Thursday was a big one at Beer Advocate for primarily two reasons: the announcement of development of an iPhone app and Tomme Arthur’s response to the recent criticism over Angel’s Share issues.
First, the bad. Port Brewing/Lost Abbey’s Tomme Arthur issued a statement on Beer Advocate last night on the whole Angel’s Share saga. For those, not following closely over the past couple months, some bottles were released into the public that were supposed to carbonate but never did (mostly Angel’s Share but a couple other ‘brands’ as well). Angel’s Share is a higher-end beer, being priced in the $30-40 range so understandably, there were some upset people out there. There has been disappointment from some in the brewery’s communication on both the under-carbonation issue and the delays in the ‘Patron’ clubs (or was it just the Sinners club?).
Flash forward to last night’s statement and there are still a lot of mixed opinions out there on what was said. Apology or no apology, I take issue with uncarbonated bottles still sitting out in the marketplace. However, I also echo those who call for people to get back to advocating beer in the forums.
To those who have spent money on the beer and feel wronged, send Tomme an email and explain your situation (he posted his email at the end of his statement), send back your opened/unopened bottles, scan him your receipt(s), do whatever you have to do. I have no reason to think that Tomme won’t fix things for those who contact him directly and some have already reported success in doing so. If he doesn’t fix it, indicate your displeasure through a poor review, write a complaint to the BBB, contact your local store to see if they’ll reimburse you, stop buying their beers, etc. A tough situation for everyone at this time but I know the new bottling line will serve the beer well in the future.
Now to the fun stuff (it gets a bit techy from here), Beer Advocate announced development of an iPhone app and is taking suggestions on features. Beer sites like Beer Advocate and RateBeer taking web content to the mobile platform is a big step for us beer people that also happen to be heavy web/tech users. I would still love to see both sites, especially Beer Advocate, opening up things a bit more with APIs (BA: like allowing export of OUR own reviews?). And I would be interested in seeing a site that worked off of a review standard like hreview which would allow you, hypothetically, to add your review to multiple sites quite easily.
Still, I am quite excited to see what BA comes up with…are there existing beer apps out there that people are using on their iPhones? I actually don’t own one yet but hope to by the end of the year.