Beer rating is assessing and evaluating beer using a point system. The process is similar to that used in beer judging competitions, such as those organised by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) in America, though the participants are consumers so it may be termed a score-rated recommendation system. The rating system may be a simple 5 marks, and may be organized by a beer store or pub chain such as Wetherspoons in the UK; or it may be more involved, such as the systems used by beer rating websites such as BeerAdvocate and RateBeer.
BeerAdvocate is an online beer rating site which also rates bars and beer stores. It was founded in 1996, by brothers Todd and Jason Alström, and is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and Denver, Colorado, USA.
RateBeer was founded in May 2000 by Bill Buchanan as a forum for beer drinkers to exchange information and share opinions of beer. In June 2000, the Canadian beer writer Josh Oakes joined RateBeer and eventually became editor-in-chief. In June 2001, the web-site consultant Joe Tucker joined, eventually assuming full ownership of RateBeer.
In August 2006, RateBeer's annual press-release of the highest rated beers on the site caused concern when various world media reported that supplies of Westvleteren 12 were sold out due to being listed as the "Best beer in the world" on the site.
RateBeer has over 4.5 million ratings of almost 200,000 beers, from nearly 16,000 breweries.
Other notable beer rating sites
The Oxford Bottled Beer Database was founded in 1992 by Sparks Computer Solutions Ltd, and contains reviews and ratings from site users. The site has ratings from all over the world, though mainly concentrates on Europe.
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