Thursday, 8 June 2017

Industrial Sabatage or Just Vandalism

I hadn't planned on writing any more on this but late last night I discovered One Brewery has decided to respond to InBevs taking a minority share in Ratebeer with what I consider Industrial Sabotage.

This was posted on their Twitter feed

Linking to their Instagram feed

Leaving Ratebeer looking like this at the time I found it. (It has since been fixed)

Childish, maybe even funny if you do something like that to one of your mates, But remember this is one business doing it to another business. So as I see it, deliberately setting out to damage someone elses business, with clear intent that's Industrial Sabotage at worst and certainly a clear case of vandalism at best,
and it would seem that in response to concerns over InBev Manipulating Ratebeer data,  Noble Ale Works has decided to do exactly that and go a step further and actually alter the Data.

How they did this is clear, Brewers have always been allowed access to their own beer names, so that they can if they desire ensure the information is correct, and they decided to abuse this permission in an attempt to damage Ratebeer. I've heard one person comment that they gave them permission so there's nothing to answer. But I dispute that, It's the equivalent of a Brewery employee deliberately setting out to label all the beer with the same label, and I dont imagine that employee getting a pat on the back.

Quite frankly I'm furious about this, and if I owned Ratebeer i would be taking legal advice over this act. But it's not only the act itself that left me raging, but the praise the brewery is receiving for an act that if not criminal is clearly immoral.  It would appear that where InBev is concerned no one else can do no wrong, and as I said in my original post when you act like this you are no better than InBev and in this case arguably worse.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Why i Love RateBeer

This is a blog i probably should have written a long time ago, but spurred on by #RateBevGate here it is.

Those of you that know me, probably think it's that addiction I have, you know the one, that has the clue in the name. Yeah that Ratting addiction, and don't get me wrong, that's part of it. It's the Reason I joined (before it became an addiction) but that not the BIG reason the big reason is the Community.

Ratebeer is more than just rating beers, there place information, interesting stats, and FORUMS. Its these forums that have built the best online community I have been part of.

So at the Risk of a bit of Dick waving, I'm just gonna list a whole load of cool things that ive experienced being part of that community.

I've made  many good friends on ratebeer, these are people i call friends not just acquaintances.

Through ratebeer this group of friends are here in Edinburgh as well as in  England, US, Denmark.

But as well as  these friends i've made
acquaintances that i keep in touch with through Ratebeer, Facebook and Twitter.

 I (and my Family) have stayed at several ratebeerians houses, and had ratebeerians stay with me,  I've held tasting with people traveling in Edinburgh, and been invited to people house to have tastings while traveling.

I have given away  beer, and had beer given to me. One Texan, left 30 bottles with me (after attending a tasting) and refused to take any money despite my best efforts.

I've been driven (along with the whole family and another local Ratebeerian)  from Orlando to Tampa and all-round the brewpubs and then back to the hotel by a Raterbeerian, i'd never met. TWICE (well obviously the 2nd time i had met him)

All this based on the friendship we had built up via Ratebeer plus I've had another Ratebeerian drive 2 hours each way to trade beer with me when my side trip got cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

I've met so many people at Festivals, and attended gatherings across Europe with other Ratebeerians, Being Shown the Highlights of Pilsen and Rome by locals who knew all the right places and people.

I've had brewers contact me asking how I got their beer, and being delighted that their beer had got as far as Edinburgh, Ive been introduced to brewers by other ratebeerians and had brewers share rare beer with me.

On a Trip to Three Floyds Dark Lord Day, I had over a dozen people seek me out in the crowd to share a special beer they had brought to share specially with me.

I've shared rooms in hotels with guys i've never met. Which oddly is a lot more fun than it sounds and not even a little sordid.

So in short, I've made friends, been places and tried so many beers I would never have had a chance to try if it wasn't for Rate Beer.

There's no place else like it.

It's been a part of my Life for Over 10 Years and despite recent developments i hope it can continue to bring me many more years of joy.


Recently it was announced that Zx Ventures some of shoot of InBev took a minority stake in Ratebeer, now i have to say that im not wholly comfortable with it, but ive never understood how Ratebeer stayed afloat, and have seen many threads in my times where someone complains that feature X is premium only. This where premium member ship rocks in at a Whole $13. So i can see why Joe decided to take some money when it appeared.

I had intended to just keep my thoughts to myself until i see how it all panned out once the dust had settled. But Yesterday Dog Fish Head called for all their reviews to be deleted.

Now as far as i'm concerned DFH can get Fucked. It's not their data to be removed, removing this will just cause a flood of other requests and suddenly ratebeer is of no use to me.

In fact the more I think on this, the more i'm convinced that what DFH (and others who have come out and said the same) are doing is no better than what they are trying to fight against.

What they are doing is interfering in another's business and setting out to Destroy it. Because have no doubt if Ratebeer were to remove DFH, they're would be a flood of other brewers asking for the same thing, and Ratebeer would cease to be useful to those who use it.

As i said I've got serious concerns myself about this investment, but we all make compromises in our daily lives against what we believe in, be that using the likes of Google, Facebook or Amazon, Shopping in Walmart/Asda(with their control over what's acceptable in the music industry)  or buying Nestle product we all make our own personal choices. What DFH have set out to do, is remove MY choice to decide for myself if I am happy using Ratebeer now that InBev have a share.  No one asked DFH years ago if they wanted to take part. Thats not how consumer reviews work.  If it did im sure INBev would have wanted they're consistently low scoring product removed.

Now i am almost totally convinced that DFH have no legal leg to stand on and that Ratebeer choosing to remove brewers who ask would destroy the site/business. So don't see it ever happening, but by doing so Dog Fish Head have shown themselves to be no better than InBev.

I will continue to use Ratebeer as a site that has brought : YEARS of Joy,  has brought me countless friends, some of who i count as close friends, has brought many beers to my attention, and has the best online community I've ever been part of. Of course I will keep an eye on what happens now and if i ever think that me or my ratings are being manipulated for InBevs gain, you can bet I will shout about it.  But its my choice, Not InBevs and not DFH. Mine and Mine alone.