Do you want to know the top ten beers in England in 2009? It is only February I hear you say, how could there be such a list? OK, let's assume it is "so far", which isn't very, which makes this sort of nonsense even dafter.
Here they are:
|1. Old Chimneys Good King Henry Special Reserve||Old Chimneys|
|2. Dark Star Six Hop Ale||Dark Star|
|3. Moor JJJ IPA||Moor|
|4. OHanlons Thomas Hardys Ale (vintage 2003 and later)||O'Hanlons|
|5. Fullers London Porter||Fullers|
|6. Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout||Samuel Smith|
|7. Old Chimneys Good King Henry||Old Chimneys|
|8. Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout||Samuel Smith|
|9. J.W. Lees Harvest Ale||J.W. Lees|
|10. J.W. Lees Harvest Ale (Port)||J.W. Lees|
There is plenty wrong with this list, but one or two things stand out. At number four we have not even one beer, but several. At number ten we have a beer that isn't even available in England. At number nine, the vintage isn't mentioned and they don't all taste the same, so same issue as number four. Is there an ordinary drinking beer as opposed to strong bottled beers there? No! Is this list compiled mainly by a load of Americans from the list of imported bottles they can get? Yes.
Is this by the Ratebeer organisation that people rate (no pun intended) so highly? Yes. Another good reason to take what they say with more than a pinch of salt.
While I don't doubt there are excellent beer tasters within its ranks, compiling this sort of silly stuff does nothing to make me think well of the organisation. Nor does this quote which certainly shows its American home drinking bias, which in turn slews the lists they compile:
"With the cost of a pint ever increasing, the savings of buying in bottles and drinking at home with your local and non local friends online can be very substantial. A $4 pint with a $1 tip five times a week versus a top shelf six pack is $100/month versus $40/month, a $60 difference. That's a big win. And besides saving money and improving beverage quality, spouses will be thankful that RateBeer can be enjoyed from the home, without a block of driving. "
Your local pub and bar will be pleased about that no doubt, but maybe the kind of people who sit rating beer online with their virtual chums are best kept out of pubs anyway!.