就像看美食指南或旅游指南那样，CRAFT BEER也有可以参考的资讯，个人主要看ratebeer.com, 偶尔也看beeradvocate.com.
There are essentially ratebeer.com & beeradvocate.com that one could check for information and ratings of most beers.
Not sure since when but think i have developed a almost habitual ritual of checking on ratebeer.com before, during or after drinking a beer, especially with beers i have not tried before.
Is that necessary? i do ask myself at times.
Beer drinking is essentially about DRINKING & TASTING beers rather than check on technical aspects, comments, or ratings, then only drink(or not drink) a particular beer.
Don't get me wrong, checking for information of a certain beer before deciding to part with your money is nothing wrong, but if one always only check to see if the beer is rated 100/100 then only consumed, i say this is not true craft beer drinking but more of a vanity drinker( showing those 100/100 on FB, Tweet, Blog do look good...)
Beer drinking, is a bit like travelling, if you follow 100% of what the guide books says about what to eat, where to visit and what to do during your travel, you would somehow found out that following 100% what the guide books says can be tiring, boring, or at times misleading, it could spoil your holidays because following squarely would make it very rigid, as if you have a working schedule/time table to catch up, its highly likely that you would miss the fun of unexpected discoveries along the way.
Same goes for ratebeer.com, no doubt it is a good thing that we all can check on what other drinkers have to say about a certain beer, but on hind sight, isn't beer drinking is all about what YOU have tasted rather than what others have?
As we read on comments, opinions about a certain beer on ratebeer, very often we can find very contradicting ideas, opinions about a certain beer, because everyone has got different liking about the character/s of a certain beer.
Its like eating Durians(the king of fruits), some people love it to dead, some can't even stand near it. Some love the ever popular D24, but for me D24 is like a a very fat sweet potato, it would not be on my list of favorite Durians.
I have found out from my own as well as others tasting experiences that we do not love certain 100/100 rated beers. On the contrary, some lower ratings beers would easily make the top 20 beers list, In the end, a guide should only be a guide, NOT deciding what we drink or not drink.
Just like those who do not eat durians, or do not eat because they are told how "bad' the fruit taste or smell, if we decide not to drink a particular beer because of no ratings, low ratings or what others say on ratebeer or beeradvocate, then we will never know how it would actually taste or smell like....
That could mean missing out on a nice beer.
Next time when faced with a new beer, what do you do? check or drink first?
I will do both, not necessarily check first.
After all, beers are created for drinking, not for "checking out"....