For slightly longer than five years, I’ve been a member of the website Yelp.com, which – for those who don’t know – is a website where users can post reviews of businesses. It started out in the states, but in the past 18 months or so, began spreading across Europe.
Although anyone can use this website, for the past four years, I’ve been an “elite” member. This essentially means that I’m active on the site and update often, and my reviews are generally reliable. While both my experience and taste differ from that of other users, I try to report back honestly about places I’ve visited.
I’ve had good and bad feedback from business owners, ranging from people thanking me for taking the time to review their business and managers sending me coupons or discounts to try and “right” the wrongs while at their places. On the not-so-bright-side, I’ve received harassing emails and even was threatened with a lawsuit. (A note on the latter: thankfully, the business in question has/had some not-so-bright lawyers on retainer who threatened slander instead of the appropriate libel, but it was outside of the statute of limitations anyway, so it was likely an empty threat, which I appropriately ignored.) So, there are many pros and cons of being “a Yelper.”
But one of the best pros is going to Yelp events. Whether they’re for any member or only for elite members, they showcase local businesses as a bit of a “sneak preview” the Yelpers. Additionally, there are many perks, such as free food and alcohol, and Yelp trinkets (keychains, chapstick, mints, and more).
The most recent Yelp event here in Berlin was a very small one, with less than 20 people. Earlier this week, we met at Preussiche Spirituousen Manufaktur for a private tour and tasting. This included giving us an overview of the history of the brand, showing us around the machinery and equipment, and letting us smell and taste the different ingredients and products. All in all, it was an enjoyable evening, and despite the entire tour being conducted in German, I still was able to learn quite a bit.
The official photos from the night are here.