You know where to buy beer. That's easy. But where do you go to learn the difference between a lager and a stout, or when the next beerfest is slated to hit your neck of the woods?
Finding a quality site dedicated to beer can be more challenging than you think. A quick Google search could yield a few prospects, but checking each one for accuracy, education and entertainment may be more trouble than it's worth. By the time you find a winner, you could've already enjoyed a smooth, frosty pint of Duck Duck Gooze or Double Sunshine IPA. So to save you the headache and let you focus on fermentation, here are 10 of the best beer websites out there, in no particular order:
1. A Tale of Two Brewers: Since 2009, Eugene and Dave have been in search for the perfect pint. In addition to reviewing draughtkegs and breaking down the joys of bottling, the draught-loving duo introduces you to the secret world of beer lingo. Want to know what SWMBO means? They'll fill you in…
2. All About Beer: A comprehensive online magazine devoted solely to suds, All About Beer covers home brewing, collectibles, history, reviews and reports on festivals around the world. The site even has the latest news on just about everything brew-related, whether imported or domestic.
3. BarleyPop: BarleyPop brings a double shot of humor to the beer review game while not sacrificing the info that enthusiasts crave. The site's forum gives visitors the chance to dish on their bests and worsts from brown ales to light beers and more.
4. Beer100: Need to know how many calories and carbs are in your favorite brew? Looking for a list of Irish toasts or drinking wisdom that could only come from a lager legend? Beer 100 offers reviews, cooking tips, home brew hints and a new BAC widget so you can see how fast you need to toss your car keys to a DD.
5. BeerAdvocate: With an education section worthy of the most serious brewmeliers on the planet, Beeradvocate earns top honors for its mind-blowing beer directory organized by style and region. Want a list of breweries in Israel or Burkina Faso? This site won't let you down. Promise.
6. Blog About Beer: Well-crafted headlines and powerfully palatable posts make this site a go-to for craft beer cronies. Site owner Logan discusses "Gluten-free beers that don't suck", as well as his 50 beers from 50 states challenge, where he plans to review one new beer from each state in the union, no exceptions. Thirty-four down, 16 to go.
7. CraftBeer: So what food goes best with a stout? CraftBeer has an entire section dedicated to beer-food pairings. And for those of you beerheads who don't like to read (including me), they have a fancy chart with pretty colors. In addition to educating the masses, the site has blogs, polls, "find a brewery" and an impressive page on news and events.
8. Home Brew Talk: This forum-heavy site gives home brewers the opportunity to trade secrets on everything from fermentation and hardware to styles and storage. Want to talk about ciders? They got it. Mead? Yep. They even have a list of registered vendors from whom you can purchase all your home brew equipment and accessories.
9. RateBeer: If Twitter and Amazon had a baby together, you'd get Rate Beer. Users submit detailed reviews in a real-time format that keeps beer-related info as fresh as a newly tapped pony keg. Members can follow their favorite reviewers and then click over to the RateBeer store for t-shirts and other merchandise.
10. The Mad Fermentationist: Perhaps the most detailed when it comes to reviews, The Mad Fermentationist categorizes each tasting by appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. While this may seem like overkill, never underestimate the impact a dark-funky Belgian can have on an unprepared palate. And if there's a certain beer you know you like but just can't place, this site can help you find it.