November 27, 2007 at 1:24 am (1)

I just joined coastr:


I figure I should actually write something about coastr, instead of just, you know, saying that i joined.

Coastr is a social network for beer and ale lovers. There are thousands of different breweries, and tens of thousands of different beers, in dozens of categories. People who like to try different beers are always out at the specialty markets, looking for something new and interesting to tempt their taste-buds.

Little known fact about myself: Before I was a librarian, and while I was starting my Master’s Degree, I was a brewer of beer at a local brewpub. Every day I was either making beer, putting it into kegs, or cleaning. Mostly cleaning. We got to write our own recipes for a lot of the ale we made, which meant that we were always on the lookout for good beer and ale to try and mimic, if we could. Hence, I became an aficionado of fine ale!

Hey, what’s the difference between beer and ale? Well, beer is kind of a blanket term for that type of beverage. There are two general types: ale and lager. These two types have to do with the kind of yeast used in fermentation. Ale yeast has to ferment at around 68 degrees, and lager yeast has to ferment at around 4o degrees, I think. A batch of ale can be made, fermented, cooled and put into kegs in as little as a week, if everything goes well. Lager, on the other hand, takes over a month.

Ales tend to run the gamut of styles – dark, light, strong, weak, experimental, herbal, etc. Lagers tend to be light and crisp.

Anyway, back to coastr – thousands of beers. When you try one out, you review it. The more you review, the higher your score. I don’t think the score gets you anything, unless you review a lot of beers, in which case you get profiled on the front page of the site. The navigation on the site is a little clunky – I did a search for Chimay, which has three different varieties. Even though I got the list, I had to choose one to add, then use the back buttons to click back until i found the list again. It would be nice if it had a checklist, like goodreads, where I can add items from a list with one click, without leaving the list. Then, I could go to my list later and review everything to my hearts content.


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