Here is how we are coming to our conclusions when it comes to giving stars to beers.

Balance- By balance we mean the interplay between various aspects of the beer. When we assign stars to this part of the beer, we are asking these kinds of questions: Are the hops balanced out by the malts? Is the beer over carbonated for what the beer is supposed to be doing? Are there apparent flaws that took place in the brewing process (i.e., is the beer skunky when it’s not supposed to be?, Is it overly sweet?, etc.)?

This part of the system does not account for beers that are supposed to be intentionally extreme versions of beers. For example, beers that are extremely hoppy seem to defy this first category. However, we take this into account and still look for a good maltiness, etc., to determine the value assigned to the beer.

Apparent quality- This is more subjective than the first might be. Is the beer thin and obviously made on a shoestring budget that obviously goes for maximum profit? Really this is another way of asking, “Is the brewer a tightwad?” Does the beer seem to be well made and not skimpy?

Within Style- This is star rating that is based on a comparison of a particular beer within the parameters of the other beers of the same type. It is also given a grade based on what is classic to the style.

Likablilty- This is the most subjective side of our rating system. Essentially we are saying, “Did I enjoy this beer personally? Would I drink it again? What context would be the best drinking ambient for this particular beer? Essentially this is our prefernce level for the beer.

Refreshment quality- By this category, we are not simply talking about whether a beer would be good on a hot summer day. We are talking about if the beer is good to stimulate the appetite, if it is good for digestion, or if it sits heavily on the stomach. Within this, the characterization might mean something like, “I sure could drink another one of those beers with ease.”

****Disclaimer**** I’ve been fairly reluctant to assign stars to beers, except for personal referrence, in the past. One of the main reasons for not sharing stars (if you will) is that certain aspects of these stars are highly subjective. Other parts of the stars are quite a bit more objective. I simply wish to state that we are assigning values to beers that we review on the site. They are not arbitrary, in that we like to think that we know a thing or two about beer. But they are still somewhat subjective. The only way for you to find out if you like a beer is to try it for yourself. We are only telling you whether or not we would drink the beer again.