If you aren't a regular reader, then this counts as Cliffs Notes: There are tickers, as celebrated in Phil Parkins' film, and whom I enjoy a lot. Then there are Spoogebeerians. These are the fanboys of the beer-ticking world, the uber-tickers. They outgrew comix and now they're going after beer. They want more than a tick, they want the brewer too. They'll go to extraordinary lengths to obtain rare beer ('Spooge') and have created the hothoused eBay secondary market for such beers. They can usually be found in their online hives at BeerAdvocate or Ratebeer.com. You can find a UK hive dedicated to BrewDog at their website blog.
ITEM! Tasting beer without drinking it? Are you serious? Seems a member at ratebeer was, forcing admins to lock down a thread after things got heated. It's bad enough that you can 'rate' a beer off a 1oz. sample, and I'm on the record with my opposition to reducing beer to a set of numbers, but to suggest you can fully experience beer by sipping, swilling and spitting out is just wrong. String this guy up by his tongue until he's sorry!
ITEM! Speaking of the Land Of The Locked-Down Thread (AKA BeerAdvocate), word reaches me that two members have developed the beer trading equivalent of the Duckworth-Lewis method to rank beers offered for trade. Seems some people are less than happy that they are getting less than they offered. so as a public service a matrix (uh oh!) has been created that will calculate the relative merits of beers for trade.
I can remember when these sites were communities of discussion and debate, about sharing a love of beer, about meeting new people and sharing opinions and info about favourite beer. Now they're marketplaces where the dickwavers come to offer their muled Kate The Greats or Dark Lords, while the level of discourse rarely moves above "what's in your fridge?" Sad.
ITEM! If you bought a BrewDog equityforpunks share (see previous posts) then you will be an interest holder in fabled Anchor Brewing in San Francisco! Keith Greggor, CEO of Griffin Group, who recently bought out Fritz Maytag, took time out from the busy handover programme to confirm the relationships between the LLCs means EFP investors will have a tiny part of the new Anchor Brewing & Distilling operation. It will be for BrewDog UK to decide what happens with dividends, and if I remember rightly, no dividend can be paid on an EFP share before 2012 at the earliest, but watch for more info. BrewDog should also let you know about tax liabilities.
ITEM! In local news, you might remember the acclaimed Cask Pub & Kitchen in Pimlico were having problems with hopeless rating site Beer In The Evening (or BITE). I hear there was an amusing postscript to the story. When Cask tried to join the site and paid their membership fee, meaning to use this route to get to the bottom of their supposed misdeeds, after a day or so they were contacted and informed their money was being refunded, that they not welcome, and that any further attempts to inquire would result in legal action. Cask then apparently offered to buy the BITE site.
These ratings sites are pathetic. They provide a forum for dimwits who think they are Egon Ronay who can hurt legitimate businesses with their narrow opinions and petty vendettas. And, lest it need repeating, my favourite pub ain't your favourite pub. We all like different things. Bear that in mind if you have to refer to one of these sites, and remember also that BITE only cares about hits. They're owned by a company that operates dating sites, so they know (and care) bugger-all about pubs.