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Comment Obsession with BA ratings

Discussion in 'Site' started by rubicat, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Then he probably had a shitty record collection.
  2. I've always preferred Ayinger to Weihestaphaner...against the numbers!
    Pecan likes this.
  3. I wouldn't criticize them for looking up beers. Maybe they were from out of the area and looking for things not sold in their hometown. Maybe they were shopping for a tasting.

    You should have let them know that just as important (if not more so) as the rating is the bottled on date.
    Who cares if a DIPA is rated 95 if it is 6 months old?
  4. i love this site and the Bros are usually right on, then theres the crowd source ratings. super over hop, throw in some brett, jam it in a bourbon barrel, only produce 20 bottles. instant 90+ i will say from a retail point of view the ratings push sales, but in my experience ive come across a lot of beers that get, what seems to me, under rated. Or dare i say hated on. but such is the beer world and we move on. i really cant stand people not willing to take a chance. if it got put in a bottle or can traveled hundreds of miles to get to the store your in, obviously a group of people tried it and said,"damn this is some good shit we should bottle this up and sell it!" then enough people agreed. those are my thoughts exactly on the topic.
    Treyliff likes this.
  5. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,025) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    For some reason I wouldn't expect you to discourage use of the site, whenever, wherever, however... ;)

    Yes, statistically speaking you're more likely to end up with more beers you'll like if you stick to a "90+" rule, especially with beers that have lots of reviews (say 100+). But I agree w/ the OP that it should never be the deciding factor on what you buy, unless perhaps you have only $10 in your pocket and are looking for a "sure thing," if such a beer even exists.

    Half the fun of trying all the new, different beers available to us is being pleasantly surprised by something unexpected. I don't think you can do that if you always stick narrowly and strictly to the tried and true. This practice also doesn't necessarily help new breweries just getting a foothold in the market.
    jasonmason likes this.
  6. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    I buy based on the art on the label. Prettier the better.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  7. I was telling someone where to get some founders breakfast stout online and mentioned he should grab some Bells expedition stout in the same order. After he placed the order and got his beers, I asked him why he didnt get the expedition. He said because the "bros" gave it a score of 65. o_O
    The reviews of nearly 2000 people giving it an avg of 93 will say a lot more about the beer than one person's from nearly a deade ago.
    franklinn and jasonmason like this.
  8. kingofhop

    kingofhop Savant (430) Oklahoma May 9, 2010

    'zactly.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  9. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Advocate (710) Illinois Apr 8, 2010

    Just out of curiosity, what beer were they looking at?
  10. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,440) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Obviously and agreed. It would be an issue of it was widespread and everyone using the site was purchasing based on the scores alone, but this isn't the case.
  11. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Savant (485) Florida May 29, 2011

    I used to look up beers online when I started into craft beer, but not anymore really. I found that by seeing a certain rating it would subconsciously bias my opinion of the beer. In addition, I find it shelters you from really experiencing the art of beer. Not all beers are good, but it takes drinking the stuff you don't like in order to really appreciate the stuff you do like. My advice, don't refer to ratings.. just have fun with it & don't shelter your palate with the foresight of others opinions.
  12. Porkhustle

    Porkhustle Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2012

    Me too. I use 80 as my guide. Rayon Vert doesn't reach 90 as an example
  13. 451beer

    451beer Aficionado (135) Ohio Jun 21, 2011

    I will pick my beer my way and you pick it your way. In the end we at least have one thing in common. We both are going to drink beer. ;)
  14. rubicat

    rubicat Aficionado (120) Ohio Nov 22, 2012

    I don't know.
  15. Eastside151

    Eastside151 Savant (450) Ohio Jun 29, 2012

    There are many times for me that I will see the score of a beer on here after I have drank it and am checking the "had" box to track it. Many of the more readily discussed beers on here have been added to my "wants" list out of hype/curiosity/recommendation. For me it comes down to personal palate and the continued reason I go for singles to try as many beers to find those I really enjoy and want to drink more of.
  16. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Savant (395) Wisconsin Mar 13, 2010

    The ratings are a nice way to get you on your feet in this hobby. I doubt they would have it on this website if it wasn't useful. It is however something that I think is necessary to grow out of. Other peoples opinions are like the training wheel for you to form your own, but you can't keep them on forever. I still glance at ratings when I look up beers but that's about as far as I take it at this point. I never look beers up to see what it's rated anymore.
  17. Maybe the guy was just Christmas shopping and wanted only grade A beers for his kids. I mean wouldn't you?
    franklinn likes this.
  18. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (545) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    Well, I look after the fact. Just stopped at Julio's and picked up a few. Some winners, some dogs. As someone said, the idea of self discovery seems lost. So I bring home a St. Bernardus Chrustmas Ale and find out it is highly scored. I also picked up a four pack of Celia and find out it is apparently a dog. Going by the reviews, my total haul is fifty fifty. OK, I can live with that. Will drink em all and if I don't like em, won't buy em again.

    What about the other side of the coin? I've brought home some 90-plus rated beers and personally thought they sucked. Granted not many, but it has happened.

    I'm a find out for myself kinda guy. I don't much care what is trendy or anything. I do, however, value reading other opinions, especially to get some grounding on what to expect or if I find something confusing. It is all good in the end.
  19. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (545) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    Depends....if they been naughty or nice? Couldn't resist......
  20. The body of the review is more important than the rating imo. Sometimes a reviewer will rate a beer lower for the same reason you would rate it higher.
    kzoobrew and LeRose like this.
  21. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,005) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    If only people did this more often it would finally kill the "BUY LOCAL" dogma out there.
    (well, at least for Arizona).
    90+ beers only. :D
  22. Pecan

    Pecan Savant (410) California Dec 20, 2012

    The people saying you should *never* use scores to pick a beer sound just as pretentious as the people saying they would *never* buy a beer rated under 90. We all want to drink good beer. Find it however you want and, by all means, enjoy the path you took to that discovery. Neither camp is right or wrong, they are just different methods used to find beer in varied situations and preferences. The real question should be: Did the guys enjoy their beer that night? If not, I doubt they'll follow ratings again. If so, I guess it served their purpose.
  23. Otis32

    Otis32 Aficionado (135) Minnesota Jan 1, 2011

    English Bitter. Kolsch. American Blonde Ale.

    Just three styles I can think of that have less than five beers rated 90 or better. Probably not a bad idea to take style bias into consideration.

    It can be relative. An English Bitter rated below 90 could easily be a better constructed beer than one of the many IPA's scoring over 90.
  24. TNGabe

    TNGabe Initiate (0) Tennessee Feb 6, 2012

    I usually look for beers rated in the 80s myself. Lots of subtle beers and less popular styles I like end up with lower ratings. I think 92 - 93 is the sweet spot, Westmalle Dubbel, Saison Dupont, and Weihenstephaner Korbinian as examples. I'm usually suspicous of that rate higher ratings are skewed by abv, hype, or style.
  25. TNGabe

    TNGabe Initiate (0) Tennessee Feb 6, 2012

    Well none of those are barrel aged, sour, 12% abv, or 120 IBUs....how could they be better than average?;)
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  26. I was going to mention that there are entire clusters of beer styles for which BA ratings are essentially useless due to style bias. Munich Helles, anyone?
  27. If this is wrong, I don't want to be right. I often pull out my phone and check out BA or use the Beer Buddy app to scan bar codes on bottles (believe they source ratings from Ratebeer). It makes things a bit slower at the store, but I like to have a decent idea about a new beer before I buy it. Not that I think a beer that rates 95 is by definition better than one that rates 93, but if the sample size is high enough, I have to believe more highly rated brews will tend to be better than lower rated ones. My $.02.
  28. Dan_Bowman

    Dan_Bowman Aficionado (245) Ohio Apr 11, 2010

    I would have missed out on plenty great beers that I love if I only purchased 90+ rated beers. You have to think that BA has been around a while and those ratings could have been established 5+ years ago. The beer / brewery could have improved in that time, and now you are just missing great beer.


    On the other hand, since I have been on BA, I have spent a lot more money on beer from seeking out beers that are highly acclaimed here.
  29. I understand their logic & why they do it.
    They sound like they are starting out & I do still think that starting out with some nicely priced classics and working from there is a nicer way in the long run. Will leave you with some easier to get & cheaper beers that you will really love. The hall of fame might be a nice place to start.
    Their way will cost them a lot more & will lead them quickly to getting disappointing with more standard brews – non BA, supper hoppy etc. stuff.
  30. xanok

    xanok Savant (405) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009

    When I was new to craft beer, I did this as well. These days I know most of the stuff I like and can usually buy something new based on my gut.
  31. My boss suprised me with 6 bombers from her local bottle shop as an x-mas gift. She didn't know what she was buying, but used this website to find 90+ rated beers. I thought it was great that she thought to get me craft beer, but I was even more estatic that she found some pretty great stuff.
    Pecan likes this.
  32. Pecan

    Pecan Savant (410) California Dec 20, 2012

    I had the opposite experience. One of the guys at work knew I liked craft beer and got that for me in a gift exchange. Except he got me a six of Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale. He even chilled it so I could drink it at the company party. Great guy, so I choked down a couple. He finally joined in and after the first drink exclaimed, "This is *@!*@!* AWFUL." At least I didn't have to pretend anymore. Wish he had used BA to buy beer :confused:
  33. lsummers

    lsummers Advocate (535) California Jun 21, 2010

    If its a style I love or from a brewery I love I usually buy it without looking up ratings, but due to limited funds wanting to be spent I usually look up new releases. In the past when I first got into craft I didn't care and wanted to try everything. Now that I have more knowledge of the craft beers out there I realize its impossible for me to try everything.
  34. StoutSeth

    StoutSeth Savant (265) Virginia Sep 24, 2010

    The best is when one of your favorite beers is rated low, because then there aren't any other BAs buying it all up. :)
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  35. Bernerdawg

    Bernerdawg Aficionado (125) Georgia Jul 18, 2011

    One doesn't have to practice self-discovery to enjoy surprises and disappointments; such concepts occur quite naturally. I would agree perhaps that the art of taking chances isn't for everyone.

    Even so, I wouldn't consider consulting the beer ratings of a beer site to be an ode to human frailty.
  36. Total awkwardness of walking around a liquor store with an ipad aside, isn't that the entire point of ratings? To see what beers are good and which are not? Drawing a line at "only an 88" is ridiculous, but conceptually I don't really see the problem...
  37. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,060) Maryland Mar 18, 2008

    I find myself using the info here on BA to find out what exactly the "style" is of the beer more than anything.

    Ah... that guillotine beer from Delerium? Is that dark Belgian?? who is it from... oh okay.. Is that my bag? Is that a brewery I've had good experiences? then maybe I might look at the rating... then I might buy it... or not.. regardless what others think. Same goes for other brews.

    Ratings are one facet, but BA provides way more info than just what other people think of something. Ratings are interesting, but it's not the only factor. (at least for myself).
    superspak likes this.
  38. Zach136

    Zach136 Advocate (555) Georgia Jun 17, 2012

    I'm 100% guilty of checking scores in store and basing purchase decision on them. But I try not to limit it as much as possible. For example, right now I'm only buying stuff from bottle shops that's on one of the three Top 100 lists, I have that list of those beers on my phone so I'm not walking around the store waiting for BA to load on 3G.

    That being said,

    Chicory Stout, Dark Intrigue and Hopsun all com in around 85 here and I LOVE those brews. So I try not to completely write off anything in the 80s. But its a pretty good bet that I'm going to like something in the 90s.
    DeathBYzombieZ likes this.
  39. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Advocate (620) Oklahoma Oct 22, 2010

    Many stores put the BA and RB scores on the shelves so you don't have to fumble with your interweb things.
  40. I don't have all the money in the world for beer, so beeradvocate is a nice reference.

    That being said, a porter or stout is something I can buy even if it has a lower rating, while a tripel or wheat beer needs to have a higher rating for me to buy it.
    Of course, this is when I have access to beeradvocate...

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