What is all this stuff about?

A free useful utility that makes it easy to follow your favourite breweries, beers and local pubs.

Why Register: As a member you can promote your favourite breweries, the beer you like and pubs you visit. You can also comment on the beers in various ways, including adding your own tasting notes.

Guest Drinker: Want to checkout the beer before you buy it? You can add the beer to the pubs current beer list, which makes reading the tasting notes really easy. Then add your ratings for next time.

What no Pubs Set Up: We did not want to just upload a database of all the pubs in the country, as many entries would not be applicable here and without the available beers being added, there would be nothing to read. If you are interested and really do sell cask and guest ales, you can either ask us and we will set it up, you can set it up yourself (see the login page), or just follow us on Twitter.

What We Are Not: We try not to be a review style website or a pub guide. We are about delicious cask ales, local to everyone.

Hit Counters: Our hit counters tell it how it is, we want to be honest about what you are looking at and the status of our site.

Beer Scores

Our rating scheme uses a 1-5 in half scales. Everyone's taste is different, so to rate a beer on personal taste does not really make sense. We consider a rating for next time a better way to do ratings, and whether you would want to return visit and part with your hard earned cash to drink it again. Below will give general guidance of how our system could possibly be used for your own records.

Rating for Next Time (Rating on whether it is worth buying it again, CAMRA style)

  • 1 - Not for me, would not want to buy this beer again.
  • 2 - Bearable, buy again only if no alternative available.
  • 3 - Good. Would definitely consider buying this beer again.
  • 4 - Very Good. Would make the effort to buy this again.
  • 5 - Special. The same as Very Good, but needs something extra/special. eg low alcohol and big flavour.

Quality of Beer Being Served (How well the beer has been looked after)

  • 1 - Poor. Beer that is barely drinkable. Would want it changed for something else.
  • 2 - Average. Competently kept, drinkable, but doesn't inspire in any way.
  • 3 - Good. Good beer in good form.
  • 4 - Very Good. Great beer in excellent condition.
  • 5 - Excellent. Probably the best you are ever likely to find.
Site Hits History

With a total of 14438353 hits, here are the last 12 months:

Terms of Use

If you continue to browse and use this website, you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by the following terms and conditions of use, which together with our privacy policy govern Freehouse Coders relationship with you in relation to this website. If you disagree with any part of these terms and conditions, please do not use our website. The term ''Freehouse Coders'' or ''us'' or ''we'' refers to the owner of the website. The term ''you'' refers to the user or viewer of our website.

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Developers Last Words

Why? Well, initially just as a backoffice sandbox, that seems now to have got totally out of hand. 'Events' (aka Guest Ales) started in 2005 after a knee injury made visiting my favourite pubs much more difficult. There was nothing at the time that focused on where you can buy the beers in pubs, only on rating them. Guest Beer (Wikipedia a beer from a different brewery) came about where beers can be listed in real time by drinkers. Anyone could then checkout and update the listed beers and also read the tasting notes beer festival style.

Initially our development was using a J2EE EJB 2.0 Websphere stack (complicated and really not much fun) then migrated over to use primarily Apache Software Foundation software. We are 100% web based, so have no app and probably never will. Although only using the web is going to be a hard sell (rather than a native app) it does not tie us to any one platform and are free from Android and iOS. This allows us to easily add/update our features and with increasing speeds on mobile data the web will continue to get better. Checkout our mobile site, which is where most of our effort for now is going. These pages have been optimised when viewed and work best when signed on.

Our main site really needs updating, but we have looked around and are staying with our current css which is fast and easy to maintain. Also to be honest, the whole html5/mobile thing seems a mess and has not really delivered, you're going to have an native app, right? Most modern designs now seem to be responsive, single page, scroll down (guess due to the complexity of the framework), which does not really suite our requirements. There also seems too many disparate technologies and to constantly keep switching to the next latest and greatest is great from a technical point, but in reality it's just the next cruft as there is generally no long term support. You are just compounding the mire you're already in, and without a huge budget really don't achieve much. We just need much better, simpler design, or an app (not).

We try to focus our efforts on making our site lightweight, fast and easy to use. Our design goals are to make a useful utility, and to facilitate future developments. This, along with the nature of the content of the site, does kind of restrict us on what we want to do. Generally, there would be more beers available than you sensibly would want to try, so you can use our Guest Drinker which allows just the adding of beers (so you can read and enjoy the delicious tasting notes). In fact you do not have to even drink to use our site.

We try our best (this stuff is incredibly time consuming), if you find something broken or not working, please use the contact form and let us know. If you are interested in getting involved, please use our contact form and we will get back to you. Help in keeping on top of our beer database would also be appreciated by updating your local/favourite brewery beers, which I guess is the more interesting part and also a perfect way to start your day ;-). Our backoffice utilities make adding/updating the beers easy, and are the same utilities we use so they will be geared towards more seasoned users.

We run early till pub closing hours, which saves the hamsters some effort during the night. Why? well, it's where we are in the project, and being only interested in UK beer/breweries seems a sensible (or not) thing to do. If you get a can't establish a connection to the server message that's why, we are not going away any time soon! We can extend these times, just let us know. We are looking at moving full time to the cloud. If you have got a spare small gears instance for a Tomcat/Java based system, and want to support use please get in touch.

Beer dates... all the earlier beers listed from 2005-2011 have an April 2011 created date, these were loaded from our original DB2 database where the creation date was not recorded, only an update date.

Our pages are designed to use larger font sizes, which you can also change (FF). If you are using our mobile site you can zoom in and out to make reading and using the application much easier.

Finally, thanks again for looking and please drink responsibly.