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2013 Registered Guard’s Reader Choice Awards

readers choice

The Registered Guard’s 5th annual Readers Choice Awards is currently taking submissions for nominations. Nominations will end Sunday February 17th. Winners will be able to proudly display a blue ribbon graphic in the window of their shop to let people know they were chosen by the readers.

I signed up and nominated my favorite places. Pretty simple process. Especially when I skipped half the categories because they held no relevance to me. The ones I did care about were related to beer and alcohol, Best Tavern, Best Wine Shop, Best Brewery. Filling those in, I also submitted a few local places run by people I personally know.

It was in doing so that I started to wonder how this would help them and how relevant is this award? First off, the “readers” choice award? Who reads the newspaper? What credibility does winning give a business? I also noticed the subdomain for the sign up is “advertising”. This year they have also added paid “Nominate Us” ads under each category. I am not against monetizing a service or website, but this award seems to be little more than an excuse to solicit advertising from local businesses and it doesn’t have to be.

If the award proves to be effective in helping businesses and representing the choices of Eugene, then it is all justified. Lets look at some of the past winners in the category we, at this site, care about most. “Drinks”

2011 “Drinks After Work” 2012 “Drinks After Work”
  1. b2 Wine Bar
  2. Hop Valley Brewing Company
  3. The Bridge
  1. Hop Valley Brewing
  2. b2 Wine Bar
  3. Oregon Electric Station
2011 “Micro Brewery”  2012 “Micro Brewery
  1. Ninkasi Brewing
  2. Steelhead Brewing
  3. Hop Valley Brewing
  1. 1 Ninkasi Brewing
  2. Hop Valley Brewing
  3. Steelhead Brewing 

I could only find the last two years online and for the 2012 page I had to view it in source code to see the winners. See them here and here. These results suggest to me that the results are likely the same every year. I like Hop Valley a lot, but find it hard to believe that Oakshire wouldn’t make the list over them. This goes the same for Steelhead. I am also curious by the impressive showing of b2 Wine Bar in the “drinks after work” category. Could it be that many of the readers are living in Crescent Village? This would also make sense for Hop Valley’s consistent showing and Oakshire getting ignored way out in west Eugene. With much of downtown locations and notable breweries ignored this makes this award far less creditable in my eyes. The Eugene Weekly Best of Eugene seems like the award they are trying to emulate. In my opinion the Eugene weekly award is a much better source for the best local spots and represents all of Eugene well.

As negative as I have been about this award, in no way am I saying we shouldn’t participate. My personal feelings about newspapers aside, the Registered Guard is still a media force in Eugene. I am for more craft beer in Eugene and media helps. My feeling is craft beer enthusiasts should take to the site and nominate our favorite places and legitimize at least these two categories. So take your browser and nominate. Then vote. While this may not be a perfect award we can make it a better award for the places we love in Eugene.


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