There's a decently good chance that you rely on the opinions of others to make a lot of your everyday decisions. Which show should you binge-watch next? Where should you get your lunchtime tacos? Which set of knives is the best one on Amazon? Now that beer has blown up to the point of giving you thousands of options, it’s also not unlikely that you've Googled reviews from your local beer store or bar about which beverage option is the best one in front of you.
The problem is that the sites that exist for us to review and rank beers have some major flaws with serious consequences.
This isn't a rant against online reviewers or people who make notes on beers. On the contrary: I think that kind of behavior is vital to the growth of understanding beer in this country! But I have pored through thousands of online reviews as someone who drinks, sells, and writes about beer, and as someone who regularly stands on both sides of the bar, it's time to have a conversation about what's going wrong and how we can try to fix the problems with a little understanding.