BEACON TASTINGS ARE BLIND. The tasters only know the style of the
beer ahead of time. Information about each beer is revealed to the tasters
after they've submitted their comments and rating.
NOTE, the tastings are not a traditional "judging"
style review. The Beer Beacon appreciates beers from the perspective
of the consumer, providing readers with beers to seek out and offering
brewers feedback from typical craft beer drinkers. Tasters are intentionally
choosen so that they represent a the range of the craft beer market
- from home-brewers and beer snobs to "Joe six pack" and "Jane-I'll-try-something-new."
Our tasters like beers that conform to style, that turn tradition on
its head, and that please somewhere in between.
Vinny is an established businessman who appreciates the wide range
of sensibilities held by microbrew consumers. He is an experinced taster
who facuses on three aspects of the experience (aroma, body and finish),
and favors beers that achieve harmony among these elements.
Hop Jack is an experienced professional brewer who works for a local
microbrewing outfit. As his handle implies, Hop Jack is a self-proclaimed
"hop head" and prefers his micros nice and bitter, the more
IBUs the better. Hop Jack appreciates varieties other than an
American Pale Ale, however, and will readily award 5 mugs to a beer
that he feels is a good representative of a particular technique or
Magistrate is a long-time Beer Beacon taster who is also an accomplished
homebrewer. Not surprisingly, he is a textbook "beer geek"
and is able to appreciate a wide variety of beer styles. Magistrate
is particularly fond of the more agressive "sipping" beers,
such as barley wines, imperial pale ales, and imperial stouts, but will
happily award 5 mugs to any beer that adequately conforms to basic style
Pasty is a new addition to the Beer Beacon tasting crew. His acknowledged favorite beer is Guiness, followed by those other European classics, Bass and Harps. Pasty also enjoys the so-called fruity beers and a number of Sam Adams offerings, including the Cherry Wheat and Summer Ale.
Annie is the "beer-grouch" of the tasting crew, as she tends to use a much harsher rating criteria than the other tasters. For Annie, beers that merely conform to a given style are "average", deserving of a rating in the 2-3 mug range. Conversely, a good 4-5 mug beer should be pleasant on the palate and distinctive enough to make one sit up and take notice.
Karl is a native of Germany and grew up quaffing Bavarian-style lagers. While he cites Jever and Bitburger as two of his favorite homeland beers, Karl has grown to appreciate the hoppier side of American-style micros. In general, Karl's tastes lean toward the "session" beer: a refershing, drinkable, and often seasonal offering that can be consumed over the course of an evening amongst friends.
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Comments on Beer Beacon should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2005, Great Lakes Brewing News