The dilemmas of an old new boy

So I joined ratebeer when I was 60. Despite this it only took me a year to know that my ratings were amateur rambling compared to the connoisseurs. The gap is bigger once you go beyond the cask scene and it is obvious that there is simply not enough time or faculties left for me to catch up. So I ask myself: Should I just drink; go back to drinking the cask ales that are worth a second visit or continue in my unguided provincial way to rate a couple of new beers a day on average? The first option will save me money and possibly some liver function. The second will ensure I wander the town in search of a new beer? And reach my 20k goal shortly before my 90th birthday? ( I know what the wife thinks :astonished:


Your message is touching and makes me happy, so I take the time to answer a man who has more experience, whatever he says (I’m 40). As far as I know, it took me a long time to “understand” the beer. It took me 20 years of good and loyal service to the wine world (and to taste a lot of gourmet food, great digestives) to get to appreciate beer better. And I get my kicks much more with beer than with wine: it’s even bigger … and w’are able to taste in small bottles of 33cl … After, it’s sure that it can be expensive, unless you have a good retirement … The Mikkeller I mentioned by chance in another post (a beer brewed with 2 kilos of raspberries per liter), is very expensive (and I do not have enough money myself to buy it): 800 Danish kroner, that is, in GPB, 95 pounds … To my modest opinion, you are too restricted to the beers of the United Kingdom … Too many blonds, bitters, not enough Belgians, Dutch, American ones… If I had to limit myself to the French beers, I would know nothing of the breathtaking and magnificent world of beer …
So go ahead, choose other beers than in the English countryside, there are some great ones that do not cost an arm…

Among the styles you have not explored that much and that you seem to appreciate: Abt/Quadrupel, Eisbock, Imperial & Baltic Porter, Scotch ale (!), Weizenbock… Why haven’t you gone there more often?
The quantity is obviously less important than quality. And obviously too, I’d rather drink one good beer every five days than five mediocre beers every day.
Let me draw a parallel between beer and life, thanks to Senecus writing to Lucilius: “Life is well enough furnished, but we are too greedy with regard to its furnishings; something always seems to us lacking, and will always seem lacking. To have lived long enough depends neither upon our years nor upon our days, but upon our minds.

I’m basically in the same boat as yourself, an older drinker, brought up on Cask beer which I love and appreciate, but learning about new styles all the time, mostly due to the great people on this site. Sometimes I wonder whether it is worth the while chasing new stuff from all round the world that costs a fortune. I tend to limit myself on price and limit my consumption of bought in bottled beers. Occasionally you discover a gem and it makes everything worthwhile, so I will continue drinking British cask ales at pubs and beer festivals then supplement it with fairer priced bottled beers that I can select carefully. It’s only a hobby, so you can just do it at your own pace.


Don’t burden yourself with how others write and how what you write compares to them. Write what you think and what you perceive. If seeking out new stuff makes you happy, go for it! Whatever floats your boat and keeps you interested.


The only reason I get through the numbers I do, and particularly the more expensive offerings, is sharing beers at tastings.

Tastings aren’t for everyone and also depends on your local and nearby active Ratebeerians but the more in the tasting circle, the more beers, styles etc you get to sample and the cost comes right down per beer.

Can’t think of anyone off hand in Notts but @Mr_Pink_152 isn’t far away in Lincoln.

If you’re interested in a tasting and can’t set one up locally come to the Cotteridge convention in Birmingham next year.

We just had this years back in June. It’s an informal meet up of 15 to 20 Ratbeerians, largely from a 100 mile radious around Birmingham, where we all bring 3 or so beers each and share them.

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Your ratings do not have to be admired for others, my ratings are only for me to keep track of what I enjoyed and what I did not. You should drink which beers you like to drink, cask beers on the days you prefer. My life long goal is 10k and I am in my 30s. If this becomes work you don’t enjoy doing you should consider changing something.

slightly further travel distance for me :wink:

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What about @jmgreenuk Mr 200 or so Miles over the Irish sea ?!?

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Liver function and money are certainly underrated. I say do whatever maximises your personal enjoyment of the hobby. Ticking beer is a difficult one to do solo - balancing numbers with enjoyment, health and finances. All I’d say is that of all those things numbers is by far the least important.

he has family nearby :wink:

and its 245 as the crow flies :wink:

Ditto, I’m 65 in December and love British pubs and Real Ale, however I also love travelling and trying beers from where ever I am in the world. It’s a hobby not a compulsive disorder (I think).


This sounds like good advice, although my wandering is also slightly therapeutic as it is on foot after a sedentary day. The Eisbock and other German beers are generally only available if you order them on line or buy at the specialty shop and unless we have company, I seldom drink at home. But overall, I accept the maxim that I should go for quality over quantity.

My local micropub in Folkestone offers me the best of both worlds.

I can go and get cask beers I know I like, e.g. Burning Sky Aurora this week as well as one or two new cask ales. They also have a new fridge with a UK and Belgian selection. The Belgians are all off my top 100 Belgian list so I’ve had them before like De Dolle Oerbier or De Ranke XX Bitter which I have had many times before, but I still enjoy drinking them.

So a mix of new and old all at a decent price

However, I do have a fridge full of 28 new American beers I picked up at GBBF last week.

I do like a tick no doubt, but I also do like to go to a pub and just drink Gadd’s No. 7 for a session.

Do whatever it is that makes you happy. You are rating for you and not for anyone else. Which also means the words you use are for you and not anyone else. The fact we can see them is a bonus for us.

Keep up the walking and being active and keep up going to pubs as it keeps you socially active as well.

Keep the mind and the body active and interested and it’ll all sort itself out in the end.


Was having a chat about trying new beers all the time with an old mate during possibly the worlds shortest pub crawl in Oakengates (three pubs which are directly next door or opposite each other). He was keen to stick to Bathams Best Bitter all evening and couldnt quite fathom why id want to take a chance on beers from unfamiliar small breweries. I gave him a sip of my dark vanilla mild from ELB and he loved it. He was actually a little annoyed with himself that he’d have normally missed out on trying it and spent the rest of the night trying other beers. I think theres the answer: curiosity, more than anything else

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You’d think Jeremy Bladdock would be more adventurous on a night out with a fellow Ratebeerian!

Hey, it wasn’t me: Mat has real mates as well as knowing me!


here’s my two cents, being one of the younger users on here (joined when I was 21, 25 right now):

This page is here for people to keep track of what they have had. If you feel you have had enough of all the exploration, then go back to your favourites. If you feel there’s still so much to explore and you still want to, then go explore - but don’t forget to have the occasional old favourite in between again.

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