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Ratebeer loves Minnesota-made beer


  1. zeller says:

    When I follow the link, the page says that Surly is the #11 brewer in the world. What gives?

  2. ryan says:

    I’m sorry. I screwed that one up… they should be at 11… still a very respectable place. 😉

  3. Ben says:

    Looks like Surly is #11 in the world according to RB not #2.

    Rosie’s Ale from Barley John’s they have listed as barrel-aged and they also have a non-barrel aged. This isn’t right as all Rosie’s Ale is barrel aged in Pappy Van Winkle casks. Funny how just adding the word “barrel-aged” can increase the overall rating of a beer.

    Dark Knight Returns is still getting ratings on there like crazy even though it hasn’t been on tap for almost 2 years!

  4. Trav says:

    RB consolidated ratings for DK and DK returns.

  5. Ben says:

    Aaaah cause they’re totally the same beer. 😛

  6. Cynic says:

    I’m sorry, but sites like Rate Beer are almost total BS.

    Any moron can write anything they want on the web (like I’m doing now!) and you don’t know who they are and what they know about anything.

    Many of the so-called reviews are just laughable.

  7. Trav says:

    Why would random drinkers reviews on BA and RB be any less valid then say, an “expert”? People can write whatever they want, and review however they want. Doesnt really matter if they know anything about beer, its all opinion anyway. They do seem to help to gather how good or bad a beer is overall, even if some ratings are bias or laughable.

  8. bthek says:

    Yeah, if you only paid attention to the micro trend of individual reviews rather than the macro, you’d have a very skewered view of things. Foolishness and bias often reveal themselves in the review itself. Things like complaints about flavors which are intended are big tells.

  9. Michael says:

    …and there are clearly a lot of MN posters on Ratebeer and such sites. Not that these are bad beers. They’re certainly great beers, but come on!

  10. al says:

    well, at least these reviews can be seen in context, against other reviews, or among the whole of a reviewers output…what do they like, what have they had, how have their reviews changed, where do their passions really show?

    when someone signs on here anonymously with a fake name and registers opinions about other peoples’ opinions, it’s useless, we’ve got nothing to go on, you’re just blabbing in the wind….just like them! Only worse!

  11. al says:

    Ben–don’t forget Smoke versus Oak-Aged Smoke.

  12. Cynic says:

    “Why would random drinkers reviews on BA and RB be any less valid then say, an “expert”? ”

    When you’re sick do you go to a trained medical doctor or a shaman who shakes a rattle?

    Just because some internet hack has tried a crapload of beers and posted their opinions means squat.

    Sure you can try a bunch of beers and you can have likes and dislikes, but it doesn’t necessarily make you an expert or your opinion usefull.

  13. Trav says:

    I guess I would suggest you stay far away from those sites then captain Rumplemint.

  14. Cynic says:

    I love music. My 30 gig ipod has more than 5000 songs.

    I can express my opninion on music all day long, but I don’t play an instrument or have any real technical knowledge.

    Do my likes and dislikes mean anything? Not really.

    Same for beer.

    Who gives 2 craps if some doofus posts their likes and dislikes on the web about music or beer?

    How many of the Rate Beer hacks can tell me what brettanomyces is and why it’s not a good thing in the bottle of Bluebird Bitter I bought at The Cellars but why it kicks butt in Orval?

    I bet hardly any.

    How many can tell me what diacytel is or acetaldehyde are, what produces them in beer and which beers they’re OK in?

    No, we don’t need people who know anything.

    We just need uninformed opinions.

  15. ryan says:

    You know it’s interesting as everyone has a valid point here. In the beer world (and everywhere else) there tends to be a lot of group-think. I remember when I had my first bottle of Dogfish Head, I was expecting nirvana because it had been hyped so much. The way news travels, I don’t think it’s terribly uncommon for these sorts of things to happen. I think the same sort of thing afflicts macro drinkers who go gaga the first time a Guinness passes their lips. I’m not saying Dogfish Head or Guinness make bad beer, but I think we tend to go into it “knowing” that these are “great” or “unique” or “extreme” beers. There’s definitely something to be said for blind tastings and BJCP or BJCP-style judging.

    On the other hand, despite the (possible?) lack of expertise among reviewers, the people who review beers on Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate are still beer fans and despite any influence that hype and speculation might have on their reviews, it seems like there are a lot of people who are genuine in their reviews. The “haters” and “fanboys” are easy to spot and though we can’t yank their opinions from the site averages, it’s still a reflection of where people are at. I think you do have to take it with a grain of salt to an extent as these sort of things tend to skew towards big beers, but it’s still a nice nod to some of our local brewers.

  16. al says:

    I sense the return of Steve/Hateboy/Hitler/Sybil/…degreefreedom?
    Another 172 responses?

  17. David Berg says:

    Against my better judgment a couple of observations…

    My knock against beer rating sites is the inability to differentiate between what is well made and what you like. But, it is a consumer site so people rate highly what they like. I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with that.

    On the other side of the coin, why isn’t Brett good in a Bitter? Why is it ok in Orval? Why is diacetyl ok in Pilsner Urquel? It’s because that’s what people have come to expect and enjoy. Once again, it’s a matter of taste. I know brewers that hate Hefeweizen because the phenolics are basically the same that you get from a wild yeast.

    Come folks, it’s just beer. Drink what you like. I’m glad everyone likes different things, or my job would be pretty boring…

  18. Cynic says:

    I actually liked the brett in the Bluebird Bitter, but from an expected style parameter, yeah, it shouldn’t technically be there in a bitter.

    You hit the nail on the head with the inability to distinguish between what is well-made and what someone likes, or what is fashionable.

    After spending the better part of an afternoon perusing the beer rating sites one day my conclusion was that the level of cluelessness was extremely high.

  19. Hateboy says:


    I never went away.

  20. al says:

    Ah…it’s good to know we’ll always have Hateboy.

  21. surlybrewer says:

    It sure is too bad other people don’t have the incredible palate and knowledge you have about beer!
    I’m so impressed!
    Please start your own brewery so hacks like me can spend money on your beer!
    I’ll even attempt to review it, palate hack and all!

    Thank You!

  22. Ben says:


  23. al says:

    “Cynic” seems like a bright little boy who just wants to show off to everyone what he just learned at BJCP class!
    Everyone pat him on the head, so we can send him off to bed, and continue with the big people party.

  24. ryan says:

    I hear “Cynic” makes good mead & beer though. I’d drink it.

  25. Cynic says:

    People sure seem to read between the lines and make a lot of assumptions.

    I never said anything about BCJP class or my palate.

    Sorry that some of you can’t deal with differing opinions.

  26. skypilot says:

    Al gets easily bent outta shape when someone goes against the grain.

  27. Cynic says:

    Looks like it.

    I made the astonishingly heretical comment that someone with a trained palate and knowledge of the brewing process is probably better at evaluating beer and its time to release the hounds.

  28. Michael says:

    “Al gets easily bent outta shape when someone goes against the grain.”

    Why would anyone say anything bad about grain???? Grain makes BEER!!!

  29. al says:

    “Looks like it.
    I made the astonishingly heretical comment that someone with a trained palate and knowledge of the brewing process is probably better at evaluating beer and its time to release the hounds.”

    who is this person?
    is it you?
    how on Earth do we know this?
    you’re a phantom, a will o’ the wisp…
    prove your prowess. get on those sites. be a voice. or shut up.

    no-one’s gotten bent out of shape, skypilot…you haters can all go back to your little hating hidey-holes.

  30. al says:

    btw, “Cynic” it is clear you have absolutely no sense of humor.

    Are you a professional brewer? If so, tell us who you are and where you work.
    But you seem like a homebrewer with an overarching sense of his own self-importance.
    Hence, my comment about BJCP classes and Todd’s about your palate being so much better than those amateur raters that you know so much better than.

    Your “knowledge” is bullshit, because it arrives with zero humility, which at least the raters have…

    You’re so much greater in beer appreciation than all those raters…then, prove it. Or get out of the way!

  31. al says:

    “read between the lines”…”make a lot of assumptions”…isn’t that what you’re doing about the beer raters online?

  32. skypilot says:

    Cynic, see what I mean.

  33. al says:

    skypilot, don’t see what you mean…who’s “bent out of shape”…who was first to attack others, and who’s merely coming to a defense.

    “going against the grain” is that you?
    I fail to recognize myself in your attacks.

    get over yourself, Jeff.

  34. skypilot says:

    Jesus Christ Al, would you calm the fuck down.

    You’re always on the defense when someone questions your precious beers that you like or has differing opinion that doesn’t meld with yours.
    Can you not accept the fact that Cynic thinks RB and BA reviews are laughable? BFD!!!

    I personally find most highly rated beers are too sickly sweet and cloying for me. So I stick with dryer beers, like for instance Southern Teir Unearthly IIPA, which I think is the best IIPA brewed in America, hand down, that’s my opinion. Most would disagree with me but I don’t care.

    Yes, there are beers made in Minnesota that I dislike but I don’t feel the need to make it known all the time like you feel the need every time to defend the beers that you like.

    I don’t understand where you get off calling me a hater.
    Is it because I didn’t like a certain beer that you hold dear?

    get over yourself, Al.

    and don’t ever call me a hater again.

  35. al says:

    calmer’n you are.

  36. al says:

    having a different opinon is one thing, but insulting others is clearly a different thing.

    you should know about that.

  37. Cynic says:


    And who is Al? I don’t have a clue, other than you go out of your way to bash me for making some general observations.

    Why am I required to prove anything or get on one those sites?

    I don’t need some goofy web site to make up my mind about a beer. I’ll do that myself without worrying about what you or anyone else thinks.

    I thought the comments section here was to talk about beer, not to kiss Ormar’s and Todd’s collective ass or adhere to some party line.

  38. Cynic says:

    Al says:

    “be a voice. or shut up”


    I was expressing myself quite clearly. You just don’t like what I’m saying. Boo hoo.

  39. Cynic says:

    “calmer’n you are.”

    Yeah. Totally.

  40. Kristen England says:

    Lord this place is full of asshats. Although Im sure that Todd loves all the praise, I’d put money on the fact that he could use a few ‘groupies’ with hooters that rock and less of the ‘work from home know it alls’ that love ‘chillin’ and ‘nugs’.

    From my experience, people with beer chops can walk the walk and the others just regurgitate crap they’ve seen elsewhere. Dave makes a great point. Its just beer and drink what you like. The experimental stuff is great b/c it lets brewers take a whack a something creative. However, a lot can be said for something simple taste spectacular.

    Styles are a good way to ‘order’ different types of beer. They are ever changing and flowing and should be thought about as a ‘snap shot’ in time. They are based on history and tradition. Its a way for all beer people to communicate.

    Everyone has their opinion about beer but apparently everyone isn’t allowed to say so. The RB site is only about ‘opinion’ specific to what a person does or does not think tastes good. Nothing more should be read into than that. As for business, its genius. Free advertising. People begging for your beer. Pretty sweet gig.

    Oh, and btw. I had the darkness this past weekend. It was ok…the bottle was pretty sweet though. Todd, I think your RIS from Rock Bottom was better. What I do have to say is that your mild is REALLY REALLY freakin good. I find myself ordering that where ever I go. Do me a favor. Make sure you aren’t an asshat and put this on regular rotation. Put the crap in cans so I don’t have to go to the bar to get drunk Toddly!! Chop chop! 😉

  41. fanboi says:

    “Oh, and btw. I had the darkness this past weekend. It was ok…”

    OHMYGOD!!!! Are you FREAKING kidding? How can you say that?

    It’s the best beer ever. EVER!!!!!!


  42. Trav says:

    Who Ormar?

  43. al says:

    actually, I never saw anywhere here where anyone argued for the “kissing of Todd & Omar’s asses”…or “fanboi”-ish behavior towards Darkness, or about Surly at all.

    Oh, wait, because this is about the MN ratebeer rankings, and I guess Surly’s on there somewhere, isn’t it?

    what I objected to is the dismissal of the value and integrity of that community of voices, whose passion toward beer probably does more good in the long run than some anonymous poster hiding behind a noun and boasting how much more he knows about yeast.

    oh, wait, …is it that if they knew more about diacetyl, then they’d obviously hold opinions closer to “cynic”‘s, and therefore not value Surly beers or Barley John’s (oh, wait, I forgot to check, are they okay, or is it just Surly you’re supposed to knock?)?

    this is too much for me, I’m gonna go have a beer, but only if it’s overhyped, I wouldn’t want to burst anyone’s stereotype.

  44. Cynic says:

    “what I objected to is the dismissal of the value and integrity of that community of voices, whose passion toward beer probably does more good in the long run than some anonymous poster hiding behind a noun and boasting how much more he knows about yeast.”

    I did not boast about anything, Al. Show me where I did.

    I stated my opinion clearly about a web site I find useless and uninformed. Rather than trying to rebutt my view with a rational argument you attacked and insulted me.

    Nice job, Al.

  45. al says:

    I can’t be to blame if you have a bad memory.

  46. Cynic says:

    Skypilot was correct in his assessement of you.

  47. DegreeFreedom says:

    Al’s arguments are as weak as his drunk spewings anyways, the dufus signed up as another account on BA in 2003 just to add extra hype to Masala Mama.

  48. ryan says:

    Alright guys. Thread’s closed.

    I don’t care if you don’t like each other or don’t agree, but fake posts using someone else’s name won’t be tolerated.

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