Rating beers, Does limited availabilty make you like it more?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Smitty1988, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (375) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Verified

    I have often thought that the availabilty of the beer seems to have A LOT to do with how highly its rated (Duh right?) But I think of a beer like Myrcenary DIPA by Odell. What if they limited its production, hyped it up, only distributed to Colorado, and only gave a few bars 1 or 2 kegs every quarter... Could it be #1 on BA? I think its as good as the top 25 on BA, even against other DIPA's
  2. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (1,020) North Carolina Dec 8, 2007 Staff Member Verified Subscriber

    I don't think limited availability effects me that much - I really enjoy and have highly rated some beers that are fairly easy to find.
  3. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (375) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Verified

    As have I, I am just wondering if all that hype is the indicator of being world class, or top 10 or 25 it doesnt seem to have much to do with the taste when it comes down to it.
  4. dieBlume

    dieBlume Savant (280) Virginia Mar 18, 2013

    Coming from someone with an interest in business an psychology, I think that it does influence people's rating of the beer.

    When something is hyped up, people have this expectation for something great, so when they try it, that feeling carries over into the actual product they're trying/buying. If they're marketing something as "the best ever" or everyone else says it's "the best ever" then people will start to internalize that thought.

    Also, here's a somewhat interesting article talking about hype in terms of things that aren't beer: Article

    I find psychology and buyer behavior fascinating.
    Petela, TNasty1126, Treyliff and 8 others like this.
  5. MammaGoose

    MammaGoose Aficionado (210) Wyoming Jan 10, 2013

    I actually prefer dependable easy-to-get availability. Either year round or a widely distributed seasonal that I know I can get again next year. I can understand how it gives some people a thrill to track down, trade for, or travel for a limited beer or a whale, but that's just not how I personally want to enjoy beer. I love trying new beers, whether it's a new year round beer on the shelf or a whale, but I would much rather get excited about a beer I know I can get again rather than a once in a lifetime beer.

    Since you brought up Myrcenary, one of my favorite beers, it made me think of my Pliny the Elder vs Myrcenary experience. I scheduled a trip to Denver (8-hour drive from my town in Wyo) around PtE release. I went to several places and finally found it for $8/pint. I gladly paid it, was expecting to be absolutely mind blown, and, well, I just liked it a lot. It was a good beer, I'd get it again. But considering the fact that I have Myrcenary in 4-packs a block away from me, I would say I prefer Myrcenary over PtE. Now I haven't tried Hopslam, Heady Topper, and some of the others. But still...I MUCH rather prefer an easy-to-get great beer over a very-hard-to-get great beer.

    So in short, the answer to your title's question...no, limited availability does not make me want it more.
    CasanovaCummins likes this.
  6. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,120) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Verified

    I think I used to be more susceptible to this effect, but not so much anymore. Once I have the beer in hand, as far as I'm concerned it's no more limited than any other beer in my cellar. I can judge it on its own merits based on what I see, smell, and taste.
  7. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (375) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Verified

    I had almost the exact experience when having PtE for the first time, which I was tracking down in Orange County, I had thought,... this is really good, but I have Myrcenary, Sucks, and Ruination Down the street. Ill order it again given the chance, but not hunt for it ....
  8. Limited availability definitely impacts people's enjoyment of the product. There was a number of studies done on this issue, specifically with wine. People rated the wine that they were told was more expensive (and thus less available as the cost prohibits some from buying it) as better. At the end of the day, the bottles were all the same price.

    People also love to think they aren't influenced by hype.
  9. dieBlume

    dieBlume Savant (280) Virginia Mar 18, 2013

    Very good point, thanks for bringing that up! I remember reading something about the wine thing awhile ago. The way things are presented, priced, hyped, etc. really change how you see a product. I wish I could take more psychology classes because I think that stuff is fascinating.

    My other favorite study is people's perception about bottled water due to brand name. They filled a bunch of water bottles from different brands with the same water from a hose. Those who were told it was supposedly purified by sand in some tropical, pristine location said it tasted the best, while one that was supposedly from the tap was the worst. It was all the same water, just different bottles with different descriptions.

    Dangit, brain! Stop being so easily influenced!
    snohojimbo and Bung like this.
  10. fritts211

    fritts211 Savant (345) Tennessee Feb 19, 2011 Verified

    If it doesn't, you're drinking beer wrong.
  11. dwagner003

    dwagner003 Poobah (1,065) California Jan 4, 2013 Verified

    I hunt for it, but only for trade fodder at this point. I would choose many different styles of beer over IPAs anyway.
  12. That's not the half of it. The weakness of our brain is only matched by our inability to admit that it's weak to begin with.
    anglagard1 and alucard6679 like this.
  13. BlackDragon

    BlackDragon Initiate (0) Michigan Feb 16, 2013

    I actually take off points if its rare or limited Bramble and CBS got 4.75s instead of 5s because their so hard to get. If it's a great beer that tons of people like the brewery should take the hint and make lots more of it.
    Bung likes this.
  14. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (630) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011 Verified

    I completely agree with Providence and dieBlume here. In fact, I have gone back and edited ratings after trying a second bottle and forming a more grounded opinion. In other words, once the hype flavor wears off, reality sets in and sometimes a hyped beer loses its charm. The reverse is true too. I have found a few sleepers where I think the rating reflects the lack of hype.
    dieBlume likes this.
  15. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (375) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Verified

    Thank you!! If people like it. Make it more!! But what do I know?
  16. If you don't think rarity has an impact on scores, Cantillon's ratings on their regular beers were in the 4.1-4.2 range before they disappeared from the shelves.
    hardy008 and Bung like this.
  17. mecummins

    mecummins Savant (425) Illinois Nov 16, 2012

    I think it depends on the person. I'm not a whalez chaser, so I really don't care how rare a beer is when I drink it. I'm also lucky enough to be able to drink local, so most of my regular beers are ones that I can pretty easily get my hands on.
    tectactoe and creepinjeeper like this.
  18. XpensiveBieros

    XpensiveBieros Aficionado (150) New Hampshire Feb 3, 2013 Verified

    I would say anything that is difficult to get/limited release usually has an affect on idea of that particular beer. Sometimes it's a marketing scheme and sometimes it's just that good!
  19. AlonCicerone

    AlonCicerone Zealot (90) Texas Jan 25, 2011

    I believe Providence is referring to The Wine Trials by Robin Goldstein, specifically chapter 2 "The taste of money". I highly recommend reading that chapter. Interestingly, Goldstein also has a book called The Beer Trials that is nowhere near as compelling in its arguments (IMHO). I do agree with him that a completely blind tasting is really the only way to get a really accurate comparison. For those of you who have never done a blind tasting, try it sometime. It can be a VERY humbling experience.
    dieBlume likes this.
  20. another way of looking at it though is that, when something is limited and hyped - thus inflating expectations - the potential to be disappointed is also increased. I know when I have to jump through hoops and/or pay an arm and a leg for a particular beer, my expectations are pretty high. so even a very good beer might, relative to my expectations, be disappointing. (as opposed to experiencing a beer without any preconceptions and being pleasantly surprised).
    Cvescalante and snohojimbo like this.
  21. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Champion (805) California Sep 4, 2010 Verified

    It hands down has a lot to do with ratings. We are all biased and myself included. The hunt has to do a lot with satisfaction with me so how could it not be influential?

    Also I've had Mycenary once and loved it so in my mind it is very highly rated. I might have had a super fresh bottle by chance but damn it was good.
    dieBlume and Smitty1988 like this.
  22. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (375) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Verified

    I agree with you. This is why I posted, I had finally got ahold of hopslam in Arizona. Which is a bit rare. It was good but very much like 2 hearted in my opinion. The same yeast profile, I think,... My rating didnt go above 3.75.
  23. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Savant (405) Illinois Jul 28, 2009 Verified

    Could it be #1 on BA? I think its as good as the top 25 on BA, even against other DIPA's?

    If they took it to FFF and repackaged it, then there is no doubt about it.
  24. lic217

    lic217 Advocate (605) Connecticut Aug 10, 2010 Verified

    I would like to think I had more control over my brain then I actually do, but there is no way outside things like price and availability dont effect my taste. Everything can change perception. I believe even the best experts beer drinkers need to have blind tastings to be 100.0000%fair in their evaluation.
    Smitty1988 likes this.
  25. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Usually makes me harsher!!! If something is limited and hyped, I expect more!
    spitshaded likes this.
  26. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (415) New York Jul 16, 2011 Verified

    funny you brought this up... because I recently started drinking southern tier choklat again. My first thought when I tasted it again was "shit, this could blast many whales out of the water"
    I fully believe a lot of beers don't get the love they deserve merely because you don't have the thrill of the hunt in order to acquire it.
    spitshaded and pmccallum86 like this.
  27. --Dom--

    --Dom-- Savant (415) Missouri Dec 22, 2012

    all I got to say is.... Sixpoint Resin.... that's all I'm sayin.......
  28. Not sure why, but I'd be lying if I said rare beer isn't more desirable, ceteris parabis. It's the whole exclusivity factor.
    dieBlume likes this.
  29. I try to be objective but something being rare or a one time brew probably gets a higher rating or seems to taste better. I'm sure I wouldn't think it was as good or special if it could be easily obtained year round.
  30. Herky21

    Herky21 Advocate (670) Iowa Aug 7, 2011 Verified

    This is a total chicken-egg question. I'd like to believe that the beer is rare because it is so good and is therefore harder to find. Then, of course I enjoy it more, because it is world class. So, in sum, I like rare beers because I have world class taste.
  31. Fuck yeah. I love every part of this. I can literally get that beer anywhere in town.
    I continually feel like I second guess myself because unlike a majority of BA it seemsI love what is in my distro and am satisfied by what it brings me, and what I rate high other people who get the beer via trade or other means seem to think otherwise.
    Good beer is good beer. I hear people on this site say they are disapointed buying bottles that are $30+ dolllars that don't live up, infected, off-tastes, what have you. I'll take a reliable, good-great brew any day over feeling like I could have put that money to better use.
    Smitty1988 likes this.
  32. closisinthehouse

    closisinthehouse Advocate (570) Florida Jun 10, 2011 Verified

    I agree with many of the post above me. I tend to like slightly more beers that are rare or harder to get at my location. I do have to say, that there have been a few times in which I had a beer that had limited availability and I was disappointed with it.
  33. JBogan

    JBogan Savant (465) Nevada Jul 15, 2007

    Guess I'm completely opposite of most people here. Obviously many of the rarer beers are hyped as being great, sometimes deservedly so and sometimes not. So when I drink one of these rare beers for the first time my expectations are probably going to be quite high, and harder to be met. In other words, I'm more likely to be disappointed by these rare beers (compared to what I had expected out of them) than I would an easily obtainable beer.
  34. EJLinneman

    EJLinneman Savant (455) New Jersey Mar 2, 2009 Verified

    No one wants to admit that they jumped through a bunch of hoops for a beer that was just ok.
    bryanole27 and dieBlume like this.
  35. kingofhop

    kingofhop Advocate (555) Oklahoma May 9, 2010

    Rare is in the eye of the beholder, and as usual, most folks are too blind to see.
    Smitty1988 likes this.
  36. getinked

    getinked Aficionado (170) Ukraine Feb 21, 2012

    I think the 99% of people that rated Pliny the Younger the best beer on Beer Advocate can answer this question.....

    The proof is in the pudding.

    Note: I do know that it is no longer at this standing.
    hardy008 likes this.
  37. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (375) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Verified

    I have mentioned this before when posting on the Westy 12 threads, but in a blind test, between it and Roechfort 10. The Roechfort 10 was the clear winner with 5/6 of my friends and brothers. We all just stared at that 86 dollar 6 pack of Westy.........
  38. mmmbirra

    mmmbirra Savant (400) Italy Apr 19, 2009

    These days, probably partly due to the lack of easy to get beers by me, I'm more likely to rate a beer higher and hold it in higher regard if it is easy to find rather than hard to find. Why would I want to get worked up over a beer that is nearly impossible to get a hold of and costs more per bottle than a 6-pack of one that's tasty and easy to find? I want to enjoy beers that I can afford and are accessible.
  39. kodt

    kodt Advocate (655) Illinois Mar 6, 2013

    I think it plays a psychological effect. You get excited and hyped for a beer, once you get to try it it is hard not to rate it a little higher.

    This only works if the beer is truly a good beer, if it is rare and is just ok, then I think the ratings will show it. But if it is a very good beer, add some rarity and you are going to get high ratings.
  40. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Savant (375) Arizona Oct 16, 2012 Verified

    A lot of BA have expressed this, that they are more critical, but to me it doesnt appear that way. I SOOO wanted Westy 12 to blow my Roechfort out of the water.,,,, it didnt.:mad:
    Cvescalante likes this.