I used to be a simple guy that would rate beer on a two star system, consisting of thumbs up or thumbs down, self explanatory really, but now I’m a little more complicated. Not overly so however. These days I tend to use a 5 star rating system where 1 star would be “No thanks, avoid this beer like the plague”, 2 stars is “Not ideal, but drinkable if forced to”, 3 is “Middle of the road. Doesn’t stand out but there is certainly nothing wrong with it”, 4 is “Better then average, a good beer” and 5 stars is “One of the best beers I’ve tasted. If it’s available; get it”.
The problem, now that I have a few more beers under the belt (which has changed a few notches) and I have paid more attention to them, is that those 5 star beers are becoming rarer or harder to judge and I need to refer back to other 5 star beers.
I think Beerforayear coined it appropriately when she spoke of “chasing the dragon” in her post about Ommegang – Hennepin.
It’s a very valid and appropriate phrase I think. How often is the romantic memory of the first time so much better than its repeat performance? Remember all those movies you thought were ‘rad’ 15 years ago, a bit like that adjective they’re probably not so cool anymore (there are clearly some objections to the rule). In the past I have had a few beers where I proclaimed them to be the best beer I have ever had only to find three weeks later when I pick one up, they don’t hit those same notes.
Maybe it has a lot to do with broadening your palate, and having a better understanding of what brewers are capable of and the huge range of flavour beer can offer. Gone are the days of picking up the cheapest box of ‘premium’ lager in the bottlo (I’m pretty sure I never proclaimed one of those as the best I ever had, in fact beer drinking as a whole was pretty unenthusiastic back then).
Or maybe the bar just keeps getting higher; part of the old adage that there will always be someone bigger, better or tougher. Then again, maybe I just can’t decide what I like. I think I’ll sit on the fence a little longer, care to join me for a beer?Tweet