In issue #113 (No More Excuses) we proclaimed that there are no more excuses for brewers who are making bad beer. There are a plethora of resources to help them sharpen their skills and become more competitive in today’s aggressive beer market. It goes both ways. There are no more excuses for consumers to be ignorant, either. We’re not talking about becoming an expert, but rather getting informed with the basics and understanding beer and the core brewing process. Because let’s face it, the internet is littered with misinformed beer geeks. And while the solutions might seem obvious, sometimes things need repeating. So with that, here are a few tips to help. We know they work, because it’s how BeerAdvocate got started back in 1996. Read and Write Research the brewers and beers you enjoy. Twenty years ago, that took some effort. Today, most breweries have a website with descriptions of their beers. Learn more about who they are and the intentions behind their beers. Pick up a publication to extend your reading to every facet of beer and its rich culture. Take notes on some of the beers you try, too. It’s one of the best ways to not only get to know a beer, but to discover what you like and dislike, and why. Find a Community Seek out local beer clubs for tastings and bottle shares or geek out with an online community where you’ll meet like-minded people who share your mutual respect for beer. Homebrew It’s not for everyone, but a hands-on approach to the brewing process will teach you more about beer styles and what a truly bad beer is (we’ve all been there, and learned from it). You’ll appreciate brewers on a whole new level. Need a push? Connect with local homebrew clubs for a more social approach or simply brew with a friend. Remember: knowing is half the battle. Respect Beer.