Sunday, 20 June 2010

Video beer reviews, pointless or educational?.

Most of us have seen them. You know the video of some bloke pouring out a beer, talking for a while about the brewery, swilling it around in the glass before taking a good 120 seconds describing the aroma before taking a sip. Up come the adjectives and moments of silence pondering over what other adjectives to use.
Those who remember when Sausage had an independent blog will remember all the venomous hatred he used to spit at the video beer reviewer. But there are still plenty of them about, and I'm not saying I'm against them but the question is are they really worth it? I mean if you really want to find out a beer you could always read about it on Beer Advocate, Rate Beer or similar sites. But maybe sometimes it might be nice to get a more personal account from a blogger you like of a particular newly released beer.

Take for example my dog Troy, he loves reading Mark Dredge's posts. Here he watches Mark's review of Brew Dog's Tactical Nuclear Penguin. See the intrigue on little Troy's face, proof that video beer reviews can be deeply fascinating.


Obviously a good review. And there is little doubt that at the time Mark had taken his camp bed up to Scotland with the purpose of getting the front of the queue by the Brew Dog bottling line. From this position as soon as the first bottle is capped he can grab it, get a flight back to Kent (or some kind of beer reviewing studio), scurry for the video camera, and post a video beer review online before anyone else can touch the stuff. That's dedication for you.

But this doesn't answer the question. Obviously video beer reviews can be done well, but can also be done badly. I find the likes of Mark and Zak Avery do good video reviews, but it could be just me being biased because they a\re amongst my favourite bloggers. But I have found with the not so good ones, there seems to be a certain amount of time (usually between 20 and 60 seconds) it takes for you to stop watching. The likes of Zak keep things moving at a fast pace, maybe even adding a bit of home cooking in for visual variation, and afterwards you often want to hunt out the beer being reviewed. I don't know about anybody else but I know where myself and Troy's thoughts lie with video beer reviews.


Leigh said...

I dont mind them to be honest, but they do vary from interestingly diverting to utter dogshit. Zak's, however, I do like, due to thier brevity. But if you troll around YouTube, you'll see a lot of dross out there.

Ed said...

They're not for me. Often the lovely Lisa is watching the telly whilst I'm doing my internet beer nerdery and I wouldn't want to interrupt Holby city.

Rob said...

I have a lot of familiarity with that situation Ed. Sometimes I play them at work during lunch break but no one seems interested. Zak goes at it like a tiger, he is our god of beer review videos. One day I might film a beer review myself but at the moment Im too obsessed with the cheese.

ZakAvery said...

I find the whole thing terrifyingly egomaniacal.

Stop me before I vlog again....

Mark said...

I don't like shooting vblogs - I feel terribly self-conscious doing them, but I think they are an interesting extra to add to talking about beer. I will only do one if I've got something interesting to say about a particular beer and I want the immediacy of film to show, which I can then follow up in writing. I prefer writing and a picture, but sometimes a video just works best (the recent blind tasting, for example).

I know what you mean about some being terrible (myself included in there!). I try and keep mine below five minutes - as soon as it goes over that then I'm not likely to even start watching it. That's the trouble with some of the youtube beer guys. But it is nice to see someone actually talking about the beer rather than just writing it - there's more pressure on their opinion too as it's often unedited.

So yeah, a good addition to the arsenal, but only when done well (for me this means short and to a particular not, not just a ramble about what something tastes like).

I'm glad Troy approves :)

Cooking Lager said...

Avery remains the god of the video blog. That is the standard to beat.

Cooking Lager said...

Avery remains the god of the video blog. That is the standard to beat.