Ohhh... My Head... - Frequently Asked Questions
Once upon a time there was a few people who were going skiing for a
week. These people wanted to buy some beer, but couldn't agree in which
beer to buy. So one of them said "Let's buy all beer in this store and
find out which one is the best". So they did. They bought about 100
different kinds of beer and started trying them. After testing them all
they said "Aaaah... This one is the best! - But, there are even more
beers. How do we know none of them is even better?". And so it is...
I think we while making this list has broken every rule there is in beer
testing. We have been trying up to 40 beers a night. The beer has been
in bottles, on can, and a few have been on tap. (However, most have been
bottled.) A few beers have really been in bad condition when we tested
them, and has therefore unfairly low marks.
Since a lot people, both male and female, with different taste, are in
the jury, there is as good as always someone who dislikes a beer with
different taste from what we're used to. Therefore are some of the exciting
beers way behind the top beers in this list.
The names of the beer may be incomplete, misspelled or simply wrong
...and, oh, please don't blame us for not having tested your favourite
beer. We try every beer we can get our hands on, so if it's not listed
it's not because we don't like it. (If it's really important for you
that we list your favourite beer you could always send it to us ;-)
The ratings ranges from 0 to 5:
0 - Impossible to drink even if it is for free.
1 - Bad, but drinkable.
2 - Not very good, but nothing wrong.
3 - Good
4 - Very good
5 - Excellent
In January 2000 we decided to refine the system by using adding + or - to the rating,
where a + means that the value is increased by 1/3 point, and a - means that it is decreased with 1/3.
So the actual range is now -0.33 to 5.33.
Previous to January 2002 the rule was that
A beer must be rated by at least three persons before
it can be registered in our database. But as that left out many very interesting
beers, like basically all draught only beers, it was changed to that beers that are hard
to get the rest of the group to share can be included in our listings, provided that
the person(s) who rate it also writes a review, not just a rating.
Every rater sets his/her own criterias. Some of us are more experienced
than others and uses other criterias, but in the end it's all subjective anyway...
First the average rating of the beer is calculated.
Then we also calculate an "expert score" which is weighted
according to how many beers each rater has tried. One beer gives you one
vote. Since it's up to everyone to interprete our rating system (0-5)
we all have different average scores for the total amount of beers we have
rated. (An example: Rater A's average rating might be 2.56, while Rater B's
is 3.12.) This is corrected for in both this values before we add them
to one score where the "normal" average is given twice as much importance
as the "expert score".
If we would have been satisfied with this it would have been much easier
for beers that only three persons have rated than one which has been tried by
ten to get really extreme values, and end up in the top or the bottom, and
this is compensated for.
This means that theoretically a beer can end up well outside the
range 0-5 (in fact I think the limits are something like -8..13).
To view this simple formula click here!
Our database consists of a nowadays rather advanced Excel-sheet,
in which all the calculations are performed. From there the
data is transfered to a UNIX-system where a shellscript auto-generates
all the list files, before they're transfered to our webspace located
at Stockholm University. Even though this is pretty much automatic
every update takes a significant amount of time wherefor it's not
possible for us to update it too often.
We started out as complete amateurs, and even if some of us now
actually has aquired some small pieces of knowledge we will always
have to live with our old ratings. We also continously accept new members.
Add to that that we consist of a lot of different people with different
preferences, and that this is done just for fun. We know that some beers
are terribly underrated, and that some are way too high up, it's just not
such a big deal.
Another thing that might influence our ratings is that, of course, the
beers we get from our local micro is usually fresher than a bottle
that has travelled for months from far away places to get to us.
Some beers we have tried have been in terrible shape while others
have been extremely fresh, and even if we wanted to there is not much
we can do about it.
And besides, when it all comes down to it, all opinions are subjective,
These are our points of view and not some kind of universal truth we
A lot of beers are relabelled when exported. For instance the
mediocre Danish beer Bjørnebryg are also known
as, for instance, Bear Beer or Bären Bier.
We try to stick to the original name as much as we can, but
sometimes that is not possible.
In Sweden beer must be below 3.5%ABV to be sold in regular stores,
therefore a lot of brands, both domestic and foreign, comes in
different versions. To separate the different versions we sometimes
add the prefix , klass II or , klass I to the beers
name. This however is messed up with the new rules that beer below
2.8% is not taxed, which have resulted in that the same brand
sometimes comes in both 2.8% and 3.5%... Also Finland has a similar
system, where these classes are denoted from I to IV,
where I is the weakest and the strongest, IV, is divided
into IV A and IV B where the latter is stronger.
We also consider draught or cask conditioned versions as different from
the bottled version of a beer so that both can be rated separately.
A cask conditioned beer is always denoted by , draught respectively , cask.
Beers that are aged before we rate them are denoted with , aged X years.
A star, *, means that the beer is brewed under contract
in another country than what is stated in the list. However the beers
always get listed after the original country of the brand, not where it
is actually brewed.
Yes of course. If you spot any errors don't hesitate to mail us.
(I will probably forget to correct it, but that's another story...)
If you feel like you're having a very interesting beer we have not
yet rated that you'd like to share with us, drop us a mail, and
maybe we could work something out. Though new beers are always welcome
we can not gurantee that we always have the time to set up an exchange.
Beacause it's fun. Because we like beer.
Even though Systembolaget (the government contolled stores that
are the only ones allowed to sell alcoholic beverages over 3.5%) has
a pretty good assortment these days the main part of the beers we rate
comes from various travels, or are gifts from people abroad.
We also find some beers at local pubs such as Akkurat.
We all live in Sweden, and all of us either lives, or has been living
in or near Stockholm where nearly all our ratings are conducted.
No comments. Next question please ;-)
Countries are defined from a travellers point of view, rather than from a politival point of view.
Therefore regions with no or limited independance count, as long as they are separated
from the main country by either large distances (for instance Azores, Madeira, New Caledonia etc.) or
by political barriers that makes travelling to the region more difficult (for instance Transdniestr and Tibet).
Some regions with limited independance are also included (for instance Åland, Macau, HongKong, Greenland etc.)
Todd Shumsky - for countless US microbrews, web-help, inspiration etc...
|May 1993:||The first 80 beers rated. Küppers Kölsch leads.|
|7th June 1995||The list is posted to alt.beer and made public for the first time. Guinness leads.|
|Later in June 1995||The list is webbed at a page at The Nicholson Wall of Beer|
|August 1996||We get our own webspace. Theakston's Old Peculier leads.|
|December 1996||We get listed on Netscape's "Vad är häftigt" ("What's Cool" in Swedish).|
|18th July 1997||Ch'ti Blonde becomes beer #1000|
|Later in July 1997||Our new web listings are presented|
|August 1997||The non-alcoholic Venezuelan Malta Caracas becomes first beer with a score below 0.00|
|January 1998||We become the largest rating collection on the web in Europe. Westvleteren 12 and 8 into top position.|
|May 1998||Alaskan Smoked Porter 1997 becomes our 1500th beer|
|August 1999||3 Monts is beer #2000|
|January 2000||The rating systen is refined with +/-. Nils Oscar Julöl 1999 Imperial Stout becomes the first Swedish beer on #1 position. |
|August 2000||Grub server down (forever?). We switch to the ohhh.myhead.org domain. We're now the webbed beer ratings with the most countries represented anywhere. |
|October 2000||The Russian lager Stepan Razin Studentskoye takes over as the worst beer in our history by scoring -0.07.|
|May 2001||Sailor Hägar's Narwhal Pale Ale takes us up to 3000 beers, and the same evening we become the first beer ratings on the web with more than 100 countries documented.|
|August 2002||De Dolle Special Brouwsel 20 is our beer #4000|
|June 2003||Amarcord La Puténa from San Marino is beer #5000 from country #130.|
|May 2004||Deus becomes beer #6000|
|December 2004||Drie Fonteinen Schaarbeekse Kriek reaches a record breaking score of 5.16, and takes over as number 1.|
|February 2006||Baladin Elixir is the official beer #8000.|
|May 2007||Lost Abbey Angels Share is the official beer #10000.|
|July 2009||At a visit to the brewpub Brasserie de Monaco the principality of Monaco becomes our 200th country.|
Brent Nicholson & The Wall of Beer - for all the US microbrews and inspiration.
Josh Oakes - for a lot of Canadian and other beers & drinking company.
Philippe Corbat (Bov) - For loads of Swiss and French microbrews as well as beer from Sri Lanka & Tunisia
Christer Hultman - for beer from mabny crazy countries as well as drinking company
Sandro Regusci - for beer from countless countries as well as drinking company
The Alnebo family - for beer, food, hosting and company
Joe Tucker - for beer, food, hosting and company
Donald Bible - for drinking company, many US microbrews and beer from strange countries
Peter Jones - for British beers and drinking company
Katrin Hintze - for loads of German beers
John Warner - for loads of US microbrews
PsychProf - for loads of US microbrews
Chris Quiroga - for a grand tour of Southern California and many fine beers
Dr. Bill - for hosting a superb beer tasting
jcalabre - for Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout
Steve Kinsey - for showing me Stuffed Sandwich
Gusler - for loads of US microbrews
fiulijn - for Swiss & Belgian beer
jjpm74 - for US East Coastmicrobrews
Jacob Lövenlund &and the Danish Ratebeerians - for Danish & Belgian beer and drinking company
Jeppe Bjergsøe - for many interesting beers
Martin Thibault and the Montréal Ratebeerieans - for organizing a great tasting in Montréal
MrWalker - for good beers and drinking company
oh6gdx - for good beers and drinking company
Davis Lévesque - for many beers and drinkig company
The Texas ratebeerians - for American beer and drinking company
jca_lbi - for loads of US microbrews and his own superb homebrew.
Boris Georgiev - for loads of German beers and Liberian beer
Duff - for loads of Australian microbrews.
asedzie - for Taiwanese microbrews.
VENOM - for Adams Honey Bragget.
Yogi_Beera - for German beers
DougShoemaker - for S.t Ambroise Vintage Ale
Iva & Pavel - for Czech beers
rauchbier - for British barley wines
Bo Skoog - for Hoegaarden Grand Cru and a bunch of Michigan microbrews
Frank Dittrich & Camilla - for loads of German beers.
Uwe Weid - ditto...
Åke & Birgitta Samuelsson - for all the Thai, German, Canadian, US, UK bottles etc.
The Zetterlunds - for a bunch of Hungarian brews.
Lars Stjernestam - for the samples of his excellent award winning homebrews.
Esa Karell - for Sahti and information on beer in Finland.
Jonas Bofjäll - for Mexican beer and a cool domain name
Patric de Boussard and Elin Isgren - for Russian beers.
Akkurat - for being the best pub in town (if not the world...).
Oliver Twist - for rivalling Akkurat for that position.
Hagges Bärsklubb - for membership & great beer.
Bengt-Åke Ericsson - for many new African countries, as well as Colombian & Mexican beers as well as beers from Congo-Kinshasa
Thomas Eriksson - for beer from Mali
Johan Fors - for beers from Tanzania, St. Vincent and St. Lucia
Peter Svensson - for beer bought in Oman etc.
Leffe Wahlström - for Leffe Tripel.
Christoffer Gustafsson - for beer from Madagascar, US Virgin Islands and Utah.
Fredrik Lindström - for Golden Delster from Pakistan
Linus Rispling - for Murree Brewery's Malt-79 from Pakistan
Pauli Norman - for Safari Lager Export from Tanzania
Stefan Erlandsson - for Presidente from Dominican Republic
Gábriella Varga - for the Romanian Ursus Premium Pils.
Malin Lindskog - for Anchor from Malaysia.
Pehr Åhlberg - for loads of Slovenian beers and Gotlandsdricke
Mats Åberg - for loads of Fijian, Cambodian and Japanese beers
Roger Nordlund - for Nisse 3.5%
Sedat Anter - for that (unfortunately broken) Uzbekistani bottle.
Göran Nordlöw - for Gold Pulsar from Uzbekistan
Yusuuf Faarax - for Ethiopian beer
Mats Höjbrand - for Romanian beer
Per Carlsson - for Indonesian beer
Baban Aziz - for Haitian beer
Mikael Markhill - for Guatemalan and US American beer
Berit Bergquist - for Mexican & German beer
Mats Wärme - for Bintang from Indonesia.
Shameel Sanoon - for Víking Gylltur from Iceland.
Kathy Zolfaghari - for Sey Brew Lager from the Seychelles
Kathy Kitchin - for Hansa Urbock from Namibia.
Göran Thimberg - for Bofferding from Luxembourg
Kalle Björke - for that Spanish bottle, wherever it is...
...and lots of people I've forgotten about. Sorry!
If you copy material from our web pages, please include a reference.
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Partly updated 2010-01-21 Per Forsgren