One of the most visible benefits is that you can find older discussions and have those discussions grouped under the topic they belong in.
One of the downsides is that the non savy computer user might have a harder time using the site. Also, development is a bit more complex because now you need to learn PHP and SQL which you probably already know.
This site is a great boost for the beer making community. You will find member retention will grow because of the easier way you now have the information layed out.