BrewAdvice.com, a community-driven site focused on answering all questions related to beer, officially launched today. Unlike forums, message boards, Facebook, or Twitter, BrewAdvice.com is specifically set up as a simple question and answer knowledge base. Ask a question, get a number of answers, select the best one, and get on with brewing. The site was quietly opened to the public a little over a week ago, and the response was overwhelmingly successful. To date, there are already over 50 users asking and answering almost 40 beer related questions.
Questions range from basic homebrewing process questions, like “How do you choose a yeast”, to more theoretical brewing questions, such as “What does ‘Imperial’ mean with regards to style?” to the more advanced side of the craft, for example the effects of aging on Alpha and Beta acids in hops. There are also questions that aren’t strictly for the homebrewer, such as a question about pairing beer with mussels, and general beer storage advice.
Users on the site gain reputation through activity. The more active a user, the more power he or she has on the site. One gains reputation by asking good questions and leaving good answers. As users participate more, they gain access to commenting, voting, and moderation tools. “It’s a site run by the community,” says co-founder PJ Hoberman.
“It’s kind of ridiculous how much I have already learned from this site,” says budding homebrewer Jordan Rounds. “BrewAdvice is now a daily stop in my internet travels.” Frequent visitors to the site range from aspiring homebrewers to aspiring brewery owners, beer bloggers to beer judges, and everyone in between.
BrewAdvice.com is built on the Stack Exchange framework, made famous by the tech Q&A site StackOverflow.com. The site is currently maintained by two administrators, Taylor Beseda and PJ Hoberman, both web developers and homebrewers in Denver, Colorado.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Over the weekend, I received a press release from Jon at JustBeerNews.com about the launch of BrewAdvice.com. I've posted the text of the release below and added a link to the resources section of this site. Although the content begs for wider adoption, I can see how this site could quickly become as invaluable a resource as my usual staples: Homebrew Digest, BeerTools, or the myriad brewing books crammed into my dining room bookshelf (nudging out the cookbooks for space). Check it out for yourself and use the comments section here to let me know what you think.