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I'm trying to clean up Area 51 proposals, and I came across this one:

Beer

Proposed Q&A site for beer writers, cicerones, professional brewers, and beer geeks

Would any of their on topic questions be off topic here?


(5 July) Edited to add:

The issues at hand here are:

  1. What percentage of their on topic questions would be on topic here?
  2. For subjects they want to be on topic, but which are currently off topic here—would this site consider broadening its scope to include those subjects as well?

What they consider to be off topic isn't relevant to this discussion.


(20 July) Edited to add:

A similar question has been asked at Area 51: How is this different from Homebrewing?

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    The jury's still out - but I proposed we include "brew appreciation" into our scope in the FAQ thread. Hopefully we can kill 2 birds here. – Mark McDonald Jul 7 '11 at 23:46
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They explicitly say that they don't want brewing on their site.

I would welcome them to our site, as their knowledge of tasting would be invaluable. Questions like "What are things I should look for in an Imperial stout?" I would find helpful.

However, I am concerned that there may be many questions like "Where do I get ... beer?" and this is very off topic for us.

  • Having looked at the example questions in area 51, I reckon about 80% are on topic. Admittedly there are a number of "Is Shiner Bock the best selling beer in Texas?" type questions, but they seem to be in the minority. – Poshpaws Jul 4 '11 at 13:28
  • @Dori - how can that possibly be if a merger is what is being hinted at, here? And if that's not the point of this question, than what is? You might not call what you're suggesting a merger, but a rose by any other name... Your suggestion seems to be that we widen our scope and/or divert questions that would be on-topic on another site here, and close the other site. That would mean that that community would get shunted here to ask/answer a lot of the questions they are interested in, and as such their opinions are certainly relevant/a factor. – kathryn Jul 5 '11 at 18:02
  • @Dori - I don't understand why we are declaring that they must choose between half a loaf and no loaf. How about we have our loaf, and they have theirs? Sure, they're off to a slow start - but then, we're still not exactly racehorses in some aspects (notably questions per day). Some of them specifically don't want to come here because they don't want to see homebrewing questions. They just want another space, and I don't see what good forcing them to come here does - seems like it will just ensure they don't participate at all, and skew our topic. We shouldn't just dismiss their thoughts. – kathryn Jul 6 '11 at 2:13
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    I agree with Dori. If their proposal fits within our site as-is or with slight modification it should join ours. To be honest, it doesn't really matter what they don't want. I don't want to see iPhone and Android questions on stackoverflow, but I deal with it. The whole reason for tags and filters are to filter content you do and don't care about. Besides, I can't see this proposal ever getting off the ground, it's been there for over a year and only has 51 followers. Maybe to be more accepting to them we could contemplate renaming it to just "brew.stackexchange" or something? – Room3 Jul 20 '11 at 16:08
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I personally think it would be great if the beer makers and the beer drinkers got together on the same site. I am all for learning about how to appreciate the different beer styles. However, as Nathan says, if they say on their site that they don't want brewing, they don't want brewing.

  • +1 for getting everyone together. I'm curious what we'd do with the non-beer brewing questions if we encompassed appreciation. Include them? Rename the site to booze.stackexchange.com? (bring it on!) – Mark McDonald Jul 21 '11 at 12:08
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I agree with kathryn. There would be a lot of overlap, for example Pairing with mussels and Storing bottle conditioned beers and carbonation, but we are definitely more on the side of how to make beer, not how to drink beer.

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It's odd to me that there would be a beer proposal (unless they just don't know this site exists), especially since there seems to be a feeling here that it's mostly about beer with the odd wine question. However, they seem to define themselves more as beer enthusiasts than brewers, and say that brewing questions would be off-topic for them and they don't want to wade through that type of question. Some of their stuff looks like it might be off-topic - there's one about what kind of beer to use for a beer battering recipe, for example - but it looks to me like we'd be more off-topic to them than vice-versa.

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The homebrewing site is definitely NOT oriented towards consumption. Those questions tend to be negatively rated/closed or not rated at all. The current primary participants are very much focused on production matters. A separate consumption site meets a perceived need that is actively NOT addressed by the homebrewing site. The key to merger is getting the consensus on the homebrewing site that questions that have been off-topic in the past are now considered acceptable. So merger would be a tricky proposition IMHO.

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