There are many beer rating sites on the internet. The two most prominent of which I'm aware are BeerAdvocate.com & RateBeer.com. Initially, I would rave to clients in Das Cooler about a beer's BeerAdvocate review & get summarily shot down because RateBeer.com is the better rating site. Wull, I'm easy. I switched and am now devoted to RateBeer, and am being told from time to time that BeerAdvocate is the shit...I'm so naïve!
There seems to be some contention as to the validity of beer ratings on these sites. Some don't trust the validity of the ratings saying they could simply be friends & family of the brewer stacking the ratings in favor of a that brewer's beers. I also think some have a subliminal resistance to the ratings -- perhaps because the raters are strangers. I personally think highly of the ratings. I feel they can be a great guideline from which to decide whether or not a brew might be worth trying. I am often asked for my favorite beer in Das Cooler, or for the best beer in Das Cooler. I am just one person/opinion. The rating sites require a minimum number of ratings before an overall rating is assigned. So it seems somewhat better to get more than one opinion about a beer before taking a chance on it. And Das Cooler contains over 900 different beers. That's a LOT of beers from which to choose! So, if one brew gets 91/100 on a rating site and another gets 57/100, I will likely plunk my dime down for the higher rated beer. If one is worried about the possibility of the ratings being by friends & family, one can check the reviews out -- see if they are all from the same location as the brewery or not.
I've put RateBeer rating shelftags (see above) for several of the beers in Das Cooler. Not only does this give clients the above mentioned guideline, but I hope they might dispel the need to consider style. I feel that if a brew gets a rating of 100/100, I should try it even if it is a style I don't think I like. If your foray into stouts has only been Guinness Draught and, from that, have decided you don't like stouts, you really need to try Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout or Mill Street Cobblestone Stout in order to see how hugely different stouts can be. Be bold!
I'm just sayin'...
Chris the Beer Blogger
from Das Cooler
at The Keg n Cork Liquor Company