Beer tickers and raters

Posted: September 28, 2017 in Beer tasting

So, it’s done ! RateBeerian Jan ‘fonefan’ Bolvig has reached the amazing milestone of 50’000 beer ratings ! Well – if you want to be a little bit fussy like me – not really in fact as RateBeer counts ciders, mead, perry and saké of which he has sampled more than 2’000. But who cares: in December – January 2018 at the latest – he will have 50’000 “pure” beer ratings.

During his (only !) 11 years on RateBeer he has sampled beers at a mind-blowing speed with an average between 4’000 and 6’000 a year. He has had beers from more than 6’300 different breweries, 169 countries and more than 12’000 beers from England.

Nevertheless, Jan is not yet on top of the ticker/rater list. English beer ticker Brian ‘The Whippet’ Moore (who started back in 1981 and had 49’100 ticks in December 2011 and now apparently over 60’000) looks still like being the master in this “sport”.

Beer ticking began back in 1975 when Mick ‘The Tick’ Baker started with it. Mick ‘The Tick’ was the first to reach 10k in 1998. He had 37’000 in December 2009 and was over 40k when he passed away in October 2014.

the man who drank 50’000 beers

This activity has dramatically increased with the expansion of the craft beer revolution and the creation of websites such as Beeradvocate (1996), RateBeer (2000) or Untappd (2010). RateBeer lists 6 people (5 from Denmark and 1 from Finland) with more than 26’000 beers. On this site, the number of raters having sampled more than 2’000 beers in one year is now higher than 50 ! And the leaders are rating at a pace of 4’500 to 6’000 beers per year !

Beer ticking (incarnated by Untappd) is massively more popular than beer rating (RateBeer/Beeradvocate) but the latter activity is much more respected as it requires – at least on both mentioned platforms – a written review of a minimum of characters.

A good comparison of popularity can be made for instance with the recent Cantillon Zwanze 2017 with 46 ratings on RateBeer, 31 on Beeradvocate and …2463 on Untappd.

Yet, every beer rater/ticker may have his own rules and may or may not use the above-mentioned online platforms. Some people do not rate non-alcoholic beers, others count a beer only if they drink a all pint (or as most British beer tickers a half) of it, and so on. Usually, people do not count homebrews; the beer has to be produced by a commercially registered brewery.

Philipp and Thomas: the top 2 beer tickers in Switzerland

In Switzerland and as far as I know, this activity is dominated since years by 3 people. Thomas ‘the Tank / TTT’ Schneider, Philipp Sigg and myself. ‘TTT’ is ticking nowadays much faster than the rest of us, almost as fast as his beard is growing … He recently sampled his 20’000th beer yet the first having reached the magic milestone of 10k was Philipp back in 2013. ‘TTT’ has a record number of 5’361 beers from Switzerland ! The overall totals look as follows:

  1. TTT        20’228 (5’361 Swiss beers)
  2. Philipp  15’833 (3’464 Swiss beers)
  3. Bov        13’385 (4’359 Swiss beers)

cheers !

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