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Poll: How often do you check BA before buying a new beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ao125, Dec 20, 2012.


How often do you check BA before buying a new beer?

  1. Always

    93 vote(s)
  2. Sometimes

    198 vote(s)
  3. Only if I've never had anything from that brewery before

    56 vote(s)
  4. Never (I like spinning the wheel on beer roulette)

    43 vote(s)
  1. ao125

    ao125 Savant (335) Virginia Dec 1, 2010

    I'm curious, how often do you check BA and/or other beer rating sites before you pick up a new (or new to you) beer?

    I'm personally starting to find myself passing up beers I've never tried before, solely because they have low rating scores... and I'm sure I'm not alone.

    I often think of it as a small insurance policy on a $5-12 bet, and I very rarely pick up completely undrinkable beers anymore.

    That said, I don't know that I'm as experimental as I used to be... at least on my own dime.
  2. BMart

    BMart Advocate (605) Pennsylvania Oct 21, 2010 Beer Trader

    Depends on pricing, if it's under $4 for 12oz or under $10 for 22oz, I'm not as quick to look it up and just give it a try. If it's marked higher and from a brewery I never had before, I usually look it up before purchasing. At that point, anything 80 or higher I'll give a try to make my own conclusion.
  3. TX-Badger

    TX-Badger Poobah (1,130) Texas Jun 14, 2012 Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'll try anything once, and I could care less about what someone else thinks about it. I like to form my own opinion of a beer before reading what others think.
    Ford, BrownAleMale, beertunes and 5 others like this.
  4. Almost always, but I try and pay more attention to the description from a few reviewers than to the rating.
  5. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Chad Jan 8, 2012

    If the beer is from a brewery that I think is solid and it's a style I like then I don't check.

    Otherwise if it's an unknown I'll Google the beer and check the various beer sites' public consensus number only (I don't put any stock into any editorial reviews/ratings that sites may offer.)
  6. mellowmark

    mellowmark Advocate (630) Minnesota Mar 31, 2010 Beer Trader

    I've found that beers on this site which are rated higher usually taste better than those which are not. Sure if it's reviews from just a few people that's not much to go off, but if 300 out of 325 people all think the beer is great then that is pretty telling.
  7. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (655) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Beer Trader

    Almost never, unless its a brewery I've never heard of. I like to make my own decisions about what I like.
    Ford likes this.
  8. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Savant (495) Virginia Feb 28, 2012 Beer Trader

    I will check if it is a brewery I'm not familiar with. Or if there is little information about the style of beer on packaging.
    pixieskid likes this.
  9. Hardly ever any more, although I've become a lot more selective about my purchases these days.
  10. It's all about pricing. I'd say if it's double digits for a bomber, I'll probably check it out. This is also dependent on how lazy I am being at the time.
  11. zac16125

    zac16125 Poobah (1,025) South Carolina Jan 26, 2010 Beer Trader

    If Im at a bottle shop scouring, almost always. If Im at a bar, almost never.
  12. Quite often. Unless it's a brewery that I know won't let me down, I take a peek at the score.

    The only time I never check is if I'm at a brewery
    smartassboiler likes this.
  13. fox227

    fox227 Advocate (610) California Nov 19, 2010

    It depends. But when I first discovered BA, I obsessively looked up every beer and took my time deciding what to buy. Now it's a bit more based on knowing my way around, and checking the scores later to see if I agree with them. I'd say it's about 50/50. It's useful to have the reviews, because I have only so much money to spend on beer.
  14. I only check after I've tasted it, just to see if I'm correct in either liking or disliking it.
    jRocco2021 likes this.
  15. Preluderl

    Preluderl Advocate (685) Pennsylvania Sep 27, 2012 Beer Trader

    I always do, but I'm still new to this.
  16. I always check just to get a general over-all but it doesnt always make my decision.
    dianimal likes this.
  17. meanmutt

    meanmutt Poobah (1,020) Ohio Feb 6, 2012 Beer Trader


    1) If it's a beer in a style I've never had.
    2) If it's something expensive.
  18. sm0key

    sm0key Savant (325) Michigan Apr 24, 2009

    I look more for the details about the beer, more so than for the actual ratings. Not all bottles give all the info I'm looking for
  19. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (770) Illinois Apr 8, 2010 Beer Trader

    I dont have a smart phone so usually if I see something questionable I have to wait until I can research it before I buy it. A lot of times I forget what I had been looking at. Usually I have a pretty good idea of what I am going to get before I go to the store. But other times I just wing it; just walk in and grab some random stuff that sounds good.
  20. frankb34

    frankb34 Savant (265) Massachusetts Sep 10, 2009

    My local packie promotes mix your own six at 10% off so thats how I try new beers. Then I read what BA has to say about them.LOL.
    BrownAleMale and Nutwood like this.
  21. lucasj82

    lucasj82 Champion (980) Indiana Aug 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    I usually don't check BA until after I try the beer for myself.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  22. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Champion (810) Illinois Apr 9, 2012 Beer Trader

    This is pretty much my exact answer. Once a brewery proves itself to me, I'll try anything from them. If I don't know the brewery, I'd rather look at the score and read a few ratings first to make sure the majority of people don't think it sucks, or that there's some common theme in the flavor that I know I won't enjoy.
  23. harperman69

    harperman69 Savant (400) Tennessee Feb 11, 2009 Beer Trader

    I don't always drink beer without checking Beeradvocate first...

    But when I do, it's because I'm not familiar with the brewery.
    MrMcGibblets and smartassboiler like this.
  24. When I go to a packie I almost always already know what I want and I'm just checking to see if they have it. Most of the time I'm determining what I want from BA, but I can't remember the last time I walked into a store, found a beer I'd never heard of before but thought sounded interesting, and then checked the rating. I think that's what this question is asking, but I'm not sure. So the answer is either or always or never.
  25. ubenumber2

    ubenumber2 Champion (800) Arkansas Sep 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    The only times I dont check is when Im at some backwoods liquor store that sprint cant seem to reach with 3G
    ao125 likes this.
  26. ao125

    ao125 Savant (335) Virginia Dec 1, 2010

    ...or T-Mobile
  27. TX-Badger

    TX-Badger Poobah (1,130) Texas Jun 14, 2012 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Sometimes it's telling, other times it's not, it's simply people being 'sheeple' and not wanting to deviate from what the group thinks for sake of being ostracized.
    beertunes likes this.
  28. WotanMitUns

    WotanMitUns Aficionado (160) Alaska Dec 20, 2012

    Voted sometimes, but it's more like most of the time. I've been burned on too many mediocre beers not to check at this point.
    MrMcGibblets likes this.
  29. Agreed. Looking for tasting notes rather than numbers or grades.
  30. dortenzio1991

    dortenzio1991 Savant (285) Connecticut Aug 12, 2011 Beer Trader

    In my store I put up signs with BA scores and a little descirption of the beer. What do you guys think about that?
    MrMcGibblets and joedevivre like this.
  31. Nutwood

    Nutwood Savant (415) Kentucky Jun 30, 2012

    I'm kind of new, so I've been playing a game where I taste first, form my own ideas, and then reference what others are saying here. I prefer to taste new beers with an open mind.
    When I'm tring someting new on tap, I like it when it happens that the style is not identified by name. That way I can practice identifying the style as well as evaluating the beer itself.
  32. Derranged

    Derranged Advocate (555) New York Mar 7, 2010

    Sometimes mainly if its not clear what style the beer is or if the abv isnt listed on the bottle. But most of the time I dont bother.
    CurtFromHershey likes this.
  33. Given that what I perceive of as "taste" is nothing more than some organic mass located inside my skull interpreting chemical signals sent via a web of nerves, it makes no difference what anyone else's organic mass perceives when similar signals are transmitted to it.

    In other words, a given beer tastes differently to EVERY SINGLE PERSON, so its irrelevant what any of you think. Ergo, my answer is never
    ggwheeler likes this.
  34. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Savant (485) Illinois May 10, 2012

    Always... but I dont always listen.
    BrownAleMale likes this.
  35. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poobah (1,135) New York Aug 25, 2010 Subscriber Beer Trader

    There've been some occasions where I've seen a beer, thinking, oh that looks cool, but I'm gonna wait and check it out on BA before I buy, but I'm usually pretty impulsive and will give that weird/new/pricey beer a chance right off the bat, hoping my choice is validated later.
    Generally speaking, I have decent beer instincts and tend to have been very fortunate in my choices - even if I wasn't overly fond of an impulse buy, it helped educate my palate.
    I will also sometimes seek out highly praised or rated beers based from Top Beer lists and forum posts to familiarize myself with what people are talking about. Particularly in a new/unfamiliar style, I want to try something exemplary of the style first (establishing a frame of reference) before I start winging it with creative interpretations of the style.
  36. TheBeerDad

    TheBeerDad Savant (380) Michigan Sep 6, 2012 Beer Trader

    The only time I will check a beer before tasting is when working out trades. It doesn't matter how many stellar or horrible reviews a beer gets, your pallet is your own, so generally speaking anything new I see I grab at least a bottle. On the other hand when trading out my cellar, beers I know for a fact I love, I will check BA reviews on unknown beers before setting a trade in stone.
  37. TWStandley

    TWStandley Champion (795) Massachusetts Jan 15, 2008 Beer Trader

    I spend too much damn time on this site that by the time I go to the store I have a pretty good idea of what BA says about the majority of beers. Occasionally I will check if it is a pricey purchase.
  38. Catchy_Name

    Catchy_Name Advocate (520) California Dec 21, 2011 Beer Trader

    I usually only do this if I haven't heard anything about the beer specifically or if I don't have much experience with the brewery that made it. I don't look at rating either, rather read the first 10 or so reviews.
  39. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poobah (1,090) California Jan 31, 2005 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Maybe when I get a SMARTer phone I'll do this more religously.
  40. InfernoBoss

    InfernoBoss Savant (420) California Apr 7, 2011 Subscriber

    I think that's very helpful. I have a couple of independent shops that I frequent who do the same. Since I do like to check on unfamiliar breweries, that prevents the need to dig up the info on BA on my phone while standing in front of the shelves or coolers (which can be a little uncomfortable in a small shop).

    To the OP's question - my budget isn't unlimited. Taking a look at what the rest of us here on BA think has resulted in my purchases tending to the higher end of the quality spectrum. That's the value of being part of this community, so why not take advantage of it?
    jsurfs82 likes this.