I just got an email from a brewer that was dissatisfied with one of my ratings at www.ratebeer.com I’m not going to tell you what brewery or beer this is regarding but I want to raise a general question or just discuss the subject a bit.
This is the rating I gave the beer:
Aroma 5/10 Appearance 1/5 Flavor 4/10 Palate 2/5 Overall 8/20
Poured a piss yellow liquid with a small white foam. Weak smell and taste with some bread. Watery and light body. No bad tastes. Boring beer.
The brewer was upset that I was unserious and that I didn’t rate it according to the type of beer it was. He was particulary upset about calling it “piss yellow”. He also thought the rating 2/5 was to low considering it didn’t have any bad tastes (average score was about 3/5). He had been in contact with ratebeer to have them change my text. Which they didn’t do. He also argued that I should give it a higher score since it’s a beer that sells well at some of the best pubs in Stockholm.
Now to start of I agree that my rating was to rough. I changed the part about piss and changed “boring beer” to: “not a beer for me”. But my grading stays, I didn’t really enjoy the beer much and the lack of taste and the horrible looks draws down the points for me.
Regarding my view on rating I rate my beers primarily of what I think of the beer. I don’t like to lock myself to a set mold that the beer should fit in. Partly because I don’t know how every mold should look like and partly because I feel restricted. What if a beer goes outside the mold but is an improvement? However I don’t go jack crazy and think a lager should taste like a stout and a DIPA should taste like a kriek. I do have some expectations when the label says Stout and others when it says lager. But in the end it’s how I like the beer that makes the points.
What Im most curious about is what people think about a producer attacking a customer (or rater) in this way? Also, how much responsibility does the rater have? I can see this argument going both ways. Of course I should make a serious rating, but at what point does it become unserious? Is it the producer that decides? Also who decides what the correct score for a beer is?