Posted in Headlines

Beer Advocate Spent the Weekend Banning Members [UPDATED]

BeerAdvocate Image

One of the most popular beer rating websites in the world went on another banning frenzy over the weekend. The moderators at BeerAdvocate.com, namely Jason and Todd Alstrom look to be the culprits.

Beer Street Journal was contacted by a few members that found their accounts suspended or banned. As it turns out, some of the banning has to do with with their involvement with a relatively new site, beertrading.org. BeerAdvocate has its own community of beer traders on their site as well. “The bros” as they are called, don’t seem to take to kindly to the potential competition.

Digging deeper, I contacted members of BeerTrading.org to find what their interpretations were on the situation. I didn’t find a lot (any) nice comments about the Alstroms. Accounts were banned for reasons like “Under Investigation” or “Dupe Account/Not Mature Enough.” Also, anyone found insulting or criticizing the Alstroms, their site, or their heavy handed banning, were banned as well. Especially when their user names and avatars were the same on the beertrading.org site.

The loss of years of Beer Advocate reviews seems to be the biggest complaint amongst those banned.

Let me tell you, it doesn’t take much to get banned from BA. I was banned last year for posting the backlash from Todd Alstrom tweeting about a family’s car being towed out of the Beer Advocate parking lot ahead of a hurricane hitting Boston.

Were you banned from Beer Advocate over the weekend? Were you given a reason? Drop a message below. You won’t get banned we promise.

Update 9/30, 2:30 pm.   I received this from a member that was banned from BeerAdvocate.com over the weekend. Some information was redacted to maintain a certain privacy level.

Co-founder Jason Alstrom has sent out emails to individual employers, mentioning forum abuse, and passively threatening legal matters as you see in the screenshot below. This comes from a tipster that is 2nd in command at their company.

Alstrom Email

 

  • Mathieu

    This is important, and thanks for posting.

  • tehzachatak

    Banned, no contact from mods, just an “under investigation…” tag!

    • JOJO

      WOW, your on all the time too/

  • IHATEBEER

    I was banned for posting the mods show Favoritism

  • Danny Webb

    Banned as well for “account under investigation”. I make maybe 2-3 posts a month on BeerAdvocate and did absolutely nothing to warrant my banhammer, other than participate on beertrading.org. You know it is starting to get bad when they are banning people that don’t even post in the forums. Even better, they sent an email to many of us last night to renew magazine subscriptions.

  • Johnny Ramirez

    Banned for saying people should request phone #’s when initiating trades because of all the banning going on

  • Michigan

    I’m “not mature enough” for this discussion…

  • Trady

    I haven’t been banned (yet), but have found that now BA is completely useless to me. The majority of my trading partners, contacts, and friends from BA have shifted over to http://www.beertrading.org, and logging into BA just fills me with disdain at how dumbed down the Beer Talk forum is, and how much of a joke their trading forum is as well.

    And god forbid you have a sense of humor. I imagine the moderators to be very non-social drinkers. Having a beer and posting something while drunk is what made BA so great to read in the morning just a couple of years ago. Now, it’s just repetitive threads about IPAs and pumpkin beer, and wildfires of lopsided trade threads every weekend when some stupid beer is released.

    I, for one, will not miss BA when I inevitably am removed.

  • MrVonzipper

    The best Ban reason I’ve seen so far is from a long time member and one of the best reviewers and contributors of the site.
    BeerAdvocate Community – Error
    You have been banned for the following reason: Does not deserve to be on BA.

  • DUPED

    What’s “Beer Advocate”?

  • Joey Jo Jo

    I was threatened with a ban twice, didn’t happen either time. Once for ripping them apart about how they handled EBF and the snowstorm (and *allegedly* drank a number of the beers that had already been delivered, but claimed they were returned to the distributors), and once for referring to Candace as a bitch after her Kate the Great day rant.

  • Jason Alström
    • Michigan

      That’s full of lies and you know it! You and your brother are a joke in the craft beer community. You do not “lead” this community. If anything, to suppress the strongest supporters if they speak out against you. Your community is nothing without the users and contributors. If you alienate the biggest and best supporters, as you have already started to do, your website is nothing. The power of this community rests in the hands of the community, not you.

      • evilc

        You can’t reason with a sociopath, Michigan

    • ohheelyeah

      So is this the final, redacted version? The one where you remove your slanderous comments towards oldp0rt because your legal team advised you to do so? Got it.

      Keep trying, neckbeards.

    • ghostfacekilla
      • evilc

        Oh don’t worry – he’s already on the site reading. Rustled jimmies and all!!

        • ghostfacekilla

          Its not for him. Its for those that might have missed the thread and are only seeing this and that laughable response.

    • ByeByeBros

      You banned Oldp0rt! The guy devoted his time and energy helping other members steer clear of bad traders and now he is banned! Have some balls and don’t lock down the thread so other members can chime in. You suppress free speech by deleting anything and everything. Start looking for a new job because chasing away customers is a great way to ruin a business. Word of viable other sites is spreading fast, your site will soon become a vast wasteland.

      • evilc

        The fact that that thread is locked for replies should tell everyone everything they need to know.

    • Harry

      LOL what a joke.

    • ohheelyeah

      Unlock that thread so we can have some honest, intelligent conversation about what has transpired…

      • evilc

        Do you think Jason understands those terms???

    • essmithsd

      You’re a joke.

      • GottaTickemAll

        Reported :p

    • BabyTodd

      Not open for discussion. Huge surprise.

    • AlstromIsACommie

      This poster should be banned for smoking too much pole.

  • http://thefreelance.tumblr.com/ Jeff A. Taylor

    Have to confess, I simply do not understand beer trading.

    • http://BeerStreetJournal.com/ Reid Ramsay

      It’s a whole underworld for sure. I would stick to friends in other cities/states. Get to know people first. Forums can be great. But sometimes, people can be hard to work with. (Trade with.)

  • eci

    ROFL at Jason linking that thread he and his clown brother put on BA. Sorry J-boy – people are wise to you. Go eat some more cake.

    • Michigan

      Pretty sure he’s the one going through and down-voting posts in this. Kinda pathetic.

  • JokersWild

    Beer Advocate has become The “No Fun” site , way to serious anymore ,” No Fun Allowed”

  • ByeByeBros

    The heavy handed police state the brothers run over there is going to ruin their business. As they lose customers by banning them and others leave because of their insane level of moderation, their business will go down the tubes. They used to be the only game in town, but now there are alternatives.

    I cant say I feel bad for them, they have run many great members off of their site and alienated many others. I for one and laughing my ass off at them as they chase away their customers.

  • lo

    Yay now all the pretentious beer a$$holes can be together.

    • evilc

      beertrading.org is actually the opposite. People who don’t take this stuff seriously at all.

      • Michigan

        But they take Reubens VERY seriously.

    • GottaTickemAll

      I was wondering who on Earth would like your post and then saw it was Jason Alstrom.

      And btw, pretentious beer a$$sholes are already together. They run a site called Beeradvocate.

  • NotJasonAlstrom

    SNARK IS NOT ALLOWED! CONSIDER ALL OF YOU REPORTED!!!!

    Der Fuhrer
    Ze Beer Advoschnitzel

    • evilc

      Until BA, I had never heard of a male using that word. Kevin ith tho dweamy!!!

      • NotJasonAlstrom

        I upvoted myself just like Jason & Tawd did on their oldp0rt post. I’m really immersing myself in the role.

        I stubbed my toe this morning. As a result, I’ve written down every name that is here and am banning all of you.

        Slightly disgusted with my own actions, so I just banned myself too.

  • Dom F.

    I was banned as well. “Account Under Investigation.” Like the bros are some sort of detectives or something.

    • JimmieRustler

      Nice avatar

      • yamar68

        Cool avatar. I’ll be patiently awaiting that royalties check in the mail.

  • davey101

    Awesome that this is gaining attention!

  • Joey Jo Jo
    • Joey Jo Jo

      Thread on BA linking to this article, deleted immediately.

      • davey101

        And got me banned for calling it interesting…

        • BanHammerIncoming

          I linked to this article in a private conversation with a long-time trade partner… wonder how long it will be before i’m banned for it?

    • ByeByeBros

      Let the censorship by the BA police continue! Everyone who reads this post should tell 5 or 10 of their beer drinking buddies what is going on over at BA as the bros continue their war on free speech.

  • ToadTheWetCandice
  • BabyTodd

    The “Bros” got to get that stick out. They never allow “entertaining” conversation. Lets just list our top 5 favorite IPA’s again.

  • Jay

    You all should know that BA is srs bsns. No fun allowed or else you get the banhammer.

  • kuemmelbrau

    Thanks for doing this Reid. What has happened around the internet beer world these last few days is ridiculous. As someone who was affected by this whole fiasco I honestly couldn’t care less. Ba has been on a suicidal (thanks todd ;) ) downward spiral for quite some time now. The funny (read cowardly) part to me is that after banning a large portion of their longest time users that the “bros” don’t have the dignity or courage to delete the banned users contributed content to their site. i understand that it is their property to do what they will with, but there are thousands of beer reviews/content that is tied up in this. If the “bros” weren’t too busy acting like children and taking their ball and going home- for all practical purpose STEALING the banned users contributions- they might learn to bring back the focus to themselves and get to the true root of the problem.

    • Turd Ahlstrom

      Just because you write up a ToS that says you are entitled to all of someone’s contributions, it doesn’t make it so.

  • illinismitty

    I have not been banned. But I don’t post there anymore. Until the industry and brewers stop affiliating with them and people stop attending their festivals, the Alstroms will continue to treat people like shit. Screw the ticks, stop attending their festivals. Ask your local shop to pull the BA shelftags. Stop giving the site revenue with clicks. The Alstroms have not been hit in the pocketbook, which is why they continue their unprofessional and dictatorial behavior.

  • http://thefreelance.tumblr.com/ Jeff A. Taylor

    What a tool. And unless he has concrete evidence of actual harassment, he’s the guy with legal exposure.

  • j

    I was banned for the same reason. I posted the thread that linked Todd’s Hurricane Sandy Tweet to BA’s site.

    They don’t take criticism too well, nor competition, nor disagreements.

  • GottaTickemAll

    Pretty much liked everything here, unless your name is Jason Alstrom or lo

  • Ding
  • Joey Jo Jo

    Geez, and Jason used to be the reasonable one. I was hoping that Todd and the bitch moving to Denver would be a good thing as Jason could better reflect on how BA should be run. I guess the opposite has happened.

  • Jacob

    I hope Todd and Jason get hit by a truck made of dicks.

  • Turd Ahlstrom

    Wow, some former BA’s gonna get paid if this goes to court! Which states and federal jurisdictions have the tort of unlawful interference with employment/contractual obligations? Harassment? They’re not looking good over there at that website. . .

  • Andy

    Wow, that is SERIOUSLY MESSED UP to contact someone’s place of employment. SERIOUSLY MESSED UP

    • rhartogs

      how many people did they ban will attend GABF and run into them? If I was one of the people who’s employer they e-mailed and I ran into them, it would not end well for all parties involved.

  • Jeff Hosea

    Ahhh yes! Banned in 2007 if I remember correctly! Glad to see that I haven’t missed much.
    prAna

  • michiganmiked

    HA! Hadn’t given BA a second glance or thought since getting the axe nearly 7 years ago. Nice to know that in this ever evolving world of ours, some things never change. BA doesn’t care about you. Any of you. You are only as valuable as the content you provide, merch and magazines you buy and fests you attend. Having never subscribed to their rag, bought the merch or attended a fest since 2006, I can honestly say I don’t miss any of it. Those members I was close with I still chat up or meet up with elsewhere. You can too.

  • Anonymous Poster

    FYI, re: that email to an employer, that may be a civil tort in that persons state:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

  • BA not relevant for years

    What we really want to know is what ever happened to Venom?

  • ObiWanKushnobi

    BeerAdvocate has become such a very sad place, gone is any sense of community that it once had. It is ran by Nazi like Gestapo “The Bros” who love to wave there iron fist to keep the users in fear of a “digital execution.” I for one have no use for such a site and have been thoroughly pleased by BeerTrading.org and it’s moderators and thus I see no reason to ever use BA again. I calmly wait for ban hammer to fall knowing it is looming overhead and could drop any minute, I could care less. See you on BT! Oh and who really thinks a neckbeard is cool, serious.

  • ryan sprouse

    I would just like to add that I have been banned several times for the most trivial stuff. It is laughable. BA Forum is the least fun forum I have ever been on.

  • kuemmelbrau

    i would love to get a good look at their books. if what some people are saying is true- that ba solicited $ for site upkeep and mobile app development and then used that $ for other things- they could get into a lot more trouble than they know.

    • ByeByeBros

      Yeah, a lot more trouble than the trouble they are trying to get people in by emailing their employers claiming they violated the BA TOS! How ludicrous is that, do the Bros think they are dictators of a country!

    • ByeByeBros

      The bros have made a lot of enemies with their heavy handed practices. There are a lot of smart people out there who have been aggrieved by the bros, if I was them I would tread carefully because those people are going to fight back if pushed. The Bros may rule their little kingdom but are nothing outside of it. They are actually cowards and bullies by trying to silence and discussion.

  • Chuckles

    I guess I had better copy all my reviews, just in case… I already lost “duplicate” reviews because I would review a beer multiple times (on draft, on cask, in a bottle) and the Bros decided to revise the practice. They said the reviews would be e-mailed to the members, but it hasn’t happened yet. That was over a year ago, right?

  • Rand Kocher

    I’m a 58 year old life long beer lover and after seeing BA’s beer lists a couple of days ago, I thought I must be missing out on some good beers. There’s a place near me that sales single bottles, so yesterday I bought about 5 beers that tops BA’s 250 list. And my honest conclusion is that there wasn’t a beer that I sampled that I thought was good and would want to have another. And the crazy thing is that the best beers in the world don’t even make there list. Something ain’t right at that site that’s for sure!

  • Jane

    I know what the Bros (at least Todd) is thinking: if you don’t like it, don’t use it. And that’s true and it’s their website–they can run it as heavy-handed and dickish as they want, but I think their involvement in the beer community has done significant damage. As comments here noted, on the site the discussion is just plain unfun and the beer snobbery is terrible and THIS is the site that most budding craft beer fans will start off on THIS is where their start their education on how we talk about beer and how beer lovers interact and it is not good. I’ve been on and off BA for 7-8 years now, and while there’s a lot of awesome and knowledgeable people there, I was always struck by the consistently hateful spirit that crops up in almost every thread. This hateful snobbery has been creeping into the real beer world for the last 5+ years. I hope as more of these stories come out they will start to be taken less seriously and that newbies will turn somewhere else.

  • pawg.hunter

    What a bitch move by the Alstrom Brothers

  • http://BeerStreetJournal.com/ Reid Ramsay

    Phantom of the Opera?

  • http://BeerStreetJournal.com/ Reid Ramsay

    I guess so… lol. Thanks Phantom.

  • FantomeOpera

    “This comment was deleted.”

    You will curse the day you did not do!
    All that the Fantome asked of you!