I wrote a newspaper article this month about beer books in the Library’s collection. There are a lot of resources online for beer enthusiasts too. So, I guess this is a companion piece.
In my article, I mention Beer Advocate, which is a fantastic online community that spawned its own print magazine. They also host beer festivals across the country. Anyway, they’re an excellent place to start online. There’s a very involved user base that post in the forums and write reviews. The reviews are what brought me to the site. When I’m at the store, I check BA to see what a particular beer’s score is. Since there are so many people using the site and posting reviews, I feel like the score is a pretty good indicator of a beer’s quality. It’s fun to browse their forums too. I don’t post there personally, but I could see myself doing it someday.
Another great website is Rate Beer. It has reviews too (you could probably figure that out from the name)
and includes different information than what Beer Advocate does, such as the best kind of glass to drink each beer in. I feel like their reviews are pretty trustworthy too. They also include information about the beer’s availability, but, honestly, I don’t find it very accurate. It says that many hard to find beers are common, though, it probably is more indicative of national availability. That said, the website has a Local Beer guide, which tells you the best beers that can be obtained in your area and the best beers brewed in your area. As you can imagine, when you put in Iowa, the best beers brewed in your area list is dominated by Toppling Goliath.
Beer blogs are abundant, but which are any good? First on our short tour is Beervana, a blog by the author of The Beer Bible, Jeff Alworth, one of the books from my article. Jeff writes about the beer industry and his thoughts on it. If you liked The Beer Bible, then his blog is definitely worth checking out. The Hop Review is a slick looking website that covers the craft beer scene in Chicago and the Midwest. The site features well written articles and everyone involved is obviously very passionate about brews. Finally, there’s the fun site Pints and Panels. Em, the creator of the site, draws comics where she reviews beers. I find beer reviews hard to read sometimes, but Em’s reviews are very accessible. I love what she’s doing and you should check it out too.
There’s a bunch of other stuff out there, like apps that you can use to track what you drink. I like the idea, and I’ve tried using Untappd. I was a little confused by it and soon gave up. It’s something that I want to explore more. Alright, go out there and enjoy a drink. Also, be glad that you don’t have auto-brewery syndrome, which gives home-brewing a whole new meaning.