The demise of BeerTube :(

How come nobody watches beer reviews on youtube anymore? (aka BeerTube)

I remember back in the late 2000s/early 2010s BeerTube was the shit! There were a lot of popular channels that were acquiring whalez and reviewing them. Channels like Beer Geek Nation, Better Beer Authority, BikeBeerBBQ, and others would routinely get 1000 views on a new video in a week (sometimes in 24 hours or less). Most of the big BeerTube channels from back then have retired or even nuked their content.

Some old school channels like Real Ale Guide, The master of Hoppets, Darwin’s Beer Reviews and others are still around and have subscriber counts of over 10k or even 20k, but only pull in a couple hundred views per video no matter how long it stays up. Lesser-known channels are lucky to break 50 views (some get a dozen views or less).

So what happened to that community? Clearly the content is still there, but the viewers left. ANd craft beer is much bigger now than it was during the Bush/Obama years, but where did the audience go? Is everyone just using TikTok and Instagram now? Do people not care anymore? I don’t get it.

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Pinkie’s reviews were legendary, especially when she was a few beers in.

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Interesting question. Probably multiple reasons. To me, the big one might be that craft beer was a much more niche, in many cases ‘nerdy’ hobby during the era you describe. And because craft beer wasn’t so big and saturated, those in the hobby would seek it out anywhere and everywhere they could - for example by watching videos about it on YouTube. Also, people getting into craft beer might have been trying to learn more and YouTube tasting videos were a resource. Once people get some knowledge, or figured out what kind of beers they like, perhaps they wouldn’t seek out reviews as much.

The concept was supposed to indicate a cringe attitude to beer, but was embraced for a while by those who didn’t know. The appeal of the video review was that one day, you might get this exclusive beer. Watching was vicariously anticipating that. These days the desire of a beer loser is to experience the ephemeral - exclusive hazies that come and go in a week: You had to be there. It was awesome. Like, juice for days. Either you were already “hooked up” or you will never be. There is no vicarious enjoyment in that.

Either that or it’s all gone to a social media platform we’ve never heard of because we’re too old.

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I feel like in the heyday of beertube, it was mostly people who wanted to make videos, but I am not sure that an audience really existed. Watching someone review beers is ultimately pretty boring. Today, with so many beers in existence, I have pretty little hope of getting whatever random beer some guy from a different metro reviews, so why should I care. Then again, unboxing toy videos exist and apparently those are popular, so what do I know?

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@GodOfThunder has an unofficial twitch channel he’s trying to float us onto from the Zoom platform. Just need some patrons. Streaming a room full of guys drinking for several hours might have merit. :stuck_out_tongue:

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We should have all made unboxing videos from our secret santa hauls. :santa:

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By complete chance, during COVID, I did on two occasions get boxes right when we were having “online shares” so I definitely did do sort of unboxing videos. I am sure everyone was really happy for me.

I agree with the niche comment being a big reason for craft beer, compare to cider where there are cider review youtube channels such as The Cider Drinker and Cork & Crown that have been there for ages and are still going with small dedicated followings

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Yeah, I watched a number of them, and are still subscribed to a few. I’ll usually scroll right past a review of a brewery I’ve never heard.

  • Chad’z Beer Reviews (who at one point was on RB, he may still be) used to get a few thousand views pretty consistently. Going back about a month, only 2-3 broke 1k, and almost none of the rest even broke 100.
  • I’ll watch Darwin, and I like his, but now I’ve realized I’ve probably only watched 3 or 4 of his since November.
  • I remember liking dontdrinkbeers, I got a kick out of the host using a ripoff redlettermedia Plinkett voice ruining “whalez” (usually in a blender or on the stove). The actual reviews (on Insta) came across too meandering for me to actually enjoy. I stopped watching when the blender/stove videos basically stopped.
  • I don’t remember exactly what happened to Beer Geek Nation. Those were my favorite overall, I really liked the presentation and the “network” of other reviewers associated with Chris were often fun. No one is really owed an explanation, but it always strikes me as odd when people with a following just disappear like a ghost. One day he just stopped. No explanation, no nothing. I don’t want to overstate his influence, but I feel like when he disappeared, the entire BeerTube scene crashed.

Back to the main point, maybe things just shifted away, but I don’t know if there’s an audience on Instagram for beer reviews, are there? It feels more like everything just dried up in this space. Most of Instagram’s beer scene seems to be posting and reposting of attractive women drinking beer. those will get +10k likes, and everything else <100.

Maybe the format just didn’t evolve enough? It was mentioned that these kinds of videos could ultimately be pretty boring. Maybe it’s also harder for people trying to capture a nation/worldwide audience to really vary their content? Going to check out a local bar or brewery works for some of those hyper-local accounts I follow, but we’re talking a few hundred views per video.

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I am so out of the social media craft beer scene that I have no ideas about any videos or insta accounts. However, this reminded me about this:

Editor for BrewBound got canceled after criticizing those insta accounts.

Before naming the accounts, Furnari says the list “goes to s*** and it’s all chicks who basically take photos of themselves in like low-cut tops with beer.”

Kendall agrees and says, "Some of these photos of the women, their face isn’t even in the photo

That editor sounds a bit like someone from those stories of a hostile beer nerd who questions the knowledge of a female who says they enjoy craft beer. Just another flavor of the “name 3 songs meme.”

I should clarify that my issue is primarily with accounts that just curate and repost other people’s posts, there’s very few Instagramers that only post that type of content exclusively. Half the time they’re branded as craft beer accounts but they’re drinking liquor, coffee, anything but craft beer. You’ll find those kinds of accounts for almost anything, bikinis, gaming, outdoors, etc. Just endless posting of other people’s content.

The users who put a lot of effort into their posts include great lighting, composition, wonderful colors, etc. regardless of gender. They put my often poorly lit Instagram beer posts to shame :smiley:

I don’t know if there’s much of a market for the BeerTube style reviews. Maybe TikToks, Reels, or YouTube shorts with brief reviews could make it “big,” if there are content creators willing to make 30-60 second beer reviews.

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