There are already a few reviews up on the site, and now that we are “live”—you can expect a lot more. Like halfwheel, the goal will be one per day.
If you looked around, you’ll see that the reviews follow a similar format, have similar styles of pictures and that beers are examined on multiple categories when it comes to scoring. It’s all part of a larger system of how to approach reviews, one that we’ve spent the last few months trying to perfect.
Not everyone will review every beer on Tenemu, in fact, only two or three staff members will ever review an IPA. We divided beers up into 10 categories—more specifically five major and five medium—then had the staff choose which styles they would review. We wanted to accomplish a few things. First, we wanted to avoid having anyone review styles of beer they really do not enjoy. Secondly, we wanted to have our staff members become more specialized experts in certain genres of beer.
For example, we expect to review around 35 IPAs in a calendar year. If we were to simply distribute the reviews equally amongst the staff, that would result in each member reviewing six IPAs, under the system in place, both reviewers should review around triple that amount.
- Ales (Generic) — Brian Brown/Brian Burt
- Barleywines — Taylor Abbey/Erik Perkins
- Belgians (Dubbels, Trippels, etc.) — Brian Brown/Brian Burt
- Fruit Beers & Lambics — Jason Moore/Erik Perkins/Brooks Whittington
- Gose — Jason Moore/Erik Perkins/Brooks Whittington
- IPAs — Taylor Abbey/Brian Burt
- Porters — Taylor Abbey/Brian Brown/Jason Moore
- Sours & Saisons — Taylor Abbey/Jason Moore/Erik Perkins
- Stouts — Brian Brown/Brooks Whittington
- Vegetable & Smoked Beer — Brian Burt/Brooks Whittington
In addition, there are always going to be beers that fall outside of specific categories, or are so few in number that there will be very few reviewed on the site. These beers can be reviewed by any reviewer, and will be assigned randomly throughout the year.
If you look at a review, you will notice that beers are judged on three different categories (flavor, drinkability, balance). In truth, it’s actually six different categories: main flavor, aroma and finish make up the larger flavor category; carbonation and mouth feel make up drinkability; and balance is judged on its own.
Each sub-category holds different weight with mouth flavor being the most important and carbonation being the least important.
And there are of course the scores.
You are likely going to notice that there is a wide range of scores on this site, and perhaps most importantly, every beer rating does not start at a 90. We believe that beers are diverse, not just in name, brewing location and style, but also, in quality. Not every beer is a 90+ beer, a 4.5+ stars on Untappd or anything else that would suggest the beer is at the very least, quite good. In order for some beers to be “the cream of the crop”—something has to be the crop. For us, the crop is a very wide space.
The overall score is an easy way for us to sort through our reviews, but at Tenemu, there’s not a definition of a 90-point beer. A beer could have sublime flavor, but be under carbonated, have a terrible aroma and a subpar finish. Another beer could be simply above average in flavor, but perfect in the nose, mouthfeel and finish. They might score the same when everything is added together. Those two beers could very easily score the same, but would be near dollar opposites in practical performance.
Over time, we hope that you will find some comfort zone for yourself about when you feel it’s necessary to go out and try a beer simply because of a number on Tenemu. At times, you are going to disagree with a score. The good news is, Tenemu allows readers to score each beer on their own, numbers that are then displayed right next to the score from one of our reviewers.