About Unquestionable Taste

The Journey

5-21-13 - To date, we have tried and rated 683 beers crafted by 272 breweries from 34 different countries around the world. And while most of you may think that is a lot of beer, we know we're just getting started. We're often asked many questions about beer; what is bottle conditioning; what was your first beer; what kind of glass should bitters be served in, and so on. But there's one question we have quite a bit of difficulty providing a coherent answer to, and it just so happens to be the one we're asked the most. As if on a routine schedule, we're often asked what our favorite beer is. Immediately, the easy route for us would be to name Lion Stout, currently the beer with the highest rating on our site. Sitting above all others with a score of 4.34, it has topped the leader board since February 18th, 2011 and since, we haven't been able to find anything that surpasses it. Of course, it stands to reason that the highest rated beer would be our favorite. But it's a bit more complicated than that.

If you've asked us this question before, you probably have also heard our alternative answer, Guinness. With a 4.02, we believe this is clearly an excellent brew, while at the same time, there are plenty of beers, especially other dry stouts that we know are much better. And we are also aware that this score is proportionally much greater than what most beer drinkers would place Ireland's best selling alcoholic beverage at. But the word "favorite" is interesting. You see, we've always had a special connection with Guinness. To answer another commonly asked question, Bud Light was the first beer we ever had. And considering that's where we started, it's nothing short of a miracle we stuck with beer long enough to give it a real chance. And as any other beer amateur would, we "experimented" with other cheap macrobrews like Natural Ice, Miller Lite, Coors Light, and everyone's favorite, Busch. But then we got a bit bold. After realizing that Budweiser or "Bud Heavy" as college kids put it, and other pale lagers weren't really that heavy at all, we began to try other styles of liquid confidence. Enter Guinness, an exotic, dark, heavy, robust "meal in a can" from the southern bit of an island in the North Atlantic very far away. It was one of the first beers we actually enjoyed the taste of. It had a distinct, cascading look, a trademark creamy foam head, and a bittersweet, roasted malt flavor that we still highly enjoy in a good dry stout. Fast forward to today, and we'll tell you that we've gone to the brewery in Dublin (St. James Gate), where we learned how to pour the "perfect pint". We've had Guinness in five different countries, and we'll tell you now, that it's a great go-to casual beer which we love, and despite it being a scary and intimidating stout, it's pretty light. In fact, it has less calories than most American pale lagers.

But is it really our favorite? In some ways, it could be. But along with Lion Stout, Guinness isn't, either. In August of last year, we reviewed a cask ale from Cape Ann, up in Gloucester, MA. It was a fairly quirky beer, whose signature distinction was showcasing a smoky, earthy character. We did like it, but it wasn't something we raved to our friends and family about. And though this particular beer's score of 3.18 wasn't shattering any records, we found something about it kind of special. If you read the review of this beer, you'd know that we went on a bit about the ill-fated Andrea Gail on its way back to port in the middle of The Perfect Storm. It's during those life changing moments, good and bad, that the human mind is capable of converting tangibles into priceless intangibles. Tangibles like a cold local brew, a sweater, a watch, a photo, or a book, that would otherwise be worth very little to anyone else, but mean the world to those who possess them. They bring us comfort when outside, all hell is breaking loose. This particular beer's cozy, warming, smoky character reminded us of home, winter nights, the fire place, and napping with the dogs. This is a beer we praise, not for its actual properties or accolades, but for what it evokes, the positive emotion, and the smile it brings after a healthy sip.

Again, we wouldn't say this is our favorite, but like Lion and Guinness, it brings another piece to the puzzle. A favorite should be of very high quality, brewed with the utmost immaculate standards. It should also be consistent, widely available, and brewed by a company which interacts with its customers. And most importantly, it must also make you smile, and bring your mind to a better place, at least for a little while. Like we've said, a favorite is hard to define, and this extends well beyond the realm of beer. Your favorite song. Your favorite book. Your favorite place to travel. Your favorite food. Some of these are easier to define than others, and the harder it is to choose, the more blessed you are. For us though, choosing a favorite is made difficult for other reasons.

If you notice our ratings system, we have yet to discover a beer that belongs in the 4.51+ range. We know they're out there though. In the United States alone, there are thousands of breweries with many different offerings to choose from, and dozens more are sprouting up every year. Elsewhere in the world, we see more of the same. Craft beer is taking off in countries like Norway, The UK, Japan, and Canada. And other countries, like Germany, Belgium, and The Czech Republic, boast two and three century old breweries which we still haven't heard of. All the while, most of these breweries are pushing out new beers, seasonals, limited editions, and cask offerings for you to try. And every single one of them out there has something unique to deliver. So eventually we will inevitably come across those beers which floor us. Blow us away. The ones which we'll have trouble writing about. The ones we remember forever.

But until then, our favorite beer is the next one. The idea of actively trying new beers just to see what's out there, to see what the world has to offer. And that is the purpose of all of this. We constantly search for nothing but the best, and until we try every single beer out there, that means that our (and your) new favorite could be just one pint away. As the old saying goes, life is short. So rather than settling, rather than throwing in the towel and relegating the world's potential to nothing more than the best of 30 or so different beers, be brave for a second. Try something new. Try something different. Try something you don't think you'll like. If it isn't your new favorite, drink it, appreciate it, and move on to the next one. Not every effort will produce a positive result. But in the end, it will still get you drunk.

The belief that life can always be better is what pushes us to find a beer which will score higher than Lion Stout. It's nothing against our current first place beer, but who wouldn't like something better? This journey, this perpetual quest, this life long adventure to find something better, is what's rewarding. Because even if you don't succeed in finding a new favorite, you end up reinforcing what's been that reliable rock all along. There have been plenty of beers we think give Lion Stout a run for its money. But so far, nothing has changed our opinion... yet. And when it does, we'll finish it, review it, and start the process all over again. Because no one should ever settle on their favorite beer. There are too many talented brewers out there. There are too many exciting styles out there. And there's always something better, waiting to be discovered.

Soo... who are we anyway?

We are just like you. We not only love beer, we pride ourselves of our choices. The beauty of beer is that because there are so many brands and flavors out there, each and every one of us has gathered their own short list of favorites, parallel to no one else's. We are a small, yet growing breed. For too long, we Americans (or otherwise for you all who find time to read this in Europe, Australia, or any other English speaking part of the world) have had to deal with a selection of three, maybe four supercold, tasteless, colorless, weak bodied, low abv, mass produced unfortunate excuses for beer at the bars and the pubs. Only until the 1980s has there been a growing interest in the craft brewery (or microbrewery).

There were more than 2,500 breweries in the United States alone by the end of 2013, each one with its own unique array of carefully crafted brews meant to convey a beer experience unmatched by anyone in the world. Brewers take pride in their products more than most "manufacturers." Please tell me an electronics company that will buy back all of its product from distributors and retailers once it has become out-dated and obsolete? Certainly not Apple or Microsoft, but Harpoon of Boston , MA and Windsor, VT does it. And how about a restaurant chain that allows each of its customers to refuse to pay if the food hasn't been prepared and served precisely to the original recipe and methods? We know that kind of thing doesn't happen at Chili's, but if you don't like the way your dry stout is poured, Guinness of Dublin, Ireland tells all of its retailers that they need to pour it out and do it again, this time to the methods laid out by St. James Gate.

Unquestionable taste is not a blog, nor is it a social platform. It is an information based review website written in the completely biased (though we don't own a bar or a brewery (even though we do plan on home-brewing at some point soon)) and single-minded language of one man who just loves his beer. But even more than that, he loves experiencing new beers. This website is meant to inform about basic beer history, styles, and the ins and outs of every beer that we've managed to get our hands on, complete with basic information and quirky reviews that hopefully, even you can enjoy.

So no. This isn't a website where you argue over the grammar of others, or post comments about Lady Gaga, Honey Boo Boo, or the Kardashians. We won't coerce you to give a thumbs up or post video responses. And we certainly won't have any flying kittens, Chocolate precipitation, babies named Charlie biting fingers, sneezing animals, dancing Korean rappers, or annoying self-absorbed tweeters who won't shut up about themselves. This is a website that we hope will lead you in the direction where you will ultimately find your new favorite beer. And that, we believe, is all it needs to be.

Much Ado About Beer

Ahh beer. What is there to say? Pure love? Liquid heaven? Golden... uh.. gold? You came to our website because we share a undeniable passion for a particular alcoholic beverage which is traditionally crafted with just some grain and some flowers. But it didn't take humanity nearly eight thousand years to come up with just that. Oh, ho, no! Over the course of history, beer, along with the various societies that created their own interpretation of the very same brew that we all take for granted today, has experienced a storied evolution, unsurpassed by any other consumable product.

Through ancient China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, Babylonia, Greece, the dark ages, the middle ages, the renaissance (yes, in that order), and so on, beer has always had an important role in the world. Today, it represents a major industry on every continent (except Antarctica, because it's too cold for the penguins to enjoy it anyway), and generates more than half a trillion dollars in sales worldwide every year. Nearly half originates from Europe, and more than half is in the form of Lager.

But beer is more than that. Much more. Beer is a craft, an art; a creation comprised by an individual mixture of natural ingredients by which one's own personal preferences are dictated. Beer is about finding your own flavor, your own style. Beer is a excursion where you and only you can embark on and ultimately, relish. There are countless creations out there, each with its own array of characteristics: Look, Aroma, Feel, and of course, Taste. So there's no sense in staying with the tried and true. Sure, if your favorite brew is an Imperial Stout from Downington, PA, USA or a cask served ESB from Chiswick, London, England, UK, feel free to stick with the security of a guarantee. But keep in mind, there could always be something better. No one has ever tried every single beer in the world, and certainly, no one has the same taste. So the next time you're at the packie picking up your weekend indulgence, perhaps give reaching for something new and exciting a whirl instead.

The world of beer is one of the great wonders of humanity. Don't go without exploring it. Oh, and enjoy.

- Trades For Joes Partner

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."

- Abraham Lincoln.

About The Technical Development Of This Website

We are constantly striving to delivering the utmost rewarding and comprehensive experience when you look for information regarding your new or potential favorite beer. We want to make sure your time with us is the best it really can be, which is why we are always looking for new, innovative, and exciting ways to improve this website, especially in the form of technical upgrades and improvements. More, better, and efficient features make this website perform, navigate, and look better, so we hope to get as many updates implemented as soon as possible. For information and updates on future features and technical upgrades to this website, please click HERE