Webshops, Breweries & Taprooms

I am just putting this out there to see what folk think.

Do you think that for accuracy purposes webshops should be considered a separate entity from a brewery or brewery with a taproom, a shop with a taproom, etc. I ask this because there are many, many places and I can pluck a few off of my head in seconds such as Thornbridge, Buxton, Beer Gonzo, Cloudwater, etc where the experience of visiting the physical site is clearly a million miles away from accessing a website and throwing a load of cans, bottles, and merchandise into a virtual basket. More and more of us are supporting our favourite breweries, independent beer shops etc online these days, but if these places have a physical presence then a review which might be helpful if it mentioned access to public transport, does it allow children, dogs, etc is not going to be very helpful if it is talking about the layout of a website.

Anyway, I think it is clear where my preference lies, for me, I think that they should be split to avoid confusion or reading through unhelpful reviews.


Agree 100%. I thought this when I was adding a new brewery webshop last week.

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There’s already precedent for this. Not common but there are various places out there where the physical and webshops have seperate entries. Mikkeller for instance.

I haven’t bothered rating all the places I’ve ordered from because it can be so samey. Although I.will rate the last two places I ordered from because they stood out (South Downs Cellars - rang me up to discuss replacements: Premier Hop - amazingly well packaged).

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I certainly agree Fin, I’m quite happy to see when people add a webshop as a separate entity and rate it as such.

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Yip, Chez Sophie and Sophie’s Beer Store being a good example of the idea, each having their own review pages.



Ok over time I will start going back over some of these and add a separate webshop.

For starters I will do those I mentioned, they might not be done straight away but certainly over the next few days.

Beer Gonzo

Agreed. As is probably obvious from my activity around web shops in the past I buy a hell of a lot online. I’ve done a quite a few place ratings where I’ve actually rated the webshop (which I explicitly mention in my reviews) rather than the physical shop which I may not have ever visited. But I stopped doing this at the end of 2019 or so as it felt wrong. I’m not much of a place rater but I may go back and add separate listings for those which were webshops and move my ratings over.

Also I was just thinking about this in a bit more depth. It would be great if we’d have slightly different things to rate on, as some things like “Ambiance” and “Service” don’t make much sense for an online shop.

  • Selection and Value would both stay the same, obviously.
  • Service could stay too, but I suppose it would refer to how well packaged your beers were, and/or communication via email or whatever.
  • Ambiance would change to Website Layout (easy to use? easy to find what beers you’re after? works on mobile?)
  • Food is obviously irrelevant but could perhaps change to Delivery? i.e. how fast your order was shipped, whether they use a reputable courier.

Perhaps a feature suggestion to put forward in the near future? It wouldn’t require any backend changes, simply change the word “Ambiance” and “Food”.

Completely agree Chris, we need a few little tweaks to a webshop for the reviews to make a little more sense.

I rate quite a few places, I enjoy rating places as much if not more than beers. I think having things like delivery and service would be great, as comments on the courier service are really helpful, how well packed beers are, and it is amazing how many places add little personal touches, beer mats, stickers, fridge magnets, bar runners, even a personalised postcard recently from Ganstaller, written and signed thanking me for the order, nice little touches like this are great. I have ordered a huge amount online during lockdown and on the whole I have been very, very impressed the improvement over the last few years is considerable. I rarely have breakages or parcels going missing, things have gotten a lot, lot better.

Website layout I also agree with, some sites are great, others are a complete nightmare, I’ve not been on Beers of Europe for a long while, I think that I heard that it was much improved, however it used to be horrible considering the popularity of the site.

The Beers of Europe website is still pretty clunky (not least because of the number of beers listed as “sold out” on there). I’ve always had great service from them once I’ve ordered.though.

On the other hand, their actual warehouse is a huge temple of beer which people wander round in awe and with hushed voices (and apparently they’re extending it even further). I’d recommend everyone pays a visit (at least, once we’re allowed to again).

I’ve thought for ages that places such as Beers of Europe need separate listings for the online and physical offerings - I like CHris’s ideas for the conditional wording change, sounds like it might be something that’s quite easy for services to do (although I don’t want it to slow up the regionalisation work!).

Do we need to re-raise this on the Beer Talk forum to get buy-in from other countries?


Another thought… should subscription services be separated out from online shops (eg Beer52)?

Beer52 has an online shop too. It’s not just a subscription site.


Yes. I don’t do it much myself, but could see it being very useful for RB users. Not sure how to rate ambiance though… perhaps switch that out for ease of use rating?