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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 Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

    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. jdillon334

    jdillon334 Member

    North Carolina
    Almost always, but I try and pay more attention to the description from a few reviewers than to the rating.
  5. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

    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. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Member

    Rhode Island
    Hardly ever any more, although I've become a lot more selective about my purchases these days.
  10. mikeburd1128

    mikeburd1128 Member

    New Jersey
    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 Member

    South Carolina
    If Im at a bottle shop scouring, almost always. If Im at a bar, almost never.
  12. hopsputin

    hopsputin Member

    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 Member

    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. joedevivre

    joedevivre Member

    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 Member

    I always do, but I'm still new to this.
  16. mrzazz

    mrzazz Member

    West Virginia
    I always check just to get a general over-all but it doesnt always make my decision.
    dianimal likes this.
  17. meanmutt

    meanmutt Member


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

    sm0key Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

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

    smartassboiler Member

    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 Member

    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. mcintire78

    mcintire78 Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

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

    TX-Badger Member

    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 Member

    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. winbassett

    winbassett Member

    North Carolina
    Agreed. Looking for tasting notes rather than numbers or grades.
  30. dortenzio1991

    dortenzio1991 Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

    New York
    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. Tballz420

    Tballz420 Member

    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 Member

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

    Greywulfken Member

    New York
    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 Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

    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 Member

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

    InfernoBoss Member

    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.

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