Friday, January 28, 2011

Hedonists Praise Westvleteren and Drie Fonteinen and More.

I was hoping that throwing the word "porn" into yesterday's title would help draw in some extra traffic. No such luck. The words "Drie Fonteinen" and "Westvleteren" are much more effective. Just in case you're a new blogger looking for tips.

Anyway, thought I'd take a second to point out the release of this year's Ratebeer Best.

I don't think it's controversial to say that Ratebeerians generally represent a certain type of beer drinker. Most people who try a lot of new beers and keep notes on them are looking to be immediately impressed. So a beer needs to come to the party looking its absolute best, carrying its biggest aroma and punch-you-in-the-face flavor if it wants a realistic crack at these awards.

Subtle, more drinkable beers--the kinds with which we can spend a whole day or develop intimate, long-term relationships--can generally forget about it. That's a flaw but not one worth losing sleep over. I like to keep those beers to myself anyhow. Like a quiet pub off the beaten path, not everything needs to be shared with the world.

The fascinating thing about the listing, and Ratebeer in general: It is ultimately hedonistic and democratic. Anyone can contribute, and thousands do. There is no education or training process required. These are real people out there simply saying how much or how little they like all these beers. That is a powerful thing and hugely informative. It is also frightening for many brewers.

In short: Ponder the listings with a grain of salt. But ponder them anyway.

More of interest to us pilgrims: the rankings of best places. Lots of ideas and dreams for future travels in there. Nice to see Moeder Lambic Fontainas make the Top 10 among beer bars. Meanwhile, to confirm a growing trend: Italy appears to be emerging as a top beer geek destination. Have a look-see.


  1. I'm still a new 'blogger' don't get me wrong, but the 'porn' sucked me in like a moth to a flame! - Might be a new blogger, but I'm still a man!

  2. I've heard that romance novels are "Woman's Porn". Does that make "subtle, more drinkable beers" bodice rippers?