Over the years we have been to many breweries, pubs, festivals, and restaurants, with the same intent to sample and enjoy great beers. Sometimes its a beer we have never tried and other times it's one forgotten about. In either case it can be helpful to record one's thoughts on paper or whatever form of journal you might use. As a caveat to this, we have grown to appreciate certain fundamentals in regards to what comprises a beer style or brewery.
If we mentioned Porter, what comes to mind usually is Black Butte from Deschutes, or maybe one of your locally brewed varieties. However, its that recollection that is associated with the category or style, Porter, that allows us to determine if it's a good beer and a great beer.
Recently, several breweries introduced a beer style that until a few weeks ago was undefined. Named Cascadian Dark Ale, the beer style get's its name from the region encompassing the Oregon, Washington, & British Columbia. CDA (as it is nicknamed), usually is a India Pale Ale that challenges the mind when you first see it. Dark in color but full of hoppy aroma and taste, this beer has been challenging people's perceptions of a dark beer for several months. However, much like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD or Beta-Max versus VHS; Cascadian Dark Ale has its antithesis in India Black Ale (or Black IPA).
It is this introduction and the lack of commitment over one style name over the other, that we have decided moving forward that scores and letter grades will not be used on our site. We feel a simple scale of 'must have' to 'avoid at all costs' should suffice. But for those that need reassurance of a letter or number grade, we will continue to include links to well known websites such as beeradvocate and ratebeer.
We encourage your thoughts on the new 'rating' system, as we continue recording our thoughts and learning more about the beer in our backyard.