BeerAdvocate Ratings, Explained

Discussion in 'Help Resources' started by Todd, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,621) Aug 23, 1996 California

    The following will help explain the basics behind the ratings and stats for beer, breweries, and other beer-centric places.

    BA Score
    Is simply the average across all ratings.

    No points, percentiles, letter grades, or hidden algorithms. Just the raw average using our core 1-5 point scale, like it was back in the old-school BA days. For a beer or place, it's simply the average rating across all ratings for the beer or place. For a breweries, it's the average rating across all active beers for the brewery.

    And for those who need some help understanding what the ranges within the point scale mean...

    4.50 - 5.00 = World-Class
    4.25 - 4.49 = Outstanding
    4.00 - 4.24 = Exceptional
    3.75 - 3.99 = Very Good
    3.50 - 3.74 = Good
    3.00 - 3.49 = Okay
    2.00 - 2.99 = Poor
    1.00 - 1.99 = Awful

    What happened to the old BA Score? It was an arbitrary, proprietary, weighted, 30-100 point system and a dated standard that was borrowed from the wine and spirits world. It was basically designed for shelf talkers and print publications, and often favored higher scores. It needed to go as it no longer met our goals.

    All qualifying beers (active with 10 or more ratings) are now given a ranking based on their weighted rank (WR). This directly correlates to our main top 250 beers, and allows readers to quickly determine if a beer lands within the top 250 or where it lands among all qualifying beers.

    The WR is a Bayesian estimate that pulls data from millions of user ratings and normalizes scores based on the number of ratings for each beer or place. The WR represents the beer or place's score against all others.

    pDev (percent deviation)
    Is the percentage of deviation within the ratings. In non-geek terms, it represents a kind of "average deviation from the mean," and helps to validate the review average. The higher the pDev the more overall deviation from the average (score), which would be a sign of wider spread within the distribution of ratings, while a lower pDev would indicate more of a consensus within the ratings.

    User Ratings (Beers)
    Check out: How to Review a Beer.

    User Ratings (Places)
    Similar to beer ratings, we break places down to 5 ratable attributes.
    • atmosphere (vibe) = 10%
    • quality = 30%
    • service = 25%
    • selection = 25%
    • food = 10%
    If a place doesn't offer food, or the rater doesn't include a food rating, the 10% is spread across the other attributes.

    rDev (rating deviation)
    The individual rater's current deviation from the rating average (score), represented as either a positive or negative percentage. As the score changes, so does the rDev.

    Bros Score
    From 1996 to 2000 the only reviews on the site were from BeerAdvocate founders and brothers Jason & Todd Alström. It's simply a nod to those early days, but no longer displayed as a main score.

    Quality Assurance
    No system is perfect, however, we take several steps to ensure that our rating standards are fair and as high as we can currently make them.
    • Ten or more ratings are required for a beer to achieve a Ranking.
    • Reviews are considered ratings with 150 characters or more. All reviews must be constructive.
    • Retired beers are not considered for most stats and lists.
    • As per our Industry Posting Rules, rating or reviewing places or beers that you own or are affiliated with is illegal.
    • Ratings that are found to be fake or attempt to undermine our system are deleted upon being reported. We take this very seriously. Users may be warned, or banned without warning, and IP addresses may be cross-referenced to identify multiple accounts too.
    Bros Reviews
    • We periodically receive free samples, which are not guaranteed coverage or favorable mentions.
    • Neither advertisers, sponsorships, or industry relationships influence the opinions expressed by @BeerAdvocate and its founders, @Jason and @Todd. You don't have to believe us, but it's been a fact since 1996.
    We're constantly reviewing our standards and will make adjustments as needed.