read 30 reviews of a beer that nobody here liked and I skipped it, but later I found it again and it was delicious?
    I wrote one review of a brewpub but later realized I wasn't being fair so I never wrote another. I shouldn't judge a place, favorably or unfavorably, on one visit and I rarely visit anyplace very often at all so it's best to leave the reviews of places to the people who frequent them.
     
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  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,320) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    I always felt that, rather than read someone else's review (or them, mine), why not just buy the damn beer and drink it? It's only a buck or less for a bottle of beer. It's not like a new $10k car or a hundred dollar air conditioner or even a $4.99 record album...:grimacing:

    Granted, prices have changed :astonished: and there's more beer on the shelf (much of it I can easily reject because of brewer, style or flavoring ingredients - even stupid labels) but --- too late to start now.
     
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  3. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    I review some and others I don’t, biggest reasoning for the ones I don’t is that I either didn’t like it enough to give it the time of day or I forgot what I thought about it. I’m not gonna spend the time to write about something I truly didn’t like and I’m not going to make up a story about a beer I can’t properly characterize. Cheers.
     
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  4. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,756) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
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    First, why do I review?
    1. It's fun for me
    2. It makes me ponder the beer more, which... see #1
    3. For local beers I don't think are one-offs with few reviews, it gives others who care something to go on
    4. As a reference to myself, when I choose to use it... see #3
    So, twisting the original question to give answer more like @BigIronH - why would I choose not do a review?

    If none of the listed items apply :slight_smile:
     
  5. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,386) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
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    I have over 2000 beer reviews logged on BA. I stopped in late 2017. So the question for me would be "Why did you stop reviewing?" When I first started in 2011, it was simply because I liked trying new beers and I was getting sick of not remembering which ones I'd already had. At that time a full review was required to log a beer on BA, so I started honing my reviewing skills. Fast forward to 2017: I went through a period where I had to pedal back my alcohol intake, the world's beer selection had skyrocketed to the point where I could no longer remotely keep up with all the new stuff coming out and my reviews were starting to become redundant anyway, where I was using a lot of the same descriptors and adjectives over and over. Also, by that time my experimentation phase had mostly run its course. Reviewing new beers was a way for me to figure out what styles and characteristics I enjoyed and I had sufficiently accomplished that objective. These days, if I have a beer that blows me away, I'll rate it and maybe give it a quick review. But I just can no longer justify spending the time it takes to review a beer or even rate it. Maybe if I finally go for the Level 2 Cicerone certification, I'll change my tune.
     
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  6. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,756) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
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    What is wrong with using the same descriptors? Perhaps related, why does a review have to take a lot of time? I know I post some wordy reviews, but I also have a lot of short, mundane ones.

    As an open question to all who might want to weigh in on this thread (and hopefully it isn't a sidetrack)... Do people who don't review feel they need to be unique or wordy?
     
  7. 40ontarget

    40ontarget Zealot (537) Feb 7, 2012 Colorado
    Society

    The reason I don't do a review is that I'm not in a position to take notes. If I'm at a friend's house or out somewhere with folks, taking notes seems rude. By doing a review I'm not trying to influence anyone, instead it's as if I'm talking with other BAs. Here's what I taste, smell, think about this beer. When I read someone else's review they're talking to me. Just friendly communication about beer! Happy Thanksgiving y'all!
     
  8. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Devotee (497) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois
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    I don’t like having to make numeric ratings for each category. I enjoy writing reviews in various tasting threads, but assigning scores to each characteristic takes the fun out of it.
     
  9. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (278) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    It's interesting that several responses justified writing reviews, that's not at all what I was looking for. I am not criticizing anybody for reviewing or not, I read the thread about reviewing and am curious why others don't review. Years ago I answered a thread like this and got slammed for being an elitist, for not trusting the collective wisdom of BA members on what I should be drinking so I dropped out of here for a couple of years.
     
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  10. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,115) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    So, a lot of my reviews are very similar because, honestly, so many beers within a given style are so damn similar. Especially the murky, joosey turbid, frooty, 16oz can beers. The vocabulary is limited, much like the profiles of most beers of a style are limited.
     
  11. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,115) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    Well, the reasons why or why not folks tend to review are pretty much a mirror image, so it's not your fault that the thread wandered a bit off the rails. It's an interesting approach to a well worn topic.
     
  12. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    This probably directly answers the question of why I *do* review. :grin:
     
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  13. beerjerk666

    beerjerk666 Poo-Bah (3,060) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
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    I don't review as much anymore as I used, which isn't saying much.
    I have found it a little bit harder to articulate my impression(s) on the characteristics I am witnessing anymore so i just prefer to give a rating instead.
    If I do imbibe a beer that really blows me away enough, or disgusts me enough to write a review I will.
     
  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,320) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    I once corrected someone on some factual error re: a beer or a brewery they made in a post. (Kinda my thing - a personality defect? - yeah, I'm sure it annoys some folks but relatively harmless in the grand scheme of things and considering current state of the nation. My mother must have listened to a lot of DRAGNET on the radio when she was pregnant with me and I picked up on Joe Friday's "Just the facts, ma'am." in the womb).

    Anyway, whatever it was I wrote, the other dude came back with something like:

    "How can I believe that when you're so lazy you've never reviewed a beer in the X number of years and thousands of posts you've make here?"

    :rolling_eyes: I don't know, didn't really seem relevant to me. As if had reviewed the thousands of beers I have tried over the decades, it would make whatever I stated more accurate or believable. :thinking_face: I'm kinda of still into the 20th century concept of "reliable sources" facts. You can drink a lot of beers and still not know much.

    (Funny, I used to have about a dozen reviews of places - I was mostly interested in warning people of bad service, incorrect info, changes in ownership, tap menus, etc., but after awhile most were out-of-date, all the places had closed or changed hands, fixed the problems, etc. So I deleted them all. Save for that one which I can't delete and get the message:
    The following error occurred: PLACE CLOSED
    when I try. Yeah, one of the reasons I'm trying to delete it and even though half of the ones I did delete were also closed. Now it seems like I just really had it in for that place...:grin:)
     
    #14 jesskidden, Nov 25, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  15. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    Too bad I can’t look up any of your reviews because your page is set to private. :wink: Thanks for nothing.
     
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  16. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    I’ll go on the record to say that being corrected by you is a great honor and is practically an initiation to being a regular forum participant. :wink:Cheers, JK.
     
  17. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,320) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    OK, you asked for it then :grin:
    Click on steveh's avatar, a black window opens up with his info, click on 711 - the number of beers he's reviewed and it'll take you to a list of his reviews. At least, that works for me, and there's probably other ways to do it, too.
     
  18. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    Goodness me, you’ve cracked another code. Thanks. This has been a legitimate problem for me; wanting to see reviews from certain users but not being able to view their pages. Excellent workaround. Enjoy the day, my friend.
     
  19. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Disciple (398) Aug 24, 2020 California

    I review most of the beers I drink, so your question doesn't really apply to me but I did latch onto this part of your post.
    I review lots of places based on limited experiences, but the key is to make sure the review adequately describes the context and limits of the experience. For restaurants/pubs I include the time of day, the day of the week, and what i ordered so that people realize my experience at 2 pm Tuesday might not equate to their experience at 7 PM on a Friday. My burger and fries might not be indicative of the pasta or pizza at the same location. I almost always check YELP before going to a new-to-me place. A series of reviews reflecting limited experiences of other reviewers is better (IMO) than no input data at all.
     
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  20. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Hey!! What makes you think I *wanted" him to see those?!
    :wink:
     
  21. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Disciple (398) Aug 24, 2020 California

    One observation here that I can't hold back...there are some on BA who apparently fixate on "unique" reviews to the extent that their review is a meaningless, flowery pile of B.S. which does little more than entertain the reviewer and earn them another karma point. Very clearly the mods are, at times, asleep at the wheel when it comes to checking whether the reviews meet the minimum expectations for demonstrating that the reviewer has actually even tasted the beer. I'll take concise and descriptive over imaginative fantasy anytime.
     
    #21 BillAfromSoCal, Nov 25, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    To be clear, I never said I reviewed for others or to contradict. I mostly preview for myself so I remember whether or not I like a beer (for various reasons), and don't rely on someone else's perception of good or bad.

    There are only a few other members whose reviews I trust to be inline with my palate.
     
  23. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,320) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Oh, yeah - like me, you were more of an Addams Family fan, huh?
     
  24. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    :rofl:

    Does it help if I liked *Edmund* Gwynn (Gwenn)? :wink:
     
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  25. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    Very funny. But with all due respect, if someone respects your opinion and/or your ability to honestly describe a beer, why wouldn’t you want them to be able to easily access your reviews? Is that not a vital part of this site and “respecting beer”? Granted, this is irrelevant now given JK’s revelation but I’m just sayin’. Cheers my friend. All jokes on this side.
     
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  26. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    There exists two types of people on this Earth; those who enjoy The Munsters and those who i choose not to associate with. :wink:
     
  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    I honestly wasn't trying to lock people out of my reviews, didn't realize it could be done (and as Jess points out, it can't).
     
  28. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,320) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    ...were at the right age to have alternating (maybe simultaneous?) crushes on both Morticia and Wednesday.
    [​IMG]
    And I'm not afraid to admit it (seeing as the statute of limitations has probably been reached).
     
  29. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,901) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    Why don't I review? I'm lazy. Or maybe it's just one more thing to take my attention away from things that really matter. Like building a 2nd generation legacy wagon that can destroy all the Bavarian motor werks fan boys in the 303...
     
  30. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,974) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire
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    I started off just ticking (my first 900 beers or so). I was intimidated, to be honest. Between the whole "rating to style" thing and the fact I'm not an expert on any style of beer whatsoever, it was an easy choice.

    But then I said fuck it, and started reading reviews and getting an idea of how to write them. I've rated over 1700 beers now and I mainly do it for myself, so I can remember how certain beers tasted and were enjoyed (or not) by me. If others use them to help make a decision then that's great! But I'm not expecting that and in fact I'd recommend NOT doing that because my palate is absolutely hilarious.
     
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  31. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Not sure I wanted to like this post... sort'a scaring me. :wink:
     
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  32. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    What about Marilyn ? [​IMG]
     
  33. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    I was going to ask the same, but there were two and was afraid of Jess' reply. :grimacing::wink:
     
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  34. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (968) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
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    Judging by his last post I suppose he had it out for both of them. :wink:
     
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  35. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,189) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Exactly why I was afraid. :grimacing::wink:
     
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  36. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,178) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I used to participate in NBS/NBW so I did on occasion review a beer. here and there..I once wrote a great number of reviews as a beer wholesaler and really developed a knowledge of beer styles, but that has stopped for good. Lots of reviews here and elsewhere are very good, an equal number not so good. It seems that lots of folks are simply trying to rack up an always bigger number of reviews. It is not a race or like likes or friends on FB.
     
  37. Amendm

    Amendm Savant (987) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island
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    I remember the post accusing you of not reviewing and if I remember correctly you did not reply.
     
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  38. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,041) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    I am 100% absolutely certain that if I hadn't always had to scrape together the few bucks left over after providing for my families, and other priorities, and had a big beer budget, I just would have started at one end of the beer store, and drank my way to the other end, and just poured out any beers I didn't like with the first couple of sips. Then start over. I wouldn't have read a review. Why bother? I wouldn't have wanted to provide reviews to to others who shop carefully. Why bother?

    I since have found many reasons to review that aren't related to a tight budget, but this thread is about why NOT to review, and having bucks ahoy is definitely a reason not to review.
     
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,320) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    See, so that's two things I don't do 'round here!:wink:

    (I think it's happened more than once but who keeps track? Well, there might be a website for that, too.)
     
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  40. hopley

    hopley Meyvn (1,466) Feb 24, 2010 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I rate every single beer I drink on BA and always have, it’s like a personal badge of honor, and maybe some day I’ll get enough karma points to get a gold star or something, but I long lost hope for that. Reviewing is a different story. If I’m in the mood and if I have time, I might write a good old traditional BA style review and opine on each of the components as suggested by BA long ago. But oftentimes, what actually keeps me from reviewing a beer, in addition to rating it, is that I don’t want to just give it a quick one phrase “dank piney ipa, but not well carbonated...” like you’d see on Untappd. I feel this is being disrespectful to myself as a BA contributor, the BA community, the beer itself, and the brewer. While I have done this type of thing on occasion, and might actually like to do it more often with a bit more substance as I think it could be of benefit to the BA community, this type of review is more of an impulsive nature and better served by Untapped. I would rather come to BA for thoughtful, qualitative and substantive reviews where that matters. While I review with less and less regularity, and while BA has a much smaller universe of users than Untappd, and even though Untappd owns BA, the quality of beer reviews on BA serves as a differentiator between the two sites - to the extent I can help contribute to BA, I’m willing to try to do my part when I can. It’s all good fun!
     
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